Are you prepared for a really emotional video? Cause wow…this was a hard video for me to film.
I was really hesitant about sharing this with everyone because I didn’t want the end product of this video to be sadness. I didn’t want to share my feelings with you all and for you to leave the computer feeling sad. Simon and I have been talking about sharing this video with you all for a long time, and I think I finally felt comfortable sharing it when I was able to get a grasp on how it is that I deal with my depression. I didn’t want to just tell you all “hey I suffer from chronic depression.” I wanted to talk about it once I had the words to explain how I handle it.
We talked about it a lot, which I think is really important because you can often be caught inside your own head and not fully understand what you’re feeling. And that’s challenging, because depression is really isolating, even if you’re in a room full of people. If you stay inside your own head, you start to believe the things you tell yourself, as if they are facts. Without being checked by the outside world, you can fall even deeper into your own negative thoughts.
Those days that I was my lowest, I kept thinking something must be wrong with my life for me to feel this way. But the more I dug into it, the more I realized that I don’t really have anything to complain about in my life. I am the happiest I have ever been, personally and professionally, but my body and my pain is the worst its ever been. Even though I am mentally in a happy place, my body is sending out distress signals due to the constant pain, and that distress is wrecking havoc on me mentally. But it wasn’t always so obvious. I had to break down and scrutinize every aspect of my life to see if something was wrong. I looked at my job. Was I happy as a YouTuber? Yup. Totally. It’s the most fulfilling job I can think of. I actually think it might be the most fulfilling job in the world, if you have a kind audience (like we fortunately do). I looked at my husband. Is Simon doing something wrong? Am I upset with him? Nope. He’s fantastic and supportive and my best friend. Am I angry at my friends? Family? Pets? Co-Workers?…the list went on and not matter how much I searched for “issues” with my life, I found that I didn’t have any. This long hard look at my own life and what I perceived as bringing happiness or sadness gave me a feeling of both relief and dread. I realized that the outside sources in my life were not the problem. It was a problem I was dealing with in my own head. Even though I am currently living my dream life, living in Japan which is something I wanted since I was a child, and I’m living a great life here, depression doesn’t care what state I’m in, and has come along for the ride.
It isn’t something I can fix with money or lifestyle changes. And I think this is a really important point because a lot of people think that if they were millionaires that could have all the cars, houses, food, girls, guys, clothing, jewelry, and vacations in the world they would be totally happy. But that is just not the truth. I have a favourite quote from Jim Carrey who said, “I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.” Since I have come to that same conclusion, I realize that I need to see my depression as a chemical reaction, not as a byproduct of my life. It can feel impossible to fight against an emotional feeling, but you can do it. It is not impossible. You acknowledge that what you are saying is mean and untrue. You are whispering negative things to yourself, but you are strong enough to see those negative things and acknowledge them as wrong. It is the same as when someone looks into the mirror and calls themselves fat and ugly. The more you call yourself these negative things, the more you truly believe it. By stopping this cycle of negative thought, you stop adding fuel to the negative fire.
I still have days where I feel totally despondent and sad, but now I know that they are coming. Now I see these days are a write-off where I have to just take a bath, watch a show, or check out mentally. When I was younger, these days blindsided me. I felt overhwmelend and alone with emotions. I let them wash me down a river of negative thoughts. I believed all the negative thoughts I was having, and I would act on them. And…I tried to kill myself because of it.
That was really hard for me to say. It’s a deep dark secret that has embarrassed me and stayed with my for many years. I didn’t talk about it in my Draw My Life video. I wasn’t comfortable enough with it yet. I feel embarrassed about it now because it’s not a decision I would ever make again. It was a selfish decision that would have hurt my friends and family, and it’s embarrassing to say out loud because I feel like it was such a fucking stupid thing that I did. But I also know that it’s a real state of mind that people feel, a real question that they ask themselves. I’m glad that I was able to get myself out of that state of mind, out of the bottom of the pit. I’m more in control now, but it’ll always be there to remind me of where I could go if I don’t keep control of myself.
The amount of rungs I’ve added to my ladder makes it a lot harder for me to get down that low again. Back then, I didn’t have anything going for me. I was despondent. And all I saw was pain. Now I realize that these emotions and feelings must be contained and dealt with. I squash them down and deal with them all into one or two days, and do my best to not let it spread. In high school and university the feeling would span across days and weeks until I was an exhausted and sad lump of Martina. Now I don’t let it get passed two days. I think that is a huge difference and I hope once day to squash it down to one day. Hopefully I can get to the point one day where I can get it down to just a few hours.
I hope that my honesty in this video didn’t make you feel to upset. I think that we are all human and all deal with different difficulties, and I know that my difficulty is not the same as yours. But what I hope is that in sharing this video, we can all open up and share other ways in which we deal with our lowest days. Or if it’s too personal for you to share, and you don’t feel comfortable (because I wasn’t comfortable for years, and I still feel scared talking about it), I hope at least you can see with my example that, even though I have chronic depression, and I will never be able to fully get rid of it, I’m learning how to live with it and manage it. I hope that you can do so as well. I love you guise.