As with my previous post, I've been looking back at my life recently in an effort to assess where I've ended up. The past two or so years of my life have been two of the most difficult. It was a little over two years ago that I was diagnosed with clinical depression. I keep looking back, hoping to find answers to the why of this illness but have found few answers. In my research and understanding of gay Mormon men I have found that, for many, depression seems to be a natural occurance. Some would argue that the depression is rooted in the conflict of having feelings of SGA and trying to live a life based on the teachings of the church. For me, the correlation doesn't seem to exist, at least not as the root cause.
Before 2005 I would never have imagined that I would be diagnosed with clinical depression. I had no symptoms before 2005 and was mentally healthy. But when it hit, it hit hard. One day I woke up and couldn't go to work. The thought of doing so caused severe anxiety, which led to depression. Initially, I blamed my career. Then I blamed my propensity toward introversion as the cause of my illness. And yes, I did blame SGA to a certain degree. I learned that I had parts of my personality conflicting one with another. My career was conflicting with my desire to be an artist or a musician. I felt like a part of me was dying internally - a part that I didn't want to lose. This alone created a lot of anxiety and depression. In general, I learned that my anxiety was playing a huge role in my depression.
Now today, having gone through the healing process, I see that in most respects I was mistaken. I actually enjoy my career. I enjoy the life that I have built and find great satisfaction in my successes as a father and husband. I feel the old self coming back to life after being submerged for more than two years. I still have days when I feel like a failure, but now, instead of these feelings taking over, I simply move forward, knowing that I'm doing okay.
I have begun to accept where my journey through life has taken me. I kept fighting against (and still do to some degree) the life that God has given me. Overall, I'm where he wants me to be right now and I'm headed in the right direction. I don't know why I fought it so much. I kept saying to myself that I wanted something different - a different career, a different life. I would ask myself, what happened to my childhood dreams? For the most part I fealt that my dreams were never going to become a reality, that they had been taken from me, and I began to panic, grasping for a glimmer of what I wanted, trying to hold on to the last remnants of who I was and what defined me. For two years I panicked and tried desperately to move back onto the course I wanted for myself. I believed that what I wanted is what God also wanted. It has taken me more than two years of kicking and screaming to finally realize that I'm okay, that this is what God has planned for me. I constantly want control of my life and try everything to maintain this control.
It seems like such a simple lesson, one that we've all been taught since childhood. We will never have complete control over our lives. Some things have to be left to God and his divine plan for our lives. But why is letting go of this errant control so difficult? The control that I thought I had was never really there. I was illuding myself. So here I am, the beginning of the new me - or is it really the old me, the one that was always there, but refused to accept. We are all divine. My focus now is to hold onto this divinity and cherish it more than I have in the past.