LIFESTYLE

A LITTLE UNWELL

I have to come clean about something. I haven’t been well for quite some time now. The natural reaction to this revelation is to assume that I am physically sick with the bird flu or rabies but that’s not the case. This is about mental health. And just so that we are on the same page I am not crazy despite what some female friends may say “boy you so crazy”. The best way I can sum up my bout with depression is from a line in a Match Box20 song titled Unwell – One of the lines goes like this: “I’m not crazy I’m just a little unwell”

I can’t pinpoint the moment my depression hit me but that sh*t came out of nowhere. It was a sneak attack a straight-up ambush. I felt like Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) in the movie “The Revenant” when the grizzly bear savagely attacked him in the woods. I felt this beast on my back clawing at me with the sole purpose of killing my joy and hell-bent on bringing me down.

There were days that I struggled to get out of bed during the week and on the weekends I didn’t even attempt to. My routine consisted of sitting at my desk at work watching the clock counting down the hours until I could go home and get back in bed, neglecting my body by skipping workouts and eating unhealthy. My website “The Zeg” wasn’t immune from my neglect, I stopped writing and posting I had no motivation. At the end of the day, you could find me sitting at home watching meaningless television or wishing I was born into royalty- they look happy waving at their subjects from one of their castles and bestowing titles on their most deserving subjects. I could do that, although I would bestow titles on people in the hood: “Dwayne I proclaim you Duke of the Bodega and Lakeisha Duchess of Thotlandia” and then there’s me King of Fantasy Island.

For all those that are reading this, I am sure you are wondering what caused this and unfortunately, I don’t have a concrete answer I can only guess what. Could it be the decline of the state of this world, maybe not enough hugs as a child, or that my sweet queen Daenerys was murdered by that hack Jon Snow (Game of Thrones reference), I kid. But seriously I felt alone in this world. Growing up with parental neglect from both parents, being raised by an aunt and uncle who had children of their own you find yourself question your place in this world. I spent a lot of time and effort entering into relationships and navigating through life looking for acceptance and when I came up empty it was just another blow to my fragile state. I’m sure many of you saw photos of me traveling on social media to all these cool places and assumed I was happy but it was a facade. Travel was my drug and when I was away from my everyday life I was on a high it gave me a false feeling of happiness and when I returned home it all came crashing down. I needed to learn that I was enough, I had to choose joy…and keep choosing it! (Henri Nouwen)

The second verse of the Matchbox Twenty lyric is: “I know right now you can’t tell but stay a while and maybe then you’ll see another side of me” And so thank you all who stayed with “The Zeg” it’s been a rough journey but I am happy to be back! I am looking forward to sharing more content and inspiring all those who are interested.

I dont proclaim myself a medical professional nor do I have all the answers but one thing I’ve learned is that when you’re down its okay to “play dead”. What does that mean? Back to the movie “The Revenant” for a second. During the gruesome attack, Hugh Glass plays dead to avoid further injury from the bear. And so when those things in life that get you down come at you and are clawing at your back and you feel like you can’t go on lay down and play dead. Meditate, pray, breathe. Take that time to think about the good in your life the things that make you happy whatever that may be for me it’s traveling, writing, being creative, friends, family and let that joy propel you to get up and fight for happiness, acceptance, purpose, love and most importantly LIFE!

John Waites
A veteran who is passionate about inspiring others through travel and art, sharing ideas for personal growth and fulfilment.

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20 Comments

  1. Sherman I so love reading your blogs and posts. You’ve shared quite a few awesome photos. I thank you for that. Mental health illnesses are real. As children we always remembered the 1 or 2 “crazy relatives” that you didn’t say too much to or made no sudden moves around. Lol. Praying for your strength to go thru and recognize when you’re slightly unwell. I do my best to stay focused on getting where God wants me to be. It took me a long time to learn to recognize that crowd noise was simply a distraction to my journey because the crowd wasn’t talking about anything anyway. Keep up the good work my friend! Love Ya!

  2. You article was an amazing sharing of your truth. Your words represent a part of me as well. I can identify with every word. Depression is so real. I am fighting this battle too. I love seeing your work. The rawest of your creativity and talent is refreshing in seeing this side of you. I cannot wait to read your book. Yes book because you are an excellent writer too. I want the first copy. Much love to you.

  3. Broski,
    I had no idea. I admire your bravery and honesty, your vulnerability and strength. Let’s meet up soon!
    Natalie

  4. Miss stalking you!

  5. Loved the article !
    It’s right on reality and not assumptions.
    Thank you .
    Hope you’re feeling better.
    M

  6. Bro that was very moving and inspirational. Most importantly BRAVE you to share. Mental health and Mental illness are subjects people don’t share especially in the black household and community. Thank you for letting us in your world even further.
    Love ya
    Sis Glen

    1. Thanks sis I really appreciate your support!!

  7. Glad your back!!! I’ve been missing you.

    1. Thanks Bev!

  8. Thank you!!! It takes a strong person to open up about their mental health, and to do using this platform; I am proud of you!

    1. Thank you so much!

  9. Nephew I am so proud of you just continue to stay strong keep God first because I want to a very serious depression in my life I love you nephew

    1. Thanks Uncle I really appreciate it!

  10. No ! You Are Not Alone . Thank You For Sharing Such A Part Of Us .

    1. Thank you sis!

  11. I understand and praying for you. I GET IT! Thanks for sharing.

  12. Sherman, this was such a beautiful, authentic, heartfully-expressed piece of writing. I have such respect for you in laying it all out there. I feel sad that I wasn’t aware you were feeling so depressed — would’ve insisted that we meet for a drink and have a conversation. Everyone experiences depression here and there, but when it becomes debilitating like this, I think it’s important to reach out to folks who can hang with you in the darkness. I think I’ve told you that my mom suffered with depression for many years before she ended her life. NOT in the cards for you, My Friend!!! Please reach out if you get into deep, dark places, Sherman. You are a fabulous man. Sending you Blessings and Light, Rebecca

    1. Thank you so much Rebecca for your support, words of encouragement and being such a great friend

  13. I love ur transparency in this one! Travel is also one of my favorites. It takes me to a much happier place in that moment, but reality is waiting upon return. Keep up the good work, it’s an inspiration!!

    1. Thank you for your beautiful comment and thank you for your support!

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