For the past few weeks, and possibly the past month, I’ve been depressed. I had lost the will to do anything. I stopped writing in my notebook, stopped going on walks, and stopped taking pictures. I had broken my first mirrorless camera, and that made me more sad than I could have ever imagined, so I bought a new one. I love my X-T4, but unfortunately, that hadn’t been enough to kick me out of my perpetual sadness. So then I bought a new tripod. “Maybe,” I thought, “I need to go on something more than a long walk in the park and instead go on a hike up the mountains and take some landscape photographs.” I received my new tripod on Friday, but instead of taking it out with me, I stayed home and got drunk. I have been neglecting my todo list, my notebook, my camera, my guitar, my studies, my reading, my workouts, my meditations. I have been neglecting everything that makes me happy and instead I’ve been focused on the drinking, on the shopping, on all the indulgences that make me feel awful.
Today I meditated for the first time in a very long time. It wasn’t peaceful. It wasn’t life-affirming. It wasn’t anything positive. Instead, it was angry. It was dark. It was everything I had been feeling for the past month, and in that regard, it was a great session. It always starts with that first step. It’s picking up my pen. It’s changing into my workout clothes. It’s sitting down at my desk. I wrote in my notebook this morning and let all these feelings out, and it felt familiar. It felt… I felt like myself again.
I haven’t thought about suicide since my early twenties, and I don’t think I ever will again because I know there will always be better days ahead. Things might look black and white now, but I know colorful days are waiting for me, and it’s this mentality that has helped me stay alive. I don’t know if things will get back to “normal,” whatever that means, but I know I have to keep moving my feet to get to the good days. So here’s to the good days.
Hey, my name is Mario Villalobos.
I am a writer, photographer, and IT director living in western Montana.