Hey guys, I went through depression and anxiety about 25 years ago and wow, isn’t it a fun journey but it grew me. in a period of reflection about 18 months ago I wrote the following, I hope it may offer you a beacon of hope. This is me walking myself out of depression and what I learnt from the process. if any should want my support pm me please, I know this is a spot where I cannot chase you. The meaning of life you ask? An essay. As one steps forward we weave a complex path. Life is a series of choices and the choices become more complex with age. Some may say we are here to procreate and that is the meaning. This is of course true for the most but elementary, each and everyone of us enjoys that meaning. Sex, the act of sex, is a joyous thing, if it was not then would we indeed exist? Ask any long coupled person and they will reveal the gloss wears off in time. This is correct, we are programmed to procreate, in order to satisfy and sustain our short lived desire we would couple with many and thereby increase the tribe. If we remained with but one partner our desire would diminish and the tribe may suffer. A study of aboriginal culture gives glimpses of how this was, the sharing of women, the constant warring for women. Anthropological studies highlight the tension that existed around the pursuit of many mates and the resultant complex social structures to manage it all. Aboriginal societal structure makes white moral codes seem simplistic in the extreme. Modern society encourages monogamy for it is peaceful, it leashes the many devils that may abound. I contend sex is not the meaning of life, it is the reason for life. Enjoy sex as and when you can. Religion? What a tin of worms. My god is good but is my god better than your god? Religion gives many reason, comfort, security. Religion is clever, religion is practised and polished, religion offers salve to the wounds of those who need. I am not so bold as to think that my reason should be dictated to me, I do not believe religion to be much more than a good moral beacon to advise people. I feel the meaning of life is an internal journey, to discover peace within yourself. I’ve identified that the choices get more complex and likewise the regrets, the doubt, the questions get bigger. In whatever pursuit we choose we walk a tightrope over a crevasse of doubt and failure. Of course we fall, unless we isolate ourselves each tightrope is one untested. It takes many falls, many bruises to learn that each time we fall we fall into the same vat. Some will find solace in the vat, they succumb to failure, doubt and struggle to find their way out of it. To find the meaning it is paradoxical that we must swim in that vat, without pain there will be no heal, no discover. I’ve lived that journey, took myself deep into the depths of despair and loss. I’ve walked the bowels of hell and at a time when I could not see more than a putrid mess. As I wandered I began to discern feature. The walls took pattern, the floor became less confused. Just. It was a private journey, try as I might I could not show anybody the depth of my horrors. I could look up and hear, see people, I could watch their lips move but their words, their gifts of encouragement simply did not translate. On I walked in this garden of hell. I walked for eons, my eyes downcast, my shoulders slumped. I do not know at what point I reached the end. I cannot say that moment, that day I reached sunlight. I was still walking, still a shell of a man but being warmed by life itself. I didn’t realise it at the time but the whole time I’d been walking I’d been reading, learning. I’d played every scenario over and again, I clung to things that I discarded, I grasped for thoughts that eluded me. Somewhere in my journey I discovered meaning. My meaning. I can not identify the point, I believe it lies in the future. My meaning I can describe for you, it is tangible to me. I discovered I am here to be that better person. I learnt there is no you but only me, that I alone am responsible for me and for my emotions. I was taught that I can love freely and fiercely but that I can love unconditionally. My love does not depend on anyone else at my beckon. I discovered there is no jealousy. Jealousy means possession, ownership but you are so much more than a gesture purchased at the local gift shop. I have learnt that my meaning is to be selfless as best I can. I learnt that I am imperfect and will make mistakes but they will be honest mistakes, I will not beguile or mislead to gain. I recognised that trust is essential, that I must extend trust blindly to have hope. It is said trust is easily withdrawn but I force myself to keep that trust extended, that any issue that causes doubt is to be dealt with and cast aside. When I withdraw my trust the bowels of hell open up, I can only avoid the chasm by full scale retreat. Depression. Such a short word for such a hideous experience. Depression taught me about what makes me depressed. In some ways I am grateful for the journey because now I can take a moment, an emotion and weigh it in my hand and validly assess whether this will hurt me. Such power. It manifests itself a little in that I blatantly discard things, matters that maybe you might think I should take onboard but this is me living my meaning, protecting me. If my reaction makes you wonder then please raise it so I can translate back to you what I’ve done and why. There is so much I have learnt on my journey of discovery, I could bore you for ages. My point is there is a meaning to life and you will discern your own meaning. You are blessed if you dodge the potholes and find your meaning without scars but I know this is not you, you’ve scraped your knees and yoked yourself to life’s experiences yet one day the bits will fit together and you will realise why the path you have trod.