So, I believe it's time for me to break every single piece of annoying ice that's been left over these years, even though I do prefer ice over fire, cold over hot. The last piece came to me this afternoon, and it was not a tiny one.
Yes, you read it right: I have depression. For over eleven and a half years now. And I've been clinically diagnosed three times over the last three and a half years, since I was finally able to find proper help for that.
This will be one of those big texts and I probably have to write it down twice. The English version is being published first because, as told someone who's probably not reading this right now, English is the language of my heart. So if you don't want to read it in English, use some translator until I write the Portuguese version. And, of course, if you don't want to read it at all, just go away and have a good life.
The story started when I was about 13 years or so, studying the 7th grade of Middle School and dealing with not-comprehensive parents. I also had no friends. Or, at least, no one who could understand me, be there for me and even be a player 2 with some GameBoy games I still used to play. Boys were changing, most of them interested in girls. There were a lot of sexuality going on and I was bored about that. Curiously, that age is the oldest time I can remember that I had some attraction to boys, but at the time I not only didn't care, but also didn't understand as I do today.
I studied in a school with few students and I had been there since day one of school ever. So, my world was only that: those boys, those girls, those teachers, every week. And repeat. For being so bored, I finally started reading the Harry Potter books (messy and out of the original order, but it was the only thing I had). I had this great Geography Teacher who also liked this stuff and she was one of the best teachers I had in my entire life. So, obviously I liked her classes, specially when we discussed about HP while the rest of the class was going crazy. She also introduced me the world of series, specially one called "Medium" which I followed until its ending (and I hated that ending! I mean... seriously?!). Things were doing fine, but not fine enough.
At home, my parents were being hardish. They didn't understand I was bored to go out every single Saturday night just to eat on a random restaurant, drink some soda while they drink some bear. Every single Saturday night. Same thing.
Since I am the eldest son, I was the one to change first. Obviously it was pretty easier with my sister some years later, but "easy" was the world I could never find in my vocabulary those times.
Besides, they decided to change things in the house. Buying new furniture, painting the walls. C'mon, Junior, you had to pick a colour! No, not that one, I don't like it.
And there my Portuguese Grammar grades go down. For the first time in forever, I had zero on a test. And on a another. And on an extra exercise to help the final grades. I was about to fail the year.
Oh, I forgot to mention: I was top of the class since I can remember. Not that the others were stupid or something (there's no such a thing like that), it's just that I knew how to play THAT game of tests and save myself from failing three months before the end of the school year. But the world, the REAL world, was not easy as that system.
But anyway, back to home issues: once my mother wanted to talk with the whole family. We chatted. And my father, the most innocent man of that table, took all the charge by himself.
That guilty, that single-moment guilty I felt for seen my father initiating to leave home... that completed the process. I went deeply through my depression.
Nothing else mattered the same way it once did. No movies, no music, no girls, no boys... nothing. All I had was that wind blowing me to somewhere I didn't know. I just kept sinking and sinking... until the following year.
Finally 21st century had arrived at home, and by 21st century I mean modern internet. I felt myself free from the "parent controlling" thing and started to explore things I never heard. I started (and still have no regrets) by streaming and downloading all music I wanted to hear. Pop music, the ones on some random Top-Whatever-TV-Show I used to watch, the ones I knew... I was starting to discover the rest of the world. And as my English was growing strong along with my particular course, I could listen and understand lyrics of most famous musical artists. And that's when Linkin Park came in.
I knew about their existence since 2002, when I accidentally watched an AMV of DragonBall which played "In The End". At that time, the nine-year-old-not-English-speaker me didn't know about them, but the song remained in my memory.
I became obsessed by Linkin Park. Not that over obsessed crazy thing, but I started to listen to them more frequently than any thing else. And it helped me.
2007, ten years ago, was not a single tiny thing better than the previous year. As I said, I was already sinking. Still no friend. Still no clear family support. Still fearing tests and, still, being rejected by anyone in school. Who wants to invite the nerd guy out? Why doesn't he talk about girls? Why sits only on that special chair, on the first line, by the window? Was he having a platonic crush on a boy he knew from far and used to meet him Sunday mornings on the church? Was he stalking someone for the first time in his life (and why am I not a detective?!) that boy so they could, at last be good friends? What the hell are you doing André? Nothing, ma'am.
The last Harry Potter book had been released that year, as the fifth movie. Great! The bubble of clean oxygen I could fit myself in while I was drowned on deep, black waters was back again. So I enjoyed it.
I didn't read the book until 2008, but right before that, right after finally finishing middle school (Thank god, finally out of that hell!), let's trip to our beach house and celebrate New Year's Eve as we always had been doing since 2000! I mean, you won't have a crisis because you've been mugged for the first time and the "Comfort words" you were told is that "you are now a Rio's citizen! Congrats!", will you? I mean, you won't have another crisis on the first day of 2008 because your mother had decided to blame you for something you haven't done and haven't cared because you, Harry and Hermione were too busy visiting Godric's Hollow, will you?
Yes, you will. Yes, I did. And yes, I cried as a baby in front of my whole family, in a house in the middle of nowhere. I wanted to go home... no, I wanted to get out. Of there. Of this planet. Of this life. Please, belated grandpa who I believe was watching me on that beach house garden, take me with you! There's no point being here!
So I picked my MP3 player up and started listening to some random music. There came Linkin Park again. Chester whispering in my ear to keep him in my memory and leave out all the rest, and that the sun would shine for me after the shadow of the day turns the world in grey. My world was already in grey. When does the sun come, Chester?
When I first traveled to São Paulo to watch Hilary Duff's concert as a gift for my 15th birthday and being annoyed 'cause I couldn't attend her concert in Rio? Or 3:05 p.m. on the very day of my birthday, when I finished writing a poor, selfish suicidal note on my new laptop and climbed the edge of the balcony of my 17th Floor Hotel room, while my family was on the other room not giving a single attention to what I was doing? No, the sun didn't shine for me on those days, Chester.
But it did shine later.
It started shining slowly, when I joined a different high school, met other people and, more importantly, met the guy who changed my life. My best friend so far (obviously there would be another one, female, but let's focus on the male first, thank you). The metal-ish (really, if you are reading this, I had to tell you there were no metal on that blood, buddy. Sorry -not sorry-, bro. You knew nothing, D. Snow) god whom I came to fall in love with on the following year. The one who I loved with all my molecules and whose love I had found about when I was traveling back home from vacations and listening to Chester's voice again.
Yes, Chester. You were there too when I found out I am gay. You were everywhere since then.
You were there, back in 2011, telling me to wait for the end to come when I joined Biophysics' Undergraduate College and left by the end of the first semester to try studying harder to be able to join Medical School.
You were there at the turn, back in 2012, powerless. Predicting the first great fail of my life of not passing after one and a half year of hard and expensive training.
And you were there, with me, being only a crack of the castle of glass I was building deep down the dark waters I was drowned in. Day after day, month after month, year after year.
In 2013, though, I chose another path of music and explored the Symphonic Metal World further. And then the second trauma happened. My anxiety crisis grew exponentially leading me to have daily panic attacks. Finally, in 2014, I had, against all society and family rules, the first psychological therapy. It ended well. I was well. The hell I was living in was mine so I took it. I didn't care about rules and society's negligence. I was (and still am) sick, but I am on treatment and I can work. I'm having an unstable adult life, but I'm having a life. Even I have tried to stop it over eight times by now. Even after the third trauma episode, in 2015, when I feared being killed for the first time, but I still hadn't lost the idea that finishing my life is the easiest way to stop our pain.
Even after several disappointments I recently had in my love life, in my professional life, in my career... everywhere.
Today I'm fine with my family (for now), fine with my friends and, despite all those recent disappointments, I'm used to the cycle of ups and downs I've been through. But you are no longer closer to me, Chester. I knew the final masquerade I used to make me pass through every monthly (or weekly) crisis I've been in would fall soon.
But not that soon.
I miss you already, buddy.
You saved and changed my life a zillion times, but I couldn't save yours even once.
One day, though, we'll meet. Right after the sun shines again, since I won't be hearing from you any longer.
Stay in piece, buddy.