Finally at Peace

There was a man by the name of Zarley. Zarley was a 30 year old emotional guy. He seemed to have the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. I could never really figure him out, but I never felt the need to try. Whenever we talked with one another, it was about martial arts, purity of interaction, the ups and downs of life, and much more. He was one of the few people, albeit emotional, I felt like I could always have a genuine conversation with. He was never rude, judgmental, or condescending. Every time I posted something positive, he’d be excited about it. When talking about managing the asylum that is our minds, he was honest about his difficulties in mental health and was willing to try anything new to work on it. I saw Zarley a week ago and he was giddy like a school girl, unable to stop making jokes about anything and everything. Work was picking up for him, finally. He was about to drop a new album with his band that he had been working on for years. Zarley was about to have his big break. He was happy.

This morning it was brought to my attention that Zarley passed over the weekend. He had difficulty attaining his prescription of anti-anxiety medication and so he found someone who sold him some homemade “tincture” that was apparently very, VERY strong. His roommate came home from a show at 1am, Zarley said hi and asked how it went, then went back to bed. Around noon the next day, he was still in bed. His roommate, concerned that he had overslept, went to get him out of bed. He never woke up.

Every morning, I wake up and tell myself how grateful I am just to see another day. Sometimes, I sit and meditate on it for a minute, let it really marinate, but other times I just say it so that I can go about my day. I have 10 toes, count your blessings and get your ass in gear. There has been a weight of simultaneous gratitude to be alive and sadness for losing someone that can no longer say it. All day… ALL DAY I’ve been thinking about it. He was really making strides to improve his life… and it was working. How can we ever complain again? I’m sure he’s sitting above us now, just wishing he could come back and take one more swing at this thing we call “life.”

This has been a lesson to me in mental health. By no means was it suspected that Z had taken his life. Everyone that knows him believes that either it was an accidental dose or that it was laced with something. He mentioned to me that he struggled with anxiety, panic attacks, and PTSD…which in turn led him to getting some street drugs to quell his mental problems. This is the world we live in, where people aren’t able to live without their drugs. Now, I’m not saying that he should have been able to cope without them…it’s called “dependence” for a reason. But what I AM saying is that we should all focus on our mental well-being before all else. If you’re not okay, you’re not okay for anyone else.

Zarley had just been reaching out to me about cold exposure and its’ effects on the body, how when you’re forced to breathe through the discomfort, you learn to handle your stress. I had sent him an invitation to a friend’s seminar where he teaches others how to breathe through the discomfort. Unfortunately, Z will never be able to attend and learn how to manage his demons without the help of a pill from a doctor.

There’s a reason why I make such an emphasis on meditation in the morning, occasional meditation during the day, journaling, vlogging, writing… ANYTHING I can do to keep my own demons at bay. Without these tools, there’s no doubt in my mind that I would have found myself reaching for medication at some point. The problems get worse when you don’t address them. An infection won’t cure itself, it’ll only continue to get worse and spread without medical intervention. We have so, so many tools in front of us to plug up the hole in the boat. Cold and heat exposure, exercise, eating a clean diet, meditation, a good night’s sleep, reaching out to the other people around you and telling them that you appreciate them, journaling, getting lost in hobbies, learning new skills, creative expression… the list goes on. What really makes it difficult is how all your mind wants to do is sit in it. Your mind will want to pull you into a deep dark cycle where you become paralyzed. You’ll beat on yourself for not doing anything, then when you do something it’s “shit.” It feels like there’s a never-ending battle.

And you know what? It IS a never-ending battle. It’s a war. It’s a war filled with daily battles that you have to fight. If you let it win once, it gains strength. It’s your job, the conscious mind, to quiet it by doing the work anyways. Who gives a fuck whether it’s “good” or “bad”…just do it and fall in love with the process. Let it help heal you. But you have to do something. Anything (natural) is better than nothing

And for fucks sake, if you run out of medication, never replace it with an unlabeled drug off the street.. Someone dealing street ANXIETY MEDICATION has no incentive for you to get better, they just need to peddle their poison so they can make a living. You’re putting your life in jeopardy by trusting someone with a pill or a tincture that hasn’t been tested in a lab. You can survive a week or two without your anxiety medication, I promise you that. Sure, it’ll be mental hell for you and those that love you…but at least you’ll be alive to endure it. Without the bad times, there can be no good times.

There’s moments in your life that you feel numb. What an oxymoron – feeling numb, but that’s how this entire situation feels. It’s been a while since someone I talked to on a semi-daily basis passed. This post is meant to be a reminder to both you and me that life is fragile. An act as simple as self-medicating gone wrong…and you’ll never wake up. Be grateful and feel blessed that you woke up today…and every day. One day, you won’t.


About krisoakey

Simply a man playfully chasing enlightenment while encouraging others to join him through mockery, logical anomalies, and hand holding...LOTS of hand holding
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