Perspectives: Sunrays From The Cave
My name is Meshach and I live with bipolar disorder. It has been a very intense, difficult, and rewarding journey all at the same time. Early in life I dealt with a lot of depression due to my parents having an intense breakup and fighting with each other often. I feel like I internalized them not liking each other and breaking up, blaming myself, and kept that self blame and guilt throughout most of my life. I was a very lonely person in high school and University and things got even more lonely when my mental illness got worse and I was diagnosed and hospitalized in March of 2013. I dealt with everything from many thoughts and plans of suicide, sleeping 12 hours a day (sometimes more), eating way too much or too little, to hallucinations, hearing voices, delusions, getting arrested, and a lot of wreckless behaviour when I was manic. I also used to have a very bad marijuana and alcohol addiction and would smoke around an ounce of weed a week, and drink $30 worth of alcohol everyday when I was at my worst.
Creating music (I rap, play piano, and drums), writing, and exercise were amazing outlets for myself to stay sane during that loneliness and pain. Recently, in April of 2017, I made a deep commitment to take better care of myself, loving myself, and pursuing my dreams. After being hospitalized 6 times in a few years, I’ve been able to stay out of mental hospitals for over 2 years now! I’ve found that meeting people with similar experiences and connecting has been a huge part of my recovery. Also, receiving services from CAMH and CMHA as an outpatient has been extremely helpful. I’ve felt the best that I’ve felt in the last couple of years, and made a lot of progress towards my goals. I still do struggle mostly with severe depression and social anxiety, although it happens far less often, and it’s not as intense and overwhelming as it used to be. I am also very proud to have celebrated over 2 years of being sober of alcohol recently. Drinking used to make my depressions exponentially worse, and I honestly doubt if I would be here, or if I would be in any sort of functioning state now if I was still drinking. I truly believe that there is hope for everyone on their recovery journeys no matter how difficult, or painful they have been. You can improve, and you can help yourself, and others. You are special, you are unique, and you do have a gift that this world needs. I want to end with a rap verse that I wrote about depression. I am in a group called the Mindful MC’s that promotes mental health awareness, and here is my verse for a song about depression that we are working on:
My take on depression, I use expression, focus on blessin’
trauma teach lesson, growth is my essence, music my weapon, hear my confession!
I Felt so low, nothing to do nowhere to to go
No one was home, I was alone with emotions drowning in oceans of worries and fear
Can anyone hear, is anyone there,
does anyone love me, anyone care?
Can anyone see me behind this blank stare, are they aware?
So many we suffer in silence, hurting ourselves and inflicting the violence
So many we suffer we suffer alone, stay in the bed and don’t pick up the phone
So glad that I answered, cause I heard that I wasn’t alone
So glad that I pushed on, and got out of my comfort zone
They just wanna see me happy, they just wanna see me smile
They just wanna talk and chill and say damn son it’s been a while
They just wanna see me win, they just wanna see me fly
They just want to see me play, bang a drum a get a natural high
So happy that I have them, so happy that they have me
Without communites, couldn’t be no Mindful MC’s
A resource from Meshach
Something Cool to Share about Meshach:
As a musician he sells his beats and instrumentals. Listen more to his work on SoundCloud.
He is a part of the Mindful MCs, a Toronto hip hop group that have lived experience with mental illness.
From their website:
The Mindful MC’s are an empowering hip hop group that all have lived experience with mental illness. By sharing our stories through public speaking and music, we hope to educate the public about stigma, and mental health. Our approach is unique, real, entertaining, and powerful, and our aim is to increase mental health awareness, and to reduce stigma around mental illness and addiction. We also hope to inspire others to make progress on their mental health recovery journeys, and to follow their dreams.
Follow them on Instagram!