What Is Depression?

I’m pretty sure most of you here already know the answer to that question. Unfortunately because most of you have lived with it for months or years or maybe even your whole life. I’m sure that you’ll agree that depression is more than just sadness. It is an almost unexplainable emptiness. It’s like someone replaced your heart with a void of nothingness. Of course there is sadness, sure, but it is sadness and somebody turned the dial to 11 by mistake. This overwhelming sadness would be manageable, I think, if that’s all there was. This sadness strikes us often, and usually without warning or meaning. It’s like a virus that suddenly takes over your whole body, like a cold. You wake up and suddenly, you’re depressed. Yeah, doesn’t happen exactly like that, but I hope that you get my point.

To make matters more complicated, depression is a thief, and a very skilled one at that. It steals your energy, motivation, and planning capabilities. Most days, you just lay in bed staring at the ceiling, or scrolling through Facebook. Well, that’s what you want to do, but life doesn’t get put on hold just because you can’t get out of bed. I mean it should, in my opinion, as this can quickly become a matter of life and death if not managed correctly. So most days, it feels like you ran a marathon in your sleep, you’re more tired than when you went to bed, and you just want to vegetate. Bills on the other hand, couldn’t care less. So this means you still have responsibilities to uphold.

So depression, being the shifty thief that it is, steals from you everything that makes you feel alive. To avoid being caught, it replaces what it steals with sadness, loneliness, and a general feeling of worthlessness. Even when we catch it in the act, depression lies it’s way out of any compromising situations. I mean if you think about it, I willingly let them shock my brain, in order to get relief from depression. Depression is like the neighbor that doesn’t mow their lawn, leaves the garbage can at the street all week, and let’s their unruly pets off leash to crap in your yard (don’t get me wrong I love animals). The truth of the matter is, that you can’t deal with this on your own. I would love nothing more than to say that you can, but depression is ruthless. The only way that you will get a glimpse at inner peace, is if you let others in to help you. I’m not even saying professional help, though that is a great place to start. If my life has taught me one thing, it’s that everything is easier with help. So if you’re depressed, and you’re reading this, get some help. Whether it be a family member, a therapist, a stranger, a social media friend, it doesn’t matter. Whatever you do, don’t try facing depression alone. It will chew you up and spit you out, without a second thought. I don’t mean to sound overly gloomy either. Depression is a dragon that you can slay, just with the right team. There is hope, there is always hope. So don’t let anybody tell you different. You can beat depression, it sure as hell ain’t easy, but it is possible. Just get as many people as you can in your corner, and lead the charge!


If you liked reading this, check out my personal blog: Out of My Mind

An Invisible War

Up until recently I have lived my life only hoping to die. I went to work, as I need money to function, as everyone does. Yet, the only thing I could think about was getting home, crawling into bed, going to sleep, and not waking up. I dreamed for death, every single day. Although I most likely don’t need to explain it to you, this was my depression. My depression stole the joy from my life. I went through each day, a mindless zombie, praying for the sweet release of death. It was the majority of my short life (I turn 25 on the 31st). For over 2 decades, I wanted nothing more than death. I was horribly bullied as a child, and I was reserved, which made it easier to pick on me. I think the first moment I remember being depressed, was when I was at a classmates birthday party in elementary school. The entire party I just laid on the trampoline, crying. I couldn’t get along with people my age, whether it was depression beginning to rear it’s ugly head, or maybe just anxiety bubbling to the surface, I’ll never know.

However, the point that I’d like to drive home, is that you never truely know what someone else is going through. They can explain it to you in excruciating detail, and you still wouldn’t be able to understand completely. Of course you can empathize, especially if you’ve been through a similar experience. Just because you can empathize, doesn’t mean you feel what they feel. I like to think that there is a multitude of emotions hiding behind every smile. For me, I would smile to not only hide my pain, but put others at ease. Even now, on my road to recovery, I hide behind a smile. No matter how well you know someone, or think you understand what they’re going through, you can’t replicate their emotions, in that moment, in yourself. It’s just not possible. I like to tout on my blog Out Of My Mind that I’m 99.9% cured of my depression. While I stand behind this statement, it feels like I’m standing on the top of a mountain. A sizable achievement, but also a long way down. I have been in a “survival” mode for so long, most of my habits were formed because of my depression. It feels so difficult to break away from these habits. The new, healthier me wants so desperately to be better. In all honesty, it feels like relapse is just a breath away. I no longer feel depressed, but I still act depressed. I don’t take care of myself, my room is a mess, etc. I mean unemployment certainly isn’t helping, but I grow so weary of the job search. Putting all this energy into applying to places, and not hearing anything back. I can feel depression slowly gaining ground, I hate to say it, but it’s true. I just need to get a job, and I’ll feel less uneasy.

The long winded point that I’m trying to make is that everyone is fighting an invisible war within themselves. But what the “healthy” people have over us, is they aren’t fighting alone. Don’t isolate yourself, while I understand it sometimes is necessary, it’s the worst thing for your mental health. Mine included. If you let people into your little bubble, you’d be surprised at how much help they can offer.

The Egg Theory

By: Andy Weir

You were on your way home when you died.

 

It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.

 

And that’s when you met me.

 

“What… what happened?” You asked. “Where am I?”

 

“You died,” I said, matter-of-factly. No point in mincing words.

 

“There was a… a truck and it was skidding…”

 

“Yup,” I said.

 

“I… I died?”

 

“Yup. But don’t feel bad about it. Everyone dies,” I said.

 

You looked around. There was nothingness. Just you and me. “What is this place?” You asked. “Is this the afterlife?”

 

“More or less,” I said.

 

“Are you god?” You asked.

 

“Yup,” I replied. “I’m God.”

 

“My kids… my wife,” you said.

 

“What about them?”

 

“Will they be all right?”

 

“That’s what I like to see,” I said. “You just died and your main concern is for your family. That’s good stuff right there.”

 

You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didn’t look like God. I just looked like some man. Or possibly a woman. Some vague authority figure, maybe. More of a grammar school teacher than the almighty.

 

“Don’t worry,” I said. “They’ll be fine. Your kids will remember you as perfect in every way. They didn’t have time to grow contempt for you. Your wife will cry on the outside, but will be secretly relieved. To be fair, your marriage was falling apart. If it’s any consolation, she’ll feel very guilty for feeling relieved.”

 

“Oh,” you said. “So what happens now? Do I go to heaven or hell or something?”

 

“Neither,” I said. “You’ll be reincarnated.”

 

“Ah,” you said. “So the Hindus were right,”

 

“All religions are right in their own way,” I said. “Walk with me.”

 

You followed along as we strode through the void. “Where are we going?”

 

“Nowhere in particular,” I said. “It’s just nice to walk while we talk.”

 

“So what’s the point, then?” You asked. “When I get reborn, I’ll just be a blank slate, right? A baby. So all my experiences and everything I did in this life won’t matter.”

 

“Not so!” I said. “You have within you all the knowledge and experiences of all your past lives. You just don’t remember them right now.”

 

I stopped walking and took you by the shoulders. “Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic than you can possibly imagine. A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you are. It’s like sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if it’s hot or cold. You put a tiny part of yourself into the vessel, and when you bring it back out, you’ve gained all the experiences it had.

 

“You’ve been in a human for the last 48 years, so you haven’t stretched out yet and felt the rest of your immense consciousness. If we hung out here for long enough, you’d start remembering everything. But there’s no point to doing that between each life.”

 

“How many times have I been reincarnated, then?”

 

“Oh lots. Lots and lots. An in to lots of different lives.” I said. “This time around, you’ll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 AD.”

 

“Wait, what?” You stammered. “You’re sending me back in time?”

 

“Well, I guess technically. Time, as you know it, only exists in your universe. Things are different where I come from.”

 

“Where you come from?” You said.

 

“Oh sure,” I explained “I come from somewhere. Somewhere else. And there are others like me. I know you’ll want to know what it’s like there, but honestly you wouldn’t understand.”

 

“Oh,” you said, a little let down. “But wait. If I get reincarnated to other places in time, I could have interacted with myself at some point.”

 

“Sure. Happens all the time. And with both lives only aware of their own lifespan you don’t even know it’s happening.”

 

“So what’s the point of it all?”

 

“Seriously?” I asked. “Seriously? You’re asking me for the meaning of life? Isn’t that a little stereotypical?”

 

“Well it’s a reasonable question,” you persisted.

 

I looked you in the eye. “The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature.”

 

“You mean mankind? You want us to mature?”

 

“No, just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new life you grow and mature and become a larger and greater intellect.”

 

“Just me? What about everyone else?”

 

“There is no one else,” I said. “In this universe, there’s just you and me.”

 

You stared blankly at me. “But all the people on earth…”

 

“All you. Different incarnations of you.”

 

“Wait. I’m everyone!?”

 

“Now you’re getting it,” I said, with a congratulatory slap on the back.

 

“I’m every human being who ever lived?”

 

“Or who will ever live, yes.”

 

“I’m Abraham Lincoln?”

 

“And you’re John Wilkes Booth, too,” I added.

 

“I’m Hitler?” You said, appalled.

 

“And you’re the millions he killed.”

 

“I’m Jesus?”

 

“And you’re everyone who followed him.”

 

You fell silent.

 

“Every time you victimized someone,” I said, “you were victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness you’ve done, you’ve done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human was, or will be, experienced by you.”

 

You thought for a long time.

 

“Why?” You asked me. “Why do all this?”

 

“Because someday, you will become like me. Because that’s what you are. You’re one of my kind. You’re my child.”

 

“Whoa,” you said, incredulous. “You mean I’m a god?”

 

“No. Not yet. You’re a fetus. You’re still growing. Once you’ve lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born.”

 

“So the whole universe,” you said, “it’s just…”

 

“An egg.” I answered. “Now it’s time for you to move on to your next life.”

 

And I sent you on your way.

How to beat the backslide

Wow, 3 posts in one day, Alan, what the heck are you on? And where can I get some?

No but seriously, I have stated that I am 99.9% cured of my mental illnesses thanks to ECT treatment. However, something I don’t often see with mental health blogs is the backslide. A backslide? What’s that Alan?

Well, in simplistic terms a backslide is when your habits and thought processes of the depressed you resurface. I am going through one right now, granted…I am drinking…again. However, alchohol for me doesn’t have a negative effect on my mental health, I mean I don’t think it does…but what do I know, I’m a recovering (not anymore) alchoholic.

My mother and I got into a rather small argument today, well, at least she thinks it is small. We fought about going to my dad’s house (our old house that he won in the divorce) to pick up the storage we had left in the garage. Now, to me, all of it could be thrown out. I don’t hold sentimental value in things, because at the end of the day, it’s just stuff. Stuff, is always replaceable, dispite who it came from. My mother holds an extremely strong attachment to the stuff from her mother. I mean, I can see why, I love my mother more than life itself. The part I have a problem with though, is that she values this stuff, from people who have passed, more than the people who are still here.

I digress, back to the point here…how to beat your backslide. Many may view my drinking as the cause of the backslide. Or at least adding fuel to it. I view it as the only way that I can calm everything going through my head. My brain is usually a mass of thoughts, coming and going from every direction, for everything. For example, a glimpse into my mind:

There are starving children all over the world

The girl you like has a boyfriend

The pen you used to use, is it still in your car?

Garbage and recycling is tonight

Someone dies every 9 seconds or something

When was the last time you showered?

Did you change your clothes today?

Did you accomplish anything today?

Etcetera

As you can see, none of them are positive thoughts, that is how I know I am backsliding. The drinking helps at least put all those thoughts into a single file line, so they attack me one at a time.

Now I’m not saying that you should go out and get blitzed. But what I am saying, is that you should continue to push forward, retrain your brain, and go out and live your best life. Separate yourself from the negative in your life, even if that means moving across the country.

What I am saying is, do whatever you have to do to kick your mental illness’s ass. Alan Wolfgang, signing off

Be sure to check out my blog Out of My Mind

Sorry I Left

Soooooooo, as it turns out, my ECT Treatment is not only taking longer than expected, but has made me refocus my entire life. So you could ultimately say that I’ve been cured…well 99.9% cured anyways. However, one of my regrets of getting the treatment is that it severely impacted my memory. To the point that I felt like I was developing Alzheimer’s (nothing against those with Alzheimer’s). So needless to say, writing was not on my mind when my memory started to fail. While the memory loss has actually helped more than it hurt, I believe anyways, I still regret not writing about my entire experience. If I remember correctly (which I might not) I had written three or four articles about my ECT treatment on my blog, The Smiles We Bear. However! I, unfortunately, let the domain on my site lapse (I’ve also been unemployed for 6 months now, so I couldn’t really afford it anyways) but, I checked on it when I decided to write again, and some third party company had bought the domain from go daddy, and were reselling it at an outrageous price. So obviously, still being unemployed, I had to open a new blog, aptly named Out of My Mind. Not only because I probably am now certifiably insane, but also because I’m writing straight from my head. No filters, no prep work, no nothing. Straight from my thoughts to my thumbs, to the blog post. So, for those of you who know me, I AM BACK BABY!!! For those of you who joined up after I “disappeared”, my name is Alan Wolfgang. No, that is not my real name, but technically it is (try wrapping your head around that one). I’ve been blogging for about a year now, maybe more, I have been diagnosed with Severe Depressive Disorder (complete with awesome, unending suicidal thoughts!!), Generalized Anxiety, and more recently, Executive Function Disorder (kind of a branch of the ADD family). I have received, and still am receiving ECT treatments (for those of you who don’t know, ECT is Electro-Convulsive Therapy). I write about my life, my struggles, and ultimately how I’ve learned to combat my illnesses, keeping me alive for almost 25 years! I share all of this with all of you, in the hopes that someone who is where I have been, on the proverbial ledge (or a literal one), can take a step back and realize that if Alan Wolfgang can do it, so can I. So, now that I’m back, let me know what you want me to write about. I’ll try to write AT LEAST once a week, maybe more if I’m feeling it. Oh, and I would really appreciate it if you showed my “personal” blog Out of My Mind, it’s a link, some love. So for now, this is Alan Wolfgang, signing off.

Finally, Some Good News!

So, as many of you may already know, I have been pursuing ECT (Electro Convulsive Therapy) Treatment for about the past month or so. I am very pleased to announce that tomorrow is my very first treatment! I will be undergoing treatment for about a month, maybe less, maybe more, 3 times a week. I know, that probably sounds like a lot, and don’t worry it sounds like a lot to me too. Yet, I am basically giving the steering wheel of my life to these doctors for the time being, in the hopes that when I get it back, I will be on a much brighter path. So in case you didn’t know, I will be chronicling my treatment with posts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday on my personal blog The Smiles We Bear. I will be writing everything and everything about my treatment, from side effects, to progress. I am very hopeful that this treatment will succeed with me, as it has a 90% success rate with treatment resistant depression. However, my therapist has told me to proceed with caution when it comes to my expectations for this treatment. In her words, “I won’t wake up from the anesthesia and be a new happier person.” But then again, she has no experience with ECT, like myself, so we cannot honestly say that that won’t happen. Of course there are also the extreme side effects that I will have to wade through during the course of my treatment, like confusion, nausea, headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, etc. On top of all that, even if it is successful, there is no telling for how long. Yes, I CAN relapse into depression after going through all of this. The silver lining is that not only can the treatment last decades, but if it worked once, it can work again. Meaning IF I do relapse, I can just go in for another round of ECT. Not to mention that I will be continuing my meds throughout and after the treatment. So to say the least, I have really high expectations for this treatment, exactly the opposite of what my therapist is advising me to have. How can I help it though? I mean there is a chance that I could be depression FREE when all is said and done. Why would I not be excited after 10 grueling years of non-stop fighting. I could finally have a, somewhat, normal life! So, I don’t want to take any more of your time, but if you want to read my entire ECT Journey series, follow my blog The Smiles We Bear.

 

Yours,

Wolfgang

Moving Forward

So I’ve recently decided that I would do ECT treatment. For those of you who don’t know, it stands for Electro-Convulsive Therapy. Which basically means that they cause you to have seizures in order to “restart” the natural serotonin and dopamine production in your brain. It’s main use isn’t really for depression, but it can be used for treatment resistant depression. I’ve tried, and still go to, therapy. I’ve tried dozens of medications, which never really seem to work for more than a month or two. I’ve tried hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and partial hospitalization treatments. None of them really ever seemed to stick, which leads me to the belief that I am treatment resistant. It’s not an easy thing to try something new when nothing else seems to work, but I’m kinda running out of options here. I don’t want to feel the way I do any longer, and I want to really live my life. I think that the best way to do that is ECT.

Now, when you hear that electricity is used, you probably think of the old method that was used last century where they stick electrodes to your head and just zap you. Luckily for me, that has been out of practice for decades now, and this treatment is not only safe, but also wildly effective for people like me. I mean, that’s what I’ve heard anyways. The last time I was hospitalized, I met a woman who was there for ECT, and she claimed that it changed her whole life, but she was in for her second round. Like most other treatments for resistant depression, everything seems to wear off after a while, even ECT. However, unlike medications and therapy that have such a short life span, ECT can last years or even decades before another treatment is necessary. This actually gives me hope that I might be able to live a normal life (normalish anyways). Of course I’m scared, who wouldn’t be, I’m going to be having controlled seizures! Yet, I’ve expended most other options at this point, and I don’t really know what else to do. I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired, and I just want this to end. In my mind, there are only two ways my depression ends, either I die, or I find a successful treatment. For now, I’m going to go with option #2, and just hope like hell that it works. I’ll be writing about my progress and experience with ECT on my blog The Smiles We Bear

Yours,

Wolfgang

Goodbye, My Best Friend

So tomorrow, I lose my best friend, someone I love more than anything in this world. I’m talking about my cat, Max. I’ve had this cat for almost 20 years, that’s all of my adult life. I don’t really even remember the day she was born, I was so little. The story goes, one night it was raining really hard, and my family must have been watching tv, because we were all in the living room. We hear a knock at the door, we have no idea who it was, it was late, we lived in the middle of nowhere, and we weren’t expecting anyone that night. It was a young couple, it must have been their first time on the mountain, because they seemed very unfamiliar with the area, and the customs of the people who lived there. It was very common for the pets of the residents of the area that I lived to be outdoor animals, that were allowed to come and go as they pleased. So needless to say we were surprised when this couple held a small kitten that was only a few weeks old. They said they found it wandering the road, in the darkness and the rain. Instantly, being children, my siblings and I begged our parents to let us keep the kitten, and we somehow won them over. That cat’s name was Tiger, or so we named it. We had tiger for a few years, she was our family’s first pet. That was until, somehow tiger became pregnant, most likely from one of the next door neighbors cats (the neighbor probably didn’t watch The Price is Right, because he didn’t believe in neutering). It was around Easter of 2000, that Tiger gave birth to 7 kittens herself, even though she was only a few years old (we didn’t really like spaying our animals either). I still remember, she gave birth in the closet of my sibling’s and my room, underneath an antique chair that had been in storage. It was wonderful, and even though my parents didn’t let us keep all 7 cats (they put some up for adoption) we ended up keeping 4 total. 3 girls and a boy, their names were Mrs. Whiskers, Mrs. Angel, Maxine, and Mr. Precious. We named the other 3 as well, but their names I don’t remember as well. It was soon after that, that we got a puppy, a collie named Cassie. Not long after that, the mother, Tiger, ran away, never to be seen again. It was a sad time for my family, but like I said, all the animals were more or less left to roam the surrounding area on their own, Tiger just never came back one day. I was lucky enough to have the one boy cat of the litter, which I named Mr. Precious. Unfortunately for me, when they were all about a year old, Mr. Precious ran away too, never to be seen again. This broke my heart when I was a kid. Luckily, we had an extra cat that no one claimed as their own, Maxine. So I, no longer having a cat to call my own, began to treat Max as my cat. We had those cats for many years before tragedy struck, Mrs. Angel, my brother’s cat got hit by a motorcycle while we were on vacation one year, killing her almost immediately. Needless to say my brother was heartbroken, and still is I think to this day.

My family only had 2 cats left. Soon after that, we lost my dog, Cassie, and the whole family mourned. It was not much longer after that, my parents got divorced, my mother, my siblings and I moved to the house we are in now. However, we left our 2 cats, Max and Mrs. Whiskers, at the old house, because my mother always hated cats, and saw this as an opportunity to be rid of them once and for all. About a year after we moved in, my mother finally gave way to us kids, and let our cats move in the the house with us. They were horribly malnourished, and infested with fleas. Those first few weeks were terrible, as they looked so sickly. As a quick side note, my cat Max, has had a tumor on her side for the past 10 years or so. The vet told us that operating was impossible as it was fused into her rib cage, and there was no guarantee that even after it was removed that it wouldn’t grow back. Luckily it was cancerous, and she didn’t seem to be bothered by it, the opposite in fact, she loved to be pet on it. Back to today, she once again is horribly malnourished, the tumor is now stealing all her nutrition, and she’s growing more sickly by the day. It is now, that I’ve decided that I’m going to put her to sleep tomorrow. It was a very hard decision to make, probably one of the hardest in my life. Like I said, I’ve had this cat for all of my adult life, and I’ve loved her more than anything. It is now, out of love, that I need to end her suffering. I’ve put it off for too long, in the hopes that she would get better, and she has only gotten worse. My selfishness has only caused her to suffer more. This is the hardest thing that I have ever done, when I decided earlier this week that I would put her to sleep on Saturday, I’ve been in a state of sadness and anxiety. I don’t want the day to come where I have to say goodbye. Saying goodbye to any pet, especially one you’ve had your whole life, is incredibly difficult. Experts say that sometimes it’s even worse than losing a human family member. Yet, the time has come, regardless of whether I wanted it to or not. The last thing I can do for her is show her how much I love her, and send her off peacefully. So tonight, I’m making her a handmade dinner as her last meal, a shredded tuna steak, covered in catnip with a side of milk. In the hopes that when tomorrow comes, she can leave happily, knowing that even up until the end, she was loved dearly. I just hope that for her sake, I can make it through this difficult time. I want to thank you all in advance for your love and support that I’m sure will be pouring out.

Yours,

Wolfgang

May Max Rest In Peace.

Good Morning

I’ve always had trouble sleeping, since I was a little kid. My father used to tell me to just close my eyes and lay there, that eventually that would have me fall asleep. It was easy for him to say, as that worked almost instantly for him, every single time. Yet, it never seemed to work for me, ever. Because of my inability to sleep well, I have never been a morning person. Each and every day that I woke up, in general, just meant to me that I had to struggle through another day. Thanks to depression, my sleep was stolen away, as were my reasons to get out of bed. I think that is why I rarely ever say good morning. When I have to obligatorily respond to people who wish me a good morning, I will usually just respond, “Morning”. As the morning for me is never good, I didn’t sleep enough, or I don’t feel like living. Mornings are generally rough for me, even after I started taking medications to sleep. I usually look for drowsiness as a side effect in my meds, so that I can take them all at night in the hopes that getting to sleep will be easier. While getting to sleep, with the meds, has indeed gotten easier, I seem to have found a new problem that is affecting my sleep. I am waking up in the middle of the night, sometimes numerous times a night. Luckily I can usually get back to sleep pretty easily, only if I wake up in the middle of the night. If I wake up, say around the time I’m actually supposed to get up, I’ll just stay up and lose that hour or so of sleep. I’ve written an article about how sleep is one of the most important things for fighting depression, and it’s just simply the truth. Sleep is one of the first things that depression will take away from you, because of how important good sleep is. Needless to say, if I don’t get good sleep, than my morning has no chance of being good. I’ve always been a very literal person like that. I guess it’s my secret way of letting people know that there’s something wrong with me. Yet to this day, I’ve never been asked why I didn’t say good in good morning. So I guess either people don’t care enough, or they don’t understand that I’m leaving out good on purpose.

Yours

Wolfgang


Also as a quick side note, I’m going to be starting ECT treatment in a month or so, and will be detailing my treatment on my personal blog The Smiles We Bear so go an follow me to never miss an update!

Money IS The Answer

They say that money doesn’t buy happiness, but I want to challenge that notion. I like to think that I think differently than most people, analyze things differently than others. To me, money could solve all my problems. My mother says that money would just bring more problems, and she may be right. I don’t want power though, like most people want with money, I want experiences. When people look at a lifelong career, they might see fulfillment, food for their family, a home, vacations, things. I see a shackle, a ball and chain for forty years that you can’t shake no matter how hard you try. If I were to suddenly win the lottery, I would pay off all my bills, give some money to my family (so they can do what they want with it) and I would travel the world, go to space, really LIVE life. I feel that so long as you’re working just to pay your bills, you’re not living. You’re a slave, we are all slaves to the bills we pay. We all want money, so much it drives people to do horrible things. They do these horrible things either to get money, or to keep the money they have. What if, just spitballing here, someone with money only did good things. They didn’t buy houses, cars, things, they helped people. They experienced life to its fullest and helped everyone they could along the way. That’s what I want with my life.

My mother also says, very often as a matter of fact, to look at all these millionaires that have everything they ever wanted, more money than god (her exact words) and still deal with mental health problems, or get divorced, or arrested. The thing is, they’re living their life for things. No matter how hard you try, things are finite. You could have all the money in the world, buy everything ever made, and yet you still won’t be happy. There are a limited amount of things in this world and they all mean nothing. But, experiences, living life, going out and doing things, helping people. That is infinite. You won’t ever live long enough to experience everything that life has to offer. You won’t ever live long enough to help every person that needs it. Yet, you have to do the best you can, with the life you’ve got. I just don’t see how you can do that if you’re tied down with bills and a job. Although, so many people strive for their dream job, like it will make their lives so much better. I think that is what makes more problems. I would be able to solve all my problems and then some with enough money. Which is why I think that money does buy happiness, so long as you do it the right way. Not only living for yourself, but living to love life.

Yours,

Wolfgang