Yes, I have been deeply and clinically depressed during the last 2 years and now I start this blog to (among other things) vomit all the crap that bitters me inside, all the sadness, all the bile…
Yes, I still think of taking my own life, though in those really terrible moments I think of my wife and my daughter and I still manage not to do it. This also means while my life was going to hell emotionally, professionally and financially, I had a lot of time to think and read so I have been reflecting on why do we destroy our lives, the deep causes, not the symptoms or the actual mistakes (that are the consequences of deeper problems).
Once you are depressed and really down, my basic set of rules for survival first and perhaps some day even rebuild re-yourself are:
- NEVER LIE, ALWAYS TELL THE TRUTH
- ALWAYS BUILD ON ROCK, BAD FOUNDATIONS ALWAYS COLLAPSE
- TRY TO WORK AT LEAST 8 PRODUCTIVE HOURS PER DAY
- YOUR PERSONAL VALUE IS AS HIGH AS YOUR WORD IS WORTH: CHERISH IT
- YES, PLAN AHEAD, BUT FOCUS ON WHAT IT IS UNDER YOUR CONTROL
- DON’T GET LOAN SAND MORTGAGES, NEVER EVER
- FACE YOUR PROBLEMS TODAY BECAUSE TOMORROW THE WILL BE BIGGER
- ALWAYS SAVE 20% OF WHAT YOU MAKE
I think the deep, deep problem that starts corroding us inside is the DISTORTION OF TRUTH. In other words, for different reasons, one day we accept a lower quality of truth in our lives, we accept some little lie that we tell ourselves or we are told or we tell others. That weakens all foundations in our deep being. Looking back in my life, I can pinpoint precise moments when this happened to me. A lie is not only a morally reprobable thing. A lie is a mirage, a false reality in front of us, a rotten apple in our basket… Now, there are absolute and big truths that we must and need to keep clear and clean but also a myriad of smaller truths, little ones, that in many occasions we don’t care too much to twist simply because it is convenient in that moment. I could paraphrase Jordan Peterson and say that YOU SHOULD ALWAYS TELL THE TRUTH OR AT LEAST DON’T LIE. But this goes even beyond that…
Yes, you are responsible of maintaining the truth in your life, so in addition to telling the truth or at least not lying, YOU NEED TO FIGHT BACK AND REJECT ALL LIES THAT COME TO YOU FROM OTHERS. So TRUTH is the basics of all you will end up building up in your life. I failed to defend truth in many occasions. Sometimes I saw somebody doing the wrong thing in my company and I was too busy to act. Big mistake, I paid the price. Sometimes somebody understood what he/she wants to understand from my words and NOT what I meant but I failed to go further and clarify all again and again and again. Yes, big mistake.
After depression hit my mind as a freight train, as a 200 pound hammer, I saw all collapsing inside me. It took over 2 years for all to collapse, yes, all, from my financials or my possessions to my health. But there is a very useful tool I still have and use: DETACHMENT. In few words, I can see myself from outside myself, like a sort of independent Einstenian observer. I see now that I am a very intelligent and capable person, I was a good entrepreneur and CEO in many of the things I did (also I made some quite big mistakes, yes). So I realized that building up a startup has an early stage slow-path learning/development curve. During that period it is KEY to set up the foundations based on TRUTH and clear concepts, documents, financials etc. NEVER EVER hurry up: you will pay an enormous price down the way.
It is also truth that when you do things wrong, those mistakes will always catch you, hurt you. The thing is that those mistakes don’t hit you right away but there is always a delay. This means you can even forget those mistakes but one day they hit you hard, 2 or 3 years later. Remember: if your foundations are not rock solid, all will collapse eventually.
So after being my own independent Einstenian observer, I came up with this very simple set of rules that now I am applying to my own life. I have many bad days but now some good ones too, or better to say some good hours in one of those bad days. During those good hours I can see clearly, the dark cloud of my depression lifts up and I see the sky, I see blue over my head. I know there is still love for life inside me even when 95% of my time I cannot reach it.
These simple 8 rules help me to get those simple few hours of blue sky. From that, I am trying to breathe, to come back from the dark hell of my depression.