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Sunday, June 21, 2015

How I Overcame Depression (For the Time Being)

For those of you who don't know what it is like to suffer from depression, let me explain it a little further so you can try to understand what its like. According to www.mayoclinic.org, "depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depression, major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and depression may make you feel as if life isn't worth living.
More than just a bout of the blues, depression isn't a weakness, nor is it something that you can simply "snap out" of. Depression may require long-term treatment." When you are truly depressed you literally feel worthless and no matter what people say, you will continue to feel that way until it either subsides, you find out what your triggers are, and or you get put on medication. I won't focus on the medication so much because I know there are people who disagree with it and this whole post would be focused on the benefits of medication. Moving away from that topic, I would like to just focus on how I personally, at least for the time being have overcome depression.

The things that trigger my depression always change. Depression is always there but I learn how to curb it when I figure out the triggers. While I was in High school it was due to the rumors and partial truths that had been spread about me, I was also constantly worried about how people saw me. When I moved out of my parents house and I started being on my on to a point, I began focusing on "hanging out" or just constantly being out of the house because I was afraid that if I stayed at home for too long with my thoughts that I would get more depressed or do something drastic. Because I thought this way, it slowly caused me to become even more depressed. Especially if plans fell through that I was looking forward to. Now I know a lot of people who may not know what depression is like may think that sounds childish. I would like to say though, if you base how you see yourself simply from how people treat you and if plans are cancelled or people bail over and over and you feel like they are doing that because they are annoyed or they don't like you. It will negatively effect you. I promise.

Without going into too much detail, I will just say that there were a couple of instances where I was way to focused on being in a relationship. You would think that if you were in a relationship with someone or if you even just liked each other, there would hopefully be close to a 50/50 effort. However, with the first person it felt more like a secret. He would only ask what I was doing late at night. We never went out during the day to do anything. He told me that he doesn't respond to anyone really through text or ever text anyone, Eventually it got to the point where we would go weeks without talking and we would only talk if I said anything. I was sick of the mind games so I decided to drop it and not put forth any effort and we stopped talking. I finally had my answer. What we had never meant anything. I was just being strung along. Looking back I know what was about to happen next was a very drastic choice. This was another time I seriously contemplated harming myself. I felt like I had put everything that I had into the relationship, I treated him the exact way that I wanted to be treated. The same way anybody in a relationship would want to be treated. I had been played, used, and emotionally abused. So I felt worthless. I couldn't think of anything else. I decided though that I am better than that. I deserve better. I deserve to be treated better. So I told myself to not get to down about it. This took time to come out of my funk but I did eventually get to the point where I kind of forgot about him. I had to, otherwise I was literally going to drive myself insane.

The second main instance that was the final straw for me happened not too long ago actually. I began talking to someone from my past again. I had stopped communication with him initially because that was before I came out and I had no idea how I was going to go about things yet. It seemed like things were going well, we were going to get to know each other again because it had been so long. He wasn't honest though... I think in a way it was pay back for me. He was mad with me still for how I had stopped talking to him in the past, but instead of talking about it he decided to string me along too. He would make the initiative with plans and then cancel right before they were supposed to happen. This caused me to again have negative thoughts and get down again. I let him know that he had done it three times in a row so it was obvious he was avoiding me. He then opened up a little bit and we met up again to hang out. We decided that we did want to be friends and he said that there were still feelings there but then he started ignoring me again and it just went back to how it was before.

My parents had warned me multiple times that I need to take a break from relationships and just focus on myself and this kind of forced me to do that. I decided to give it a shot. I stopped planning things with people so much, I started a second job, I came home after work, and I began focusing more on myself. I needed to get myself to a healthy stage in life and the people I was focusing on were not helping me get there. I stopped feeling the need to always be gone and my happiness increased immensely. I decided that my life has no room for toxic relationships. If people really wanted to be in my life then they would have made more of an effort. I am not trying to sound winy or complain about people. I simply just wanted to open up a little more about how I was internalizing things. There is definitely more stuff that has made me depressed in the past and there is likely to be other things in the future. For the time being however this is what has been a big contributor to my most recent outbreak.

I hope that we are all able to take a break from our day to day lives and ask ourselves who is the captain of our ship? Are we the captain or are we letting other people drive our ship based off of how we let them make us feel. In my case I was letting others drive my life in a different direction than what I wanted. So I decided to take charge and grab the wheel of my life. I hope all of you are able to do the same or at least recognize that there is always something you can do to improve your quality of life.

Until next time,

Zac :)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Called to Serve (Not Your Typical Missionary)

I have alot of things running through my mind so this post may jump around a bit. The list of things I want to discuss are the following: The topic of me continuing to occationally blog about anything gay and the issues that people have with that, Straight pride and how it's offensive, Caitlyn Jenner and the lack of Christlike individuals in our conservative bubble, and the last one is me seeing my life as a mission.

As time has gone on I have gone from saying that I have SSA, to stating that I am gay, then I had to clarify that by identifying as gay I was also saying I will get married and life my life accordingly (I didn't know that I had to really spell that one out for people). I have had many people tell me that I should not focus on the "gay aspect" of my life so much, and that it is just a small part of "Zachary Jones". While this is true, they don't truly understand what it means to come out. Before I came out I was living as "normal" a life as I could in the eyes of individuals in the Mormon church, so I didn't raise any eyebrows or cause people to worry or have pitty on me. Since I was so shut in I was not able to voice my views or fight for equality like I am now. I posted a photo earlier today that states "Gay pride was not born of a need to celebrate being gay, but our right to exist without persecution. So instead of wondering why there isn't a Straight Pride movement, be thankful you don't need one." With this being said, I will post and blog about this however much I want to because for right now it is a big part of me. I started this blog for me to have a release. For me to be able to voice what I am feeling and for others to read and feel what I am going through. It is up to you if you want to read it.

Lately on Facebook there has been alot of posts and photos about "straight pride". I have no idea who the hell started this but they have no idea what that looks like to others when they post that. To me having straight pride is a pretty dang close equivilant to a meninist vs. a Feminist, a white supremacist vs. any ethnic group, or people who protest in general against any religeous group or other. They dont understand that Gay Pride is not about being loud and proud neccisarily. It's about fighting for rights, and the dream that we all have to be equal and feel comfortable in this cruel world. You guys who are straight have nothing that you need to fight for in this aspect. You are free to live however you want, you arent even looked down upon for living together before marriage. Whereas 50 years ago you would have had to live together in secret or just plan on getting married. Us gays have never had that freedom and we are just now scraping the surface of getting to the heart of the matter. Now, I do understand that there are religious view points that get in the way of all of this, but if we are going to argue that, I have one question. What would Jesus do? Even if you are going to sit there and say that He is condemning us or He sees gays as an "obomination". He also said to love everyone and to love thy neighbor as thyself. I personally know that I was born this way and wheather or not im supposed to live "this way" well... That's your own opinion but I know that God does not make mistakes and he for sure does not make "obominations". I think I started to stray a little bit from the topinc of this section but I think I got my point across. Basically the next time you see a "Straight Pride" post, know that there is a hidden negative message.

Now we have all by now heard about Bruce Jenner coming out as Transgender. He recently went through part of the surgery to transition to Caitlyn Jenner. I know that this is a hard topic for those who dont understand. They say that she is a "sinner" or she is giving up on her trial. Who are you to say what she is or what she's feeling? I know the media is definitely messed up and they did shed a lot of light on the topic of Caitlyn Jenner instead of talking about the war, or topics involving police officers. There is not one way to be a hero though. Are veterans, and people in the armed forces heros to us? You bet your ass they are. They do so much for us and sadly they get so little in return compared to what they deserve. As far as police officers go, I know that there are definitely good ones out there and the media focuses way too much on the negative stories, therefore giving police officers a bad name. But for people to sit there and actually say that Caitlyn Jenner is no hero is a shame. It is so sad to see how closed minded and hard hearted people are in a supposed "Christian Society" Where is the Christianity? It sure is not shown when people live lives that are opposite to peoples beliefs but I know that is not what Christ would do. He would welcome ANYONE with open arms and be there for them. He would listen to their feelings and what is on their mind. He would love them as he loves Himself. Why is that so hard for so many of us? I think what it comes down to is people simply not understanding and they don't want to. So instead they put up a wall and have this forcefield that shoots anything down because they are afraid of what they don't know. So instead of being Christlike, they become the comlete opposite and they give a bad name for Christians everywhere.

Many of you know I have had my depression issues, I have had my suicidal issues, I have caused harm to myself, I have abused substances on multiple occations, I have even prayed for everything to go away and for me to just be numb years ago. I know that these situations have made me a stronger person and they have forced me to recieve help and to counsil with loved ones. I have been able to be completely open and honest with my parents and many other trusted family and friends. Something that I realized though is that even if I ended up wanting to serve a mission in the future, I know I couldn't just based on the fact that I am so open and I have put myself out there in the publics eyes 100%. I have however decided to see my life as a mission. My mission is to bring others unto Christ and I feel that deals with Christians mostly (which is sad). I want everyone to know that life is precious. Me and many others like me would not have just chosen these attractions. I did not "choose" to be gay. If I chose to be gay then that is just as ludacris as saying someone "chose" to be straight. That's just not how it is. I was born this way, you were born the way you are, and others were born the way that they are. We are all different, we are put here to learn compassion, learn how to show love, learn how to be Christlike. Let's start practicing what we preach. Instead of being hypocrites, lets actually start showing more of a love and a compassion whether you are Christian or not. This is just the human thing to do. After all, it's the way you would want to be treated.

Until next time,

Zac