The principal reason behind creating Breaking Down Smiles was to give me a place to write about a topic that has been at the forefront (and at times the middle, back, and center) of my brain for what amounts to roughly the last decade and a half. I wanted to talk about depression. Specifically, I wanted to talk about my own experiences with the evil purveyor of doom and gloom.
It’s been 3 or 4 of years since the idea of writing about my battle was something I considered, but there was always something that kept me from pushing forward with the idea. I don’t necessarily keep my depression a secret, but it’s not something I’ve plastered on a billboard either. You might suspect it was shame that prevented me from posting about this topic earlier, but I don’t think that was it. At this point in my life, I’ve never been more content to be the person I am so the thought of being judged doesn’t faze me. More than anything, I didn’t want to be seen as someone seeking to cultivate pity. Sure, it’s nice to get an empathetic “I understand” every once in a while, but that’s not what is spurring me to continue plucking away at the keyboard.
When I’ve gone through my darkest days with depression, I simply wanted to understand anything going on in my head. I wasn’t naive enough to expect that a book or blog would provide an ‘a-ha’ moment and suddenly I’d be running through fields of green singing, but the chance that I could find even a sliver of insight through the knowledge of others always gave me hope that I could break this thing down one piece at a time and help get “the real me” back. I would look for hope in a song, movie, family, dog, video games and beer, but the one place I looked the hardest and found the most help was in the writing of others. And that’s what the impetus is for discussing these things in public with you. It’s my greatest hope that someone suffering might stumble upon this blog and find some sort of solace in the words I’ll be writing over the next days, weeks, and months.