“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” – Dalai Lama
I have always viewed the world from a different set of eyes. I see and sense things others do not quite understand. I perceived myself as being unique or different than the majority. I always felt like something was missing, unfulfilled in many aspects of my life. I have struggled with depression and understanding my purpose in life. I am writing this article from a difficult place in my life. I have to come to grips with my past to move forward toward achieving a happy, fulfilled life. Understanding who I am was the first step toward making that transformation.
I recently found out I am an INFJ (Introverted/Intuitive/Feeling/Judging – Turbulent) personality type. The INFJ personality type is the rarest of the personality types, only 1 to 2% of the world’s population are INFJs. Explains why I have always viewed myself as unique or different. When I read the information on INFJs I was floored; it was like the author was literally writing about me. Word for word the author described me, not just every other INFJ personality. My way of being now made more sense. Understanding my personality helped, however, it did not adequately explain my depressive state.
Depression is real folks. It is debilitating to some. I reached a point in life where depression was the norm; it ruled my entire life. I didn’t know any other way. That is not who I am, but I lost sight of the person I used to be. I isolated myself due to events from my past; events that I had no control over. For example, as a child I watched my grandfather do CPR and revive my uncle who overdosed on heroin, only to die a few months later from a heroin overdose. The recent heroin epidemic brought those memories back. A family acquaintance tried to molest me as a young child; this was a traumatizing event which I never talked about or addressed in my life.
Nearly ten years ago, while in a drunken stupor, I put a gun to my head and contemplated the reasons why I should or shouldn’t pull the trigger. The real reason why I rarely ever drink alcohol today. I witnessed my best friend get arrested for soliciting a minor online. I was genuinely embarrassed by this incident, especially after what I experienced as a child. Years later, another so-called friend did the same thing. I had to contact law enforcement on a friend I’ve known since high school. That threw me into more profound depression and isolation. I couldn’t trust anyone anymore.
These are just a few examples, but not all, of events that I have allowed to affect my happiness. I have never talked to anyone about these incidents until recently. It is now time I let them go and move forward. I would have instead faced an armed terrorist than admit I needed help. I was too proud for help. I am the advocate/counselor personality type. I am supposed to give advice not seek it, right? I can’t tell you how many self-help books I’ve read in an effort to fix me. I could quickly diagnose my issues, but I couldn’t fix me, or so I thought. I now understand there is no shame in seeking help. I did it.
We all need help from time to time, some more than others. That doesn’t make you crazy. You are just a lost soul needing guidance to get your life back on track. I didn’t truly understand my personality type or deal with those issues from my past. I am hoping this elucidation will make things better for me as I proceed forward. I am hoping my story will help others face their depression or whatever it is that is holding them back from living a happy, fulfilled life. All those events defined the man I am today. However, I will no longer allow them to affect my happiness. There is absolutely no shame in that. We all deserve to be happy!