Friday, December 2, 2016

SKALMOLD: "I wanna talk shortly about sadness and depression"

Icelandic, Viking folk/black metal warriors SKALMOLD have posted this statement on depression.


I wanna talk shortly about sadness and depression …
Yup, that’s not a very upbeat way to start but I just can’t leave this untouched. Today, December 1st, marks the beginning of the holiday season for many. And it’s a good thing. Let set aside all talk about religion, beliefs, culture and whatever – we should all be in the position that allows us to look forward to this time of year. If not for more, then only to spend some time with our loved ones, take our minds off work and relax, but hopefully to enjoy something more, dare I say the Christmas spirit? Just to clear it up, none of us the band members are Christian but we all still celebrate Christmas. You might say that we do it in a neutral way, we celebrate Yule, the Winter Solstice, that the days are finally getting longer and the simple fact that people are happy. The unity. We make it our own, something we should all try to do. Happiness is a good thing.
We all have the right to be happy. Still we know very well that a lot of people are not and therefore this is the hardest time of the year for many. When society demands that we all should be smiling, those are the worst moments when you are not well. When you have to spend so much effort and energy into being someone you are not, when you are faking the 100th smile of the day, it only adds to the sour taste in your throat and fuels the doubt if all of this is even worth it. I know this because I have been there and I still have to be aware not to sink down to the darkness. To be honest, the reason for these words I’m writing right now is just that, I felt myself being drawn towards the old demons when the darkness poured over (the Icelandic winter is very, very dark) and really had to pull myself out. I’m lucky enough to have plenty of great people around me, at home, at work and just all around. I am not ashamed of this in any way and I am glad to say that my problems today are minor. I know the symptoms and I do have the strength to fight them when the gates open but I still have to be on the lookout so the devils won’t slip past my guards. Losing control is easy and I won’t let that happen again, ever! But if that happens I will seek help again. There is no shame in that, and actually quite the opposite. Trying to be the best version of yourself is a noble act and does good for both you and everyone around you. If you break your leg you go to the doctor. As simple as that. Otherwise you would be fucked, jumping around on one leg for the rest of your life. Same with your mind. If it’s out of order you seek assistance so you can function again.
Now, this is easy to say but harder to follow. One horrible effect of depression and anxiety is doubt. You doubt that you can ever be well again. You doubt that anyone is willing to help. You doubt that you are really that ill. You doubt that you will even be taken seriously and you get the feeling that others will see you as a wimp or a lesser person if you tell them. I left all of my shit untouched for a long time. I knew I was broken but I just did not face it. One day though I forced my mind to take one step out of itself and looked at myself from the outside. And I was broken. Of course. I knew it before. I just had to force myself to admit it and say it out loud. Those were by far the hardest steps of the whole process and the healing for me was surprisingly quick and easy. Sure, I was not on the edge of suicide or anything like that, I was just fucking up my life slowly and surely. But let me tell you that everyone you meet during this process are willing to help and support. No one looks down on you or gives you a hard time, people just want you to get better. The biggest obstacles became smaller each day and I just couldn’t believe how huge they seemed before. Today I am even thankful that I got to go through this because it gave me loads of experience. I use this experience every day and I would not have been a part of the whole Skálmöld adventure if not for all of this.
Depression is a serious thing and it takes lives. We have all lost someone we care about because of sadness and that is just wrong. So promise me one thing. If you are worried about someone, please check on them today. It doesn’t have to be much, just a phone call or a hug, ask them how they are and then ask them how they really are. Let them know that you are there for them and you would like to be a part in whatever is going on. And if you are the person who receives the phone call, tell the truth. Don’t jump around on leg for the rest of your days.
Efinn gefur engin grið,
eyðir sálu styrkri.
Líttu upp, þá lifnar við
ljós í svartamyrkri.

Take care!

Thanks-Stay Metal, Stay Brutal-\m/ -l-