By Jake Breslauer cross-posted with permission from Satirical Nonsense
I’m a white hipster in his late twenties with a strong political opinion suffering from depression. You know, the antichrist. I’ve spent a good deal of my life finding ways to deal with my depression. For years I’ve tried meditation, and for the most part it’s worked. But when I hit my late teens, every time I looked into my “mind’s eye” all I saw were naked ladies. So yeah, I guess you can say it continued to work. But then as I got older those naked ladies turned into naked exes, so in a desperate attempt to push that out of my head I was told to imagine leaves floating on a river which turned into naked exes floating on a river, then I would snap out of my meditative state even more anxious than when I entered. Except now with a very confusing boner.
A couple years ago I came to terms with my depression and did what anyone would do and paid someone to tell me what I already knew about myself, with the added bonus of forking up the equivalent of my college tuition to pay for it. Before going into therapy I knew that I suffered from anxiety, depression, and OCD. So I was given a lengthy psych test that told me, you guessed it, that I suffer from anxiety, depression, and OCD. After 8 months, 2 sessions a week, and spending all my parent’s money, I was told to take a pill that would make me a human slug and to be more open about my feelings.
I decided to take the less expensive and more fun route of getting drunk every night and unloading my woes onto un-expecting bar patrons. Now before you get all excited, this is not an article about how I quit drinking, found Jesus, and now the only drug I need is jogging and inspirational Instagram photos of me jumping in the air on the beach. I’m damn proud of my beer belly. Your six pack may have taken you only 2 months and a complete change in your character to achieve, but my gut has taken years of crappy beer drinking and waking up early to eat cold pizza. You tell me who’s more dedicated!
After a while I did start to get sick of daily hangovers, and once the guys working at the pizza parlor started asking me about my emotional well-being, I realized that maybe a different approach was needed.
I’ve always had facial hair, but never experimented with wacky styles. One morning in a desperate attempt to make myself laugh, I twirled the hairs of my mustache upwards. In that instant an epiphany like none other hit me. It looked ridiculous, and oddly enough it reshaped my entire face. I was making funny voices at my reflection, creating weird characters (most of them French villains), and for first time in a while I was laughing at myself. I was alone, awake before noon, and happy. And yes, my first impulse was to go for a jog and brag about it on social media.
I continue to grow my facial hair out and I’ve discovered mustache wax, beard oils, and am spending way more time than necessary grooming myself in the morning. This type of morning routine has gotten me excited to wake up every day, encouraged me to organize other things in my life, and shows on the outside the wacky fun living person that I really am. I’ve always known deep down that my emotional problems stem from an obsession with self-destruction and a pre-disposition to be lazy.
I’m far from being cured completely of my depression, but small changes like this are helping me move towards the person I want to be. I count myself very lucky that I’m able to move on without the help of medication, because I know people who are not so fortunate and sadly require the help of drugs and regular therapy. This is not a call for people to fire their therapist and get drunk instead, because there are doctors out there who really help people without the means to find happiness or emotional stability in their life. But for those of you like me who suffer from what I like to call GBD (General Bummer Disease), sometimes something as simple as a curl of the mustache can be a great alternative to Prozac.