Dealing with depression

It’s easy to not talk about certain subjects. Depression is one of those subjects for me. This feeling doesn’t seem to go away, so I want to try writing about it, bringing it out. Maybe that will help. Lure that bastard out into the light.

I’ve lived with depression since I was 14 or 15, so about 20 years for now. At some point, my world started turning dark. I began to experience periods of times in my life I could do almost nothing else than lay down, or just cry and go into this slumber while being awake, laying in my bed just wanting to let go of it all. Slowly this transformed more into periodical states of just feeling depressed, but I still remember clearly those first stages of just laying down and not having the energy to do anything.

coping-with-anxiety-and-depression-722x406

The feeling of depression would come without any warning, the day before I could be feeling perfectly fine, fun, even enjoying life, then I wake up and nothing feels good, sorrow fills my whole being, usually accompanied by the immense weight of being crushed under all the feelings I have.

The overwhelming pain of just drowning into sadness, despair, death and the want to leave this place. The ever welcome feeling of being completely alone and that nobody cares. All social interactions become numb, difficult, non-relevant to anything. There is nothing but deep and wide blankness accompanied by not caring about anything or anybody else than just dealing with this state and surviving it.

All expectations from others and myself can go down the drain instantly, I couldn’t care less about finishing or doing something. Even things I feel passionate about, suddenly those don’t matter at all.

This has made it always difficult to go to work, or school, or meet people, as I have no idea any given day if I’m capable of even leaving the house or getting up from bed. Canceling meetings and scheduled appointments used to be a norm for me, and still to a degree is, which can lead to a spiralling feeling of shame for not being able to fullfill my duties.

This is part why I’m writing about this subject, to maybe let those around me see and understand what is happening to a person in depression, and also to share the feelings of what is going on to a person dealing with depression, as this topic isn’t publicly discussed much.

Realizing depression

Many times this feeling brings with it deep wanting of to leave this place, to completely be void of any feelings, while paradoxically the emotions seem to be all that exist in this state, taking me with them and ruthlessly dragging me into the bottom of that cold river where I am completely alone in my sorrow, not seeing any solutions to the situation and feeling like being drowned into the abyss of eternal sadness.

Where these emotions come from, there seems not to be any one source, they just come and go as they please, as if they had a life of their own, which makes the situation even more difficult to rationally understand or see how to avoid and how to deal with it.

It took me a long time to even realize I was being depressed. Nobody really talked about depression around me or in the culture I was brought up. The aknowledgement was there that a such thing exists, especially in Finland it’s a big thing, but it wasn’t really talked about.

Maybe it is somehow shameful, a taboo, a sign of weakness to be depressed, so you don’t talk about it, just suck it up and get better and do your work seemed to be the general solution on how to deal with this.

On my own

Nobody can fix depression for you. There is no way. This is how I’ve always felt. Somehow in this state there is no way to trust somebody else. I’ve always felt I have to fix this myself, by myself and with my own ways.

Somehow deep inside me a part had always known that depression medication was not for me, even though my mother many times tried to insist me on taking them, a part of me was very strong in not going down that path, some part of me somehow knows that medicating with these unnatural methods is not good for me.

During these times I had no idea about meditation, mindfulness or nothing that could be considered spiritual, except long distance running, which I only later realized was somewhat of a spiritual practice for me. I was constantly dealing with dark thoughts, thinking about killing myself, leaving this place for good and just wanting to get away
from it all.

Finding a way out

Today I am happy to say that I’ve started to find a way out of my depression, after dealing with it for nearly two decades. I’ve discovered methods of dealing with the feelings, and how to heal myself, and how to re-program my thoughts.

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The path has not definitely been easy, it has been one full of pain and unorthodoxical methods of seeking the root causes. I kinda wish somebody had been there for me to teach me, to show me how to do it better, as many of the paths I’ve taken have proven to be difficult and even hindering my progress. And I’ve had many teachers too, so I am thankful for that.

But I am who I am, and I wouldn’t be here without going through all that darkness. I am happy that light has grown immensively inside me during the past years and I’ve finally started to figure out what the root cause for my depression has been.

Mainly it has been doing with trying to adapt to my surroundings, and not being who I really am. I’ve now noticed that this pressure to be like others, and not fitting in, has been a great de-pressive force in my life. I can no longer succumb to the expectations of others, but be more brave, more open, more free, more sensitive, more powerful, more fearless and ultimately more honest to my self, of who I am and what I represent.

It has not been easy, as my true self is something that differs so much from the normal way of things. But I am happy I have found through the act of expression more those who resonate with the same frequency, and hope to find even more those people who express the same energy as I do through the act of opening up and being even more honest and brave.

Methods of healing .. to be continued

The various methods of how I’ve reached this state are something I want to write more about it in the upcoming posts.  Consider this posting as a preface for those writings.

Thank you for reading, this was Sakari for now, until later!

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Playing the startup game with Geometrify, probably going mad

Pushing the limits of my mental health

Past 3 weeks have been crazy. Crazy depressing and stressful, trying to push Geometrify forwards, in a rushed mad man craze feeling of trying to reach a goal of releasing our new demo and crowdfunding campaign on 11.11.15, in order to match with the release of GeoKone on 11.11.11 (ha, that post has 11 comments)

And then realizing all this was just some imaginary deadline we had setup for ourselves, and that our direction is not exactly aligned on what is possible to implement right now. Gah.

I have been driving myself to the limits, drinking too much black tea, coffee, then needing something to calm me down after that, and continuing this vicious cycle until I was completely exhausted and not even remembering who I am anymore. This completely drained me physicall and mentally, and I was ready to give up the whole thing.

But then suddenly, I saw something in the midst of it all ..

A diamond shines in the darkness

In this self developed chaos shit storm, a diamond of perfection shone in the midst of it all:

Diamond in the Center

Diamond in the Center

Looking at it, just observing, and using GeoKone while being in the darkness I could see it more clearly. GeoKone has helped to suppress depression, to channel my self in the darkest moments so many times that I really wish I could somehow bring this program to the masses better. There I was again, creating art with GeoKone, feeling like shit, when suddenly I could see beauty coming out of darkness, forming slowly, reminding me that there is always a solution, even if I’m not seeing it in the middle of all the crap flying around.

Not sure if this can be seen only by travelling to the centre of it all, going through all that chaos around it first, or is there an easier way maybe ? Who knows. I dont know. I can read a thousand books, hear a thousand stories, and none are the one I am travelling. There are no ready answers or solutions to those walking their own path.

Startup mantras

I hope I don’t have to do this again ever. So that I might learn when to just keep calm, and focus on the task at hand, and not project into the future to fulfill some deadline that might as well be total bullshit in 2 weeks.

Fail fast, fail often. If you fail at first, try again. These are the mantras repeated in the startup world, and I can see now why. This has been a total surrender trip since 2012 december when I left my dayjob and pursued GeoKone full time.

My psyche has been put to the test, still working alone as programmer on Geometrify. Not having anybody to talk to on the technical aspect daily, not having anybody to wait at the workplace for me, or not anybody to even expect me to be there at time. It can get very depressing.

And still, the comments from people who have tried our first demo (which will be released at some point for the Oculus DK1, hopefully) like “most interesting usage of VR”, or “most deep experience of geometry”, or the mind baffling comment after a private demo “I realized what happens after I die”, these keep me going.

Glimpses to another world

Yeah, somebody saw glimpses of what happens when he dies by just trying our demo.

Think about that for a while. Let it sink in.

The possibilities with this project are endless. And yet, how to communicate this what we are buildling, seems impossible. There are no words to describe it. It slips through the rationality and structure of words. Like a spiritual experience, it is really difficult to share.

And this has been our challenge for the whole time we have been developing Geometrify Experience. How to communicate this to people, when it is really personal, can be meditative, immersive, but can also not be meditative, can just be annoying for minority of people trying it out, or it can be something completely different for each person.

Catching small fish

I think we have been trying to catch a too big of a fish, we now need really to narrow down our grids and focus on something that can be also implemented, and explained, and still utilizing our top of the line geometry engine, which might I say, is getting really nice.

I’m starting to get the hang of C++11 finally, and OpenGL too, so things are starting to look good on the technical side.

Still, no funding, no coding partners, although I have help from many people now, and we are now an officially registered Co-Op in Finland now, so a lot of progress happening also!

I am hopeful to continue working. Fail fast, fail often, get up, grind up, fuck that shit up and show them that following our hearts something truly extraordinary can be achieved!

Ready to get up again!

Ready to get up again!

Now this is inDigiNeous, signing off again!

Doing what I Love :: Development of Geometrify continues

I just want to do a quick update what’s going on with me and the software I am developing.

My Lifes Work Currently

My Lifes Work Currently

Developing Geometrify

Geometrify is the name of our company and also the name of the software we are developing. Geometrify will be an amazing VR experience, something completely different than you are used to seeing.

Geometrify will use the same tech as GeoKone.NET, but supercharge it to 10x in performance, visual style and animation. Geometrify will be developed primarily for the Oculus Rift VR -headset, and our goal is to launch first version of our software in Q1 2016.

Geometrify is being developed using Modern OpenGL, C++11 and QT 5/QT Quick
For more information about Geometrify, check out these pages:

Progressing irritatingly slowly, but steadily

Things have been going a little slower than I originally thought, and we have no funding for Geometrify yet to rise off the floor. We have a team of 4 top notch professionals ready to go, but only funding for myself.

Which I am very grateful for, I am now being paid for doing what I love. It was a leap of faith in 2012 December when I left my dayjob, relationship, apartment and everything else to pursue developing GeoKone.NET fulltime.

Finally it is starting really to pay off, and I am seeing already more clearly in which direction to take this in order to create software that people are willing to pay money also for.

Creating the content along with the tech parallel has proven very challenging, and with no funding to drive the team, I as the only programmer must choose carefully what direction to take.

Left my dayjob, Surviving the Winter

Hey all, I just wanted share some personal feelings I’ve been having lately, as I realize that I never really talk about my own life or what is happening with me.

Leaving my day job

Last year I worked fulltime at Applifier, working on their mobile game video sharing service, Everyplay, that allows game developers to integrate a video recording service into their existing games and  gain new users through people showing of their gameplay to others via video recordings. There I worked on the iOS native side of things, mostly focusing on the base SDK library, UI & Video Player programming.

Everyplay

Everyplay – Share your Game Replays

I learned a lot of things during this year, worked with an excellent and very skilled team, who taught me new things almost everyday .The work pace there was pretty hectic, with deadlines constantly reminding that there was no time to really perfect all the code, just to get things shipped and moving forwards. This was fun in a way, but really stressful also as I had to get up everyday and to go the office, something that is not very easy for me, as I have problem adapting to a normal sleep rhythm at times, and have energy flowing through the nights when normal people are sleeping.

This constant pressure of having to be at the office everyday eventually led me to a stressful state of not enjoying what I was doing enough that it was worth it. Although I learned to develop methods that allowed me to stay stress free, like taking a morning swim at the local swimming hall, or doing my morning meditation and yoga in order to find strength to keep doing it, the energy that went into me doing something I had to force myself to do just wasn’t worth it.

Ultimately, I decided to take a leap into the unknown again and leave this job I was making good money at and that I could have continued working at if I just had endured this feeling of going against the flow. But this is not something I want to do, I want to do something that I Love in Life.

The full day to day job left me little time and energy to focus on what I actually loved doing, that is, creating Art and focusing on developing GeoKone.NET. Now I have all the time, but a lot of other stuff started changing quickly after I left my day job.

Personal Demons

During these last 2-3 months I have been really having to gaze deep into my inner feelings and ways I have been behaving towards myself and those who love me in my life. I have always been really sensitive to other people and energies around me, and I have built this wall around me that prevents anyone from really seeing who I am. Somehow it feels this wall has started to break now, and it has lead to me staring face to face with my most deepest traumas and inner demons.

Through this process I have realized that I have caused a lot of pain in the life of those who have just wanted to love me, and this has been really difficult, like I have been teared apart and forced to gaze at all the mistakes I have made and to shed light on them. In a sense, the whole year of 2012 was some kind of personal breakdown year for me. End of the world, so to speak, at least on some level. The me who was before is no more. There is only a wreckage of emotions, waiting to be picked up again and again re-build myself, like I have done numerous times in the past.

Deep depression has also been taking it’s toll on me, feeling nothing but wanting to end it all, but I have enough experience working with depression that I realize what this feeling is doing there, it is something for me to sink deeply into and allow me to let go of the pain that I have been gathering, the emotions I have not said out loud, the feelings that I have kept inside me have created this state of burdening.

I must just endure this and I will rise again. There is nothing that can stop me from fulfilling my mission here, but seems like I have chosen to create this illusion of pain and sorrow that I must go through alone in order to learn something. I just wish I knew what that something is that is preventing me from just enjoying happiness, but it seems like it’s buried deep within me, so deep that I cannot see what it is.

The Light Breaks Through

The Light Breaks Through

But I have hope, and I am sure that the things I am putting my focus in are worth working for. I will finish GeoKone.NET to it’s 1.0 version and then see what happens. It is suprisingly hard to focus on a single task, by my own. Rising up everyday, finding the motivation to sit in front of the computer, finding the motivation to do my morning yoga, go swimming, see some friends now and then and not just lay down all day and let the situation get over me.

This gets every year really hard when the sun goes down and there is only darkness and coldness outside. But I have endured this for 30 years already, so I know one more year won’t kill me. Many times I have wondered why would anyone live here in Finland, where the winters are long, dark and cold, and many times I have realized that this is a great place to live, as the harsh conditions and the perfect summers tend to create certain kind of thinking and a mentality of surviving through the winters that is very respectable.

People here cannot really build things that don’t last, because that would be fatal when the temperature drops below 20 degrees celsius, it’s windy, there might be one hour of light during the day. The people who have survived here are really going through this struggle every year, even though modern day technology helps a lot, but it’s still a mental battle anyway.

Surviving through the winter always feels like a victory here, I survived one more year. I intend to continue celebrating many more victories over winter and continue seeking to do the things I Love in Life.

Get Concentrated! A Great Utility For Mac OS X to help completing projects

I am in favor of concentrating on a single task at one time, especially if trying to do something creative that requires a clean set of mind to work with. For this I have found a great program for helping me get rid of the mindconsumers that are social media and chat networks. Trying to do something and at the same time checking the irc, answering to IMs, checking the email, it just distracts from the creative process and let’s the mind wander.

Concentrate allows me to define ‘Activities‘ that specify which programs are shut down and started when I enter that activity:

Concentrate :: Activities

Concentrate :: Activities

I have specified in my ‘Drawing’ activity the following settings:

Concentrate :: Edit

Concentrate :: Editing Activity

This launches the (excellent) ArtRage Pro software that allows me to draw with my Wacom Intuos 4 tablet virtually, and stops all social media applications, including the webbrowser and messaging. During the whole activity time it even blocks starting those applications if you so want, which I have found a good feature, because old habits die hard.

Highly recommended for anyone who wants to totally concentrate and bring back the feel of the old times when all you could do was run one program at a time and that was it :)

Turning point

Starting to manifest my/our/your vision, finally working with my own terms and only for the love of things. Excited to see what comes out of this :)

I’ve had this vision of a system for a long time. A system that I must now start building. I will tell more as things progress. I am throwing myself off the ledge here, leaving my current job and becoming an self sufficient enterpreneur. I have no idea how I’m going to tackle all the problems that lie in my way, but I am still more excited than for a while. I feel happy that I’m going to be able solve new different situations that will surely rise, like the issue of money and all other society related things. Maybe in Internet those laws don’t have such an issue. Maybe through the Internet I can do this openly, let’s see.

For at least the past three years I’ve been struggling with working for others, but for some reason I haven’t had the courage to do anything about it. I’ve always felt that I’m doing things, but I’m not doing things that matter. Now that I found myself in the same situation for maybe the fourth time, working steadily but still not being happy about it, I finally had the courage to say to myself ‘Get on with it! Do what you dream to do! Make your dreams reality!’, and gain enough confidence to kick my ass to say it out aloud, start making it a reality.

Today I am excited about moving towards. Seeing new things. Building new things. Becoming more what I really am, my own creator. I know that if I do something with all my heart in it, good things will come. The law of attraction really works :)