Life, Death and Movies: A Conversation About Depression (Editorial)

I’ve been staring at this blank white page for days, wondering where to begin. It’s funny–when I write stories or film-related articles, beginnings are the easy part. But when it’s your story that you’re telling, when you’re allowing yourself to be completely vulnerable for eyes who only recognize you in a certain light, where do you start?

Where do I start? 

Last weekend, I hit a low. It’s a feeling that I’m accustomed to, but it’s nonetheless difficult. The truth is, suicide has been on my mind since I was seven or eight years old. It’s weird to think about, especially when I see my young cousins who are the same age be so full of innocence and life, that behind the mask of childhood, I was always thinking about death. My life was far from easy, even then, but whose isn’t? I frequently remind myself that everybody is struggling in some way, and since I don’t want to burden anyone or make them worry about anything other than keeping themselves healthy and happy, this is a conversation that I’ve neglected.

When you neglect any sort of emotion, however, it tends to fester and grow inside of you until it cannot be contained, and I feel as though I’ve reached the point where I need to talk about it to keep myself from acting upon it.

I’m sick. I’ve been sick for a long time. I don’t know if I was born this way, or if trauma bred the disease, but I don’t remember a time when depression and anxiety were not present within me. Some days I lean towards wanting to die, and I’m absolutely terrified of the notion on others. I rarely make it through a day without having multiple panic attacks, and I’m miserable because of it.

This is what a mess looks like.

I turned 27 this summer, which means that I’ve spent the majority of 20 years trapped inside my own mind. I’ve isolated myself for much of my life, and I’ve fucked things up with people I care about because I unleashed my pain on them in ways they didn’t deserve. For that, I’ll be eternally sorry. When you’re navigating a ship, you have to be prepared for stormy seas. I used to think of myself as the navigator, but too frequently, I’ve been the ocean.

Like many of you, I’m on medication for my sickness. To lose control of your mind is to lose control of yourself, and since these mental illnesses are common in my family, I’m trying my best to preserve what’s left of me. In my personal experience, though, the most effective medicine is one that isn’t prescribed:


There is no doubt that without the influence that films have had on my life, I wouldn’t be here. Movies are my air. My earliest memories are being four or five years old, lounging around the living room with my brother and watching horror films. The genre isn’t alone in helping me through, but it’s undeniably the captain of my support team. The only times I’m able to separate myself from my thoughts are when I’m watching, writing, or talking about these films. Make no mistake about it: If I talk to you about movies, you’ve played a part in saving my life. I carry things with me, which is often a terrible thing, but those specific conversations mean the world to me. They are a lantern in the darkness, and it is you striking the match. I am alive because of you, and I am grateful.

The cold hard truth is that, in the back of my mind, there’s a voice telling me to kill myself, and perhaps there always will be. Recently, the voice has grown more confident and assured that it’s only a matter of time before I accept this fate. I defy that voice because of movies. Movies I’ve seen dozens of times and discuss with all of you, and movies I’ve yet to see. Everybody needs a reason to get out of bed in the morning, and this is mine.

Let’s keep the conversation going. 

You never know what someone is going through, or how much your interactions mean to that individual. If you’re reading this article, and you relate to it in any way, know that you’re never alone. Everyone, even those who seem like they really have their shit together, is on the brink of falling apart. All we have is each other. Reach out to friends. Reach out to family. Reach out to me. We’ll beat this together.

If you’re having thoughts of suicide, please consider giving the Suicide Hotline a call. It could save your life.



About Captain Howdy

Movies are my air. You can find me writing about them, specifically my adoration of the horror genre, in various places, such as: 1.) The white tile floors of abandoned Kmart buildings across America 2.) The back of Taco Bell receipts when cashiers ask me to take the online survey 3.) Your mom's diary

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