The following is a response to previous post. Below is a link to the original post.
Sometimes, we get so caught up searching shadows for detail, that we forget that the light ever existed. With no light to guide us, it becomes easier to get lost, and when we eventually do find we have returned to a path, any path, you have to learn to walk it again as the person that the darkness has made you become, and not the person you were when you lost your way in the first place.
Anyone who has read more than one of my posts, may have picked up on the fact that I live with depression. Most days, I am fine, going from A-B without even thinking about it, but then there are the days when the distance between A-B seems insurmountable, and the thought of getting out of bed in the morning is enough to make you consider giving up. On days like this the bluest skies look grey. On days like this eating anything at all, can seem as off putting as chewing on sand. On days like this, being around other people, people you may cherish and love, can be so difficult that you choose to indulge yourself, in the cloud of indifference, switching off to everything out of fear of being hurt more than you already are.
The indifference cloud that is depression, is a tantalising thing. It promises to numb your pain, but it also numbs everything else, until you find yourself hating everything. Trusting no one, not even yourself.
But those days pass, as all things do, and if you’re lucky, once they pass, you come out stronger, with a resolve to never let it consume you as it had again. Life though, is not as straight forward. It throws curve balls, pulls the rug out from under you, kicks you between the legs and throws salt in your eyes. Not because it wants to upset you, but because it wants you to rise to the challenge it sets.
Do you want to know a secret?
Life is hard. It should never be easy, and those of us who chase an easy life as an ideal often find themselves missing the journey along the way. Looking back only with regret, at opportunities lost and a life lived in search of something that was never to be found. Far too many of us see difficulty, as being synonymous with negativity. Negativity, is however, a human concept, applied to situations when we are at our most vulnerable, we chose not only to react to the world negatively, but to observe it that way. I am not for one minute suggesting that a depressive mindset can just be wished away, if you just try hard enough, although this is pretty much the advice I was once given by a GP. However, it can be controlled, if you are willing to try.
This past year has brought me close to the abyss of indifference many times, and although I’ve teetered on the precipice, one too many time for my liking, I feel stronger than I have in a long time. Because this past year has been a challenge, but one I have faced with my family, and as crazy as we have driven each other being forced back under one roof by circumstance, the more I feel we have come to truly appreciate one another.
Something I found difficult to do throughout the last year, although I did do a lot of it was write. I wrote to make sense of the darkness, I wrote to escape, I wrote when I could do little else. Most of what I wrote channeled the darkness which threatened to know me to the ground. I couldn’t read most of it back, I could barely stand to think about where my thoughts would take me if I opened the pages of my notebooks to see the anguished scrawls, writing about my fears, my insecurities and my life.
But I did read some things back, one extract in particular, left me struck by just how far I had come, the last bog post I shared was an excerpt from my personal log, it was written about three days after I found out my father had developed colon cancer.
So much has changed since then, but the more things change the more they stay the same, and at the most difficult of points throughout the year, we relied on each other when we had nothing else to rely on. My father is a miraculous man, and his recovery has so far been a testament to that. From the outside, he has quietly faced this and come through the other side remarkably unfazed. Having watched him do his best to ignore the fact that he was ill, doing his best to get right back into the way things were, it’s crazy to think just what he has actually gone through in the last twelve months.
Just as last year, I look ahead to a year uncertain. Living a life much changed from the one I lived just a year before, but this year I look forward into optimism. With hope in my heart as I reflect on the one thing that can be relied on, and learned from this whole experience.
Life goes on, you just have to remember to go with it.