I write this blog for a number of reasons. One reason is to connect with others who struggle with mental illness, letting them know they aren’t alone. Another reason is to push back on the stigma surrounding mental illness. But I think on some level, I write in the desperate hope that one day I might find the words that do justice to my depression.
I’m not sure such words exist though. I’m not sure the words exist to explain the sense of isolation and despair, the hopelessness, the utter apathy that exists when I am in the midst of a depression. And instead, all I can do is look out at the wreckage my demons have made, unable to explain their darkness.
My therapist asked me yesterday why it is so hard for me to open up to those I love when I am in the midst of a depression. Because she was guessing it wasn’t just a lack of words. And she was right.
When I am in the midst of a bad depression I feel so broken, so distant from the world around me and the people in my life. I feel as though I will infect them with my darkness if they get too close, or more likely that I’ll scare them away with my darkness.
”But,” my therapist interjected, ”you aren’t that darkness. All the good days you have you prove that you aren’t your darkness. And the people in your life stay because of that person, the person you are when the darkness leaves.”
And she is right. Logically I know this. But sometimes I need someone objective to say it before I can emotionally believe it. And moments like this, moments where I shine a light on my darkness (or someone else does) will be a lifesaver when the darkness comes
again, buoying me up, keeping my head above water until the darkness passes.
And you, dear reader, you are a part of this too. Whether you are struggling or not, whether you’ve met me or not, you help me shine that light on my darkness. And if you are struggling, then I sincerely hope this page and my posts can do the same for you. We are stronger than our depression, especially when we remember that we are not alone.
And that is why I’ll continue to write this blog, whether I have one reader or a million. And as always, if you ever want to reach out and shine a light by sharing your story, all you have to do is contact me. Because like I said, none of us are alone. And the more people that speak up, the more lights that shine in the darkness, the less of a hold depression and other forms of mental illness will have.