I’m no stranger to depression. Honestly, I don’t think I’d know how to get along if that dark shadow weren’t following me down this winding path I’ve come to know as my life. Depression, at least for me, has almost become a security blanket of sorts. I’d even go so far as to call it a “friend” even though I know those words are false on my tongue. It’s just that if I’m scared to be happy, to move on and step out into the light, depression is there to softly take my hand and woo me back into its firm, cradling embrace. It knows all of my fears and my agonizing insecurities and it isn’t afraid to use any of them against me. My so-called friend is a selfish one.
One of the worst things about depression is that it makes our worst nightmares seem to leap out of our subconscious mind and then parade about as though they really were of flesh and bone. One moment you can be as happy as a newly birthed star, smiling and swirling about in the happy chaos about you, and then the next moment Depression comes spiraling in as a giant, hungry black hole ready to spaghettify you and swallow you whole. How in this universe could someone escape a gravitational pull like that? “Impossible,” one might say.
Ah, but it isn’t impossible! Sometimes, you just need to look your grinning friend Depression in the eye and tell him (or her, I’m not sure what gender your friend may be) that you’re tired of always burning through short-lit matches there in his dark, little corner. You want to walk out into the sunshine and if he isn’t willing to follow you there it’s his loss. He’ll just have to sit back in the darkness trying to remember what it felt like to gleam at you with that purulent smile of his as he eagerly took you on a romantic stroll down Sorrows Ln.
And yes, it is easier said than done. Much easier, sadly. Facing a foe like that, someone who has been there all along or for a great deal of time, is always difficult. Facing that part of yourself is terrifying. I’m not alone though, and if you suffer from Depression’s grasp, neither are you. It takes a lot of time to get better and a lot of practice telling yourself that you deserve to be happy and to enjoy your life to the fullest. You may even find that you fall back into the shadows to lean on Depression’s sturdy shoulder from time to time. I know that I did. Many, many, many times in fact. Honestly, I still sometimes see his grin today but it’s a bit fainter and he’s a little more in the distance. It’s taken a long time but I’m learning how to turn away from his caress. I know that anyone else could do the same if they just keep trying and believing in themselves. Often we have no idea how strong we really are.
Even if all hope seems lost, it isn’t. There’s beauty all around you. There’s beauty inside of you too, even if you don’t quite see it. Yet.
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