To blog or not to blog? That is the question. The reason I’ve been so undecided about blogging is because the subject matter is very personal. It’s something I’ve been ashamed to talk about. It’s something I have taken a long time to come to terms with. But now, I have finally decided to write about it. Well, I say ‘now’, but I have had this post saved as a draft for a while and just haven’t been able to bring myself to publish it (and I expect I’ll tentatively hover my mouse over the ‘publish’ button for ages before I eventually click it). But *deep breath* here it goes…
I suffer from depression and anxiety. I have done for several years now. Contrary to the name of this blog, I am not out of the darkness. In fact, at this point in my life, I have never felt more surrounded by the dark. I’ve hit rock bottom. Perhaps this is what has prompted me to start writing about it.
“Rock bottom has been the solid foundation from which I rebuilt my life.” J.K Rowling
I recently came across this quote from J.K Rowling. And it made me think… What if hitting rock bottom is a good thing? Rock bottom means I can’t get any lower. Rock bottom means the only way is up. Maybe it can become the solid foundation from which I rebuild my life. Right now, I feel surrounded by suffocating sadness. The best way to describe it is that I feel like I’m trapped on my own at the bottom of a deep, dark pit and I don’t feel positive, motivated or energised enough to climb out. Whenever I do exert enough energy to try and climb out, I make a little bit of progress… I get a little bit higher… but it’s not long before I start to get tired and fall back down to the bottom. It’s relentless. It’s lonely. However, although rock bottom is a pretty rubbish place to be, maybe there is just a small glimmer of hope here: I know that there is a way out. And at the top, there is light.
People tend to think that I’ve got my life together; that I’m a strong, independent person who can cope with life. (I know my posts on social media often give this impression.) But the truth is, most of the time, I struggle to cope, I’m scared of the world and I feel anything but strong and independent. I’ve struggled to be honest about this in the past because I worry that my struggles are a sign of weakness. I’m wary of labelling myself because I don’t want people to treat me differently. I’ve also found it hard to come to terms with this because I don’t understand it. I know that I have a good life – a very good life – and I consciously try to remind myself of the exciting life I am blessed to have. I have a job which I love and is perfectly suited to me. I run Khushi Feet: a thriving charity for street children in Kolakta which I care about with all my heart and am incredibly passionate about. I have a loving and supportive family. I have the most brilliant friends anyone could ever wish for. I have nothing to complain about. So why do I feel so low so much of the time? I get frustrated because I can’t justify these negative feelings.
I find writing to be the best way to express my thoughts and think through my feelings. So I am primarily writing about my fight (and believe me, it is a fight – I’m in the middle of a raging emotional battle) to overcome depression and anxiety to help myself reflect and move forward. I want to learn to take each moment as it comes and to not get overwhelmed by life. I don’t know how often I will blog, but I think writing about this will be a much better use of my time than crying about it (that’s not to say I won’t still have my weepy moments though!). In sharing some very real and honest experiences, I hope that this blog may also encourage others going through a similar thing. I’ve come to realise that everyone struggles with something to some extent; depression and anxiety is surprisingly common (so no sympathy please, as I am not the first and certainly won’t be the last to go through this).
I know there is no quick fix. Things won’t suddenly get better. But this could well be the start of something very positive in my life. So onwards and hopefully upwards as I begin the long old climb out of my dark, rocky pit and into the light.