Out with the old, in with the new. The hope we all have when the year changes. Last year was a great year, I was a little nervous to see it go. I wondered, “How could it get any better?” Only hours into 2018, and I knew my feelings of apprehension were with cause. A life taken too soon, a family left with a hole. Days later, a second loss, almost identical circumstances.
Death, illness, injury, misunderstandings, lies and coercion are what have made up the first month in 2018. Fighting negativity is my daily job. How do I fight something that lingers? That sticks so strongly to everything that I know? A swirl of darkness chases me as I take steps forward. The past haunts my thoughts when I allow it to; but this is not how I want to live. This is not who I want to be.
Depression is more than a word, and if you have ever experienced it you know. You know the hold it can have on you, and even after you feel that you have been freed from its grip, you know that it is still there. Alcohol to an alcoholic is like depression to the depressed. An effort to replace sadness with joy. A constant battle to look for the positive in each day. How do you accept happiness when gloom was all that came before? How do you even know what joy is? The swirling thoughts just take you deeper down the spiral of no return. As you fall, so do the stairs that help you climb back up.
Until you hit the bottom. The cold, lonely, dark bottom where you only have time to dwell in the misery. Like an addiction, when this is all you know, you crave it. You strive for the lousy feelings that depression brings. The hope of better days is elusive as you watch darkness take over the sun. You give in to these feelings, and you believe with everything that you have that it will never get better.
It is cold. It is lonely. It hurts to breathe. It hurts to think. It hurts your heart. It hurts your soul. It hurts everything. The pain is all you can focus on. It becomes who you are, and all that you know. Like a blanket, the pain starts to create comfort. Comfort in the uncomfortable, and you know without a doubt this is all life has to offer you.
If you are lucky, in this darkness, the little spark of light that has never left will flicker enough to get your attention.
Your eyes notice the hint of light and something shifts in your brain. The overwhelming hold of depression loosens its grip, just a little. Just enough to help you remember life without it. The real life you wanted. The one you worked so hard for. You can do this. You have what it takes. You are strong. Don’t ever give up.
You brush the dust off and you start to rebuild the staircase that led you astray. Piece by piece, stair by stair, you reach the top. And you start over. Again. You never give up. Giving up is not an option, although you sometimes forget. Life is too short to give into the pain, to the depression. You only have one chance to live. To love yourself. To give yourself permission to heal from the pain of the past.
Although 2018 started off rocky, I will not let negativity win. I will not allow people or events to dictate my worth or happiness. I will allow the fall, but I will not remain there. I will feel what I need to feel and I will move on. I will not dwell in the negativity. I will not give up. I will carry on.