This may be a shock for some of you reading this blog, or maybe it won’t, but I have struggled with depression for most of my life. My funny guy, charming side has a very dark alter-ego with a uncanny knowledge of my weak points. I have never been diagnosed with depression, nor have I ever taken anti-depression medication, but some of the most difficult times of my life can be attributed to depressive thoughts. Having just recovered from a brush with it recently, I have decided that now is as good a time as ever to discuss this heavily under-discussed topic.
Depression is very invasive stage of recovery. In our daily life we work and live around our insecurities, but depression forces those fears to the forefront of our attention. Worry and anxiety are having a playdate in your brain, confidence and personal hygiene have left you for each other, and self-consciousness, along with the devil on your shoulder, are the only ones left for company. It is in this filth and self-destructive bad talking that we find the meaning of our troubles.
Mental health is a battle against a witty, strong, invisible opponent, who knows you better than you know yourself. This is a battle won with acceptance and modesty. If you have your ego wrapped up in being “OK” then you have handed yourself a hugely self-defeating task. Accepting the fact that you are depressed is one of the most important things you will ever do.
If you gain acceptance of your mental state it does not mean that you have to do it alone. We as a society have made it much easier to say “I’m fine” then “Help”. You need help, everyone needs help, but we have been trained to last as long as we can without it. If it were not for my family and friends carrying me through the more senseless times of my recovery, I may not be here today.
The trick to recovery lies in consistent re-evaluation. You must be constantly looking at your situation from different perspectives and analyzing your feelings towards it. This is an opportunity for serious personal reflection. Take these days alone in your pyjamas to understand the feelings you have stuffed inside. Inside our vulnerability and scepticism is where we find our ability to persevere.
Depression can be extremely informative if you make a choice to understand it and learn from it. Like anything, the answers do not arrive over night, but you are brave enough to ask the questions you will be rewarded with a better sense of who you are as a person. Write about it, sing about it, go for long walks and cry about it. This is your time to be honest with yourself and be human. To let your fucked up side show, and trust me. If you do it, and you smile again… You’ll feel so fucking great.
“I want to show people that there is beauty in struggle. That good things can come from the bad things, and that the world is beautiful.”
– Levi Hildebrand (2012)