THE D WORD
New Years. It’s the hot topic that dominates mild conversation in the weeks’ following the highly anticipated culmination of the year that was.
Numerous times I’d been asked how I chose to celebrate 2016 and somehow rarely found myself giving the honest answer; I stayed at home. Although not because I was beyond the festival scene, or trying to save money (as I may have told you), because I was depressed.
Not depressed as in draped across my bed, ice cream tub in one hand, spoon in the other. Mascara poetically staining my cheeks, matching the motion of the rain against my window. An Ecoya candle burning and Jeff Buckley humming softly in the background (I wish)…
Depressed as in bursting into tears at random intervals during the day (sometimes for no apparent reason), wondering how I would survive the next 8 or so hours before it was appropriate to retreat to bed (not that I’d sleep), and trying to avoid interaction with absolutely everyone (at the risk of coming off rude). Depressed as in I didn’t feel like celebrating the start of a year I wasn’t sure I wanted to see the end of.
I could elaborate on my personal struggles, as I feel to some extent the rise and appeal of millennial bloggers/writers can be attributed to a certain level of openness, but I then remember the Internet is not written in pencil, it’s written in ink. For which reason I’ll refrain from delving into the nitty gritty details of my last seven years and hope interest can be generated from more than just the ‘shock factor’.
A once taboo subject now making frequent media appearances, the depths of mental illness are still fairly hushed. Public service announcements assure us it’s okay to reach out, but are we inclined to do so? We’re inspired by celebrities who chose to speak up and yet it is seldom discussed within social circles, maybe alluded to at best. For some time I believed fame was the key requirement for keeping dialogue open.
For me, the hardest part of asking for help was the thought of prioritising my own needs over others. There were people who had endured far worse and seemed to be coping just fine. I was surrounded by incredibly loving family and friends, so therefore I must be ungrateful.
It is only from those people that I’m reminded this time too shall pass, and it does (even if only briefly). It however, remains dormant. Threatening to reappear in the event of disappointment, heartbreak, or for reasons unexplained. Things aren’t always rosy, but they aren’t always rainy either.
This may resonate with you, or it may not. It may offer slight comfort in knowing you are not alone and still do nothing in the way of changing how you feel. Take from this what you will, but never be afraid to ask for help. Keep the conversation going.