A lot of people in my online writer and reader groups struggle with depression and/or anxiety. I guess I still struggle with anxiety from time to time, but I’ve had a major burnout at around 23 years old. It’s over a decade ago and I still feel…it’s hard to write about.
In the meantime, I have seen close friends struggle and I’ve been near to losing one because of it. I have lost contact with another, quite recently.
I have seen co-workers struggle. I have seen my evening class German teacher tumble down, because she, in her bad-ass bravery, wrote a book about it.
I have written a summary of this period in my life (if you can ever consider it a closed chapter) once , because the bank wanted to raise my home insurance after I indicated past use of antidepressants on the form to acquire it. I hated writing that account and had I not been absolutely livid at the time, I would not have. It was a battle I had to fight, and ultimately won. So perhaps it will be a story for another time.
I have, step by step, started sharing little bits and pieces with friends and, even more carefully, co-workers. Having lost out on a job once because I was branded not pressure-resistant taught me to be careful. Being branded pressure-resistant two years later taught me these are all just impressions. They don’t last and they are not necessarily right. But even so, impressions other people have of us impact us greatly.
I’ve won a lot of battles this past decade. If not, I wouldn’t be here today. And many people and events have played a major role in this, a grand majority of them without ever knowing.
I guess I overflow with stories, and I’d like to share some of them, because there is this one key message I want to get past:
You will not feel like this forever. With your brain in shreds and your memory in tatters. Cold even on the brightest of days. You will not always feel weak, and you will not always cry. What you feel you are today will not determine the rest of your life.
Your story is not mine, and my ways will probably not be yours. But if they can inspire even a sliver of hope for happier days ahead, they might be worth telling.