It’s raining. And grey.
It’s England in January, after all.
But I’ve woken in a lovely holiday home looking over the Yorkshire dales, and I can see the sea.
My wife is downstairs doing body combat, and my in-laws are having a quiet breakfast. We’re on our yearly family winter break. It’s beautiful and serene.
And this is the day four years ago that I’d planned to take my life, as I simply couldn’t bear the noise in my head any longer.
So every year I stop and reflect on where I’m at. It’s my ‘re-birthday’. I give thanks that I’m still here. That I’m loved and safe. Each year the date feels a little less daunting, though it still weighs heavy. But the good thing is that I know, truly know, what rock bottom is for me. I know my breaking point. And so the days that are still tough, when I’m going wild with the self-loathing paintbrush, I try to remember:
I’ve been lower. It has hurt more. And I survived that. So I can survive today, too.
Chronic Depression & Anxiety isn’t about whether life is good or bad. It’s about the black dog, the gremlins in your head, the tar that threatens to drown you. It’s about the broken record in your mind that delivers negative message after negative message. It’s the absolute, unshakable belief that all the good stuff will fall apart any second. It’s imposter syndrome at its most vile.
I’ve gotten fairly good at drowning it out since the day I decided to stick around. It still plays, though. My wife is good at helping drown it out too, and I’m incredibly fortunate to be with someone who understands it so well.
Last year, Robyn and I both blogged for mental health month about what it’s like to live with, as well as to be with someone, with depression. If you’re interested, you can read mine here, and Robyn’s here.
And remember: if we don’t talk about it, the stigma remains. Ask if your loved ones are okay, and be sure to reach out if you’re not. The world is better with you in it. Really.