This may be a little all over the place but in the coming days and weeks I’ll make the picture clearer.
This week I shared something with my friends that I never thought I’d be able to share with them. I opened up and admitted that I have suffered with depression for the last 8 years. It’s really only in the last 12 months or so that I’ve really, truly, begun to get a handle on it, to the extent that I feel stronger now than I can remember feeling since I first became depressed.
I’ve thought long and hard this week about whether to share this on my blog. In truth, inbetween telling my closest friends and adapting to knowing that other people know, I’ve felt myself mentally exhausted. I’ve struggled to add a single word to any of my creative projects and deep down I know why. It is because I need to put it out there.
The biggest victory right now is that I don’t have to act or pretend anymore. My friends have all been wonderfully supportive. I still need to tell people outside of my closest group of friends but at least I now know that it will happen as the foundations are in place.
Really it’s that point about not having to act or pretend anymore that is the most important. At this very moment I feel uncomfortable and vulnerable, two emotions I’ve readily felt in the last week. But here’s the thing, I understand and recognise those emotions, I know they are perfectly normal and acceptable for where I am right now, and I also know that they will soon fade as I assimilate to the new state of play in my life.
This past week I’ve taken to following the words of Emerson: Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.
Of course there is more I want to say, more I want to talk about; my journey through depression over the years, the effect it has had on my life, the destructive coping mechanisms that led to job losses, debt, the spectre of suicidal thoughts, the crushing loss of personal identity, the utter terror of being labelled crazy and stigmatised. But also, I want to talk about the journey back, the rediscovery of myself, my happiness, pride, hope, joy, inner love and peace. But all of that, all of that can wait because this week has been a week of first steps, and this is but one more step forward on a journey that, for the first time in many years, I am excited and enthusiastic about.