depression, Uncategorized

A Tentative Dip Into A New Year

This New Year is one like no other for me; I can not recall ever feeling so alien at the beginning of a year. I can not recall ever not wanting to join in with the tradition of setting resolutions and having the ability to let hope fill my heart. I hope that this is the darkest season of my life.

Luckily, I brought in the new year with the guy that I’m seeing – he made Chinese food and we watched Big Mouth then saw the Hogmanay fireworks from the roof of his building, beers in hand. I still feel alive when I’m with him and secure and content. I get all the warm, fuzzy feelings and at the moment he is one of the things truly making my life bearable.

We have lots in common. We’re both passionate about self-improvement and helping others. Yesterday, we got sick of staring at screens so we meditated together then read our books, occasionally giving each other a stroke on the head.

If I hadn’t experienced lack of reciprocity in relationships in the past, I might’ve blown it already by spilling all my feelings onto him and letting romance run away with my head. As it stands though, I have kept my romantic cards fairly close to my chest. I don’t know what the future holds, if we even have one, but I know that I absolutely adore spending time with him and in that respect, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world™.

But I also know not to cling to a person or relationship like a life raft. As beautiful and amazing a person that he is, when I come home to my flat alone after seeing him, I am still faced with my problems and painful emotions. There is a very real part of me that never wants to leave when I’m with him, that never wants to go home and face those feelings or the reality of looking after myself. A part of me that wants to be around him forever because he reminds what it’s like for life to be easy and what it’s like to be happy.

But it’s not his problem that I’m in the winter of my life. Not long after we met, I internally compared him to the sun. His skin was golden and he was full of life. He made me laugh and brightened my day every time without fail. When we first met, I was also pretty full of life. I was dealing with the remnants of a breakup but I felt hopeful for the future. I was excited about my music, I was writing for an underground hip hop blog and I was going to be starting a new job and attending dance classes for the first time. I had things to say for myself.

So he was like an added bonus in my life. He bought me The War Of Art by Steven Pressfield for my 23rd birthday which temporarily changed my life. I became more productive than I thought possible. I looked back on my periods of lethargy and inactivity with a knowing smile – I’d conquered all of that. I finally understood.

My newfound understanding of resistance resulted in me neglecting self care and eventually led me down perhaps the darkest path of my life. I still don’t really understand how it happened. How I went from turning over a new leaf in my life and feeling the most empowered I ever had to having all that stripped away in the cruelest way possible.

I think this is why I’m finding it so hard to trust in the flow of life and its process at the moment. I really thought I understood. Now I’m scared to even pick up that book again because in a sense it was the catalyst for the worst feelings I’ve ever felt. Not that I’d ever tell him that, it’s a great book and his intentions were absolutely pure. It’s not his fault that I have a disposition for depression.

But when I say that book changed my life… I actually thought that he came into my life specifically to give me that book, like on a spiritual level, to allow me to transcend in some way. This is why I’m so heartbroken, so disillusioned, so bitter and distrusting of everything at the moment. How can I ever trust the way that I feel when something that initially brought me so much joy was somehow twisted into something so ugly and painful?

It might seem ridiculous that I’m attributing this all to a book. In all fairness, I did deal with a lot of changes prior to reading it and I guess a lot of unresolved feelings were building up in my subconscious and emotional body anyway.

I’m just in a foreign place at the moment. And not so long ago, I felt sure I couldn’t be so deeply submerged in a place like this again. So right now, distrust and uncertainty feel safer than their counterparts, which is leaving me in a strange limbo where new year’s resolutions feel dangerous and self help is something not to get my hopes up about.

I was a cynic for part of my teens. I loved existentialism and philosophy in general. I read J.D. Salinger, Sylvia Plath, Albert Camus and George Orwell. I thought, “what’s the point?” and felt proud of it because it made me feel smart. But now, saying “what’s the point?” doesn’t make me feel proud. It makes me deeply sad because I know deep down I am a positive, hopeful, loving person that wants to make other people feel that way too.

It’s just that the strength that needs to be mustered to feel truly hopeful this time is more than I’ve ever had to muster. I have never had more thoughts about self harm and suicide in a depressive episode than this one. I have never been so depleted. I have never so scathingly viewed options for self help as dead leads. But I do feel my sense of perspective slowly seeping back into my life. The problems I was having with chronic illness have now subsided which has given me a bit of space to breathe.

And there’s been one thing that stood out to me as being a glimmer of hope, aside from my plans to access counselling this year, and it’s a line from a book my Mam got me for Christmas:

“If we work only on the level of the problem, we can spend endless time working out each and every detail; and the minute we think we have it all ‘fixed up,’ it will crop up somewhere else.” – Louise Hay, from her book You Can Heal Your Life

For someone in their fourth episode of depression (I think that sounded less egotistical in my head), this really speaks to me. If there’s one thing I’m familiar with, it’s solving a problem and then having it crop up somewhere else not too much later. And while I’m not so impressionable to think the healing and growing process will ever truly be “over”, I would like to think I can get my tendencies for self harm and suicidal thoughts under control. And if going deeper into healing and identifying patterns from my childhood again is what that takes, then I’m willing to do that.

I hope everyone had a happy, content or bearable New Year and I hope 2019 has plenty of self-love, healing and joy in store! I’ll keep my fingers crossed if you do too! Thanks so much for reading.

– SMUT. ❤ xxxx



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