Written by Lola White
When the opportunity came up to write a blog post for BKO I jumped at the opportunity. I had a clear vision in my head of what I wanted to tell people, and what experiences I had and wanted to share. However, when it came to putting words to paper I hit a brick wall.
It’s a daunting concept, to expose yourself; putting parts of yourself you are not comfortable with out there for the world to read. There was one driving force that kept me going however, and that was if my experiences could help just one other person then it would be worth all the tears I would have shed writing this.
There are many topics I could cover in this post, but I think the one that is almost easiest to talk about is depression, because it is the one I am most comfortable with.
I was diagnosed with depression and put on tablets when I was 18. Some of my past demons reared their ugly head while I was trying to support another friend in need and found I just couldn’t cope with everything that was happening at once. I didn’t take them very long, which was silly because they were actually helping me. They were bringing everything slowly back into alignment, and just before my 19th birthday I stopped taking them because I had to start paying for the prescriptions, which meant it was harder to hide from my family. Do not do this, speak to your doctor before you even consider halting the treatment, I cannot stress that enough.
About a year and a half ago, (I was 25 at the time), I was in the worst place I have ever been emotionally. Sometimes, like most people, I can pin point the situations or circumstances that are causing me to feel disheartened, down, depressed and upset. Other times there is just this feeling, an overwhelming terrifying fear of what I call dark drowning. I am sure there is a more technical term for it, but having never really spoken to a professional about it, I don’t know what it is called.
It’s a feeling of absolute despair that nothing I do is good enough, everything I do is wrong, and there is no point in me trying to carry on when I fail all the time. It is a feeling that makes you believe that no matter how hard I would possibly try and fight against it, it would slowly consume me and pull me in and suffocate me. So what would be the point? I might as well just give up. Hopelessness.
During this period it got so bad. I was self harming at least once a day, and I actually wrote my suicide note. To this day, I still have it saved on my computer. I wasn’t sure that I was going to use it at the time, but it made me feel better that if one day I had decided that, that day would be my last, there was something there waiting for my friends and family to read. To hopefully give them a little insight into how I was feeling.
Then one day after reading a piece of fan fiction online I decided to leave a comment for the author to read. She replied quite quickly and soon messages were flowing back and forth daily and an easy friendship bloomed. Her fan fiction story was touching, and it contained a lot of what I was feeling and what I could relate to. I could tell she had an understanding about how I was feeling. She doesn’t believe me, (we have been friends just over a year now), when I tell her she saved my life.
I guess what she really did is made me save myself.
Seeing how she channeled her creativity into writing made me want to find something I could do to channel what I was feeling into. I started doing fan edits of my favorite TV program, I started writing, I started to take pictures again, and the best thing I found was that I was enjoying it.
First I would show her what I had done, what I had taken, and soon I was showing friends and family (more the pictures than the writing). Slowly, a tiny bit each day, I could feel the darkness receding and small pin holes of light started the shine through the black. I woke up in the mornings and my first thought wouldn’t be whether today would be my last, I found I was self harming less, and I actually felt less tired even though my sleeping pattern was terrible. It’s been rubbish since my operations, but I sleep even less when I am in a particularly bad place.
I was living again, for the first time in months, and it felt like a lungful of fresh clean mountain air.
There are many things you can do, but play to your strengths. Don’t do something you know is going to frustrate you, bore you, or make you feel like a failure. Here are a few suggestions of activities:
- Read a book
- Write a story or in a journal
- Dance with the music turned up really loud
- Sing as you dance, or just sing!
- Paint anything you want. Try expressive painting, but try to paint what you feel.
- Exercise by hitting the gym or going for a run
- Meditate using a guided session online or just by sitting quietly. Push aside each negative though that enters your mind and fill it with happy memories or dreams (make these attainable or you will just make yourself feel worse)
- Go for a walk with your dog (if you have one or borrow a friends), with a partner, with friends, or just by yourself. Discover new areas you never knew were there.
As for me, the darkness is still there. I don think I will ever be able to escape it now. I can feel it all the time just stirring beneath the surface waiting to take full advantage of any small tear it can find to spill back out and try to consume me. I know it will happen at some point, it almost feels inevitable.
The difference is I know I have a few things I can turn too to help me fight it. I can open my laptop and write about a world I can escape into, one of my own designs and has its own rules. I can go out for a long walk with nothing but my camera and take 100 pictures of the same leaf on the floor until I get the shot I am happy with. I can scroll through pages of pictures from my favorite TV show and edit them into something that I have created and molded to tell a story.
But my friends who know that I suffer with depression, will happily sit there with me while I cry, scream, shout, or simply just sit there with me. They are always the ones that keep me striving to see the next sun rise, and without them I would not be here today. They provide me so much support, and it is important that you feel you have someone to talk to as well.
“We are the keepers of Shadows but we have the power to be the wielders of Light.”
-quote by me!
All my love
Story posted with permission from the writer