Happy?…Happy.

“Everyone goes through a period of Traviamento – when we take, say, a different turn in life, the other via. Dante himself did. Some recover, some pretend to recover, some never come back, some chicken out before even starting, and some, for fear of taking any turns, find themselves leading the wrong life all life long.”
― André Aciman, Call Me by Your Name

This blog has felt transitional for me, it sparked something that had been growing for a long time but never surfaced in the way that I wanted it to, but it’s broken ground now and beginning to blossom, and that makes me happy. Which is scary because happiness has never really come easily for me. I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety for a long time and it’s always clouded my perception of happiness.

Before I knew what ailed my mind I just thought that I was feeling blue, typical teenage angst, that I was having a bad day, except that bad day lasted around 8 years. It was easy enough to think that everyone else felt this way too or that I would happen to wake up one day and things would be different. But that’s not how it goes, and habit remained.

If I were to release a memoir that chronicled this period in my life it would include chapters like:

  1. Waking up sweating.
  2. The slow crawl of dread.
  3. My own self worth? Never heard of her!
  4. How to overthink every minuet detail about me, my job, my friends, my family, and everything else in 10 seconds!
  5. Worst Case Scenario? You fucking bet!

My memoirs being 5 chapters long also sounds about right.

‘Intense and overly dramatic!’ says The Guardian.

‘Welcome to Cynical Island, Population: You’ said Karen Walker! (sidenote: who else is super excited for the return of Will & Grace?)

So normality was nothing short of a daily drudge through murky waters. Most days hung heavy, like the pressure you feel in the air on a hot day before the break of rain. It’s not the easiest thing to open up about (self deprecating jokes help) but it feels cathartic to. In the same way that travelling does to people who are over worked and need a break, it’s freeing. 

This post isn’t for pity or attention but as part of my own healing process, because I am healing, and that’s the important thing to remember with any mental illness. Every day that you wake up and carry on living is another day you are fighting against the weight of depression. The more you acknowledge and accept the problem, the easier it becomes to deal with it. Not every day is a walk in the park, sometimes it’s far too easy to regress into that void inside you because it’s familiar and oddly comforting, but that is when you need to be at your strongest, because no matter how hard others try to help you, the fight starts and ends with you. I like to think about the good days when I start to fall into my old habits. The days when everything seems more vivid, as though the colours around you are suddenly full of spirit, they’re living and breathing. These days are so clear because they are so few and far between, but so worth it when you have them, because you know that it is possible to be better.

When you experience those days, you find ways of holding onto them and bringing them back. Everything starts with you. Instead of belittling yourself you start to build yourself up, and when you do, you realise that it’s not the end but the beginning of something so much better. Healthier.

I wanted you know me a little better than before, maybe this blog will become a bit more personal to those who follow it, and those who stumble across it because I did just enough social media marketing to get it noticed, who knows…

…I’m happy to have you here.

Andrew