depressing words

Full moon over Osaka, July 2013
Full moon over Osaka, July 2013

Trigger warning for depressing content. You’ve been warned. Also a lot of self-indulgence, so um.. yeah.

“dying now would be such a waste of potential, because I still haven’t achieved what I want to do, and my list of things that I want to do is endless.”

A very good friend of mine said this today.

You have no idea how happy this makes me. Because sometimes, this is the same thought I have to keep myself breathing. To reminding myself that I’m not allowed to give up yet.

To stop the despair and loneliness from taking me.

Because it’s hard not to get caught up in the dark thoughts. In that deceptive, subtle darkness that whispers quietly in the night, “You’re useless. Let me replay this embarassing exchange. Let me make you remember those painful memories. Let me remind you of how much you have failed.”

It takes effort to stop them. To remind myself that I’m still alive. That I’m still breathing. And as long as I am alive, I can do the things I want to. And I have a lot of things I want to do.

The past few weeks have been quite hard. I know a lot of people have been talking about depression, but I didn’t realise just how hard I was taking it until I saw my friend tweet that, and I wanted to hug her tight.

I want to hug her hard, and gather all my friends tight and never let go.

Reading that tweet from her made me insanely happy. Gave me hope. Because it means that the darkness can be held at bay.

The darkness that haunts me, I’ve learnt to live with it. The purpose of my shadows is to remind me that I’m a candle. And the darkness isn’t a reflection of who I am, but the shadow of who I was.

I’m lucky that my darkness is light.

Someone once asked me, how do you survive depression?

I think it was in jest, but I remember giving the answer seriously, because right at that moment, someone I loved was breaking down, and I wished I could just hold her till the pain subsided.

“Survive the second, then survive the minute. Then you survive the hour. Then the day. And if that fails, start again.”

Sometimes, holding on and counting the seconds is all you can do. The storm passes, but it leaves you bruised, battered and cut. I learnt that sometimes all you can do is count the seconds, and then the minutes, and when you have enough, then the hours till the time comes for you to knock off and you can go home and stand in the shower and cry.

Or when you drive and you scream your lungs out to a song whose words you can barely pronounce to end the hurt.

Or you stand at the edge of a staircase and force yourself to breathe, to take a step one at a time, carefully, and gingerly, holding on to the railing, so you won’t be tempted to throw yourself off it.

The dark thoughts aren’t there forever. They can be banished. You can grow beyond them.

Reach for the light.

And if you need someone, you all know where to find me for hugs.

Please stay alive.

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