Christmas can be a really hard time of year. While some people are celebrating and spending time with family, others are struggling with finances, loneliness, or lack of things to look forward to.
My friends know that for the better part of a year, I’ve been battling depression. It’s really hard to explain to people who have never felt it, but mine comes in waves of quiet, empty nothingness which totally clean me out, leaving me stranded and gasping for air.
It became so bad that I would sneak off to the toilets at work and cry several times a day; Not because I was sad, but just because that was what my body was doing. Leaking. A lot. It was totally irrational, and weird, and a bit scary.
I knew that when I started thinking things like “there’s really no reason for me to exist,” “my life is exceedingly pointless,” and “I wonder how I can just make the world stop”, I needed to see a doctor.
It’s been a mixed bag since then. I suppose I was expecting drugs to be a cure-all, and they are not. That’s okay, life is a journey, right? But I am getting better, little bit by little bit.
Sometimes you reach a milestone, where you stop for a minute and take stock. Today when I was driving home from work, I saw a little old man walking with a little old woman – a scene that would usually have me thinking about the futility of love and aging – but I felt peaceful. I felt like in that moment all was right with the world. I felt entirely like myself again. It’s my own little Christmas miracle.
But it also got me thinking about those around me who I haven’t told about my journey. I’m ready, and I think it might help others who are struggling.
If you are suffering from depression, anxiety, dark thoughts or maybe a deep and abiding emptiness; Know that you’re not alone. Know that it can, and does, get better. You need to be very brave, and talk to a doctor or a trusted friend. Please get some help.
The holidays can be a battlefield for those of us who fight against the darkness, so arm yourself.
You are not alone.
24 Hour Telephone Counselling via Lifeline: 0800 543 354
For more information on depression, see depression.org.nz
Everything must change
There’s a mirror showing me the ugly truth
These bones they ache with holy fire
But I’ve got nothing to give, just a life to live
If your world is without color
I will carry you, if you carry me
Every little thing’s gonna be alright