Monday 3 March 2014

Hello Darkness My Old Friend

Okay, serious post time.

In a recent post I spoke of how someone's online persona is never a complete reflection of their true self yet that doesn't mean they are a fraud, and about there being things that I chose not to give away online. 

But the truth is, in some ways, I guess I can be considered a fraud.

I write of positivity, being silver, seeing the light in every day, when... I'm your classic example of someone who seems to be able to give great advice to others, yet completely unable to take note of it themselves.

You see, part of what makes me able to have this perspective on life of which I am so grateful for, yet simultaneously makes me a hypocrite when I actually preach it, is because I have known, and always will know, the dark.

It was in one of my first ever blog posts that I wrote in detail of how I was first diagnosed with depression (I warn you, it's long and pretty heavy) and how I came through the other side.

But once you've known the dark, you can never truly be free of it. 

It's kind of like a deep cut that will always remain delicate- at first it bleeds and bleeds and you don't think it will ever stop, but then eventually it heals. From that day on you can be happy and healthy, but you will always have that scar, and every now and again when you least expect it, that little wound opens up again, and catches you completely off guard, and the process has to begin again.

I don't think I'll ever be as badly affected as I was the first time round - I am lot stronger now, in a much better place and (I guess quite sadly) I am now quite familiar with how it works. But that doesn't stop that creeping little sensation every now again, like I could actually look down and watch a shadow grow across my skin, and feel the darkness begin to rest its weight against my heart.

And recently, after a long time of feeling radiantly happy, I can feel it again.

Or perhaps that's not the right analogy, it's not a new presence that creeps back - it's more like a draining absence. A sudden feeling of empty 'Oh.', that you can't quite remember what it's like to be excited about anything, like you're going nowhere in life and you can't remember where you used to think you were going, like all and everything just has an unavoidable tinge of pointlessness about it. 

And all for seemingly no reason at all. 

It's fucking terrifying. 

And the most frustrating thing about it gripping me right now, is that things couldn't be really going better. I definitely don't want to sound ungrateful at all, but it's like the darkness takes the things that you used to be so proud of or so excited about and just says 'So?' and the smile fades from your face as you realise how suddenly foolish you now seem.

And the tiredness, dear god, the tiredness. 

This thing doesn't just drain your mental energy, it drains your very life's vitality, and there are days where I can wake up, look at the grey sky out the window, and feel so disheartened that I pull the covers right back over my head again and pretend I'm just a grizzly bear that woke up from its hibernation too early.


 At the same time as being a hypocrite by writing about happiness and light... by being hypocritical, I'm proving to myself that I am not. 

I'm proving myself wrong.

What makes me a hypocrite is because most of the things I write on Scarphelia are things I can only wish to actually understand myself... but these words are not just made up. 

I'm not lying when I write these things. 

These things come from the heart, and by actually writing it down, writing as if to offer advice for someone else to read, I know that deep inside of me somewhere, there is a part of me that knows that it's true. There's a part of me that truly does believe in the things that I write, even if the vast majority of me seems impervious to it. 

And I've come to realise that that's the key. 

My therapy, my defense against the dark, is writing of the light. 

When I first begin to write one of these posts I am a liar, writing of how one should love being alone when I've just been in tears because I've felt so lonely, or writing of how one should ignore fashion and wear what they want when I've just been poring over fashion blogs with mixed envy and sadness that I don't look like they do. 

But during the process of writing, I transform from liar to learner, and I come full circle emotionally to end up in the place that I was just writing you should always be in. 

Writing for others helps me to help myself, because I think really, this vague, all-encompassing 'you' I seem to direct my words to, is as equally the reader as it is a part myself. 

 As though it is one half of myself talking to the other, explaining how I should feel, what I should do. The rational side of me saying 'Come on, you're better than this' to the completely irrational side. 

The darkness receiving a lecture from the light. 

And so I guess what I'm actually trying to say here is... thank you.

Thank you for allowing me to teach myself how to heal, and thank you all for listening, reading and sharing your stories too. There is genuinely nothing more reassuring (however selfish it sounds) to know that there are other people who are going through the same thing too, and you're not alone.

Even now, I began to write this post because I felt myself becoming consumed by the darkness again, and now, at the end, I feel I've learnt to become whole again. To be at peace with it.

But most of all, I've learnt how to restore the balance.

So that for the rest of my time, I will tread the path of my days between two other sets of footprints, hand in hand, with the light on one side, and the dark on the other. Understanding the importance of each, knowing one can not exist without the other, and with a peaceful grin, coming to terms with the knowledge that the interactions between the two of them, is the very fabric of life itself.


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