The Loneliness of Depression

moon flight

I don’t enjoy writing about depression. My insecurities rise to the surface as my innumerable failings are put on display. I worry that people will read my words and judge me. That I will be seen as weak. Or whiny. Or pathetic. In my mind, I am already giving myself a severe beat down, so sharing my tales to invite more opposing boxers to the ring feels like a seriously foolish idea. No one else could possibly understand the crazy sentiments racing through my mind. No one else could possibly relate.

But that’s entirely untrue. These kinds of feelings are rampant. Countless people face these struggles every single day, and too many of them lose the battle with anxiety and depression. They feel so isolated. Broken. Helpless. Hopeless. They put out the light before the sun has a chance to find its way through the darkness once more.

So even though I am embarrassed to share my struggles, I recognize that someone out there in this moment needs to know that they aren’t alone in theirs. That they aren’t the only ones feeling broken, destroyed, or terminally unworthy of love. That another person is in it, too, and that maybe there’s some chance that it can get better. That holding on is possible, and that sticking around is worth it.

It does get better. It doesn’t stay dark and heavy forever. And you aren’t alone in it.

You are absolutely worthy of love. You are not broken. You can make it through this.

If someone doesn’t get what you are going through, they are luckier than they know. If they judge you for being imperfect, well… definitely don’t sweat that because no one is. And if you feel like you are alone, drop me a line. But whatever you do, please don’t give up.

It won’t stay dark forever, you are stronger than you can imagine, and despite the way you may feel, you are never ever alone.

Big hugs to you.  Jo

***Thanks so much to Nancy Merrill for her clever weekly photo challenge prompt of from below.

Continuing to Live When the Life You’ve Planned is Lost

sand castle - bandw

You are going to spend your entire life with this person. Be able to hold this job. Live happily in this town. Recognize that these friends are kind and honest. Understand that the world may be a fickle place, but some certainties are unshakable.

Until they crumble before your eyes and there isn’t anything you can do to stop that from happening.

I have walked that road many times. Obtaining a dream job only to find that it was a total disaster (perhaps you have heard of Enron?). Moving to houses that were financial pitfalls. Learning that some people will go after you with no cause beyond simply bringing you into their world of misery. Being faced with devastating hurts in friendships. Recovering from the loss of trust in relationships. Facing the heartbreak of infertility and miscarriage.

When moments like this happen, our course of life forever changes. We once knew that our journey was going to include those places and those people, but an instant later, everything changes and those certainties that we maintained with unwavering faith vanish before our eyes.

When this happens, life can seem heart-wrenching and terrifying. We move from grief to rage to denial to total shut down. Maybe you go in a different order on those responses, but those reactions are common when life plans are obliterated.

However if we can continue breathing (and you can do this – I promise you it’s worth it), we will begin to heal. The plans that we had once believed to be set in stone were just a prelude to the real story that was yet to be revealed. When you lose these parts of your life, you will be led to alternate scenes, new characters, and completely different adventures that could not have occurred in the previous setup. Your foundation isn’t shaken but rather strengthened by these trials. While we likely would never want to repeat those painful experiences, time often proves that we can be better for having gone through them.

In this moment, I am so very sorry if you are in this place in your life and hurting within your soul. I wish with all of my heart that the pain would disappear and that the memory of this moment would go with it. Healing takes time, but you can survive it. Just keep breathing and keep going. Give hope a chance and let faith do its thing.

Your story is still unfolding and the best chapters are yet to come.

Much love to you always.  Jo

***Thank you Janie at https://authentically50.wordpress.com/2018/06/27/7-day-bw-photo-challenge-day-four/ for tagging me to participate in the 7 Day Black & White Photo Challenge. The rules are straightforward. Seven days. Seven black and white photos of your life. No people. No explanation. Challenge someone new each day.

I am tagging Shalini (a.k.a. Fablini) at https://bookreviewsbyshalini.wordpress.com/ for day 2 of the challenge. The post attached to this link is a beautiful poem that Shalini wrote a couple of weeks ago. She is a rockstar of a reader and reviewer, but I believe that she also has a book in her just waiting to be written, too. 🙂

As always, please know that anyone who is tagged should feel zero pressure from me regarding actual participation. Although I would always love to see your photos and read your posts, I fully understand that we already have plenty on our to do lists. Participate if you would like. Don’t if you would rather not. No worries either way. Just know that I was thinking of you. Much love! 🙂