It was this poem on Pinterest that reminded me of my own demons recently, amongst the flurry of family life and the ever so delicate balance of career, blogging, passion pursuits and a life of meaning lurks the anxiety and depression. It has been this way for many years, more than a decade to be precise. It is familiar, accepted and also greatly feared, which may seem like a bit of a contradiction. How can she be so familiar and accepting of something so awful, so destructive? Good question…
Those that know me well could answer this, it is all about self care and keeping an eye on the positives. Yes my anxiety and depression were borne out of tragedy, but that has not stopped me from relentlessly pursuing the lessons and applying them to my now. It is sometimes exhausting, always requires discipline, and the past still haunts me. It also motivates me to live a life that honours my greatest loss. It is the reason why I strive to share as openly as possible, so that as many others as possible feel less alone and are able to hold onto hope.
At the time of my darkest depression I did not have much support, I suffered in silence and came very close to giving in to the relentless pull of my darkness. Since the steady and constant focus on my own recovery I have become passionate about ensuring that as many others as possible are not alone. The stigma is still all too present, the conversations are still too hushed and there is a lot more to be done to support those living with anxiety and depression.
If my words and over sharing reach only one person in their darkness each time they are released into the world then they are worthwhile. If my mix of positive messages and darker moments remind only one person that they are not alone, then I am one step closer to fulfilling my purpose in this life. Anxiety and depression are real, they just are. They may not be outwardly visible, yet they can do just as much damage as any visible illness, trust me.
Yes my blog is pretty, I do prefer a lot of light in my photos, and my home is mostly bright and filled with JOY…remember though that lurking behind my online world is the reality of my offline world, and it is not always this pretty. I have nothing to hide, keeping it real feels right for me and I know that it is slowly making a difference to the way that the world views those of us living with a mental illness.
Thank you for being here, and for supporting me to keep it real! xx