I feel grateful, firstly for the opportunity to be in this position to pursue writing passionately. Secondly seeing the first part of this series being greeted so warmly, can’t stress enough how good it made me feel. So decided to make this a weekly thing, a series not just about writing but about battling depression and anxiety.
What they don’t tell you
You might heard the expression “You never defeat your demons, you just learn to live with them.” But they don’t tell you, it never goes away. That feeling of guilt, that anxiety of the constant pressure from the smallest of things that presses your heart and contracts your mind, making the breathing inconsistent, putting you down so much you just find yourself on the bedroom floor crying, unable to find the reason to get up. The harsh truth here is, it never gets better. One day you will get up, go by your day, make coffee, go to work and perhaps you will just find yourself sitting down and realising you haven’t thought about the crap that puts you away in that tiny box of thoughts. But some days… It will come creeping behind the curtains of a sunny day, deceiving the perception of potential happiness. So the harsh truth no one dares to tell you? It never gets better, but you do…
Pity instead of understanding
You heard the stories. Some of you knew the tales from first hand, be it personal experience or losing a loved one. It’s difficult to open up, even to someone we love, trust or know for a long time. I did the same mistake, opening myself to disappointment. You expect not a shoulder to cry on, but someone to have your back, someone to listen, someone to understand. How many of you, like me, got the whole known response of pity, heard the good ol’ “depression ain’t real, just don’t feel sad all the time!” The world and the people in it can often be disappointing. What you have to understand is… There are us who been through what you might be feeling now, you ain’t alone, don’t be afraid to reach out… Because we do understand…
You can’t please everyone
I talked about the imposter syndrome, how it always keep coming, making you doubt every written line and it’s quality. But haven’t touched on one thing. When you start this journey, becoming a writer, you post your work (be it a book, a blog or a tweet) for everyone to see. You expose yourself to everyone and their feedback. Sure, you are well aware that the negative words and connotations are inevitable. But you never are really prepared for its impact it can have on the already broken mind. I spoke before about my good friend and one of the first things he taught me is this. You can’t please everyone. If hundred people read your work, be ready that at least tenth of that won’t like it. The most important thing is this. Whatever you write, write for yourself, not for others. If you are proud of what you wrote, people will rally behind it, they will see the soul and heart behind the work you left. And feedback? As authors we need it to grow, take it to heart, correct your mistakes and grow. But distinct real feedback from malicious words of ill intent.
If you are just starting or even if you are as me for quite some time in it, rally behind this amazing community of writers. I got to admit I was sceptical, afraid and somewhat hesitant of reaching out to my fellow writers. As a depressed introvert I still find it hard to reach out and talk to people. But believe me, they will not disappoint. These people are the most amazing and supportive you will find. You will find friends and allys in your journey. And they know well what you are going through. Same as with the struggles of depression and life, the struggles of the writing path you don’t need to walk alone. There are always people willing to help.
A note of gratitude
I enjoy this, perhaps I am using it just to vent out, say the words I couldn’t usually say out loud, but I want to believe it’s more then that. A manifesto, a note to all that might feel same as me, that they ain’t alone and perhaps they can find solidarity in these written words. I want to thank you for taking your time to read it, the support you provide and the amazing work you do. I found joy in poetry that I wrote often here, joy that battles hard with the heavy thoughts that come knocking. It’s a daily struggle, but realise this. If you have the strength to survive those thoughts on a daily basis, you have the strength to fight back. All of you have the immense strength inside you and never forget that.