This evening, I sent three emails. Two to friends on the other side of the world (Hello Liv, Hello Ahmed), and one to someone coordinating school talks for authors. Writing those three emails felt like the biggest accomplishment, and for someone who has actually accomplished things, that’s a really dumb thing to say.
But unfortunately, that’s how I feel. And that’s because I am currently trying to evade the clutches of an old foe, and it’s taking all my energy once again to go up against it.
I say once again because this foe tortured my life for most of my 22nd and 23rd year. It was a rough time, when brighter days seemed so far gone and when the future seemed bleak and scary, hidden behind a thick fog that consumed all my thoughts and all my senses. But I made it out, and each year without that torturous foe in my life was wonderful. Wonderful because I had lived real sadness and real despair (albeit all in my head), and without it, I could appreciate everything and anything.
I feel compelled to share this with you to explain my absence, because when I relaunched this blog earlier this year I had such high hopes for it. I was committed to it. I had resolved all my past issues with blogging and for the first time in a long time I had found an angle that worked for me. And it worked for some time. And then I disappeared again.
Some of it was for editing – I can’t blame everything on this current state of mind. But then I finished my editing and other things happened, and slowly I found myself descending into a downward spiral of despair. And it sucks, because I have so much to do, so much to look forward to, so much to write about.
But I can’t. I can only sit and stare at things, and urge myself to do stuff. Today it was three emails and two posts to instagram. And trust me, those two measly tasks took all the energy I had.
They say that comparison is the thief of joy, and in my despondency, I am wondering if my use of social media is somewhat to blame for the way I feel. But I don’t know for sure. I didn’t have social media before, so maybe I am just prone to this sort of ‘illness’. And, I might add, I am by nature a champion of people doing great things, because I am inspired by other people’s achievements (hence some of the segments on this blog). But when everyone’s life is out there on display, it’s easy for us to ogle. And when you’re going through some major life changes (for me its parenthood, and the fact that I will be 30 next year), and you feel like time is moving so fast and you are standing still, it’s easy to get a little overwhelmed by the fact that you won’t ever get to where you feel you should be.
But that’s the problem. It’s all feeling. Even though everything is great on paper, and in my mind I know there’s nothing to feel lost or sad about, I can’t help the way I feel. And I feel like the clinical depression I was diagnosed with at 22 is back and dragging me down and away from everything positive. And I really don’t want to let it.
But it is strong. Still, I take solace in the fact that I am not the only one going through it. And even though it makes me sound like a ‘booey’, I feel the need to talk about it. To break down the stigma and the taboo. And to explain to you all that the promises I made about sticking to this blog aren’t being broken at my will – but by a forced hand of something powerful and scary that we so desperately want to understand.
Winston Churchill called his a black dog, but I liken my foe to a grey cloud that rains dire thoughts on everything in my life. And I have a blessed, full life. I’ll keep on repeating this internal monologue for as long as I have to, but I am desperately hoping that my cloud has a lifespan much shorter than a big scary dog. I hope it has the lifespan of its namesake – a short burst of rain on a dreary day, or the temporary dampness of a winter that you know will soon turn into spring.