Posts tagged ‘depression’

December 16, 2015

The silent assassin

Those moments in life you start evaluating the big picture and you just can’t think. You wish you could say you feel good and bad about certain things, but all you feel is a weary kind of melancholy. You wish you could feel sorry or angry or excited about things. Feelings you know you would feel if you were able to feel anything else at all.

The lonely sadness takes over and your life just doesn’t seem worth it. You start making a list of pros and cons of living and the list of cons just keeps growing bigger and bigger. That list feels true, while the short list of pros consists of rationalized things you have taught yourself to value in times like this. You really try. You give it all you have left, to survive. You know you want to live.

This too shall end and at that moment you will be proud that you once again beat it. That too is something you taught yourself. There will be no one there to pat you on the back. There will be no one there to tell you you did good. No one will celebrate this victory with you, because no one knows how hard this struggle is. Because you tell no one about this struggle. No one knows what it is not getting any easier over time. This is not the kind of thing that you get used to. This is the kind of thing that hurts more, every time it hits you in the face: It is still there and it will remind you of your pain and fears. It will. Year after year.

When you survive, it will give you some time to recover. It lingers in the back of your mind and at some points during your life you even forget it is there. You start hoping that this time you beat it forever. And then it hits. That moment you start hoping, it hits. The timing is impeccable and the damage it can do has a maximum impact. You were foolish and naive, but that really is the only way you know to survive. You need your hope to be strong enough once again.

You reside in your head and you regroup your troops, your coping mechanisms. One by one you use them. If it doesn’t work, you move on to the next, and the next, and the next… reminding yourself that you do want that chance at one more happy moment. Sometimes the battle is short, but most of the time it takes weeks, sometimes months.

You have so many blank spots in your memory, that were occupied by the fight, instead of by actually living, that it is hard to find actual memories of those happy moments, of you actually living life. The flat line your life becomes during those battles starts to feel comfortable. You can just act out your routines, go to your work, go to your friends… all the feelings are gone and you do not really notice what is going on around you.

You wish there was a place where you could hide from it all, but the only solution you know is to fight or end it all because no matter how far you run, it finds you. Even the safe spot in your mind slowly gets infected if you go there too often in the heat of the battle. You can create new safe spots. There is no end to this story. You can repeat all the steps.

And then, all of a sudden, there is this spark. A sign of beauty that fills your heart. You survived. Once again. You do not know how many times you will be able to pull this off, but this time you did. And you celebrate. Alone. But you celebrate. And no matter who you are.

 

***No matter what your battle is. I am proud you survived. I am proud you did not give up. You are not alone in this. Share your story with the ones you trust. If you do not have ones you trust, share it with the ones you do not know. Together we are strong.***

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August 15, 2014

10 days for a better world – day 6

Yesterday was an overwhelming day. After I published my blog about 10 days for a better world, I got a lot of reactions. Not just a few friends who read the blog and wanted to let me know what they thought, like usual, but a lot of friends and readers have been sending me messages the rest of the day, sharing stories and experiences. All those friends had one thing in common. They all have encountered psychical difficulties some time during their life, or are still struggling their own mind. You guys honestly made me cry. Your stories were so beautiful. I am so overwhelmed by the strength and beauty of all of you. I want to thank all of you for sharing your story!

Now, since I have been working pretty hard in between answering all those messages, I hardly had any chance to think about what to do yesterday. But as one of my friends rightfully pointed out in her message, you can even do something to better the world from home. And that is exactly what I did yesterday. I could have send a postcard to a random address in the phone book, or send an e-card to a friend who I haven’t seen for a while. I could have donated money via websites, or support a start-up or crowd funding campaign. I could’ve shared something on Social Media, to ask for your action for a cause. I did something else.

Urgent Action AppI am an active supporter of human rights and since I think it is important to protect human rights, I have the Urgent Action App of Amnesty International installed on my phone. One of the urgent actions is about Robert Yelemaken (16) and Oni Wea (21), who both got arrested and then molested for putting up graffiti for a free and independent Papua. Of course, randomly putting up graffiti can be seen as a crime, but there is never a reason to beat up someone with a rifle. Yesterday I sent an e-mai lto the Indonesian government to ask for the release of these students.

There are many causes that allow you to support them right from your living room. There are even organizations that are actively looking for internet supporters, like the Red Cross in The Netherlands. And there are plenty of petitions you can digitally sign in order to help lobbies for a better world gain more power against institutions that are violating rights or destroying our planet.

Now, last but not least, I want to thank you for sharing your actions and your ideas about these “10 days” with me. It inspires me a lot to read about your efforts and experiences. It helps me to find new ways of making the world a better place as well. So, please keep sending your story, via a private message or via a comment, or whatever way!

August 14, 2014

10 days for a better world – day 5

And so it goes. Yesterday was day 5 of these 10 days to better the world. And yesterday was a day that I unexpectedly was able to do two things that I want to share with you. One about depression, and one about surprising someone who had some misfortune. Let’s start with depression.

At this moment the theme of depression is quite ‘trending’. With a great actor who took his life because he couldn’t cope with the fight he had to deliver in his head, over and over again, the world is wondering how it can be that someone who makes the whole world laugh is feeling so sad himself.

Yesterday I read about yet another friend who heard she was suffering from depression. It always gets to me, because I know from experience what it feels like and though I know how to live with it, I also know that depression is something that will never leave you, not entirely that is. For some it works pretty well to use medicines, for others it is easier to cope with the feelings than with the idea of drugs in their bodies and the effect this might have. Both ways are fine. The most important thing is, that people with depression both need a lot of ‘alone-time’ and a lot of people who support them.

Supporting someone with depression is not an easy task, because that vibrant person you know might become the saddest person you know. And being sad or down isn’t really appealing to others in the long run. So as soon as I heard about her diagnosis, I send her an e-mail. An e-mail that basically said””I am here if you want me to, and if you don’t, that is fine too.” And though this might seem like nothing, like an empty promise, I know it isn’t. I remember how much the support that I have had in the past still means to me. I know who was there for me and did not turn his or her back. And those people I hold close in my heart, though I might never have actually used their help, they were there for me and I hope I can be there for them as well.

Gorge_Amphitheatre - Sasquatch! 2006 (Creative Commons)

Gorge_Amphitheatre – Sasquatch! 2006 (Creative Commons)

And then there as this other girl. A girl who was planning on going to a major multiple day festival, who bought tickets for the festival and for her flight and prepared her festival gear. 2 days into the festival she got ill and had to return home. I don’t know this girl, but via a friend she came to my attention. He told me a part of her story and I decided to cheer her up for a bit. I managed to arrange for her that she could go to another – a bit smaller – festival later on so she could at least get a bit of that festival feeling back. Yesterday all was arranged and the friend could tell her. He told me that she was very happy with this surprise and that she appreciated my random act.

So, there it goes. Yesterday was a day that made me realize that you can go for small or for big when it comes to cheering someone up. For the person who receives the gift, the most important part is that the gift comes from an honest heart. That the gift is accompanied by good intentions and is meant as a gift without expecting anything in return (in my opinion, a gift should never be a trading position).

It brightens up my day when I read your stories about your 10 days, so keep on blogging and posting about them and please send me a link or so, so I can read about your great ideas as well! Have a great day!