Today I’m doing something that terrifies me, something I’ve almost done so many times before. There are a few things I need to say, and I need to say them where anyone can see. For a little over a year now, I’ve let anger and depression dictate how I live my life. Maybe even longer than that, depending on how you look at it. Even worse, I’ve been so afraid to talk or write about it that I haven’t done much other than stay quiet and isolated. I’m very good at cutting myself off from the world at large and falling into safe, familiar ways of living. If I could only pick one lesson that I’ve learned during that time, it would be this: keeping my darkest thoughts locked up and pushing people away when I need them most will only make the problem worse.
It’s not enough to make the same excuses over and over again, finding new ways to push my problems under life’s proverbial rug. Besides, the dust under there already…
I’ve stopped short of writing about this in the past for different reasons, but I can only hold back so long when I feel something in my gut telling me, ‘You need to say this, for you.’
I’ve been afraid that others might judge me for using this space to talk about my struggles with my mental health. After all, this is a website that’s supposedly here to present my views as a writer, a place to talk about stories, and it wouldn’t it be a bit strange to get on here to talk about my personal problems? But that doesn’t matter; it’s my blog, so I need to stop worrying about that. I’ve been afraid that people would see this as a cry for help or some attempt to draw attention to me. I know that it’s not either of those things, and that’s what matters. If no one ever reads this post, that’s fine with me–I’m here to write this out, because I’m tired of swallowing this poison.
I struggle with depression on a day-to-day basis, but that doesn’t mean I have to devote half of my energy to hiding it all the time. Some days I can almost completely forget about the demons I carry around in my head, which is more than some people can say. I’m not trying to say that my life is bad, because I know I have many things to be grateful for, even on my worst days. I’m engaged to a beautiful, caring woman who knows me better than anyone on Earth, and I’ve had the support of friends and family for as long as I can remember. I know how lucky I am. I haven’t been the best version of me lately, and I know I can do better.
I already feel relieved, just knowing that I was able to sit here and type these thoughts I’ve had roaming through my consciousness. And I don’t intend to make posts like this a regular occurrence on my blog; quite the opposite, I intend to start devoting more time to this site and begin filling it with worthwhile content. I’m sure it won’t be as easy as I would like, but that’s always true when it comes to my writing. I seem to always find new ways to challenge myself, but I keep running into the same problem. I have a hard time letting go of setbacks and failures, and I readily assign blame to myself at the first sign of struggle. The new challenge has to be to push myself and be ready to forgive.
On a similar note, I’ve decided that I need to stop filtering so much of what I say and worrying about how I say it. It’s too much work to re-read every little thing a dozen times and second-guess every word I write. That kind of self-censorship isn’t benefiting anyone. I have more than enough material that’s waiting to be mined, but it’s up to me to write in a way that’s true to who I am. No one else can make me, and no one should have to.
Before I wrap this up, I want to apologize to all of the people that I’ve been pushing away. Whether I had a reason or not, it wasn’t the correct way to handle the situation. I can’t say that I won’t make the same mistakes again, and I can’t say I’ll always be the kind of person that I want to be. I can be more open and honest, though. I owe it to all of you, whether you’re reading this now or you’ve long since given up on me. I know this won’t erase any of what I’ve done, or what I’ve failed to do. I know that I need to say it anyway. I am sorry for all the lost time, for all the promises I’ve made and not kept, and for failing to give back the love and support I’ve received.
Life is full of opportunities, and I hope I’ll have a chance to repair some of the damage that’s been done. As always, thank you to everyone, whether you’ve stumbled upon this post or you’ve visited here before.
(And, I swear, I’ll be posting on here soon about the status of my stories and give some idea of what I’m planning to do next. I have a few different ideas, and I’ll be discussing them with an eye toward getting some feedback about what people might like to see here, what they would read, and what sort of content they’re just not interested in.)