I've been feeling a bit blue which seems to be a yearly routine now for me during the holidays. I was lurking reddit and reading about people also experiencing depression, anxiety, and other difficulties stemming from many different personal circumstances around this time of the year. I've always been a nostalgic person and I remembered TTL today. I never really talked about depression & anxiety in depth with anyone in real life, much less friends. It would still feel strange to talk about it and hear the words come out of my mouth. This was the first community that I was ever able to reach out to in my teens when I started having feelings I couldn't quite understand much less know how to deal with. I logged in to look around the forums and see my old posts.
When I was in my teens I've always believed that I had no reason to be unhappy but the process of changing that way of thinking began here. I'm a little bit stronger now than I was 8 years ago when I first visited this website. I'm able to cope and stand on my own.
I'm not always happy nor am I unhappy. I don't particularly feel positive nor do I feel alive in the sense that I'm pursuing happiness or goals, but I'm living and that means there's a chance that I will, someday in the future. I am able to enjoy or live in the present more now, even though I don't feel like I'm doing anything for my future.
My family is not perfect but I've accepted that. My teenage years did not turn out how I hoped and it was a rocky ride to graduation. I wasn't sure I'd be able to graduate until the week before but thankfully I did. I didn't end up going to university as I always thought I would. I have a decent job working night shift where I don't feel miserable.
My social life is fairly dead. I don't really go out much at all. I'm not meeting anyone new or making any friends but I do hang out with one particular old friend once every few months. I've gotten out of touch with so many people and screwed up a lot of friendships by not replying. It's just sometimes I feel too exhausted to socialize. I don't speak much and I still have difficulties with groups & social situations.
I've been in some relationships that didn't really work out for various reasons. It hurt a lot! I never thought I'd even be in a relationship but I'm glad to have experienced it despite the pain. I was able to get through it having learned how to cope with unfamiliar feelings.
Despite these things, if anyone asks me, I'm genuinely
okay and not just lying about it anymore unlike before. I've maybe started to feel a little detached but I'm not numb and I still feel a little hope instead of overwhelming despair. It's like a little fire that won't go out.
I'm able to draw strength from knowing that people go through similar situations that I have and how they deal with it. Some amazingly brave and strong people striving through even more difficult situations I could never imagine. It's heartwarming to read about people overcoming these things. Even more so, the empathy and kindness of total strangers offering advice, personal experiences and kind words. It's amazing to me. It was thanks to this community, where I first found these things!
I'm not good with words (it takes me a lot of time) but I hope someday I have enough fortitude to give the kind of support I've received from different people to someone else who may need it in the future.
Merry Christmas everyone and thank you!