In The Shadow of The Darkness

I am fortunate. I am fortunate because I have a support system, and a therapist, and access to medication. It is still far more of a challenge than it should be, with plenty of headaches along the way, but nevertheless, I consider myself lucky and I hope that I can spread some of that luck to others through this site by letting them know that they aren’t alone, that there are options, and that it can get better. But sometimes, even if you escape the darkness, a shadow remains.

In my regular therapy session yesterday, I realized just how far I had come. It doesn’t necessarily seem like I have changed for the better, but when I looked back at the choices I made and the state of my mental health 5 years ago I can see real differences. There is still work to be done, but sometimes it is good to look back on the progress, which can be so slow that you miss yourself changing.

Yet I also realized how many habits I had formed when I was in the darkness of depression and anxiety without any help. And even though I now have more good days than bad thanks to all the help I’ve gotten, those habits remain, like a shadow of the darkness that once was.

Breaking habits can be the hardest part of recovery. At least it is for me. These habits have formed like protective barriers around my depression and my anxieties and trying to form new, healthier habits expose those anxieties again. It is a one-step-forward-two steps-back approach that is exhausting.

Yet mindfulness of these habits and a plan on how to change them is an essential first step, which is why yesterday’s therapy session was so beneficial. Now I just need to be lucky enough to find the motivation to form these new habits.

Oh, and one last reason I consider myself lucky, the continued readership of so many of you. Thank you!


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