I talk so damn much about the demons of mental illness and the shadows where those demons hide. Yet what I don’t say nearly enough is that wherever there are shadows, there must also be light.
I say this because so often people might only see the darkness of the shadow. Demons definitely want to keep our attention on the darkness. Yet if we simply turn around, we will see the light that is casting that shadow. The light can be something in our lives that we are grateful for, a support system that we have, whatever. The point is you can’t have dark without light and you can have shadows without light.
Sometimes that light is dim and distant and hard to see. Other times, if we take a second to look, the light can be blinding in its brilliance. Yet when we only ever look at the shadows, we miss the light altogether.
I say this because I know there have been so many times that I missed the light because I lived in the shadows, dragged down by my demons, by the darkness of depression and anxiety. I look back with sadness at all the light I might have missed. Yet it isn’t my fault, any more than any other illness is anyone’s fault. There are bad days where the disease knocks us down. Yet I still get back up. And that in and of itself is a source of light. Whenever the darkness tries to claim me, knocks me down and drags me through its shadowy realms, I can turn and see the light of my past recoveries and it can help illuminate the way out of this latest trip into the shadows.
And that is bright news indeed.