I refer to my depression often as demons, as darkness. And I am lucky that the demons, the darkness, haven’t visited as often, thanks to the help of medication and therapy. Yet they aren’t gone altogether, and sometimes the darkness creeps back in.
It can happen slowly. So slowly you don’t realize it is happening. Despite all the mindfulness you try to practice, you nevertheless still miss the creeping darkness, sapping more and more energy each day until you realize you’ve been disengaging bit by bit in ways that you don’t like. And once the darkness has crept in, it whispers its lies so expertly, making it harder to push yourself forward to go to work, to be present around the house, to do all the things that normal functioning adults have to do.
And it is frustration, I mean so incredibly frustrating, when you realize that the darkness is there. It feels like after tall the time you’ve spent in recovery you should be able to prevent this, even when you know better. You can tell yourself that mental illness is just like any other chronic illness that has no cure, that it will still resurface from time to time, which is true, but nevertheless, you feel like a failure.
Yet what the creeping darkness can’t take away is the support system. It might try to lie to you, tell you that you are just being a burden to them. But there are so many people out there that want to connect with you because of you who are, a you that isn’t defined by your creeping darkness.
And remembering this and turning to your support networks, these things can help you push that creeping darkness back to the shadows where it comes from. It won’t be gone altogether, and emerging from the darkness will take time, but each time you do this, each time you bounce back, you can be reminded that you are stronger than your darkness.
And you are stronger than it. And so am I.