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When I Wonder If Living Through Anxiety and Depression Is Worth It

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Is living through depression and anxiety worth it?

I often ask this question when I have fallen into the low bout of my depression and anxiety. At one point, it was not a question. I was sure it was not worth it. Three years later, as scheduled, the question pops up again. This time it has less power and less volume. I still hear it out. It is a tough question because we are never certain. Like Steve Job once said, “You cannot connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.”

With this in mind, I grabbed onto my lifelines: memoirs and social media gurus who have struggled and found light at the end of the tunnel. I held on to them for the hope that was quickly escaping me. If I could not connect the dots forward, and be certain it would be worth it… I would take their stories as confirmation and hold it close for dear life.

During the three years of being lost, then found, then lost, then found again, I experienced some pretty memorable moments. I got to climb Mount Fuji at night and at the summit, see the morning light shine on the clouds below us. I dipped my hand in the most beautiful blue water of Lake Louise, wondering if there was a way to somehow encapsulate this water and keep it forever. I got to go on a Robot Surfer yoga retreat to Costa Rice and wave to a white-faced monkey who waved back. During these awe-striking moments, I would breathe in a sense of gratitude and the same thought would pop up unprovoked:

If I had killed myself when I wanted to, I would never have experienced this moment.

Years of fighting against, I have collected these moments in my head. Including smaller ones: rebuilding a relationship with my parents, becoming a yoga teacher and being given love I was convinced (at the time) I did not deserve. Like Jackie Kai Ellis said in her memoir, “The Measure of My Powers,””If there was any difference between you and me, it might be that I have the benefit of the past: evidence.”

The moments I shared are my evidence… evidence that the mind can lie to you when you are sitting in the hopeless grasp of depression. In those moments, I could never have imagined my life to be as it is now. Oftentimes, life can surprise you and show you a world better than your own mind can imagine. If you are feeling hopeless and think that could never be me, it can. I am proof, and there are many others sharing their stories as proof. It won’t be easy at first, there will be highs and lows, lots of long hot showers, but you will get stronger. So stick around, and see what happens if you keep going.

This story originally appeared on Medium.

Photo by Juan Morales on Unsplash

Originally published: September 3, 2020
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