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'Hello Darkness, My Old Friend'

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It’s there again… that clenching in my throat, that intruding feeling that something is wrong. Sudden shame and fear comes over me like a cloud. I recognize it and I know what it is and it sits heavily upon me.

It’s a disappointment that it shifted so quickly today. Just this morning, I made the acknowledgement that this week was better than the last three. Did I jinx it? I didn’t even realize the change until I said aloud to myself, “I feel good today,” and inside the voice replied back, “but for how long?”

Now, I sit at my desk with the recurring stages of my anxiety and depression creeping back. I pull out my medicine tablet box and take down my daily pills with aggression, almost willing the feelings out of me with each swallow. While the medicine is not a cure-all for me, it helps tremendously, along with therapy and support from my family and friends.

Anxiety and depression are my quiet, unwanted companions that cause so much turbulence and struggle in my life. While I still may not know why I have been dealt this hand, I have come to an understanding of what it is that I need to fight for.

When the fog lifts, for a day, a week or sometimes longer, I laugh, I live and I love even harder because I do not know how long it will last. Those are the moments that are worth everything to me. Would I wish my anxiety and depression away? Absolutely. But at the same time, would I appreciate these other things as much as I do without a mental illness? I don’t know; so I continue to fight.

When the light goes dim and I feel the shadows, I acknowledge it, I sit with it. I simply say, to quote Paul Simon, “Hello darkness, my old friend.” Do what you need to do: make me stronger and then fade again into the background again. You see, I have some very important living to get back to.

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Getty image via Marjan_Apostolovic

Originally published: January 17, 2018
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