So, my theory is this – Everyone travels thorough life with their own personal struggles: their own demons. – My demons are depression and anxiety. They whisper to me in the dark recesses of my brain. My demons are constantly telling me that I’m not good enough; I’m not pretty enough or smart enough; I’m not thin enough; and I’m not kind enough. Basically, the mantra they repeat over and over again inside my head is that, no matter what “it” is, I’m not good enough at “it” or for “it.” And life is hard enough. Life is hard enough without these demons in my brain telling me I’m a failure. Telling me that I’m weird and awkward, and that nobody likes me. So every day I fight my demons. Some days I lose. Some days I’m not strong enough to silence them, and I lose myself to the lies they are telling me. I can’t get out of the house. I can’t write or read or watch TV or talk to friends or do anything that makes me feel like a normal, functioning human being. On those days I hug my puppies close. I hide under the covers. I pray. I cry. I fall apart. And those days suck. They are hard and unforgiving, and if my life was full of nothing but those days I would have given up on it a long time ago. Once I tried to explain to my mom what those days feel like.
“It’s not that I want to kill myself,” I told her, “It’s more like, it feels like…like things would be better if I just died.”
And that’s the truth. On those days living is so hard and hurts so much that not being alive sounds like the better option.
But then I have the other days. The days where I’m strong enough to beat my demons. Where I shove them into the very back of my mind, and I tell them to shut up and to stay where they are and let me live my life. And then I’m okay for an hour, or a day, or a week. Sometimes, if I’m lucky, I’m okay for months at a time before the demons get strong enough to break out and take over. And it’s during those times – when I’m in control of my thoughts – those are the times when I’m really alive. I can enjoy life. I can have fun with friends. I can just be me without worrying if being me is enough, because during those days, I know it’s enough. I’m happy just being me. I can do the things I love, and actually enjoy them. It doesn’t take everything I have just to get out of bed. I can go on adventures and participate in crazy shenanigans. I can throw all I have – everything I am – into just living my life. Those are the days that make my life worth living.
When I can’t fight anymore, and I give in to the sadness and anxiety, I can cling to those good days. I can cling to the memories of good times with the people I love. I can hold on to those things. They help me fight in the darkness. They help keep me sane. But most of all they remind me that things won’t always be like this. That one day I will wake up, and I won’t have to convince myself to get out of bed. One day I’ll wake up looking forward to the day. And that day – that day will come; no matter what lies my brain might tell me. Those days are like the full force of the sun breaking away from a solar eclipse. One minute everything was dark and there was no hope, but the next minute I feel the sun soaking in to my skin. Its bright rays have chased away every shadow of doubt, and I can live my life again. Those days, those days are worth it all.