After an almost lethal 2012, when my depression was at its peak and I had to make great efforts for every tiny positive thought, efforts that almost mentally killed me, I had an amazing 2013.
The best part is that I have learned how your life can change dramatically for the better if you don’t give up looking for answers, if you don’t settle for what you have if it doesn’t make you happy.
I can now say I was at war and I won. It was hard, probably the hardest thing I had to do in life: to extract myself in one piece, safe and sound, from all the misery that built up in my mind years after years, until I almost lost myself.
I did this on my own, not because I had to but because I chose to. It seemed easier to be alone in this, to take baby steps on a safe path than to have one thousands of hands pulling me out aggressively or thousands of mouths telling me what I should think. I knew I needed to discover what to do and what to think, in order to defeat depression. The fight with depression is an one on one fight, no one can fight your battle for you. Knowing you have someone waiting for you at the end of this road is good enough.
This is how my depression unfolded, in 2012:
1. I was miserable, I was only seeing the miserable things around me, I was making miserable all the people around me. It wasn’t easy to be like that, because I am happy and positive by nature. Dealing with so much negativity made me even more miserable. On the side, I kept going to work and to the gym, making myself pretty every morning and now I wonder how the hell I pulled all that up.
2. Every now and then, between episodes of misery, I would realize it is not ok to be sad for such a long time, I would admit the reasons of my misery were stupid, I would engage in all sorts of activities, lovely activities in order to change my mood. I started learning French, travelling compulsively, working on a project, writing a book, writing daily posts on my blogs, hang out with only great people (good part of this misery is that I filtered my friends, I decided life is to short to keep around people that annoy me at one level or another). I didn’t finish anything I started and there were weeks after weeks when I didn’t see anybody, not even the nice people I kept around. Luckily, they were the good kind and waited for me patiently, without pressuring me or judging my need for solitude.
3. Daily anxiety eventually led to insomnia. After two months of not sleeping, zombified and all down, both physically and mentally, I ended up at a psychiatrist. With the right treatment and lots of therapy, I finally had more answers than questions, I could put my finger on my problems so I could finally start working on solving them. This is still work in progress, but now at least I know what I am doing, I am not lost in clouds of negative thinking anymore.
4. Now, for quite a few months I am feeling myself again. I have normal reactions to most of things, I still snap out of the blue but not as often, after all, even if I am on happy pills, I am still human, I have good days and bad days, just like everyone else. But I am happy to be able to enjoy the small things, which in 2012 I wasn’t even able to even notice anymore. And by small things I mean a sunny day, green grass, good coffee, a good joke, a nice plan I weave in my mind.
So 2013 started with me an insomniac and continued with me giving up on treating myself with love, hobbies, trying to change the train of my thoughts etc. and seeking professional help.
From that moment on, the year has been spectacular! It is amazing how many things you can do when you don’t have to fight depression every day, when you don’t have to repeat to yourself at all times: “it is all in your head, life is good, snap out of it and carry on.”
I continued my life in Romania on a different note: I went out, I read a lot, I did massive progress with my novel. I only travelled once and it was a great trip because I was in a great state of mind. I started a relationship and it was a huge step forward for me, because it was the first time I got involved with a man, in fact, it was the first time I dated a man after I left Canada in 2011. And no, I didn’t date women for a change.
Even if I wasn’t as miserable as the year before, I still didn’t feel I was in the right place in Romania. So I moved to London and you know the rest, as I gave some details about my life here in my previous entries.
The main reason why this year has been so great is that my mind is clear. I now have room in my mind for all range of feelings and emotions, without forcing anything, I am getting better at displaying my feelings, I still don’t like people to touch me and I still need my space from time to time, but hey, that’s me!
I am nice just because I am, not because I know I have to be. I am more empathic and I have this need to help as many people as possible, to make a difference. I still don’t know how to do it but I am working on it.
I am reading more and I am understanding more of what is happening with me and around me.
I enjoy every second of my days and nights, either I am out, having fun, or under the duvet, with my mind strolling, or in the park freezing to death or sleeping and having a good dream or even a bad dream. At least I am dreaming!
I have started to make some plans, I didn’t set any deadlines for my personal projects yet, I think it is better to take baby steps in my life post-depression, just like I did in my life with-depression. I am feeling like jumping a few steps ahead, since I feel I am a bit behind with my life, but then I realize it is not worth it. I am not competing with anyone here. It is just me, myself and I and the most important thing is to keep myself healthy and happy and to make the people around me happy as well. And I am proud to say I am doing a pretty good job at the moment 🙂