You Can Come Out of a Dark Place

Sometimes the news hits harder than ever. The world can be a dark place.

I don’t watch the news. I only read the stories I want to in papers. I’m ignorant of many happenings in the world. But it works for me. It keeps me feeling okay and that is the point.

This week I’ve been drawn to checking the news regularly to read about depression and Robin Williams. I want to share the helpful resources I find with people through social media. It feels like the right thing for me to do to help reduce the stigma attached to mental health.

Depression is horrible. It’s a dark and lonely place to be. Thankfully I never reached the point of thinking about taking my own life. But I definitely had long periods of wishing I could just sleep until it went away.  I wanted to be saved, but needed to save myself. I wanted to be left alone, but also wanted people to want to be with me. I had to let a lot of things and people go in order to recover. It’s hard work every day and maybe I’ll never be recovered fully, but I appreciate everything it has taught me about myself. I am in a good place right now and making the most of it. I am not beating myself up daily, but there are definitely behaviours that do not help with depression and vice versa – binge eating I’m looking at you.

The news of a fantastically talented individual taking their own life is beyond sad. It is a reminder that depression can affect anyone and we should not take someone’s situation in life for granted. We should also not be afraid to ask for help and pursue it. It takes internal strength when you have nothing left to give to take each tiny step forward. I won’t say it’s easy, but it is also not impossible.

Back in 2011 I thought I had everything I wanted, and yet I was not happy or motivated. I wasn’t sad either, but more life defeated and didn’t see the point in anything anymore.  I was constantly comparing myself to others and letting my thoughts be fact about everything in my life. I looked for ways to change myself and my situation, without knowing what was wrong or what I wanted. It’s taken 3 years to get to where I am now and it also took going further into dark places to climb back out.  I’ve taken leaps in this time also – news jobs and homes – and learning when I make mistakes to be kind to myself even if I’m on my own.

This week has highlighted how shocking mental health still is to people because we don’t talk about it. If anything comes from this week’s news I hope that it gives someone the courage to ask for help. There have been lots of tributes that have been wonderful reminders of what a talent we have lost, but we also mustn’t forget the families who are affected so much.

My blog has gone beyond sharing my travel adventures into somewhere I hope I can help other people if they stumble across it. Some days the thing that can light up my whole day is a simple retweet of something I’ve shared on Twitter.

I retweeted the Academy’s tribute this week and now have mixed feelings about it. It was touching and poignant, but also could be mis-interpreted. I don’t want anyone to think taking your own life is the answer to anything. There is someone out there who can help you even in your darkest times.

Please call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 if you have any suicidal thoughts or just need someone to talk to.

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