Some days I wish anxiety and depression were more apparent.
Because it’s easier to point at a bruised arm than a bruised mind, it’s easier to call in sick when you’re running a high temperature than explaining that your soul is cold and numb.
Because no matter how much I wanted to tell you how I felt, words never sufficed. From the depths of my mind to the tip of my tongue, thoughts were almost always lost in translation.
I must confess, as much as they trick the on lookers in to a comfortable oblivion, depression and anxiety are more apparent than not. But, to put it in terms of Matchbox 20 lyrics; “but stay a while and maybe then you’ll see a different side of me”.
Depression and anxiety scream in every self deprecating joke, dismissal of emotions, deflection of affection, razor scars and smoke stains, lonely afternoons and muted days.
But if you allow, you’ll find the right words and understanding in the strangest places. In conversations with strangers, lyrics of a song you had long forgotten, a random phrase graffitied on to a wall, a flower shop, a pet, a book, a hug – you’ll find comfort, understanding and acceptance in all these places. And if you’re as lucky as I am, which I hope you are, you will have a few who would stick around long enough to see through the cracks of your smile and know that you aren’t okay. And the best of the best will stick around even after to walk with you till you are okay again.
A friend once said, “For every mean word someone threw at you, I’ll tell you 5 good things”. I didn’t believe her; of course I believed that she would do so, I just didn’t believe there’d be truth to what she would have to say. But she stuck around and celebrated every good and and bad day alike. She stayed by my side through every breakdown, relapse, and every single time I picked myself back up.
We had known each other for long before we actually re-connected. We reconnected over the words of Jamie Tworkowski and through him, the words of Matt Haig. That was enough to know that she understood exactly what I was going through. Incidentally, this friendship led to me leaving the house to socialise for the first time in almost a year. Little did she know then that it was a huge step towards recovery.
This is for the books the understood us, books that knew us, books that saved us. Because, even “if you feel too much” you’ll still have “reasons to stay alive“.