A thousand tiny stars

It feels like I have been fighting for so long. To be strong, to ‘not let it get to me’, and to keep doing what I do. But last night, I realised that the only way out was to stop fighting it and finally give in.

Fighting depression is like fighting quicksand: the harder you struggle, the worse it gets. The more you try to push through, the harder you try to turn things around for the better, the more it sneaks up on you. It pulls the rug out from under you. And the harder you fight, the worse the breakdowns get. The darker the world seems to become. Sometimes searching for the light is the one thing that brings out the darkness.

I’ve become accustomed to hiding away, to not talk about it, pretend it’s not there. I wanted to make sure people wouldn’t feel awkward, strange, or worse, unaccepted around me. My whole life I felt like I didn’t fit in like I didn’t belong. And that’s a lonely place to be. It’s the place where you start to crave attention, love, and acceptance from the wrong people: The asshole boss. The shitty boyfriend that claims your body whenever he feels like it. The friends that you try to belong to. And even the strangers that have an opinion. You internalise it all, desperate to find that one light that tells you, you are ok, that you belong.

I can’t say or pinpoint the exact moment where my mood went dark, where the light started to seem like a faraway dream. At some point, I thought that this was just me, my personality. The mood swings were part of it. Dark periods, lighter periods. All ebbing and flowing like the sea. Replacing each other so smoothly you can’t find the edges. Sometimes with such violence that you don’t know up from down anymore. It all blurs together in one swirl that seems all-consuming.

It was only when I accepted the darkness, when I started being ok with not being ok, that I started to see the light. Not just the stars, not just the sun that had been hiding behind the clouds, not even the moon, but the lights closer to me. The friends that text me asking if I am ok. The hugs that sweep me off my feet. The sleeping dogs on my lap. The old people smiling at me during my walks through the city. The friends that kept giving me pieces of their lights, knowing I couldn’t return at that moment, and still gave it anyway.

I was so busy fighting, I didn’t see it. And once I stopped, I noticed their light and how it had kept the small fire inside my soul burning.

Sometimes healing is not about fighting the darkness on your own. It’s sitting in the darkness until you recognise the light showing up as stars that are not light years away anymore.

And you realised, we are all made up of a thousand tiny stars.

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