Content warning for strong depression themes, mentions of suicide

It wasn’t until the last couple of weeks, that I was fully able to comprehend that just getting through life makes you a survivor.

I’ve been struggling with depression and anxiety for years and years, and it came to a head earlier in 2023. I’ve missed so much time with my friends, at work, and with my hobbies over the last couple of months especially. Last week, I began the third attempt at finding a medicine that works to alleviate my depression and anxiety, but it’s proven way more difficult than I’ve expected. And when paired with an intensive course of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, it’s been incredibly difficult to work myself out of the pit my brain has dug itself into.

There’s a lot in my life to be grateful for. Firstly, and mostly, my partner Jon, who has helped me during the hardest times, especially as a shoulder to cry on and being able to listen to and help me realise when my brain is trying to fuck me over. My work for being able to give me the time off I need to focus on myself, as well as the access to psychology to work on what needs to be worked on. I’m also incredibly grateful that I have many good friends and community that will accept me wherever I’m at.

I cannot overstate how exhausting and draining it is, when a voice in your head is constantly criticising and berating you for not being good enough. Telling you that the people you love the most are going to turn on you and desert you. Convincing you that you’re not good enough and you’re actually a useless piece of shit. Shouting at you that you’re a waste of space and, actually, the world would benefit greatly if you kindly removed yourself from it. That you deserve to be punished and to fail.

Every second of every day, every little thing I do, my brain is constantly keeping me vigilant of how I’m messing up and not doing the right thing. It points out every micro-expression on every face of every stranger I pass, that they know that I’m terrible and they’re judging me, how I look, how I dress, how I act. I’m goofy. I’m ugly. I’m speaking in a weird way. I’m acting awkwardly. It. Never. Stops.

This is the director’s commentary of my life. It fucking sucks. And it turns out this is not normal! And only now it’s being pointed out to me and I’m confronting it, do I realise quite how awful and draining it is to have to listen to this so much. It makes it so much harder to go about my day. I constantly have anxiety attacks about everything coming to a head and have darker and darker thoughts. It makes me want to isolate and hide myself from the people around me in order to protect them. I see myself as the problem.

I don’t know what the solution is. I don’t really know when things will get better. And to be honest, there’s been times where I’m convinced that this is all I’ll ever be and won’t be any healthier. But I’m trying to crack on with the process. I’m still in therapy. I’m still trying to find a medication that works the best for me. I’m doing my damn best to do right by Jon and all the wonderful people around me. I hope that, by acknowledging and processing the constant barrage of self deprecation and hatred of myself, I can start to recognise it as the irrational rubbish it is and stop letting it control my life. Because, as long as I’ve known myself, it has. So many of my major life choices, hobbies, friendships, have been guided by my internal monologue telling me I’m not enough and that I’m a fuck up. And I want to stop feeling like that.

I’m sorry for not being present, for stumbling so much on this journey, for not showing up for the good people around me. I’m trying. I hope one day I will succeed.

I will continue to survive.