I’ve been hibernating, and I think it’s time to wake up. Winter has nearly passed and the temperatures are slowly starting to rise (as is my level of happiness). But I’m going to take a more personal route for this four-month-overdue post; I’m going to share a bit of my very own darkness.
We all have our dark parts—the sadness, the fear, the anger, it can all seep through. And I feel like the winter season is when we perceive ourselves as vulnerable to letting the darkness overtake the light (because we all also have our brilliantly light parts). This winter, I felt my darkness like none other. It woke me up every morning and accompanied me to bed each night; it joined me at breakfast and sat with me as I ate dinner. There were days where I gave into it, but most days I was merely inundated with fear. I was scared of my darkness, and that made it all the more powerful.
I’ve been an anxious person ever since the age of fourteen or so—but I always thought it was just another facet of my personality. It wasn’t until a year ago that I realized I showed signs of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and since then I’ve been grappling with this idea that within my own mind lies something that can debilitate me, something with such power over my life. I know what it’s like to carry a sense of doom around, to be scared all the time without even knowing what you’re scared of. I live it, constantly. But out of this new revelation about the state of my mental health arose a new fear, one of fear itself. I don’t want to be anxious; I don’t want to be depressed. And because I know what it feels like to hit such a low, I am terrified to go back there.
When the holidays had passed and winter truly rolled around, I tried so hard to protect my delicate mind. It’s the season of sadness, after all, and that’s exactly what I feared. Everyone tends to think of their mind as some fragile antiquity—myself included—and that’s ultimately where I went wrong. I have a mind filled with happiness and bright lights, but somewhere in the back there is a darkness, just lurking, waiting. And instead of facing it or letting it be, I tried to hide from it. It has taken me way too long to come to the realization that I am strong and I am not afraid, but I am (and so are you). Yes, there will be days where I can barely get myself to leave my bed and days where the world seems drained of its exuberant color, but those days do not last forever. We can endure them.
Do not fight your darkness, rather, find the strength to accept that it is there and just let it be.