What should we be afraid of?

The world is never black and white, if you were going to paint it any colour it would have to be varying shades of grey.  Varying is the key word.  Nothing is the same, no two people with the same mind, no one with identical thoughts.  Terrifying.  You will never know what is going on behind those smiling eyes planted on the face across from you.  What devilish, twisted thoughts do they hide?

It’s always grey though, as if the world has forgotten how to love, or more accurately how to love others.  Self-love prevails it seems. 

You only have to look at yourself to understand why you should be so afraid of other people.  Think about your darkest thoughts, the ones you hide in the deepest recesses of your mind, the ones you’d rather no one ever knew about.  Those secrets that will never be uttered out loud.  Then think about the thoughts a psychopath might entertain, and then follow through on.  If common perception is correct those thoughts, fantasies even, would have to be much worse than your own.

Why is it though, that our thoughts sometimes, perhaps more often than any of us would care to admit, stray into the deviant, into the psychopathic, into the deranged? What draws us to be so fascinated with the dark side every human contains?  Is it the constraints of our society that make us want to rebel against those that would try to control us? Or is it something more innate within our nature, that makes every human being capable of some heinous act.

If I were to ask you whether you would kill someone in self-defence, if it were a case of either you die, or they die, would you do it?  I can’t imagine a scenario in which anyone would say truthfully that they would lie down and allow their life to be unjustly taken.  If we are to take that as it is, then surely there is an argument suggesting all humans will kill in certain situations, perhaps that situation pertains to self-defence much less often than we might think, or want to think.  Surely, if there is one scenario where killing is acceptable to most, then there are others, after all, have we not all fantasised at least once about killing someone?

Perhaps I will come back to these points, but the bottom line is, when people ask, what are you most afraid of?  The only rational answer in my opinion, is people, because we can never truly know what motivates, what drives another person, we will never know what anyone else thinks about, what they fight with themselves about.  That makes people unknown, but if the only person you can really know, and therefore trust is yourself, then where does that leave us in a world where our survival is compromised by beings of our own species?

So, what am I trying to say? I’m saying be wary, because sometimes people that you think you know surprise you, and you have to remember that perhaps you never really knew them after all.  Or perhaps, you only saw what they wanted you to see.   People are unpredictable and that makes them dangerous. 

Living with Depression

Depression is different for everyone, it is a mental illness, and everybody’s minds work differently, so I’m sure that shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.  For me though, my depression isn’t something that is obvious to anyone around me, such to the extent that I have managed to keep it hidden for 5 years.  It’s not like how you hear in the media, that I had a psychotic break that lead to it, or something dreadfully tragic happened to my family and triggered it.  For me, my depression didn’t surface out of any one major event, but rather it is just something that is a part of me. Depression runs in my family, and evidently, I got the gene. 

There were triggers that made it worse, that made me realise that there was something wrong, of course, but I know now that the things that happened that caused my mental breakdowns really just brought these depressive feelings to the forefront, when I think really they were always there. 

My reaction to feeling like everything was spiralling out of control, like I had no purpose in life, like I was worthless, wasn’t to ask for help, but to put a strong emphasis on how together my life was, so that my friends would think that I was more than fine, that I had a perfect little life with everything figured out.  That could not have been further from the truth.  For me though, having other people believe that about me, somehow made it easier for me to believe that too, or at least it gave me motivation to keep going, to get up in the morning and keep doing well in school so that my perfect reputation wouldn’t be ruined.   

When it’s written out like that, I guess it seems sad that so much of what happened in my school life, I only really did to convince people that I was fine and normal.  Now I want to make sure I do things because I enjoy them, rather than for any other reason.  I called it ‘survival mode’ in which the focus of my life used to be just ensuring that I created a persona that would allow me to get from waking up in the morning to going to sleep in the evening, without raising suspicion that I wasn’t okay.   My mantra used to be, ‘this day has to end.’  Not exactly a healthy or appreciative way to live your life.  It’s not really living at all. 

Not everyday was dark though, I definitely had some really good times and some really good friends too.  It was just in those low moments everything that was going on in my head made me believe that I didn’t have anything good going for me, and anything good that had happened I somehow managed to make into a negative, where I saw myself as not good enough, clever enough, pretty enough.  Maybe it seems shallow to people who can’t understand, but essentially it felt like there was a black hole in my gut and every good feeling I was capable of got sucked in and I was left with an empty void, or just such deep sadness I hardly knew where it stemmed from.  I just knew I needed it to stop but I had no idea how I was meant to just miraculously become happy again.  Back then, I didn’t know it was depression, I just thought that something had gone wrong in my brain, that maybe I was crazy, and so I shouldn’t confide in others, because I would just become a burden. 

Now I know what it is, it’s easier to handle, because I know not to ignore the signs of a potentially bad day.  I can do things to alleviate it, or to lift my mood.  I have a network of friends now that know the truth and I can reach out to if I need to talk.  There are other things too, like exercise that I make sure I get time to do, because it makes me feel so much better afterwards, I feel lighter, happier and like I’ve really achieved something, which helps to expel any negative thinking.  A great example of that was just today, I woke up feeling pretty low, and then my sister was very off with me and I started doubting myself and blaming myself for her low mood, but I got myself out and did a class at the gym which made me realise that it was all in my head, and allowed me to get past it so I could enjoy my day and be productive. 

Sometimes, it’s simple things like changing the way you live, that allow you to lead a much healthier life, both in mind and body.  I have to make sure I take care of myself and my mental wellbeing so that I don’t slip back into old habits which harboured that negative thinking.  I talk to people and confide in them when it gets too much, I eat healthy, I do exercise at least a few times a week, and I have this, my writing which is an outlet I greatly need sometimes.  I’ve never been happier. 

I can’t lie and say that things aren’t still difficult, and there aren’t still points where it feels like I’m getting nowhere, and it’s always going to be this hard, so what’s the point?  The point is, now I have accepted this for what it is, I won’t let it own me, I have my process to deal with it now.  We fight depression because there is a life worthy of living, and for me that is how I get from today to tomorrow, having a goal in my mind of what I want my life to look like, and I know if I ignore my depression then that’s not going to happen, so I face it straight on. 

That’s how I live with it, with the knowledge that I will beat it.