So, you’ve pulled yourself out of the hole. But now you’ve realized you were much farther down than you thought. You’re standing on a ledge, holding onto rocks. You’re trying to keep yourself from falling back to the bottom of the hole. When you first got to the ledge, you were ecstatic. It felt so good to no longer be lying on the cold mud at the bottom of the hole, with no sun and no will-power to get up. You were scared, scared no one would notice you were at the bottom of this hole. Scared everyone would go on without you. Scared you would never feel the sun on your face again. You felt so alone. Then, you finally made it to this ledge, and it felt so good. You could finally catch a glimpse of the sun and hear people talking. You finally felt a little less alone.
But now you’ve been on this ledge for awhile, holding onto these rocks and now your hands are starting to blister and your feet are starting to slip. You’re screaming for someone above to help, but no one is bringing you the right tools to get out. “Just climb a little more,” says one. “It’s not that hard to pull yourself out!” says another. Now you’re even more scared because at any second you could tumble right back to the bottom of the hole. You’re starting to realize that you actually ARE alone because no one above understands how hurt you are and how exhausting trying to climb out of this hole is.
But here’s the thing, a few feet over there is someone else in a hole, on a ledge, feeling the exact same way you do. There are holes with people in them all around you. You are so far from being alone. Even though your brain wants you to feel that way. You are so much closer to the light than you think. To you it seems like miles but in reality you’re only a few good pulls away from the top.
This is how it feels when you’ve beaten the darkest part of your depression. You’re terrified that at any given moment you’ll relapse and go back to that scary, dark place. You’re scared because you know how awful that place is. And this time, you’re not sure you’ll be able to make it out. You’re angry because from now on you’ll have to spend every day of your life focussing on fixing your mental health. It’s ridiculously unfair that you feel this way, it is. But now that you have consciously decided to better yourself, you won’t relapse. You know the signs and you can feel when you start to slip. You’ll catch yourself, I promise. It’s going to be hard to spend the rest of your life continuously climbing up and working on your mental health. It’s not fair that making sure you treat your brain right is going to be a daily thing now, but it’s who you are, and it’s what makes you…you.
And so now you’re in the sun with the hole behind you. The hole will always be there but only to remind you of how far you’ve come and how strong you are.