Darkness is an interesting concept. Darkness for me has nothing to do with how bright my environment is. Darkness is a feeling, an emotion maybe. Darkness is something I feel like I am constantly on the run from.
Being someone who grew up with depression and anxiety, not just for myself but within my family, the darkness is the bit that I associate with those things. Retreating to my room when life was all too hard to handle. The kind of darkness that seems to be inside you, and encompassing you and radiating from you.
When I was younger, depression wasn’t something that was talked about with kids, certainly not something that was so readily acknowledged in schools. So, more often than not, I believed I was the only person feeling that way.
Even now, the darkness is always there, lingering – and I flee when I feel it creeping up.
I was lucky enough to realise what all the scariness was and got myself a really great psychologist, who was able to teach me coping mechanisms that I now use on a daily basis. Sometimes without even thinking about it. Those coping skills are now second nature. I am so thankful that the stigma surrounding mental illness is decreasing. I know it definitely still has a long way to go, but it is getting better. The fact that schools are teaching and enlightening kids with information that is actually realistic, and trying to inform them that there are other options is just a start on what is going to be a really long journey. I think those coping skills should be being taught more in schools now.
Darkness is scary and can take your breath away. Darkness can feel hopeless. But if we can find just a little happiness in every day, the darkness seems a little further away.