Thursday, July 26, 2018

The end of the story

“I'm an animator. I draw "funny" cartoons. I have depression. I am medicated.

That's my life.”

That was the start of this story. September 23rd, 2007. That's when this blog began. As you can see if you have happened across it, the blog has been dormant. And now it's finally time to accept that it's time to say goodbye. Why? Because I won. Because the story has a happy ending. Because stories can have happy endings after all.

This blog was always just one part of myself: an outlet for those dark times. The bad feelings. They're not the full story – outside of the blog, life was playing out. And I think that's something many of us do with depression. It is killing us and yet, when we can, we go about our lives and try to pretend it's not happening.

But it is. It can be slow. It can creep in. It can take over us and almost push our real selves away from who we are. I used to say it felt like I was watching my life through a screen. I wasn't fully in control. The life I was watching wasn't mine. I disconnected from myself... and everyone else. And that hurt. It physically hurt. There were times I felt I couldn't go on. I didn't even talk about it a lot here but I used to visualise my own death, my funeral. That felt easier sometimes than life, except for the idea that people would talk about me. I wanted one of those funerals you sometimes see in American movies where it seems like there is only around four people there. I got lost in thoughts of my own death. And maybe, just maybe, some day I would make it happen.

I did two things. Firstly, I asked for help. That was SO HARD. I should have asked for help so much earlier but I didn't, I couldn't. And when I did, I was barely capable of a whimper. But I asked nonetheless. And it wasn't easy, it was a slow journey but I got help. The other was the most important: I said “not today”.

Not today.

Today won't be the day I die. If I can hang on for just one more day, just one, maybe tomorrow will be better. Maybe it won't. But today is not the day to go. 

And you know what? It got better. I got better. I survived and I won and here I am and life is good. Life can be good. With help and time, we can all get through this. Oh sure, I have to be vigilant. I will never feel like depression isn't a possible part of my life but I know it now. I know what it is, I have seen it and stared it in the face and I know how to get through it. If it happens, it won't be easy and it will take help and time yet again but I know it can be overcome. It can be beaten.

And life gets better. Life gets better and our ability to see life gets better. Our ability to feel the good gets better. Our ability to feel love gets better. Everything gets better.

For me, things have been better for a very long time. Life is good. I won. The story has a happy ending and that's the end of the story of this blog. It's done.

If you have stumbled across this old blog because you too are in a dark place, know this: there are happy endings. If you feel you can't go on, if you want out, if you find yourself thinking about your own death, I implore you to please make me this promise: not today. Whatever happens from here, just not today. Do whatever it takes to get through today. Just one more day.

I don't know you but I believe in you and I love you. We're all capable of wonderful amazing things and you are no exception. It can be so hard to see that. It can be painful. And yet it's true. You are wonderful and if you get through today and you get help, there will come a time when you can see it clearly. Things will get better and maybe you'll write up your own happy ending. Your story can have a happy ending. Give it that chance.

Love to you all. Thank you to everyone who was with me on my journey and everyone who stopped by along the way. You have all been amazing.

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