It is very rare that I find myself at a loss of words to console people. My entire life I have been the go-to person to help people out, give advice and encourage. I love this job of mine, but it seems to be that everyone is having an exceptionally rough time right now. All my peers are struggling to find stable happiness in their lives and everyone is stressed. The weight of the world is on everyone’s shoulders. Suddenly everyone at once has awoken to the fact that the rest of their lives start now. This is so much pressure. It’s terrifying to think about life. Existential crises are crippling my friends and everyone seems to be experiencing a rut. Some people are merely stressed, whereas others are breaking down and cracking under this anxiety.
I used to suffer from depression. The past few months, however, I have been in a really good place. I was sitting with an old friend in a car when they broke down telling me how scared they were about their future, and I realized the roles had been reversed. I suddenly saw what it must have been like to try to lift me up when I was down during my rough patch of life. I almost felt guilty, that for once I was the one full of life and everyone around me seemed to be suffering. At a loss of words but with a mighty need to help them, I turned to writing to express to everyone how much I love them, and how much it is going to be ok.
I am sure everyone is sick of hearing “it’s going to be ok” when it most definitely does not feel like it will be ok. When the world feels like it’s closing in around you and you don’t feel like you can take it much longer, that’s when it’s important to remember that it’s not the end. When I was depressed and people told me that there’s light at the end of the tunnel, I found them to be most annoying. It’s not a comfort when someone says “it’s ok” so often that it’s lost meaning. So, although I want to remind everyone that it will be ok, a message that might mean more to everyone is this: keep going. After four years of losing interest in holiday excitement, of feeling out of place, of being sad, I am finally in a good place. It took time, and it took tenacity. If you get out of bed every day and face the world, that is the first step. Waking up and walking out the door into what feels like a life of mundanity and/or pain is brave. And it is essential to reaching that light at the end of the tunnel everyone refers to.
These bad feelings and negative energy are completely validated. Your problems are your own, and no matter how bad someone else might have it, your problems are significant to your own life. If you need, allow time to feel the feelings you have. Reflect on what is necessary. As long as you do not dwell and keep putting one foot in the other, eventually the bad place you’re in will be behind you. This is not an easy thing to do, understandably. Sometimes situations are truly out of hand and cannot be changed. Sometimes it requires a total attitude shift. But one thing is for certain: as you keep trudging through the metaphorical field of disaster, eventually you’ll have to turn around and be proud of how far you’ve come. Even if there’s a lot more field ahead of you, you’ll feel better knowing that you’re still working. The exhaustion of waking up every day and hating what’s going on around you is real. It’s not easy, it will never be easy. But it is always possible to overcome.
To all my friends, and to all strangers: I am proud of you. I am always here to listen, to hug, to be a shoulder to cry on. Whatever is needed, I promise to stick around during the low points of your life and to celebrate with you as a high point enters the picture. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for you.