The Silver Lining

Silver LiningSometimes, things start to work out when you least expect it. You find yourself doing things that make you happy. You find yourself living life the way you’ve always wanted to, and you love that it’s not only possible, but actually happening to you right now.

I look back on a few months ago and I don’t recognise myself. I went to a party last night where two of my friends commented that I seem to be in a really different place that I was at the start of this year, when I last saw them.

I’ve tried to pinpoint what’s changed and I’ve come up with a few things.

– I have come to accept that I live with depression, and that it’s not the end of the world. I’m starting to accept that I have good days, weeks, and months and bad days, weeks and months. Rather than trying to figure out what I’ve done right or wrong to make me feel good or bad, I just accept it as a side-effect of living with depression and just try to ride the low points.

– I’ve started to stand up for myself and I’ve stopped changing my behaviour or appearance to please other people. I used to tone myself down in front of other people, especially in work, to keep on the good side of everyone. Now I just accept that some people will like me, and some won’t. There’s no point in dwelling on those who I don’t please and instead I focus on those who enjoy my company, and like me for who I am. On my most recent job, I found myself censoring myself so as not to out myself as gay. I’m never going to do this again.

– I’ve met someone who just gets me. They don’t want me to be different, tidier, more of a morning person, less emotional. They like me exactly as I am and it makes all the difference in the world, being with someone who doesn’t want to change me.

– I’ve finally realised that I’m never going to fit the norm and that the consequences of that means that some people don’t approve of my lifestyle choices. Rather than agonising over this, I now appreciate how lucky I am to be able to live how I want to without suffering consequences of poverty and poor living standards. I’ll never be rich, but I’ll be comfortable and happy.

Taking 3 months off from life was the best decision I ever made. At the time it felt like the world was going to fall in, but the consequences of switching off for a time taught me the importance of free time and having fun.

Living with depression is not something that I expect to go away. I was working towards an unidentifiable endpoint at which my depression would magically disappear and I would be cured. I realise now that this was extremely unrealistic and idealistic. But i can live with it, and living with it has led me to making choices that make me extremely happy. So it’s not all bad…

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