My Journey Through Madness
I learned an important lesson when I was younger and it still holds true today. Holding in your thoughts and emotions can have devastating repercussions. Especially when you hold onto negative emotions, such as shame and wrath. They tend to sludge up the works, and eventually can lead to creating an internal environment that’s too toxic to live in. This is the point where I’ve fallen into some deep depressions.
I’ve found from personal experience that it’s much harder to come back from that type of place. Honestly, once your there, you don’t really care about improving, you just want to survive. Each day is a struggle, and every minute can be a painful reminder of the past.
Luckily I have a great support system and while I’ve had a few of these periods in my life (the longest being half a year), I’ve managed to climb back out of the void.
I truly believe that three things keep me going, and help me maintain some semblance of balance.
- A support system of some sort. None of us can make it through life alone. This is a lifeline, when your floating in the dark. It doesn’t matter if the people that help you are family, friends or some sort of support group (in person or online). The fallacy we tell ourselves is that “They will judge me”. Some might, but the ones that truly care for you, will help support you as long as your trying and communicating with them.
- A purpose, something to fight for. If you don’t have a reason to fight, then you won’t. For me being a husband, dad, teacher and writer makes me refuse to give up. When I am stuck in my past and fear has me by the throat, I have a reason to live.
- An outlet for the buildup up of mental sludge that comes daily. This is something that I think everyone should do. I think it’s healthy to have a way to express yourself daily. This can be anything that allows you to get your thoughts and emotions out of you. For me its writing.
When Need Overcomes Want
That’s why I write everyday. Sometimes its thousands of words and other times its a sentence or two. I write poems, stories, thoughts and sometimes I just pour random words onto a page. I don’t publish the vast majority of what I write. Most of what comes out is for me and my eyes alone. I always feel a little better when I write.
I honestly don’t think the content of what you create matters. It’s just the release that our minds need. That’s why I write every day, no matter how I feel. I don’t always want to, but I definitely need to.
How do you deal with stress? What’s your outlet, if you have one?