Why are you sad today? How can you be happy when everything around you seems to be great? What is making you so depressed?

After dealing with depression for close to a decade, I find it hard to not only be asked these questions by others, but also instinctively ask these questions myself. Some days I wake up and the thought  of getting out of bed seems to be the hardest thing to do. The idea of having to go out into society and partake in life is so distressing that I have to pull out all the strength inside me to swing my feet off my bed and stand up. The metaphor of a dark cloud coming over you without having any control over it is the best way I can explain it to people who have a hard time understanding depression. Stormy clouds have a way of making their own paths and taking over the land underneath however they want. You can’t really figure out how and when a storm will happen but you can be sure that the weather will turn rainy soon enough. I wish after such a long time of dealing with the same stormy clouds I could have figured out how to deal with the rain. How do you make yourself happy when there’s  no light to be seen around you?

The cyclical roller-coaster ride gets to be pretty fucking frustrating at some points. It seems just when you seem to have everything under control and your life is progressively becoming brighter and happier, things spiral out of control around you, once again. It’s hard for me to write about this during this time frame in my life. I have genuinely never been in a better place than I am now. I have the greatest community around me, I’m living a comfortable life in what is now one of my favorite cities in the world, and I’ve developed mental strength that 2016-Silvia would gawk at. Yet my anxiety and depression are still a part of my life. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve come a long way from where I was. When my depression was in its chronic state, I wouldn’t leave bed for days on end. Binge eating junk food and watching mindless TV programs became a daily ritual because escaping my reality was the only form of comfort I could get. Dealing with daily tasks and responsibilities was an overwhelmingly exhausting concept. My mental health has improved vastly since then. I’ve learned how to deal with an anxiety attack if one comes on. I’ve developed daily routines and practices to maintain self-love and nurturing. And I’ve become more self-aware and recognize when things start to spiral, but for some reason, I can’t seem to control the cycle from starting up again. I don’t know if I ever will be, and I’ve come to terms with that. I guess I just needed to acknowledge that whatever place I’m at in life, and however happy I may be, I’ll always be carrying my mental illnesses with me.

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