I consciously try not to use the word ‘battle’ when talking about my mental health. Not because I think people who use that word are wrong. I think it is important that people talk with the words that are right for them. And ‘battle’ doesn’t feel right for me, doesn’t work. I don’t want to see it as a fight. Using the word ‘my’ when talking about my depression and anxiety is deliberate. They are mine, they are me. Part of who I am. I want to accept not fight.
Right now though it feels like a battlefield.
Trying to accept my depression and anxiety is not always easy. Often it feels I am trying so hard to combine two different people in a body and mind that simply cannot find the space. And right now this feeling is stronger than ever. I’m not sure who is winning. All I know is that I am tired.
One of me is grasping the move to Leeds with both hands and starting to put me right. Starting to live, to work out who I am. Trying new things, asking for help, exercising, getting out, making friends, putting me first. Despite, and often because of, the fear and loneliness within. People have noticed. I am interacting, talking, dancing, living. Life appears good. And sometimes I even believe it.
The other me is still quietly falling apart inside. Unsure what path to follow, what decision to make. Whether the changes are worth it. How to live my life. Lost and alone. Wanting to hide and shut the big scary world away. Who feels like the fighting is wasting time and argues for the ease of giving up and staying as I am. Who is very persuasive although I know it is a lie.
The urge to listen to that me is so strong. Yet I am actually starting to believe that so am I. That I can accept the fear, emptiness, doubt and loneliness – and still live. That my depression and anxiety are part of me. But they are not me. I can be – and am – bigger than those parts of me. That sometimes you do have to fight. And it is okay when I cannot.