Vorig jaar schreef ik een stuk tijdens het dieptepunt van mijn depressie en burnout. Het was voor mij een keerpunt en iets wat ik graag met jullie wil delen.

Fighting depression is like fighting quicksand: the harder you struggle, the worse it gets. The harder you fight, the worse the breakdowns get. The darker the world seems to become. Sometimes searching for the light is the one thing that brings out the darkness even more.

I’ve become accustomed to hiding away, not talk about it and pretend it’s not there. I wanted to make sure people wouldn’t feel awkward, strange, or worse, unaccepted around me. My whole life, I felt like I didn’t fit in like I didn’t belong. And that’s a lonely place to be. It’s the place where you start to crave attention, love, and acceptance from the wrong people: The asshole boss. The shitty boyfriend that claims your body whenever he feels like it. Desperate to find that one light that tells you, you are ok. You belong.

I can’t pinpoint the exact moment where my mood went dark, where the light days seemed like a faraway dream. At some point, I thought that this was just me, my personality. Dark periods, lighter periods. All ebbing and flowing like the sea. Replacing each other so smoothly you can’t find the edges. Sometimes with such violence that you don’t know up from down anymore. It all blurs together in one all-consuming swirl.

Only when I accepted the darkness and accepted it was ok to not ok, light returned. Not the stars, the moon and the sun, but the lights closer to me. The friends texting, asking if I was ok. The hugs that sweep me off my feet. The sleeping dogs on my lap. The older people smiling at me during my walks through the city. The friends that kept giving me pieces of their lights, knowing I couldn’t return at that moment, and still gave it anyway.

I was so busy fighting, I didn’t see it. And once I stopped, I noticed their light and how it had kept the small fire inside my soul burning.

Sometimes healing is not about fighting the darkness on your own. It’s sitting in the darkness until you recognise the light showing up as stars that are not light years aways anymore.

We are all made up of a thousand tiny stars.

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