This is a peculiar way to start a blog, but I want to start with something I’ve realised recently:
Being depressed and suffering with anxiety has really helped me make some good friends.
Through the many emotional ups and downs, sometimes in rapid succession, I’ve disconnected and reconnected myself many times in attempts to regain that inner essence of me, that spark that contains me. I’ve seen relationships ebb and flow. Most have become stronger, others slipped.
I don’t need to be in contact with my friends or family to know they’re there for me. I know I just need to ask and I’ll get their support and love, it’s there unconditionally.
But there are others that I’ve crossed paths with because of my illness. These friendships have become stronger through the shared bonds of experience.
Opening up and exposing myself through this blog has been a crucial part of my life. I can write exactly what I want to and use it to chronicle what I’m experiencing, good or bad. Because it has allowed me a level of openness and honesty, I’ve been able to put out there.
Putting a blog out is like throwing a message in a bottle out into the sea and hoping you’ll be rescued from your little island. You never know where it will end up or who it will reach. My first one was just to almost vent and clear the air. I was fortunate that it resonated with people. These people reached out to me and encouraged me. Some of these were friends, some were family, some were strangers. I replied to everyone I could, thanking them. I took their encouragement and ran with with it.
I created a closed space where people could talk, where they could ask questions, where they could look for answers and, most importantly, they can get support. And I still write. I still put my faith in my words here, hoping that people can understand they’re not alone. I might not be exactly the same as them, but we have that commonality.
Some people have come up to me and call me the Blog Guy. I don’t mind at all. I’ll fight with my social anxiety and my insecurity, and I’ll talk to them. I’ve received emails and messages, more and more of them. Each person has their own reasons for talking to me. Some do it to commend me, some people do it to tell their story to me, others to remind themselves that they’re not alone in this. I take as much time as I can and I’ll reply to each one as soon as I can.
I’ve discovered and been opened to do many connections with people, shared experiences resonating with us to create bonds and threads that tie us together. How can you be alone when there are so many people out there who can understand and empathise with you?
The surprising thing is I’ve made friends because of this, good friends too. Who would have thought that talking about going through all this would result in that? It wasn’t something that I expected, being the nervous, unsociable person I think I am. Perhaps I should learn to accept that people might actually like who I am? But then again that should mean I should learn to ignore the anxiety and actually believe in myself. But isn’t that part of the damn problem in the first place?
At the end of the day we all share this planet with each other. We might think we’re alone but we’re really not. We’re all connected in a hundred thousand different ways. We can bond with each other through shared experiences and through shared empathy. You might not know exactly what I go through but most people will be aware of some of the situations and how similar they are to what they’ve gone through. It’s not about suffering alone, it’s about joining together and finding strength and support when you need it.