What if one day there was a power cut and the clouds were grey, you were then plunged into a world of grey and gloom and it was pouring with rain. It is colourless and lifeless, seemingly hopeless. You walk every day in search of a source for the darkness, to solve your dilemma. But when you think you’ve reached the answer, all you find is black paint and handfuls of stardust. Where is the bright blue sky? Where are the flowers, the grass, the rainbows? The colours have gone. People walk with a frown and even the happy puppies have lost their playful spark. The birds no longer sing. The air is still; not calm, but grieving over what the world once was… No more.
This is what the world can look like in the eyes of a person with mental health difficulties. The light, the colour, the happiness from the world has been drained; your life personally has been drained and the world you once knew fades far from your view. There is a heartbreaking uncertainty of the future. Your mind is plunged into negative thoughts, sadness, loneliness and overbearing anxiety. Whenever anyone attempts to light up your dark world, your illness extinguishes it.
It can feel like there is no way of moving forward and you are doomed to remain in a life of utter darkness and despair. It isn’t as though you can snap your fingers and rise out of bed one day magically cured, but nor is it the end. Nobody is going to be cursed to live their life colourless, lonely and sad. Depression is not a ‘terminal’ illness and will not die with you. It will not kill you. However, it can alter a person’s perception and quality of life as a whole. Death as a result of a person struggling with their thoughts is a choice that the person makes. This is not to say that they are in complete control all of the time. It requires a lot of thought, though. The thoughts and urges are not something a person controls or chooses to have, but the consequential acts people may take is a different matter entirely. Desperation and urges are not a choice a person makes. People don’t sit down one day and go: “I’m going to have suicidal thoughts today”. It can feel like too much a lot of the time, this is what drives people with mental health difficulties to their very last, ultimate option. It is not the Be All and End All.
I will leave you with a thought. Something that a very wise person once told me, a quote she had read somewhere that she (and I) now carries through her life:
10% is what life throws at us, 90% is how we react to it…
Take that with you.