I have depression (who doesn’t, right?) and anxiety. Neither are anything I love to talk about but mental health is a real struggle that a lot of us face, often in silence. I’m medicated, so I function. Just like most, I have ups and downs, peaks and valleys of good mental health and bad.
Currently – I’m in a valley. A dark, desolate valley.
The valley is surrounded by enormous mountains, dark and ominous on all sides. Intimidating even at a distance, even at night. It’s dry here. Even the air is stale, as if all the moisture was sucked out of it. It’s hard to breathe. The ground around me is nothing but dirt and rocks. No grass grows. Nothing. Drought has seized this valley. It is brittle and sad. Hardly any life flourishes because the ground has barely anything left to give. What does survive is the most resilient of plants and animals. The outcasts. The things no one truly wants. Also the things that scare me the most. The ground is jagged with fallen boulders and rocks as obstacles almost in all directions.
The wind begins to pick up. It’s rough, almost like a storm. The kind of storm that you love in the comfort of your own bed but is terrifying in a valley of your depressive conscience. There is no where safe for me to take shelter. No trees to help cover me. I can barely see in front of me. The dust and dirt and pebbles are pelting my body. It hurts. Darkness consumes me. The wind envelopes me. All I want to do it lay down and let them take over. But I don’t. I walk. I’ve been here before. Maybe not this exact valley but one like it. This is familiar. I can feel blood start to run down the arm I am using to protect my face. It stings from all the dirt. I walk on in hopes that darkness will end. That there will be light.
There has to be light….somewhere.