I have struggled with anxiety and depression since I was a pre-teen. There is this dark emptiness inside of me as vast as the universe. A black hole that eats up my happiness, my motivation and any will I have to do anything but breathe, and on my bad days just breathing is hard. I have been taught that this place is a bad thing, so I have spent most of my life fighting it, fighting myself and in turn becoming exhausted with the near-constant fight.
One bad night, almost two years ago, I was reading articles in the bath, crying, feeling really low and empty. I came across an article that talked about befriending this space, letting yourself be ok with the sadness and stopping the fight. It resonated with me and have since tried to implement this into my life when the bad times come up.
I now see these feelings as phases, I appreciate the low because I can have the highs, I see that I need the dark times to see the light, I need the rest so I can grow. So now, instead of fighting with my depression, instead of shaming myself, hating myself for not being happy and thinking there is something inherently wrong with me, I embrace it. I realize that it’s really ok to be sad, that in these times I need to take extra special care to be my own friend. My sadness makes me whole and complete. Yes, I still get sad and depressed, and there are days where it's still hard to breathe, but they have become so much easier to work with and instead of the hate, I love myself harder, I love myself more.