The Stars in the Darkness

Warning: this is perhaps one of the cheesiest articles I have ever written

I struggle to understand why depression seems to strike so many of the most sincere people I know- the people with the greatest, kindest souls. Perhaps it is a question of spectral binaries: the people with the most intense light within them also, unfortunately, have the most acute darkness within them, too. For them, existence is not just existing: it is a never-ending battle between light and darkness. There are days- entire months sometimes- when their emotions are pervaded by this darkness. It results in feelings of deflation and hopelessness, like nobody cares about them, and like everything they do is wrong.

Depression does not strip people of the colours of their personality; rather, it shrouds their vibrancy in heavy coats of grey. But they are still the same people underneath. Observers looking in from the outside might mistake their sullen behaviours for obnoxiousness or a lack of gratitude. In reality, depression is overwhelming, and uncontrollable. It arrives unexpectedly, and remains for indefinite amounts of time. The least you can do for friends who are facing the demons of depression by themselves is offer to listen to them, and to do whatever you can in order to aid their recovery. Do not let them face it alone.

The solution to the problem is not as simple as changing one’s routines, or ‘loving oneself’, without really knowing how to. But there are a few things that might assist in lifting some of the heavy manacles that mental illnesses impose: firstly, extracting the weeds that inhibit the growth of your figurative garden. By this, I mean, try to get away from toxic people and habits; the things that broke you simply cannot be the things that fix you. Your body, your life and your mind belong to you, and you hold the power to design and live a life you truly love. Things might seem hopeless now, but at least you still have yourself. You don’t need to be strong all the time, and your life does not always have to be structured or in the pursuit of great ‘success’. I hope that you come to give yourself credit for every little thing you have done, and every difficult day that you have managed to get yourself through.

It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to cradle your own shaking body and watch your tears spill from you. You have been hurt, and parts of you are still hurting. Maybe you’ll never be done with healing, but you are here now. You are a survivor, and I am proud of you.

Life is glorious, and this world is still beautiful, but sometimes it gets messy: trust me, I know what chronic sadness feels like. Other people, irrespective of how ‘close’ they might be to you, will never be able to truly comprehend what you are going through, and the workings of your mind. Your thoughts and experiences are your own, but that does not mean that you need to go through difficulties alone. Although your brain might attempt to convince you otherwise, there are people who love you, and who would, from the bottom of their hearts, yearn for your presence if you were gone. When it comes to emotions, to put it crassly, people can suck. They can go for years without writing to you or telling you how much you mean to them, but they still care about you. Besides, your value as a person does not decrease based on others treating you poorly. It’s their loss, not yours.

To quote Logic, “You’re the reason I believe in life”.

You are loved, you are beautiful, and you are doing so, so well. There are billions of stars scattered within your darkness, and I hope that you soon find the strength to see that.

Sadia Ahmed, 2017

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