Around the time I’m publishing this post, I’m in the northern Lapland, enjoying the Finnish nature at it’s best. I’m quite possibly very relaxed, full of mosquito bites (or not, if the new machine works), happy and most of all – amazed at the beauty of everything.
Not just amazed that I get to live those nightless nights or hear the rain dripping on the pine trees, but just the fact, that I’m there and I get to have those feelings.
Precisely one year ago, I published the most personal blog post I have ever written: I wave you good bye, not farewell. I told you, that I had battled with severe depression and suicidal thoughts. I even told you, that I had spent some time behind closed doors. Hah, that is the one thing, that makes me a bit shocked today. Did I really tell you that? What if someone thought, that I was crazy because of that?
But after all, you would go to the hospital, if you had your foot broken. My mind was shattered and needed repairing. And the fact, that I was scared of someone thinking that I was crazy – all the more reason to write about it.
Because normal people can get sick. It’s normal to get sick mentally as well. Old people can get sick. Young people can get sick too.
No one is perfect. No one gets through life without any scars. We like to show our best sides and think of some things as taboo. Maybe we sometimes forget, that it’s okay to be flawed? Or maybe we say that, but don’t apply it to ourselves?
I like to think, that I am successful, honest, fun and altogether a pretty amazing person. I’m also annoying at times, I sometimes cry like the skies were falling on me and I say things, that I don’t mean. I judge and I love. I sometimes live perfectly balanced life with just the right amount of sleep, food, work and play. I exercise and I see my friends. And then again, there are weeks, where I work too much, eat too much and see none of my friends.
I’m not even sure where I’m going with this right now, but I guess I like to think, that we are more alike than you’d think. After I published that post, I got lots of messages from you, which only proved me right. Normal, amazing people sent me messages and told me about their depression. And how they’ve overcome that.
It’s okay to speak up.
Talking about mental health and depression is important. Maybe at some point we’ll be able to talk about it, just like any other sicknesses. We’re all just trying to survive this life, after all. Be it dirty laundry, a nice weekend at Cuba, or having a mental breakdown. It’s not like none of us have never stumbled, is it?
Well, I’m all about stumbling. Stumbling and rolling in the mud. Falling and breaking bones. I’m also all about standing up, keeping my head held high and going forward.
It’s been about five years from my depression, but it feels like ten. Like it was ages ago.
I don’t think about my depression as a huge burden. I don’t think about it much, anyway. But sometimes, I do think about it. After all, it’s a part of me. It’s something I went through and helped shape me into who I am.
There is a question in the air, that I think about every now and then. It’s this:
Can one be truly cured from depression? Totally fine, with zero nothing? All good?
When I think about myself and the hope I carry with me (that I wish to spread around for others as well) my answer is: yes. Yes you can.
But as so many things in life, the yes carries a disappointing, but realistic ‘but’ with it. See? Already so many buts in here.
But, I don’t think the scars with the traces of my depression will ever leave me. The traces are like small echoes in my head and they usually raise their voice in quiet places. It’s the tiny fraction of me, that still wants to lay on the floor, cry itself to sleep and feel sorry for everything.
There are things that remind me of it. There are feelings, that are a little too familiar. There are those scars, that burn a little every time I hear of something similar happening to another person.
There are those bad days, to remind me, that, well, they are not that bad after all.
There are those hospital visits, where the nurses have to ask about it. There are the records, that seem like they are from another person’s life.
So in a way, it still feels like a dream. And then again, it’s there to remind me to keep going.
It’s a super hard thing to explain – I think one has to experience it to understand it. I don’t mean it in a way, that I am forever depressed. Or that I feel like I carry a heavy burden with me all the time. I truly feel – and am – happy.
I understand, that I deserve so much more, than I had ever hoped for. And I recognize life and all it’s beautiful little opportunities. I see it’s colors in grey stormy clouds, I run up it’s hills and I find joy in being able to move that way – and funnily enough, I admit, that I would not change it for anything else.
If anything, I would double my cards with it, throw them in the air and laugh, from the bottom of my heart.
Life – it just doesn’t get old for me. I’m here to stare at the stars – or the sun, at 2am, in Lapland.
hair & photos Susanna Pomèll