I wrote about about my recent struggles with depression at the beginning of the year and have been overwhelmed with the incredible response - the emails, messages, likes, tweets, cards, gifts and words, have been a support that's felt endless and completely unexpected. I am yet to respond to most of them because words are difficult - but please know that I will.
I’m still in the midst of a silent hurricane - a complete turmoil, and the life I once knew exists only in memory. No matter how many people reach out I still feel utterly alone; I guess that’s depression, isn't it?
My gratitude to the ones who get it, the ones who want to help, is all encompassing. But today I wanted to write a note to the ones who don’t - the ones who believe you have to fit a certain criteria to be struggling. The ones who think their suffering is insurmountable to others. To the ones that would rather bring someone further down than lift them up.
It’s surprising isn't it - because my automatic response would be ‘They don’t understand because they haven't experienced it’; but what do you do when they have, are, do?
Perhaps it’s a lack of experience, perhaps it’s immaturity - but it doesn't really matter either way. My last blog post proved two things to me:
1.) There are so many more people than I realised suffering - who wan't their voices to be heard.
2.) We still have a long way to go before we're all heard.
These photos were taken a the beginning of the year too - a matter of weeks separate these images with those sat in my first post. They were taken on a day I’d felt willing to put on a face of makeup and brave the world. To me, I see a beautiful backdrop, perfect framing and a pretty outfit - but I look tired, and my eyes are blank.
My point is this: depression has many faces. I can live a life online and not show all the horrors that happen behind closed doors. Perhaps you would have seen me on this day and thought everything looked perfect.
The fact that I’ve shared some of my truth is not there to be measured or judged against your suffering. It’s there to say it’s okay not to be okay; that some days I can but most days I can’t.
I don’t want to be pessimistic - I want this to be a gentle nudge, to hopefully fill a blank where education on this subject should be. I wan’t there to be a greater understanding, a louder voice, and less hostile, taboo environment for us all to exist.
This is to say, there’s absolutely no way you can compare ones brokenness to another.
Dragging someone down, whether they know you are or not - will always say more about you than it will about them.
Please know that you are valued, but you are not above anyone else. And whether you understand someone's battle or not, doesn't take away from their fight.
And to anyone suffering - Know that owning who you are, no matter how fragile that may make you, is far superior to a life stunted by negativity.
Photography by the magical Georgia Claire