It took me a long time to own up to my own depression. It took me a while to see what was going on with me and how it was really affecting me. But I found solace in other people’s stories. I found hope in people who may not have fully overcome their mental illness but found ways to cope with it.
Recently, my depression has been back and with a vengeance. After two years of feeling like I had finally gotten a handle on this demon, it rears its ugly head. It always comes back to my dedication to myself and the focus on getting better. After a particularly bad breakup, I stopped caring. I started drinking more in an effort to feel some kind of normal but really I was just numb.
It’s interesting how a story about someone you admire can change your perspective. Since I was 16 years old, I have been in love with Snow Patrol, more specifically, Gary Lightbody’s command of the English language with lyrics that are so poetic you feel them in your soul. From that sentence alone, I know you can tell I’m a fan.
Recently, Lightbody opened up about the band’s seven-year hiatus and the release of their newest album. It was easy as a fan to be impatient for new music and wanting to know why they weren’t releasing anything.
What I was preparing to read was how the album wasn’t perfect and that perfectionism led them to delays but what I read was so much more important than that. It’s funny how sometimes when you’re in the darkest of places, how randomly you can stumble across something that resonates with you.
Lightbody opened up about those seven years and his battle with alcoholism and depression. It’s sometimes weird to realize that your heroes go through similar battles. It’s reminders like this that cause me to stop and remember that we’re all susceptible to mental health issues even if our lives are perceived as perfect.
What struck me the most was how Lightbody talked about people reaching out to him in his time of need and trying to help him navigate his way back from the darkness. For me, my friends and family are the only way I manage to find my way back every time depression tries to get me in its grasp again. Even in the times when I don’t want to talk, those special people manage to just sit with me and just be there.
Another huge takeaway I got from Lightbody’s interview was his description of being in a depressive state. Lightbody said, “Nothing makes sense and there is no light.” I’ve tried to describe this to many different people without them fully understanding what it is. People who don’t suffer from depression have a hard time understanding that mindset and to be completely honest, I have a hard time explaining it. Lightbody explained it in a way that resonates with me and helps my friends and family understand. For this and this alone, I thank Gary Lightbody for talking about his struggles.
It’s interviews and articles like this that make me realize that we who suffer from depression are never alone. No matter how dark and deep we are in our depression, there is someone who understands. There is someone who’s going to be able to listen and try to help you come back to the light.
So, muster all your inner strength you have left and continue to battle. Try to be brave in the darkest of places. And know that somewhere out there someone loves you. Even if it doesn’t feel like it right now.