Trigger warning: Mention of suicide, anxiety and depression.
Tonight, my flat and I went out for dinner. We went to a cute boutique food court in the centre of town and had a lovely evening. When it came to having dessert, the churro machine at the place we had chosen to eat had broken the previous day and wouldn’t be fixed until tomorrow.
We left to find dessert elsewhere and as we were walking down the road, a woman told us about a space invaders gap filler. (In case you don’t know, gap fillers refer to a creative urban regeneration initiative in the city I live in to fill empty spaces around the city with art, installations and other creative and interactive things). This particular gap filler was a huge space invaders game where you step on the buttons to fire and the lever to move is about a metre or so high.
I really wanted to find it and the woman had said it was really close, pointing in a particular direction. We walked down the road but couldn’t find it. The four of us had finally decided where to go for dessert and the others wanted to turn around because there was no sign of the game anywhere. I insisted we keep looking because it sounded really cool and it would have been disappointing to not find it. As we were having this discussion (verging on argument), one of my flatmates went across the road to look at something. She interrupted our conversation with a shout that she had found it. Because the screen on which the game is played was above us and we were on the wrong angle, we had not been able to see it but it had been just across the road the entire time and we had not seen it. We had almost given up.
We went over and played the interactive game and it was heaps of fun.
It got me thinking about how we often can’t see the big picture. We often can’t see further than our current place and time and we get so fixated on the now. But this incident reminded me that what we are looking for might be just around the corner, or in my case across the road, if we just persevere a little longer, or hold on just one more day.
A month ago, I almost lost my fight with anxiety and depression, but almost every day that I have lived since then, something has happened that has made me glad to be alive, whether it be something I’ve done, like learning to play the ukulele or going on a camp and it snowing (it pretty much never snows where I live), or a friend reminding me how much they love me and care about me.
The thing we are looking for is there; hope is there, happiness is there, friends are there, the light at the end of the tunnel is there, if we just wait around long enough, if we keep looking, if we persevere, if we hold out one more day, or walk that metre further. Sometimes what we need is right beside us, we just hadn’t look up for long enough to see it.
I went out to the art gallery with a close friend of mine and he kept making remarks to me about how great the future was and how it held so much. And he was right. The future is bright. The future is there, a shining, bright, promising light. I know there is so much I want to do with my life, and I almost let the lies and the darkness convince me that life wasn’t worth living. But it is! I want to finish uni, and fall in love, and have a family. I want to go to my best friend’s wedding in December and be there for my little sister’s 18th birthday and I want to publish my book and travel the world. There is so much out there in the world to discover and explore that I would have missed out on.
Life is worth living. It really is. We only get one chance and even though it can get dark sometimes, the light at the other side is worth it.
Keep going, my friends, what you are looking for may be right around the corner.