The first jump can be exhilarating. Plunging into the unknown and shocking your soul awake so that we can be open to experiencing something new. Life is full of diving boards that wobble and shake as we move closer towards the edge, peering down into the deep murky waters below. You bounce and fly through the air, feeling the freedom of the breeze through your toes before your body turns downwards and you dart towards the rippling uncertainty waiting beneath. You either glide in gracefully or hit the top with a bang and flail about trying to survive.
I had always imagined myself as being the type of person that others are envious of due to my cool nature and ability to brush off life like a stray cat hair. Having a number of problems throughout my life that would shock the most maudlin of people meant that i was held in an almost saintly light due to the fact i had managed to overcome everything that was thrown my way. I relished the times when i unloaded my owes to friends and received their admiration as i climbed further up my self installed pedestal. Then, like an old vinyl record that had gotten stuck during the upcoming musical crescendo, i found myself unable to continue to the next part. Some people say that the feeling of heaviness and doom comes after a great event that changes their lives. For me, it crept up little by little until one day i was physically unable to move. I was sinking further and further down but the worst part was the pleasure i got from that. The feeling of heaviness was like a bear hug that comforted me as it weighed me down. There is an almost euphoric moment when you decide to stop fighting to survive and you feed your hungry soul with the inevitable darkness.
With all moments of drowning, there are two options. To sink or to be rescued. My hero came in the form of having a friend who noticed i needed help and forced me to look at my life in hard, raw details. I was plucked out of my self inflicted grave of woe before i was buried forever. I decided to get advice and found some coping mechanisms that enabled me to become stronger day by day. I don’t call it depression or anxiety, i don’t even say i am mentally ill. I found myself unable to cope with the sudden rush of water and the wave of life that knocked me temporarily off my feet. With my lungs full of water and my body tired from the fight, i am slowly making my way back to solid ground.