On two separate occasions, my sisters approached me with the d word.
"It's not that you're showing the typical signs of depression," she said. "It's just that you have so many highs and lows. I noticed that especially when you lived with me. Obviously, you were going through a lot at that time, but I still worried."
"You know grandma struggled with depression her entire life," the other said. "It's not something to be ashamed of, but it's definitely something you should think about. We just want you to be happy."
Though I appeared receptive, my blood boiled inside. How can you ask me if I'm depressed and then leave me to go on with my lonely life day after day? How can I tell you that I am unhappy with my work and in the same breath hear you encourage me to stick it out because the economy is tough (while still asking me if I'm depressed)? How can I go through a devastating divorce at 24 and not experience highs and lows? Is that even possible?
I continued on with my life, sinking lower every day.
I'd go home on my lunch break and cry big alligator tears, asking myself
"what the hell is wrong with you? You have a good job, a great apartment, a [nice] new boyfriend. You've made a new life for yourself and yet you still can't find the resolve to be happy? You ungrateful wench."
I'm sure you know this, but self-deprecation only propels the spiral of depression. Soon, you're trapped in the bottom of that tunnel. Surrounded by four walls that don't let an ounce of light in.
Escapism Saved Me
I'd sit behind my desk and couple an hour of intense productivity with an hour of blissful escapism into the blog world. Their stories showed me examples of people living their passion, proving to me that it is possible to dearly love the work you put into this world. Blogs encouraged me to live off my passion, to value travel above material possessions, to pursue my dreams even if they seemed crazy.
They encouraged me to do something every day to make my dreams a reality. Never wait for the right time to make a move. To contact editors even when I was almost sure of rejection. To start another blog.
They gave me hope.
Hope gave me action.
Action gave me a way out.
I'm not sure what my future will bring, but I know without a doubt that I am moving resolutely in the direction of my dreams.
And, thankfully, I'm not taking that depression with me.