Depression & Loneliness Effects Millions of People Worldwide
A Message For the Weary: My Road to Recovery
“It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were and sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad happened? But in the end it’s only a passing thing. The shadow, even darkness must pass. The day will come and when the sun shines, it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something even if you were to small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding onto something. What are we holding onto, Sam? That there is some good in this world, Mr. Frodo., and it’s worth fighting for.
– Frodo & Sam, Lord of the Rings
The year was 2005. I was living a wretched, cloistered existence much like Miss. Havisham did in Great Expectations. If you are familiar with the story you’ll remember that due to an event in her life she wasn’t able to get over she had stopped the clocks in the house and lived as a recluse. I got to a point in life when I had gone beyond the threshold of pain into scorched earth territory. I wanted so much to have good friends but it seemed to me just about everyone wasn’t that interested.
By the time I was 35 my socially challenged status was causing me grief. The year before I saw a ‘thread’ poking out of my life in my mind’s eye. When I pulled it I was hit with a sledge hammer realization that throughout most of my life I wasn’t the kind of person people were interested in being friends with. It was a traumatizing realization. I was a person who seldom had close friends. Who often felt as though he didn’t fit in. Who didn’t even have a girlfriend till he was 20 years old. Living as an expat in a foreign country for many years had only aggravated the situation. My expat friends weren’t around long as they often went back to their country.
Trying to Fill the Great Void
I’m always amused by people who offer the advice to those who are deeply troubled or depressed about something to bury themselves in their work so they don’t think about it so much. Trying to fool your mind with distracting work? A strategy your own mind thought of? Lol Well, let’s just say I tried hard to do that. My heart ached just the same though and my troubling thoughts were not so easy to banish.
Instead of socializing with people I spent the time pursuing my interests and passions. I remember one time rearranging my books and aquariums so that they surrounded me in the desperate hope that they would somehow nurture my wearied soul. I felt so cold and lonely I hoped that they would give me some ‘warmth.’ Nothing I did, however, could fill the great abyss of my life.
My situation seemed to be hopeless. Isolating myself, however, was only making things worse. Much worse. I became even more deeply troubled. One time I paced the floor frantically trying to pull out what felt like big worms out of my head. It felt as though it was teaming with them. The gnawing pain of depression was getting too much for me. It was around the beginning of 2005 when four grey concrete walls and a ceiling closed in on me and tormenting darkness fell. My mental health took a severe beating.
Toward the end of 2005 I knew I had to do something and I had to do it fast.
Some of the articles below cover the path I took out of depression. As time goes by I will be expanding this section with general articles about depression, social anxiety, loneliness and other related topics.
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