Depression and anxiety are usually products of fear. It sounds so simple, so stupid, but it is the truth. If you would have said that to me years ago, I would have explained to you what a brave person I am, but it would be a lie. That’s not to say that we are all cowards. No, far from that. We just have a powerful, underlying fear that is echoing in our minds on a constant basis. Someone who is afraid of spiders, for instance, would not be called a coward if they were haunted with spiders on a daily basis.
Now, if we are going to delve into this, it is only fair that I tell you a bit about me. I am an overachiever. In high school, I was the honor roll student, constantly getting great marks without having to try too hard (yes, I realize the seething hatred that others feel when encountering people such as myself). I had set high expectations. I will be an honor roll student every year, be the best in every job, have a great family, make lots of money, and retire early to focus on my real passions. Nothing less would suffice.
However, things rarely go as planned. I first experienced depression in high school (unsurprisingly). You cannot commit to living a full life by denying who you are. I didn’t know that then (or better, I didn’t realize that at that time). In university, my grades tanked (also, a very common phenomenon). This was when I realized that my ideal life was slipping away. To me, this was a realization of my fear of failure.
Cue the existential crisis.
Over the years (almost 10 years), I tried different things to get over this. So, here we are.