Brave New World? Hardly.

Since the age of 12, depressions were my steady companion – sometimes more subdued, sometimes very much in the foreground, but never completely absent. Now, only six weeks away from turning 31, it is for the first time since childhood that I can rightfully claim that I am not depressed anymore.

Something a lot of people, including myself at first, fail to realize is that becoming symptom free does not mean you merrily carry on with your life ever after. You don’t wake up to the metaphorical chirping birds and golden morning sun and shake the nightmare off.
Instead, it is a bit like regaining consciousness after a week-long party and, as your memory slowly comes back, you discover that you’ve gotten married to a stripper, gave your car away to a stranger and got an obscene tattoo on a hard-to-cover-up part of your body. You stare at the mess incredulously and wonder: “Why on earth did you do this?”

I look at all the wrong decisions I took over the years and my first instinct is to give up. I’m never going to be able to rectify all those mistakes, to iron out all the consequences. Just thinking about it makes the desolation creep back up, and the daily struggle to keep the depression at bay costs me so much energy that I have hardly any left for the clean-up process. Sure, I feel good as long as I do not actually have any bigger projects going on. But, those projects are looming on the horizon and need to be taken care of over the next few months.

This blog is supposed to help me stay depression free, to motivate me when I feel like giving up. And also to chronicle the progress (or at least process) of building a new life and self, because it is easy to lose sight of accomplishments and because I do not want to go back to being “lugubrious Layara”, even if it’s all I know.

Maybe I can inspire other people to not give up and seek help on the way, lend a voice to those who struggle to express themselves, or just make them feel they are not the only person in the world who goes through this.

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