Ashley

I fear. It is something ever present in my narrative, fear. There's a knot that builds within me, making my breaths shorter, my vision narrow, and my voice quiver. Fear builds upon itself like an avalanche, threatening to cloud my vision and encase me in ice- frozen and muted. Today's brand of fear is brought to me by an uncertain future. I look around at the life I've built, the friends I cherish and the job I find rewarding, I see what can be made from will and what can be broken by it. 

I fear the depression that is ever present, creeping back into my sunny disposition and sitting on my chest like a lead weight. This depression I run from, try to pretend that it does not exist but when it rears its' ugly head, it bows mine. It is as if there are days when I am riding on sunshine, people seem exceptionally kind and loneliness is driven away by a feeling of complete self-love. The next day, the next week, a month, timing is never right but a cloud will appear and darken my inner shine. The days hijacked by depression are ones in which I forget who I am, I lose my love of self and claw at affection from others. These are moments when my insecurities begin to seep out, my doubt, fear, loneliness all fight their way to the surface- no longer allowing my mind to keep them at bay. It is entirely frustrating to accept that this will be a cycle for the rest of my life, that I cannot forever be the sunny individual my public persona conveys; a mask so convincing that even I fall for...until I find myself alone again. 

Fear and depression, a toxic mix to be sure. While in the past this combination fueled an addictive fire, begging to be drowned out by an incomprehensible amount of alcohol, today I write this to you, to me, to everyone. In these words I find a peace. And while I may always have this inner battle and not everyday will greet me the same, I can always remember, "Never doubt in the dark what God showed you in the Light." I will overcome, I will be better for it, I will grow and transform, I will not be beaten.

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