It’s coming home from a night out with my friends that I realise how much others take for granted, people who don’t struggle with a mental illness or indeed with going out and social situations in general.
When I’m in the depths of depression, I tend to isolate myself. I lack motivation to attend social gatherings. I cease to make an effort to keep in contact with my friends. My social anxiety stops me from making the first move. As a consequence, my invitations become less and less. It then reaffirms my belief no one wants to bother with me, I’ve been forgotten about, I have no friends. And so the cycle continues.
I go to Uni and I hear people talk about movies, karaoke, parties, shopping, dinners and clubbing with friends. I go on Facebook and see all their photos, captured memories of these happy times. Laughter, smiles and joy. They go out every weekend, it’s become a part of their lifestyle. They stay in one weekend and it becomes a huge disappointment. For them it’s the norm.
For me? It’s a treasured rarity.
Nothing extraordinary or spectacular happened last night. It was just a simple night out, dinner and karaoke. Yet, it was such a wonderful feeling to be spending time with a small group of my close friends. I came home feeling on top of the world. There’s not a lot of positives I can find in struggling with depression. But one thing it has taught me? To be grateful for those moments of sunshine in the midst of a cold, dark winter. Unlike others who may take these simple pleasures of life for granted, I don’t.
It’s when the sweetness in life is absent that you truly appreciate how lucky you are when you get a taste of what you’ve been missing out on.