2020 (the year, not my vision, which is frankly abysmal)
Updated: Mar 14
I was deep in my usual shower-time ruminations when I was struck by something more profound than ‘can we sing the lyrics of Macavity to the tune of I Want Candy’ (the answer being, for any interested parties, no; though my attempt was arguably better than anything in the recent film).
A brief warning: the following post involves light discussion of depression/suicide. It ends on a positive note, but if this content will affect you negatively, please don't read it. <3
My profound, non-CATS-related rumination went as follows.
If you’d told fourteen-year-old me that in ten years, I would have a stable, full-time professional career; that I would have two finished novels on track for traditional publication; that I would be a damn decent pole instructor; that I would have gone to Cambridge University (and, more importantly, survived it); that I would have wonderful friends who I talk to regularly (even though we’re spread across several continents); and that I would have come out of the closet to multiple folks IRL ...
...I would’ve been in complete, baffled disbelief. Because fourteen-year-old me didn’t think I’d see fifteen.
While I’m proud of that list of achievements, I’m proudest of how much I’ve healed. I’m proud because more often than not, I wake in the morning and I look forward to the day ahead.
I no longer dread being alive.
This isn’t to say life is easy. But it’s better. So much better.
It’s taken a long time to get here, and often more work than I had energy for. I don’t think I’ll ever be completely ‘free’ of depression - but that’s okay. It doesn’t scare me.
I’m not at risk of drowning anymore.
I’ve taught myself to swim through this dark sea. A few incredible individuals have thrown me armbands, life-rings, even the occasional novelty inflatable shark. My parents. My siblings. My friends. Past lovers. Some of them I’ve drifted out of touch with, but that’s okay. They’re good people. If they saw someone else struggling as I was, they’d reach out to them, too.
I know it’s been repeated so many times it’s practically a cliche but -
I hope that anyone who is where I was ten years ago can one day look back and feel what I feel now, on the dawn of a new day, a new decade. Giddy, delighted relief that you never gave in.