I've been thinking about how to write this post for awhile. Since I can't come up with any good way to start, I'll start like this.
I ended the year of 2017 by hosting a party for my dearest, closest friends. I pulled out all the stops; there was cake, balloons, tattoos and a photo booth. I did it not only because I wanted to, very much, but because I finally could. It was a triumph for me, and meant so much more than anything has in a very, very long time - to be surrounded by people I love, watching them enjoy themselves, with me - without feeling completely isolated from them. It shattered my heart and it mended it at the same time, that triumph. I realised that I had come out on the other side, better, happier and more whole than I ever would have imagined.
After a little over two years now of suffering from an increasingly severe depression, caused partly by passed life events and traumas as well as my personal aptitude for tuning inwards and away in moments of sorrow - being an emotional introvert - I developed post traumatic stress. For a long time I thought that I could handle it on my own, as I have my whole life, but in the early spring of 2017 I realised that I couldn't. That I wasn't, in my disparate state, competent of healing myself anymore. That all I did was hurt myself, distancing myself from the world and disappearing, becoming a sad, destructive ghost. So I went in to extensive therapy. I removed the layers of darkness and looked at what was underneath - looked at all of it and came to terms with it. Sorrow and loss are components that have been companions of mine through-out my life, and finally, I spoke about it all.
I wont go in to further details because I don't really want to. Other than saying that seeking help is always the key, no doubt about it. And that working through trauma and depression is beyond hard. I've spent my year wanting so much to feel better, to be better, but without the mental and physical strength to endure. So many cancelled dates with friends, so many nights home alone - wanting to be a part of the world, but not withstanding its demands on my person. I put all my energy in to my work (and ironically I of course had my most successful year to date) and burned all of my emotional reserves on clients and my team. It was great for production but exhausting for my health. At the end of the year I was heading in to a spiral of complete darkness until one day - it stopped. It was as if a switch had been turned inside of me and everything clicked in to place. I could see the world so clearly, and myself in it, and I knew that whatever comes to pass - it's okay. I wanted to, needed to celebrate, and so I did. And standing on NYE surrounded by my happy, laughing, loving friends, I knew that I had come out from under my emotional rock a stronger, more loving person than ever.
I don't know where 2018 will take me. I am sure it will me pretty magical. I know that come what may, I have seen the darkness and lived through it. I have such hope for my work, for my friends, for my love and my life. But most of all I have forged in my bones the knowledge that every day is to be spent grasping what we love and to keep it close, whatever it is. Because good or bad, it too shall pass. - Emily