“Kareen B, talk to ME!”, Brandon said.
Gosh! Where do I start? There’s so much to say. I suppose I can talk about what’s currently on my mind.
You see I feel I’ve come to another crossroad in my life. I’ve accomplished so much in my life. I’ve travelled the world, lived and worked in other countries, visited the Sahara desert, climbed mount Sinai, and other mountains. Met some incredible and beautiful people and many are my friends and I’m proud of my achievements.
But now I feel I’ve come to a huge FULL STOP.
Could it be because the whole world is currently in lock-down due to the Covid-19 pandemic? Maybe. I know lock-down has reset my mindset because I feel more appreciative about life and people in general.
You see, since the world went into lock-down like a post apocalyptic sci-fi movie, we’ve all seen on a global scale the effects this deadly virus has had on millions and the death toll increasing at a fast rate. It’s heartbreaking. I’ve also lost 5 members of my family since March 2020 and a best friend and others I personally know of. I can’t express the numbness I feel.
To start off I went into a complete meltdown and didn’t want to talk to or see anyone. I went completely into myself and still had to manage a small family. I don’t know how I continued with my daily routine, but I did. And because of my robotic routine I’ve been slowly crawling back out of my deep abyss.
You might look at me and think “you don’t look like you suffer from depression, you’re always happy and smiling.” “You’re successful and have a good life”.
Well that maybe so, but looks can be deceiving.
Anyone who suffers with depression will tell you that it’s not easy living with this unseen illness. You can function like anyone else, go to work, drop the kids off at school and continue with your daily life and sometimes you simply can’t do anything. Sufferers suffer differently but all understand the tidal wave of emotions.
Behind the smile is often a great sadness and unlike any physical injury you don’t always know or understand where the pain is coming from and to try and explain that to someone else is a great challenge. It’s not like you don’t want to talk or you’re being rude or ignorant when someone asks “how you’re doing”, you simply can’t speak. Many will genuinely be concerned for your wellbeing and a few will be genuinely nosey and not really be that interested. Just ignore the nosey ones. But then you can become so overwhelmed by the personal attention that you just want to scream and shout “SHUT UP”, “GO AWAY” and “Leave me alone” despite them meaning well.
And you know what? there is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling like that. Sometimes you just need that space to self-manage before you can accept any help.
How did I get out of my abyss?
If anything whilst i was going through all those emotions i was actively listening. I found encouraging thoughts, quotes, loving and kind text messages and some funny voice notes, even a card posted, all from my acquaintances (yes people do still post handwritten cards, which I appreciate greatly because I keep them) all of which was helpful to finding my way out of my abyss.
I’ve always enjoyed running. So one early morning I got up and ran like ‘Forrest Gump’ lol. Yes I love Forrest Gump. I can just hear Jenny shouting “run Forrest run!” That was me lol, just running. Every step I took was like everything coming out of my system and my heart began to beat again. By the time I got home I had completed 5 miles. I remember posting it on my Facebook and LinkedIn accounts because this was my victory. I felt like me again. The smile came back.
Besides running, writing has always been a passion of mine. Writing down my thoughts has always been another way of releasing my feelings. I enjoy the freedom writing brings.
In a recent message from my friend Brandon.M.Gidicsin we were talking about our passion of writing, he is a talented writer who mentions in one of his articles – 1 step forward 2 steps back and quotes -“don’t let something anchor you down and keep you from what you want to do”. Brandon said to me in the message “Your first article can be called” “Kareen B, talk to ME!”. My response was “I love the title, it’s twofold.”
And here i am talking…LOL!
2020 has been a year in our lifetime where the world literally stood still. And amongst the chaos, suffering, pain we’ve all felt in whatever capacity, it has been overwhelming for all of us. Yet there is Hope. Vincent Van Gogh said “ What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?” I often say that ‘courage is the resistance to fear’. And it takes great courage to step out of your comfort zone and reach out to others. We all cope and deal with our mental health differently. However I encourage all to find that courage and speak a kind word, post an encouraging thought which can make all the difference to anyone who doesn’t feel themselves, especially the children as they too are finding things tough. In my opinion they deserve the biggest applause. The greatest gift we can show to a child is LOVE and our full attention.
I consider myself to be very fortunate to have some amazing and talented friends from all around the world from different backgrounds, professions, who have all supported and encouraged me in some way, they are truly inspirational that they motivate me to reach out to others, because there are so many people who may not have this kind of support that I have.
So although I’ve felt at a crossroad, stranded, lost, empty, scared, not knowing where to go. I’ve used this opportunity in lock-down to rest, refuel, reset my mindset and I’m grateful for the support and encouragement from friends and family. Don’t think of me as being selfish because they’ve all had their fair share of challenges and trials, yet somehow they’ve likewise found me encouraging and comforting simply by seeing my endurance and that’s where things become twofold. It’s a give and take relationship. “There’s more happiness in giving than receiving”- Acts 20:35
Despite my fight with depression I won’t allow anything to “anchor me down and keep me from doing what I want to do”.
My journey restarts from here. And ‘your story’s far from over”-Danny Gorkey song “Tell your heart to beat again.”
By Kareen Bennett