Around a year ago, I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. It was hard. Although there was no miracle cure, I found that physical exercise was a great outlet and I was learning to cope, until that was taken from me too. The year provided me with one accident after another. My Desi mum is convinced that someone put “Nazar” on me, while I’m pretty sure that I’m just clumsy and unlucky.
It all started with an inflamed nerve in my foot.
They can happen randomly, aren’t life-threatening, and as far as I’m aware, are pretty common. At the doctor’s orders, I spent a few weeks elevating my foot and taking painkillers. The pain didn’t go away as expected and ultimately the doctor had to inject my foot to make it better. I got about two weeks of exercise in before the bad luck found me again.
I got hit by a bicycle whilst walking.
Yes, you read that right, it actually happens.
I was minding my own business, walking down the street and some douche came barreling behind me and caught the back of my leg on his wheel. It took me a few minutes to understand why my leg was hurting and why I was on the ground. This guy got back up, looked at me bleeding on the floor, got back on his bike and rode off.
People on the street politely ignored me whilst I limped back to work.
(For those of you who don’t know this, it is illegal in the U.K to ride your bike on the sidewalk!)
My leg was messed up and took a few months to fully heal.
I took to wearing loose maxi skirts for a few weeks as it was just too painful to put on skinny jeans or leggings. After a while, I stopped putting an effort into how I looked because I only owned a few things that go with maxi skirts. All in all, I was beginning to feel extremely lousy and restless.
It took some time but my leg healed, and I was finally able to do some sort of exercise to chase away the demons hatching in my mind.
But just a few weeks later, I was getting out of a colleagues car and long story short she ran over my foot. Thankfully nothing was broken, but it was sprained and bruised up for a while following.
Logically, I knew that I was lucky, I could have been hurt way worse and more permanently during these accidents. But it was hard to feel grateful when I was in constant pain and felt trapped.
The physical pain wasn’t that bad but coupled with my depression, I didn’t react well. I was just so tired of being injured and my mind started its descent down the rabbit hole. Negative thoughts took over and I wasn’t entirely convinced that something else wouldn’t happen. So I stayed cooped up in my house trying to get my leg to recover from a traumatic few months.
It had more of an effect on me mentally than physically. Physically I would recover and be fine. But mentally I started to think everything was awful and that life would never be fair. Physical exercise had such a healing effect on my mental health that without it I was fairly lost. I had so heavily relied on one outlet that when it was taken from me, I couldn’t deal.
The year had been going terribly in so many ways for me that these incidents gave me an excuse to feel sorry for myself and just give up. I decided to believe that I deserved all these struggles, that I was somehow paying for my prior sins by being so miserable. I stopped trying and let the depression take over.
It’s sufficient to say that I let myself go down the depression road, a little too far. I’m not entirely sure what snapped me out of it or if I’m out of it completely yet. But at some point, I realized that letting myself feel crappy wasn’t making anything better. So, I tried and am still trying to teach my brain to see the good as well as the bad and not over-react. When something bad happens, I automatically think it’s the end of the world but I’m working on it.
I’m learning to not be so pessimistic and let myself enjoy things again without that paranoia.
Looking back I can admit that I had a terrible year in some ways, but a lot of the bad led me to some of the greatest things in my life. I had to find a different way to cope with depression and through this, I discovered my love for writing and The Tempest. So I can’t complain too much.
Though, I do still feel some panic when I see a bicycle coming around the corner.