Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Light & Dark - Story of my life

Well, hello there everyone.
I sincerely hope you haven't forgotten me, because I sure did forget myself lately. 

You may - or may not - have noticed my on&off appearance on the blog and twitter this past month. And then my abrupt disappearance and this mysterious tweet.

I thought, you know, I should probably shed some light on the situation.
Because as much as we're a book community - always will be - we're also human beings with real human problems, that unfortunately don't involve any chosen one shenanigans, dragon fighting and prince charming swooping in at just the right moment. 

For me, books are even more real than reality itself.
I love books, I breath books, I live books. Books are everything to me. And I wish they could have been enough. I wish I could read and write and blog and talk to you guys all day long and have an amazing life full of adventures and happiness.
But real life doesn't care about that. Real life is brutal and hard and it surges in. You can delay it, but you can't escape it. You can run, but for how long? You can hide, but where?

There are happy, fluffy, beautiful parts in life.
And then there are the dark, harsh, bitter, sad, angry and unclear parts in life.
Thing about the dark parts is: they feel like they'll last forever. Logically you know they can't, but they feel like it, and that's all that matters to your brain. You feel like it will last for all of eternity and you'll never-ever be happy again. 

Right now, I'm in that bad part in my life.    

I'm an 18 (and a half) young woman (girl, really) who literally just graduated high-school and now needs to get into the world.
Easy enough, right?
No. Not really.
It isn't easy for anyone.
And it sure isn't easy when you add anxiety and depression into it.
And parents who don't understand you and can't really help you.
And the expectations the outside world has of you in the 21st century - be independent, get out, do this, do that, have a job, go study, be an adult, be mature, don't be like that. 

The outside world is scary.
The outside world is plain terrifying.
And nothing - and I do mean nothing - you learn in school or read in books or watch in movies can ever prepare you to it.
And it might be my depression and anxiety talking but sometimes I feel like it's all too much and that I will never be able to do it.
Other times, I wonder: does everyone feels this way? Is it my anxiety? Does it really make me that different? Is there... something wrong with me?  

I think a lot these days about a certain poem we learned at school, called The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood 
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as jut as fair, 
And having perhaps the better claim, 
Because it was grassy and wanted wear; 
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back. 

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

I wanted to tell you this, to write you this, because we're readers but we're also people, and I find it important to talk, sometimes, about things other than books. About things that get into books more and more of late - anxiety, depression, mental health issues (there are quite a lot of these), LGBT.

I know many bloggers, readers, authors and people in general suffer from mental health issues. And I wanted to share this with all of you - those who know what I'm talking about and especially those of you who don't.

We're a community, and a community means being there for each other - both in the good and the bad.
It's easy being there for each other when all is good.
It's much harder when all is bad.
But it's also the bad moments when we find ourselves and others most. 

That being said, I freaking hate this state of mine.
Being anxious and depressed sucks like hell.
It's the most horrible, terrifying, dark and hopeless feelings I ever felt.

This is, by far, the darkest post I've ever written.
I didn't mean to pour everything out like that, but once I started writing... I couldn't stop myself. It all just came out.
And maybe it's for the best.
Because just thinking this horrible, dark feeling is something someone else experiences right now somewhere in the world is enough for me to want to put this post out there.

Life is a combination of light and dark.
And for me to share the light, I, sometimes, need to share the dark too.

Life is like a Colleen Hoover book.
Thing is, you can't just skip chapters as you will. Everyone is the main character of their own story, and that means they have to live through every minute of it. No skipping, no reading the ending first.

This is life.
And this is my story.
Well, the dark part of it, that is.

One of the things I love about books is being able to define and condense certain portions of a character's life into chapters. It's intriguing, because you can't do this with real life. You can't just end a chapter, then skip the things you don't want to live through, only to open it up to a chapter that better suits your mood. Life can't be divided into chapters... only minutes. The events of your life are all crammed together one minute right after the other without any leaps or blank pages or chapter breaks because not matter what happens life just keeps going and moving forward and words keep flowing and truths keep spewing whether you like it or not and life never lets you pause and just catch your freaking breath. I need one of those chapter breaks. I just want to catch my breath, but I have no idea how.  
-- Hopeless, Colleen Hoover. 


  1. oh Zoey, I hope life will get better for you with time. :(
    I'm sorry to hear that you're in that state of mind and I truly wish you only best so I hope you will find the strenght to fight all the dragons that life throws at you and at the end of the day, no matter how far it seems now, you will be at piece and proud of yourself. <3

    1. Thank you, Irena. Truly, and so much - THANK YOU.
      Your kind words make me want to do just that.
      I'm going to hold on to it and do the best I can do.

  2. So sorry that things have been particularly tough for you lately, Zoey. You should always feel welcome to vent on your blog. If you can't do it here, where can you? I pray that the light days start to overwhelm the dark and that you can find joy again. One day at a time.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. One day at a time... I hope so too.
      Thank you so much, Nicole.
      It's because of all of you amazing people that I feel free and welcome to vent on my blog. I could never have without you.
      And for that... thank you. So-so much.

  3. I haven't been able to comment your other posts because I want the comments to be more than just "great post", you know? I want them to be meaningful. But then I read this and I had to take time to reply. It's very hard to talk about these things, not only because of the stigma that surrounds mental health, but also because it's so personal and everyone experiences different things. It's really amazing that you shared your experience and I wanted to thank you, because I also feel like nobody else understands.
    I really relate to all the things you wrote, especially all the expectations that come with being an adult. It's painful to watch others do amazing things while we are scared and don't know what to do or where to go, or even to think if we *can* do anything at all. Fear freezes us in place. But I find it very helpful to find other stories of people who felt or feel the same, to know that not everyone has the same pace in life. I graduated at 22 from college, but some of my friends were much older and I never thought nothing of it. Now, I realize that their journey was so different from mine. We met when our journeys met, and then went different places again, and nobody is in the wrong, nobody is better than the rest. We all do things differently and what matters is that we stay true to ourselves.
    This might be a little vague, but that's because I want you to relate as much as possible, I hope you understand where I'm coming from!
    Being book bloggers, I can't help but recommend a book. Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig is a memoir where he explains how one day deppression came into his life and never left and how he deals with it. I didn't relate to many things he talked about because his experience was vastly different from mine, but it also helped me. I learned a new perspective and with that I learned more about me, which is always helpful.
    So, what I'm trying to say is: You're not alone. Deppression and anxiety are a part of you, but they aren't YOU! You are amazing. To finish this up a quote from a lovely actress I love (Sierra Boggess): "You are enough. You are so enough, it's unbelivable how enough you are.". Don't let anyone belittle you, your fears, feelings or expectations because they are valid, but remember they aren't everything. You are also amazing, creative, smart and kind. The world is scary, but it's also full of hope and opportunities.
    This probably makes no sense, but I hope something in here helps you feel a tiny bit better <3

    1. You can't see it, but I'm smiling right now.
      This is, by far, the hardest comment to reply to. Because it's the one that made me feel the most. And it's always hard to capture exactly how you feel about something to the person who made you feel it, without sounding a) stupid, or b) weird.
      You know what I mean, don't you? You always do.
      And I'm so grateful for that because I feel like, even when everything falls apart, I still have someone to talk to. And, really, it's the most important thing in the world to me.
      I feel like saying "thank you" is way too simple to answer this beautiful, wonderful, amazing comment. But I have no other words, so I'll say it anyway: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
      I feel like I still have so much to say. Like, how grateful I am you shared part of your expirience with me. And how amazing your qoute and book recommendation made me feel. But I can't seem to find the right words. Maybe there aren't any.
      Like I said, I'm smiling right now. So don't you worry, because you definitely made me feel a tiny bit better. You alway does <3 <3

    2. I do know what you mean. I'm super glad I made you feel a tiny bit better, that's actually huge! Don't worry about finding the "right" words, what you said is truly enough :)

  4. Hey, Zoey.Depression is the most isolating thing a person can go through. It strikes out of nowhere, with no real warnings or triggers.It may seem as if you had a really bad day and are stuck living in a loop, all roads lead back to feeling hopeless and hollow. All I can say is, this too shall pass and things will get better.
    The worst is when people advice you to move on or cheer up, ignore them and do something that centres you.
    Being an adult is overwhelming and you will be tempted to compare and compete with others. Don't do that. Know yourself, what is important to you, live on your own terms and everything will fall into place.
    I want to recommend a book which comes under romantic suspense but covered the feeling of depression really well. Its Northern Lights by Nora Roberts, do give it a chance.
    I hope you feel better soon :)

    1. Thank you, Lakshmi. Your comment came just as the right time for me. It was wonderful and beautiful and it calmed me down a great deal.
      I think I read it 10 times (and one more time just now :) ).
      Nora Roberts? I heard a lot about her. Good things. And a book that covers depression isn't something you see very often. I'll be sure to check it out.
      Really, thank you so much Lakshmi - for your words and your recommendation. I'm taking it to heart <3