comments 11

On the battle between my wolves

A while back, I wrote a blog post about depression and the stigma that surrounds it in the UAE (and lots of Arab countries). I’ve been thinking about it a lot especially because I haven’t exactly been doing so well.
I was debating whether or not I should talk about this, for the same reasons I mentioned in the last post. But also because I constantly feel like people are just going to get sick of it. A part of me keeps saying that people are probably thinking “oh boohoo, you’re sad, get over it.” And that scares me.
I’ve had quite a few people tell me that I seem to be doing so much better, that I seem happier. And while I’m glad they think that, it’s far from the truth. I just worry that my depression will drive people away, and that’s a terrifying thought. So I slowly stopped talking about it. Started saying “I’m good” when people ask me how I’m doing, instead of telling them the truth.
The truth is that I am so scared.  I’m scared of this monster that seems to be a resident in my head. I’m scared of the thought that things will never get better. And it got to a point where photography isn’t enough. It’s not that I don’t want to do it, it’s that I have no motivation. Sometimes I feel like I’m just dragging myself around and barely functioning. I have ideas. I have so many projects I want to be working on, but I’m struggling with actually getting myself to do them.
So why am I talking about it now? Because when I started this, I was always honest and transparent. I wore my heart on my sleeve. And if opening up about it can help someone else, then I’ll keep talking about it. I also recently read Joel Robison’s blog post on his own depression and was reminded of how important it is to talk about things that people choose to turn a blind eye to. Depression is real and it’s awful and no one should go through it alone. The main difference between now and when I wrote my first blog post about it is that I actually did get help. I’ve been in therapy and on medication for almost two months. Progress is slow, but it’s progress nonetheless. Therapy is hard work and I often (way too often) question if it’s even worth it. Today was one of those days, when quitting seems so tempting, so easy.

But deep down I know that I am not ready to give up the fight. If anything, I want to work harder. Even when it seems like staying down would be easier, a part of me won’t settle for this. A part of me wants to let hope and love grow and foster. This reminds me of a story I read a while back:
One evening an old Cherokee Indian told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, ‘My son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.’
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: ‘Which wolf wins?’
The old Cherokee simply replied, ‘The one you feed.’

I’ve been feeding the evil wolf for so long, but that’s slowly changing. And in an attempt to remind myself of why I started this in the first place, and how translating my feelings into images made me feel better, I decided to push myself and create something.

Through Dirt and Uncertainties

11 Comments

  1. amani amani amani you beautiful gorgeous soul! im always here for you! i LOVE this image and i love you for all you are! i am glad a part of you is fighting and pushing through. and know however faint and far away i am i am right there beside you willing you on!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kim Winey

    Thank you for sharing your struggle with us. I have no doubt that your vulnerability will help others in similar situations.

    I absolutely love the wolf story and have already shared it with my son and husband. Thank you again. ❤

    ~ Kim (another attendee of the Promoting Passion Convention, in October)

    PS Keep feeding the good wolf.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey love,

    I’m so glad you are staying open about your struggle. I think speaking your words out loud gives them so much power. Power of honesty, truth and commitment. When I want to make changes in my life I tell all my close friends and I ask them to help me fulfill my goals. Why bother suffering alone when your path to feeling healthy can be shared with those you love and love you.

    I’m also glad you have reached out to therapy and even medication. I know how hard it can be (I went back to therapy three weeks ago and left my session yesterday in tears) but I have also been healed by therapy in the past. One thing I do recommend is making sure your therapist is a good match. I usually feel like my therapy is a life-raft not a chore, so if you are not loving the process you might not have the right therapist. There are so many different types of therapy, Freudian, cognitive behavioral, transcendental, etc. one might work better for you. I am in transcendental and I find it so soul healing. It also uses a lot of metaphor that makes for great imagery. 🙂

    Don’t ever forget that we love you depressed or not. If you never get better we will still love you. If people seem frustrated hearing about your depression it’s only because they hate knowing you feel that weight in your life. I hope you feel better soon but if not we will all make a space for you to just be you as you are, someone who needs a certain kind of life, a blanket to hide under, a hand to drag you out to take an image, a hug and an ear to listen when you need to talk. Depression is not some shameful cancer you need to get rid of, some stigma you will finally shed so people will love you. We love you even on your most goth days.

    Meanwhile, give your depression a big hug and thank it for sticking so closely by your side for so long. It has been a faithful friend and a great place to hide if nothing else. You two may be together for a long time to come so make friends. As my therapist says: “invite your demons to tea” treat them codially and with respect and have a lovely conversation, get to really know each other. Eventually, you might not find them so frightening, and without that they often get bored and move on. All my love, always.
    Janelle

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Janelle ❤
      Your comment brought tears to my eyes. Sometimes it’s so easy to for me to convince myself that I’m alone in this, but then I read something like this and it reminds me that I’m not, and I’m so grateful for you. I’m so happy to know you and call you a friend.
      I’m happy to know that you’re taking care of yourself and getting help too. I know what you mean about leaving a session in tears, it can be quite overwhelming. Unfortunately, we don’t have a lot of types of therapy here. Mental health care isn’t as advanced as it should be. But I’m doing cognitive behavioral therapy, and it’s hard work. It’s almost exhausting at times to feel like you constantly need to be aware of your thoughts and be monitoring them too. It’s a slow progress, but I know I’ll get there eventually.
      I love what your therapist says about our demons. Not seeing them as something you need to be constantly fighting makes the whole thing seem a little less daunting.
      Thank you so much for taking the time to write this. It means the world to me. Sending you lots and lots of hugs ❤

      Like

  4. My dear friend Amani! You are a lovely person and I hope someday to meet you personally. May our paths will cross one day! That would be a great pleasure on my part. Another great work, Amani. I love this. XOXO.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thea

    My dear Amani, I love how you just speak from your heart… thank you for sharing and also thank you for sharing that little story with the big message – that is just so right for me right now… please do not think, that – because I do not comment so often lately – I do not follow or support your work anymore. I do! I read and enjoy every post and new image of yours. I am just – as you mentiioned yourself – overwhelmed by ideas, current and future projects as well as the anxiety that i feel with them… but your words always help me feel a little better. Thank you! Love and hugs! ❤

    Like

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