You're not alone.

"It's a peculiar feeling, feeling nothing at all.
Not even a feeling, just a hole, that is all.
No direction or purpose, no passion nor care.
Just a hollow detachment, leading straight to despair."

I don't think it would be possible to write today, without mentioning the passing of Robin Williams.  Deaths of this nature, highlight how much work there is still to be done, in regards to helping people with mental health issues.

As I myself have suffered with chronic depression for over twelve years, I know only too well how difficult it can be not to lose hope & to continually pick yourself back up & out of a black hole.  It can be very easy to hide the overwhelming & often unexplainable grief you're suffering internally, by painting a smile on your face & being very jovial externally.  If only people realised that sometimes the people who seem the happiest, are actually suffering the most.  Something to remember & keep in mind.

I cannot reiterate enough, how important it is to talk about the things that are affecting us, even if it is not always an easy subject matter & perhaps one that makes us feel uncomfortable discussing.  The more we keep silent about our struggles, the more we isolate ourselves & continue to suffer alone.  Only through being courageous enough to be open, can we help both ourselves & others, by sharing our experiences.  Think of the amount of people out there, (perhaps including yourself) who keep their pain hidden, sometimes until it's too late for anyone to even realise they need help.

The more open you become, the more you realise how many people are suffering from the same internal ailments & issues, which in turn, helps to give you both a better sense of perspective & also perhaps a sense of support.  Please believe, you are not alone in feeling the way that you do.  Yes, there is still a lot of misunderstanding & lack of education around the issue of mental health, but this is precisely why people need to be encouraged to start discussing it more openly.

If you have never experienced any form of depression, then look around, because there is no doubt in my mind that someone you know, someone you love, has & may still be suffering as we speak.  Granted it's not always easy to be around someone who is suffering.  Having recently spent time with someone I care about, who's self-destructive behaviour was unbearable, I've come to realise how difficult it must have been for mère living with me for all those years.

All the times I screamed the house down, or blackened my knuckles after punching a wall.  The suicide attempts & the endless tears of despair, stemming from unimaginable grief.  I can see now how incredibly difficult I was to live with & equally so, how hard it is to see someone you love tear themselves apart & feel completely unable to help them.  Patience & understanding is the most important thing in these situations & let's face it, even the strongest person can struggle with that after time.

I cannot express proficiently enough in words, how thankful I am, that the past year of traveling has acted to resolve a great deal of the issues that were causing this internal pain & suffering & how, after over a decade, I am now able to say that I am no longer battling with depression.  However, there are still so many people out there, who are still encased within their heavy smog, unable to see clearly & are perhaps not in a position to ask for help, or even know where to begin trying to find it.

So, I ask everyone, to have a little patience & understanding & restrain from judgement.  Be loving & kind, both to yourself & others. Be open about how you're really feeling & don't be afraid to say if you're unhappy or sad, even if you feel it's for no reason.  Don't play pretend & cover up your sorrow with a smile.  The more honest you are, the more honest the world becomes & in turn, this causes a ripple effect that will, I hope, one day help to heal a multitude of wounds.

Most importantly, please remember, you are not alone.

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