I came across this quote and found it completely opposite for me:
“Whenever you read a cancer booklet or website or whatever, they always list depression among the side effects of cancer. But, in fact, depression is not a side effect of cancer. Depression is a side effect of dying.”
― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
To me, depression is not a side effect of dying; I am not afraid of death. It’s a side effect of living!
Being alive is much more terrifying. It’s trudging through all of life’s hardships, ebbs and flows, hurts, disappointments, rejections, heartbreaks, loss, new beginnings, endings, lost dreams, dashed hopes, and the crushing sense of hopelessness. I have learned these are just a part of life, and instead of allowing them to destroy me, I must fight the good fight, do the next right thing, and just let it go. It’s just a part of being alive; no one is immune.
Of course, happiness is a side effect of living too. And so is anger, love, resentment, jealousy — all emotions come into play. It’s a matter of channeling the negative ones, the ones that perpetuate my anxiety and depression, into something positive. I was told once that no one is born with a sense of purpose or a reason to live. They just discover it on their own. I personally am still looking.
In the meantime, I always have to have something to look forward to or something to work toward. Otherwise I can be lost in a sea of despair or apathy. I have to wake up every morning and think:
• How can I make someone’s life better, just for today?
• What can I do to better myself?
• What is something new I can learn or experience?
• What do I have, right now, to be thankful for?
These, along with actively battling negative thoughts, help me get through each day. I will be honest, some days just being alive is hard enough — there is not much room for anything else but breathing.
As long as I am moving forward and keep a positive attitude, then I might just see a miracle someday.