It's difficult to talk about mental health. Take this for someone who has been clinically diagnosed with a cocktail of clinical depression, social anxiety disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder. Three different times since teenage-hood. Medication was ended because it wasn't that bad. But 15 years to the date and the realisation of many of your childhood issues from shyness to mood swings to having the attention span of a dog being tied to your "disorders" is enlightening.
You don't even know what it really is. You can't explain it fully. You can't completely express in a way for fully people to understand why you feel sorrowful. You can't talk about it like it's something you can just take out like a splinter. It is labelled a "disease" but it has become a part of you.
Talking about this always sounds like an excuse. A scapegoat. That one thing that was "wrong" with you and cramming all your life's problems like your difficulty to maintain relationships or live life as fully as the rest. It sounds like an excuse to isolate yourself from others and push them away slowly. The more they mattered the further they had to be. You become so self-absorbed. So you talk to shrinks. At school. From work. From the doctor.
You don't feel on par with everyone. Feelings of inadequacy are a daily thing. So you work hard. Because nothing is ever enough. And you work in silence. In isolation. Writing seemed natural. It became natural. It led to an escapism that soon began to feel like avoidance. Trying to distance yourself from life. You find escape wherever you can and it turns into addictions: video games, drugs, pornography, super heroes, travelling.
You realise a big part of you is because of your mental health. "You don't choose to be a writer, writing chooses you." You don't choose to have depression or anxiety. You just do. And you look back at all the memorable and painful events in your life and see it through a darker perspective. But a clarifying one.
All this focus on yourself and you forget there is an outside world. You took people for granted. Belittled events that may have been bigger. And it never matters what you have on the surface. You grew up in a privileged environment. Two great countries and the financial flexibility to hop between either. Most people would kill to be in this spot. But it never matters.
Not even when your lofty ambitions become a reality will it matter. Because no amount of external stimulation will ever fix what's inside.
But you have to communicate with people. On the surface, you may just be a quiet person to many. Someone a bit moody, unpredictable, and at times, aloof and unapproachable. But you have to let someone know. Because they may be going through similar things.
What you experience sounds particular to yourself. But it may be the same for many others. And unless we all start sharing then we will never really know. We shouldn't be ashamed to talk about how unhappy and disappointed we can get. We all suffer quietly and we can deal with it ourselves. But let there be a dialogue. Stay connected. No matter how distant you feel.