Hello and welcome to Geeks Vs Loneliness, our corner of the site where we can talk life, the universe and how it’s OK not to be OK.
We’re shifting seasons at the moment. For some of you out there the shorter days and dark nights can weigh heavy on your heart. The nights draw in, and the darkness expands, bringing anxiety and fear. Here, in this place, we know there is no magic potion, no dream elixir of happiness that will burn out the shadows.
What we can do is offer a hand of friendship. A non-judgmental one, at that. Geeks Vs Loneliness is a space to natter, to talk, to be heard if you need it to be. Someone will be listening.
Matt Haig’s Reasons To Stay Alive is a book that has been recommended in several previous GvL articles and is recommended if you are struggling. Charlotte Harrison referenced how much it meant to her in her moving piece for GvL last year, ‘Reasons To Keep Going’. It’s an honest, raw account of living with depression and anxiety and you can read it here.
Matt’s book is a beacon in the dark, helping to illuminate the shadows and give a gentle hand in keeping them at bay. No magic wishes, no promises. Haig vividly describes his anxiety and depression as an inferno inside his brain:
‘You are walking around with your head on fire and no one can see the flames.’
He goes on to talk about anxiety creating whirlpools in the swamp of depression. Hurricanes and stress swamps – all bubbling under the surface draining our energy and life force with incessant movement.
How do we douse the flames? We go back to there being no magic formula, no potion or one-stop cure that will pour soothing balm on our internal conflagration. However, we as a community can reach out and become an informal beacon across the internet, giving space to express our feelings. It’s also fine to just read the conversation if you don’t feel you can join in at this stage.
Back in 2016 Caroline Preece wrote a wonderful article for GvL about opening up to her doctor. You can read it here. To quote the old advert, sometimes it’s good to talk. Whether to a professional (and links are included below), or more informally and anonymously below the line.
It’s worth remembering, as Matt Haig says, that ‘…the bottom of the valley never provides the clearest view.’ If you step outside on a cold clear night you will find the darkness speckled with light. The stars shine bright, even when clouds cover them. Remember they are there, fixed points of light that guide us through the maze of the cosmos.