All my life there has been a looming darkness of terrifying fear and panic. It haunted my dreams since infant hood. It visited me in a reoccurring dream. The scenery would change but the feeling was the same. Once it came to me with images of needing to find a single star in the universe. Once it was feeling the pressure of discovering an impossible mathematical equation. It’s the feeling that you must find a needle in a haystack and that your life depends on it. With this reoccurring nightmare came the feeling of helplessness that the odds were infinitely stacked against me. The dreams stopped sometime in my youth and this fear entered into my waking thoughts. It has since revealed itself in fears associated with money, career, life purpose, finding lasting love and inner peace. It has manifested in my adulthood as anxiety and moderate to severe depression. I have coped with it through self loathing, self judgment and self medication. In the worst times I have fantasized of a time when it would all end. Too many times the weight of it has become so heavy that I could no longer fight or deny its existence. I admitted to myself I was helpless to find answers and bring into existence the life I’ve wanted. I allowed myself to feel the sadness, to accept that I couldn’t change it and just give up trying and admit defeat. In these moments, something magical happens every time. When ever I have not turned to denial or self medication I laid down the burden, let it die and watered it with my tears. This is when relief comes like a cleansing rain and somehow every time I feel a warmth like the sun peaking out from behind a cloud and of all the times in my life I’ve never felt something so good and honest and true as in these dark moments. My relationship with struggle and depression has been something I have accepted as a part of me. I am grateful for it. It has taught me how to stop and pay attention, listen to my heart, know myself, fight for my life and self heal. It has taught me how to find the beauty in the sun that always peeks out of the clouds with faithful light and warmth that makes life worth living. I’ve learned that depression is real, but that the morning after is just as real, and that the morning always comes.