Well, maybe. Quoting The Proclaimers goofy 80s hit may be a bit premature, but I am gradually feeling a bit better as time goes by. Life is not exactly a barrel of laughs, but I feel some progress.
There are probably a few reasons for this. I think this blog has been helpful in giving me an outlet for my own feelings and opinions, and also it is a way to meet other bloggers who are going through similar experiences. It feels good to have some sense of community, even one as ephemeral as the online world. It is good to know that I am not the only one going through anxiety and depression, and having the chance to be there for some others is also rewarding.
Over the past six months I have also been eating more healthily and exercising more as well. There is no such thing as a cure-all for depression, and it is something that will probably be with me in some form forever, but taking care of what I eat, and getting out there and putting my body through it's paces is good for me. Even today we tend to have some form of Cartesian dualism, where we think the mind and body are separate things. This is not true, but it is a very sticky meme. Mind and body are two parts of one whole, and neglecting the body cannot help but have a bad impact on the mind.
I've also made some first steps towards accepting myself as I am. I tend to be full of self-loathing, always wanting to be better or different than I am. But I am what I am, and I need to just deal with that. I'm doing the best that I can, and beating myself up over being inadequate doesn't help anyone, least of all myself.
As well as that, I've come to realize that I am not quite as inadequate as I thought I was. I've been making some progress in life, slowly but surely. Previously I wrote about the isolation I felt when I went to see fireworks a few months ago, feeling so alone, isolated, removed from the people I was with. I received quite a few insightful replies to that post, but the one that really made me think was from Nick. He talked about how there is room for all kinds of people in the world, and no point in trying to be something we are not. I'll never be a gregarious extrovert, and there is nothing wrong with that. It is just the way I am.
Last night I went to a combined halloween/birthday party. I was coming from work, so decided to simply compliment my suit with horns and a pitchfork, and come as a "corporate demon", which people seemed to think was pretty funny. I talked to a few people some of whom I knew, others who were strangers. I talked to a variety of people, Japanese, Chinese, miscellaneous Westerners, in English and my broken Japanese. I wasn't the life of the party, and I did feel uncomfortable at times. I don't think I'll ever be really comfortable in crowded social settings. But it was much better than that night under the fireworks.
Life is a struggle, but I seem to be making progress, slowly but steadily. And like those Scottish lads sang, I'll do my best, to do the best I can!