By Mazwi Tyson Zondi

Everybody has an idea about what rules their lives; the predominant story that is at the backdrop of every single life event. A mother’s love, a brother’s death, their physical beauty.

Mine? Fear.

I feel like what defines my life, and the actions I’ve taken in it, is fear of the future. As we all know, it’s easier to live for the sure thing. We are addicted to the promise of the safe bet.

Uncertainty is probably our worst fear, because whatever we are uncertain of could always hold a direct threat to our current happiness (or should I say comfort?)

Ironically enough, unpredictability is what makes the world go round. My worst fears all came true- one after the other. I was anxiety-ridden. I spent weeks in bed, too afraid to face the hell that was my life.

Eventually, there came a point where I wanted to just end it all. My failure to do so dampened my spirits (“you’re such a coward you can’t even end your own life!”) but it was the first time in what felt like forever that I could actually make a choice.

I could either withdraw deeper into my deep and dark hole of helplessness, or I could try and find something to live for.

I looked around me. I really looked around me. There were people around me who actually cared about me. Who woke up in the wee hours in the morning and listened to my teary ramblings. Who shared dozens of quotes and uplifting books.

The one thing that family and friends of depressed people often fail to realize is that the fog of darkness isn’t just a simple book, hug, or even a therapy session away.

It takes time, effort, and a personal willingness by the individual to sift through the fog.

And while its been years since my initial decision to choose life, its still a rather arduous journey. One with euphoric highs and debilitating lows, but a journey I’m proud of, nonetheless.

They say you can only defeat fear through love. It took me a long while to change my overarching story, but when I did, I found that the love I was always missing was my own.

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