Emoji of a panda
Connor Bär
Waves disturb a dark body of water.

The Sound of Silence

Journal

Dear friends, it’s been ages. I’ve meant to write to you for a while now but never had the courage. I am deeply sorry. This post is both an explanation to you and a plan of action for me.

What happened?

I was struggling, struggling to stay in control of my life. A cloud of dark thoughts clung to my mind. I am hesitant to call it depression. There are many people who are worse off than I was and I don’t want to hide behind a medical term. Truth is, I wasn’t okay.

I felt a deep, numbing sadness. It felt like a dream where I kept falling and falling and there seemed no end to it and if this wasn't enough slowly the light appeared to dim and before I knew it I was surrounded with this dark empty space filled with nothing but my own negativity and suffering and then from the darkness thoughts appeared that it’s better to curl up and die somehow rather than to make futile efforts to climb back up towards the little rays of light that still sometimes penetrated this dark soulless pit.

I listened to music on full volume to drown out the pain. I stayed awake until 3 o’clock in the morning until I fell asleep on my laptop, because I was too scared to face my thoughts before falling asleep. I worked 80 hours a week to keep myself distracted. I didn’t go outside for days. I didn’t message my closest friends or anyone else for months.

I was running away from everything — but I couldn’t run from myself.

I can’t give you any reasons why I started running. I don’t know myself. I only know that the longer and faster I ran, the worse my anxiety got and the harder it seemed to get out of it.

I am worn out and tired of running. It got me here and here is not a place I like to be. When I look at myself I see a pile of weakness, fears, and failure. That’s not me. That’s not who I used to be and that’s not who I want to be.

What now?

The fear and sadness still come back in waves, but I am getting better at handling them. I’m gradually regaining control of my life.

I just accepted a full-time job offer in Berlin. After living with my grandma, then-girlfriend, parents and sister for the past year, I look forward to having my own apartment. What I need at the moment is stability, independence and a path forward. I have promised myself to achieve this step by step.

I am slowly tearing down the walls I’ve built around myself and reaching out to my friends again (that’s you!). The past few months have been very lonely and I can’t wait to hear what’s happened in your life. However, opening up is still difficult for me, so please be patient with me.

Thank you to everyone who has been there for me, reached out to me or thought of me. I am deeply, deeply grateful to have you all in my life.

With much ❤️,
Connor

PS: The title is a reference to the song The Sound of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel. I've been listening to it on repeat.