Defeating the Dark Side:

Originally posted on The Canon Rebel - March 6th 2016

I just want to preface this post by saying that it won’t be of the “norm” – aka it won’t really deal with Star Wars Books at all, it’s more about “me” and what I have been living with. For me, the “Dark Side” is depression.

Depression comes in many forms, it can sap you, make you angry, exhaust you or make you feel flippant about things you love dearly or it can do all of these in one almighty crap heap.

The start to 2016 has been joyous for many reasons, mainly due to the fact I’m a very happily engaged man who is marrying the girl of his dreams on the 12th August – she gets my depression, she understands it makes me inward and she loves me all the same. That fills me with pure happiness and I know that the best decision of my life so far was to ask her to marry me. The fact that she can make me smile on my darkest days cements this fact.

It’s also been a couple of months feeling “meh” – avoiding things that need to be done, struggling to get out of bed, putting on a face and realising that depression will be around of a little while yet. This post is one of those things I have been avoiding (the first paragraph has been open for 2 weeks) and by writing it I’m saying “no more. I turn to the light”.

So how does Star Wars come in to this? Apart from the obvious and convenient metaphor it has helped more than you can imagine; it’s been a constant, an escape. I get a weekly comic, I get a new book every few months and a brilliant episode of Star Wars Rebels every Saturday. It’s something to pin my week around and I know that it’ll give me times of enjoyment and debate with the community on Twitter. That open community has also been of great benefit. I’ve had long periods of barely being around and yet when I’ve ventured back you guys have been responsive, patient (Christopher Abbott) and kind. Thank you.

I know I do not struggle in this alone, mental illness is sadly quite common and yet it is not openly talked about. It is and should not be a taboo, it’s something to face up to and challenge head on. That’ll hurt and create tension in yourself but I’m learning that it works to do things that make your upset mind uncomfortable and to seek out joy when you can. Occasionally your mind will allow it and that is worth seeking.

Star Wars is just one of those things that gives me joy; my God, my family and friends, my work, and my fiancé give me so much more and I hope and pray that they know that. I guess I’ve used this post as a “coming out” moment – to say I won’t be defeated and that fear of emotions unknown inevitably won’t lead deeper in to the Dark Side.

Short and sweet but a long time to write.

Signing off

Matt