Life is funny.
I’ve been debating what to write about for this post for the last two months. Should I write about all of the heterosexual couples of all ages that I’ve been third wheeling with? Should I write about the hilarity of the social contest that plays out on campus each day or the sulking art students that I share space with on a daily basis? Should I write about the middle-aged hipsters that I make coffee for each Friday? Or about how daunting it was to choose a username because I wanted a cool/hip name?
It’s fun to write about all of this vanity, but I’ve decided to write about a more serious topic. It’s all been said before in many different ways: life is hard. I feel restless and stagnant at the same time. College is stressful and despite considering myself a good person I wake up in the morning with an anxious stomachache. I’m not exactly sure what it is that I’m scared of, but it seems to be a concoction of elusive factors that I can’t control. Depression and anxiety are real and I think sharing my experience with it will be helpful for me and hopefully for some of you.
This is not my best writing. But I’m going to write anyways, because participation is 50% of the grade, right?
I apologize if this sounds like a whole bunch of mumble jumble from a thirteen-year-old’s diary, but that’s how I feel right now. I feel like a scared thirteen year old. And for some reason, writing helps. Scribbling down questions. Wasting ink. Usually writing down words that I’ll look back on and laugh at. But right now I feel pretty bad.
Typing that last sentence and knowing that all of you will read it is terrifying. I don’t think anyone ever wants to feel out of control or incapable or most of all misrepresented. There is so much stigma around mental illness, but if we talk about it, it doesn’t seem as scary. Mental health is a hard thing to talk about because in a sense, it is invisible. The human mind is not a broken arm that can simply be set in a cast and healed. I’m mostly afraid of forgetting who I am amidst the terrifying places I find in my own head at times. All of you remind me that life won’t always feel this bad.
I’ve decided to make this post a sort of acknowledgement for not only myself so that I can accept I don’t have to deal with my struggles alone, but also as a collective thank you note for all of the loving and empowering women in my life. The women who remind me daily that I am more than the challenges I am dealing with right now.
First off, I want to write about my mom.
My mom is superwoman. She literally runs marathons, but I think raising me has been a marathon in itself for her. I want to thank her for her patience and willingness to stick with me through my super angsty teenage years and I guess what has recently become my angsty twentieth year. I don’t know where I’d be without my mom, and I know it sounds cliché, but she’s the shit. Thank you for taking my sarcasm with a grain of salt and trying to understand my quirky and cynical sense of humor.
To my aunt who found me sobbing alone in my room last weekend and just laid with me. Thank you for being there.
To my other aunt whose sweet texts and willingness to lend a helping hand are a constant.
Thanks to my little sister who is just an awesome upbeat person and all of my cousins who are so fun and loving as well.
I think what I mostly want to convey in this post is that I want the people I love in my life to know I love them. With depression, I feel like I am always trying to find the culprit, the reason that I cry without a cue. Why I carry around this heavy backpack full of sadness and hopelessness. The biggest fear I have is that the people in my life will think they are the cause of my pain. When in reality I’ve found that you guys are the only reason I can put that backpack on the ground for a second or two, and remember what it’s like to not be depressed. It’s easy to forget how much support we have all around us. It can be hard to ask for help or even to accept help. But I want everyone to know that you have people that care about you unconditionally. We live in a world where being independent is valued and achieving more is what we strive for. But we all need a little help.
And that’s okay.
Sometimes I feel guilty that I feel depressed because I do have so many awesome people in my life. This blog post is a reminder to myself and everyone else to never be ashamed to admit if you are struggling, because I know that any one of the women reading this would be able to turn your day around with a simple hug or an encouraging text, or help you find professional help if you need it. No one has it all figured out, but it’s more fun to try and figure it out together.
Next month I promise I’ll write a funny story, because I swear life sure is funny.