This post is for those of you struggling with your day to day life.
Those of you who can’t or won’t get out of bed.
Those of you who need antidepressants, anti-anxiety pills, or bipolar medication to stabilize your moods, giving you the ability to live a “normal life.”
What even is a “normal life?”
In the last couple years, mental health and mental illnesses have become less taboo and more of a “who doesn’t have something wrong with them?” I, for one, am definitely happy that we are talking about it and social media is an incredible platform for it to be shared on.
You could have everything going for you… Depression doesn’t care; anxiety is still present. We can’t just turn it off.
I have struggled with anxiety and depression since I was in elementary school, giving me quite some time to get used to it… Have I? Gotten used to it, that is. No. I was bullied throughout elementary and middle school, which made me isolate myself from most people. I didn’t have many friends and that made me very sad. When I got to high school, my depression really became apparent. I was on a birth control that really made my hormones fluctuate, obviously affecting my mood. I was sad ALL the time and didn’t have a clue why. I began self-harming as a cry for help and began therapy shortly after my parents found out.
I am so for therapy it’s not even funny. I know some people think that talking to someone about what is going on in your life may be a sign of weakness or a waste of time and money but I promise you, it’s not. It is so, well, therapeutic! My motto, which is sixthousandminutes, came from my therapy sessions.
*Sixthousandminutes is equivalent to four days and four days is the amount of time it takes for someone’s perspective to change. So if you’re ever thinking of doing something rash, give it 4 days (sixthousandminutes) and I promise you’ll have a new perspective.*
It’s hard being so young and having such a negative perspective of yourself. It only got worse.
Those of you who know me may know that I moved home from college during the middle of my Sophomore year. My parents had to come get me because I was hospitalized. I was suicidal. This really changed everything. My family and I grew a lot closer, but it also made things a lot harder. They were concerned, obviously, as any parent would be after their kid just tried to off themselves. We decided it was best to see if there was any kind of medication that I could start taking, to at least balance my mood and make me “normal.”
This is something very controversial in the mental health world. Medication.
I personally believe that if there is something that will bring some sort of normalcy to your life and balance you out, why the hell not??? (Slightly a hypocrite because I sometimes forget to take my medicine for a week or two at a time… DEFINITELY see a huge difference when I’ve skipped it.)
I started on Zoloft and it worked for about six to eight months, then I had to change because the dosage got too high and I wasn’t feeling like myself… which is sometimes a side effect to antidepressants. Also during this time, I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, which explained my excessive spending problem that I had accrued… Whoops.
Add that on, I am now a triple threat in the mental illness world.
Having grown up in the church, I have always wondered why God had given me such a heavy burden to carry. I’ve screamed, I’ve cried, I’ve cursed, you name it. I didn’t understand. Would I change what I’ve gone through, though?
As crazy as that sounds, I would not change what I have gone through, if I could. Living with these things has made me the person I am today, and quite frankly, I am proud as hell of who I am. I have met INCREDIBLE people through talking about mental illness. It has been a journey, and just like any journey there have been ups and downs. The ups totally outweigh the downs, though. For anyone struggling, please PLEASE know that you are not alone. There are resources out there that you can reach out to. You can reach out to me if you need to. This life is scary and hard and devastating, but it is also beautiful and thrilling and magnificent. The thing is, we’ve gotta be around to experience it all.
There is a brand called the Mental Health League (MHL) and they sell hats that raise money for mental health charities. They donate 20% of their net profit to help end the stigma of mental illness. There is no off-season. It’s real. It’s raw. Let’s end the stigma and continue the talk. We are all in this together, as the cast of High School Musical sang back in 2006.
Always know that I am here to listen if you need to talk.
Much love and all the good thoughts!
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1 (800) 273-8255
Crisis Line: 1 (888) 724-7240
Survivors of Suicide Loss: 1 (619) 482-0297