‘Tis the season.

To me…

Recovery is being excited about the company Christmas exchange.
Depression is this swallowing feeling that even though you wrote your name on the list, no one picked you, and you’ll show up and awkwardly not have a gift.

Recovery is cooking a healthy meal for dinner because you want to better your life.
Depression is throwing it away, with barely any bites taken, because the sight of food makes you sick.

Recovery is making your bed for the day so that you aren’t tempted to sleep any more.
Depression is curling up on the couch in the dark because you can’t mess that up, but you need to sleep in the early afternoon.

Recovery is knowing that you need to talk to someone about how you’re feeling, so you decide to text your friends asking for help.
Depression is deleting the text before you send it, because you don’t want to be a burden to any of them, because you do it all of the time.

Recovery is going for a run to clear your mind and exercise.
Depression is walking outside with your shoes laced up, and turning right back around, because the sun hurts your eyes.

Recovery is seeing the good days and wanting to get better.
Depression is remembering the bad days, and constantly waiting for the day that you’ll mess up and fall back into the black hole instead of into the sun.

Recovery is seeing the twinkling lights on the Christmas tree and houses and smiling.
Depression is seeing the lights and imagining the flame inside of you, burning your thoughts and heart.

Recovery is drinking coffee or hot cocoa to stay warm when it’s chilly.
Depression is wishing that it was a cup filled with alcohol to stay numb when my soul is chilly.

Recovery is something that we long for.
Depression is something that longs for us.

The Letter I Never Wrote

This isn’t the easiest thing for me to do. I thought that writing this all out would be simple, would help to ease my mind a bit and make this whole thing seem worth it, but it doesn’t.

It doesn’t even come close to the release that I long to feel.

If you’re reading this, I want to thank you. At the same time, I want to say I’m sorry.

If my parents are reading this, I want them to realize how much I love being their daughter. I want them to know that I appreciate all that they’ve ever done for me, and how they never gave up on me. I was a difficult child, an angsty teenager, and a lazy adult. They always worried, but they tried their best to hide their concern from me. They thought that I couldn’t see the pain that was in their eyes, glistening and shooting little beams of hope into my soul. But I saw it all, and those little beams bounced right off of me and into God only knows where. I tried my hardest to be the best daughter that I could be, but I know I probably failed them multiple times. So to them, I’m sorry.

If my siblings are reading this, please don’t let them think any less of their big sister. I always strived to be a role model to them, but like mom and dad, I know I failed them. I would brush away their problems because mine were swallowing me. Instead of telling them what was wrong, I kept it bundled inside until I couldn’t hold it in any longer. I know I scared them those times when I’d collapse on the kitchen floor, sobbing and unable to breathe. I know I made them furious when I wouldn’t open up and let them into my mind. I know I let them down. I know I probably failed them. So to them, I’m sorry.

If my friends are reading this, I want to thank them for sticking by me on my worst days. If I ever needed a pick-me-up, I knew they were always there. But I didn’t always listen to their advice. I would shove them away because I didn’t want to hurt them while I was hurting myself. I couldn’t let them see me so broken. I knew I’d always have my family, but I couldn’t stand the thought of losing my friends as well. So I hid. I’d stay in my bed while they all went out. I’d tell them I was sick. I’d tell them I was tired. Not lies, just stretches of the truth. I know I wasn’t the best friend that I could have been. I know I probably failed them. So to them, I’m sorry.

But there’s another that I’ve failed: my depression.

My depression swallows me whole, chewing me up and spitting me back out. My depression fills my soul with this pressure that I can’t quite explain, other than it being like an elephant is sitting on my chest while I’m trying to run a marathon, but the elephant is doing cartwheels and my heart is pounding out of control.

I wanted to run away. I wanted to listen to those thoughts in my head and just end it all. My depression told me that the only release would be to end it. My depression screamed and cried when I was silent, and was a constant presence when I was occupied. My depression told me that I had to give up. That it wanted me to cave in and succumb to the darkness.

But I didn’t do that. And I’m not going to do that.

While it seems like a letter of despair, it is actually one of hope. It was never written because it is not yet over. I am not yet over.

So, in a way, I’ve failed my depression. While it continues to push me until I break and give up, I keep going. While it shouts in my mind while I’m trying to find peace, I am reminded of how strong I am.

In a way, it is a goodbye letter.

Goodbye to my depression. Goodbye to the darkness and the loudness and the brokenness.

Hello to the healing. Hello to the light.

I am not sorry for failing you.

Depression and Love Don’t Go Down Smoothly

I honestly didn’t realize how long it’s been since I’ve written on here, so if anyone was truly invested in reading what I had to say, I apologize.

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about relationships and reflecting on my own, and how mental illness plays a role in it.

For so long during my darker period, I wanted nothing to do with love or people in general. I would push away those that wanted to help me, and refused to let anyone come into my life that might actually care about me. I’ve finally decided to let someone in recently, but those thoughts still creep in.

I can’t help but wonder what he sees when he sees the scars, how he could care about me even when I don’t care about myself, and how long he’ll stick around during my “bad moods”.

According to psychologist Shannon Kolakowski, PsyD, in her book When Depression Hurts Your Relationship: How to Regain Intimacy and Reconnect with Your Partner When You’re Depressed, depression basically prevents you from having a connection with anyone, leaving symptoms such as anger, doubt, and others.

But it’s not just depression. Other mental illnesses prevent such behavior as well. These illnesses creep up on those that aren’t suspecting it at all, and basically make them believe that they aren’t meant to be loved or cared for in any sense.

These illnesses make people feel worthless, self-conscious, and just plain bad about themselves. They make people believe that they are their illnesses and their scars and their pills and their nightmares.

But they are not those things, they are so much more.

So to those that fall in love with someone with a MI:

  • Be patient with us. There’s quite a lot going on in our minds. Not only are we worrying and thinking about you, we’re also worrying about ourselves, our families, what will happen within the next hour, and other seemingly trivial moments or actions.
  • There will be times when we want to talk, and times when we don’t want to talk about what is going on in our minds. Please respect us and don’t try to pry. When we’re ready to talk about how we’re feeling, or why we’re acting a certain way, we will tell you. We promise.
  • We often won’t say anything because we don’t want to burden you. We know how heavy our problems are — we don’t want to put that weight on you. You might say it’s okay, but we know just how quickly it can all add up. You have your own problems to worry about, why should we add ours to the mix? We’d rather you stay happy than bring you down with us.
  • Please don’t judge us or try to “fix” things if we don’t want to eat today, have visible (or invisible) scars, would rather stay in bed, or whatever. We are quite aware that these are problems, but to us, right now, it’s comfort. Unfortunately, you can’t force someone to get help, even when they need it, so for now just be there for us. If we need to cry, don’t ask questions — just let us cry. If we don’t want to eat/want to binge eat, don’t make a snide comment. If we want to stay in bed all day, join us. We know we’re missing out on whatever is going on that day. We know we are missing out on some really great food. But that doesn’t appeal to us all of the time.
  • Every illness is different, and every person deals with their demons differently. MIs are not cookie-cutter diseases. While it’s wonderful to have an understanding of what we’re going through (trust me, we do appreciate it), we can’t promise that we’ll act the way we’re “supposed to act” based on certain definitions.
  • Doctors prescribe medications to people who are facing illnesses. Why should our medications be more stigmatized than someone that has the flu or something? We are still fighting a disease that needs to be regulated chemically. They are not “crazy pills” or any other sort of stereotypical name.
  • If you love us, and you tell us, don’t feel hurt if we don’t say it back, either right away or not at all. Sometimes it’s very hard for us to believe that someone would actually care about us when we can’t even love ourselves. But if you do say it, you’d better mean it. Don’t just say things to try to make us “feel better”. It will only bring more doubt and suspicion, and things will get even worse. Intimacy is hard enough for us.
  • Be honest with us. If you can’t handle our MIs, tell us. It’s okay. Will it hurt? Probably. But we’d appreciate your honesty more than anything.

So just let us be us, and eventually the MI will disappear. It may come back sometimes, but know that we are more than our MIs. We are beautiful, caring, wonderful people and we deserve love just as much as anyone else.

Stay Strong.

Dolls Are For Comfort

So, I posted this on my Facebook, but I’d like to share it here as well because it really bothered me.

I was browsing the news today and came across an article on Fox News about a father who is concerned for his daughter’s well-being after purchasing a Sadness doll from the Disney movie “Inside Out”.

Inside Out is a recent Disney film which focuses on the “little voices” and emotions of an 11-year-old girl. The five emotions that are highlighted are Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust. All pretty generic emotions — all vital for human beings to properly function.

I have not seen the movie, but from what I’ve gathered from the previews, Joy and Sadness end up going missing and must find their way back after Sadness accidentally tampers with some of the girl’s memories — by touching them, she turns them into sad memories instead of the happy ones, etc.

As with many Disney characters, the emotions were made into toys to be sold in stores.

Here’s where I get annoyed.

A father decided to buy this doll for his daughter, who wanted it but who hadn’t seen the movie, but later discovered that “he made the wrong choice”. Why?

Because the doll was too sad.


Too sad? I mean, I don’t know what else you’d expect from a doll named Sadness.

The father, who studied psychology at a university in the UK, claims that the sadness doll “could lead children to depression”.

He said that he was shocked to hear the doll saying some phrases that could be taken as suicidal, like “I’m in an emotional slump – my legs don’t work. Give me an hour” and “Goodbye friendship, hello loneliness.”

“It had some very generic phrases but also some absolutely crazy messages for young children,” the father told a reporter. “The doll speaks in a very slow, depressed, melancholic tone and myself and my partner sat listening to it and we thought ‘that’s heavy, even for an adult.’”

I’m sorry, but I just cannot get behind this guy’s thoughts. Disney would be getting bashed for not portraying “sadness” properly. Sometimes kids get sad. PEOPLE get sad. People feel lonely and sluggish and not good enough. Does that mean the person is clinically depressed? No. Not at all. People of all ages have bad days. Sadness is a key emotion to have. There has to be some balance, or one runs the risk of being “manic” (showing extreme or frantic bouts of energy/excitement).

One does not simply “turn depressed”. There’s usually some sort of triggering event in the person’s life. Yes, people can go through prolonged periods of sadness and loneliness, but depression is often a chemical imbalance in the brain. One doll is not going to “make children become depressed”, like this father is claiming.

Now, if the child is in possession of this doll during a rough patch of her/his life, then it may not necessarily help them to recover. BUT the doll may act as a certain comfort tool for children facing traumatic experiences, no matter how minor — “This doll kind of understands me. I can hold on to this doll and I won’t feel so alone.”

A psychotherapist was then consulted to see if the father was overreacting, or if his concerns were valid.

The psychotherapist thinks he was overreacting.

Now, this is all just my opinion. I would love to hear what some of you think. I just do not believe that a doll that is meant to portray the sadness emotion of an 11-year-old is evoking “suicidal thoughts” or “depressive episodes” from children, or even adults.

What do you guys think?

Stay Strong.

An Open Letter to My Depression: You Will Define Me No Longer

To my depression:

You’ve been in my life for roughly eight years now. At first, you kept yourself hidden. While I didn’t quite know that you were there, others could see you. I wasn’t myself — but at that time, I didn’t even know who I was. You would strike when I least expected — in the hallway at school, at practices or rehearsals, when I was with my friends. I downplayed just what you were doing to me. You tore me apart inside. I was once such a happy child, and like a thief, you stole that happiness from me. Any happy memory that I had became distorted; I was always overthinking everything that happened, and began to stress over things that I never would think twice about.

As I grew and changed, so did you. When you first entered my mind, you were an opaque gray. As the years went on, you became darker, more solid. You’d fill my chest with a certain heaviness that I can’t quite describe. You would fog my mind and break my heart over and over again. You made me hate myself, and you made me too ashamed to ask for help. I was breaking, and I did not have the courage to ask for help. I had many people that would be willing to lend me a helping hand, that would support me through thick and thin, but no.

That wasn’t in your plan for me.

Your plan was to make me shy away from everyone that cared. Your plan was to leave me alone in my thoughts — I was absolutely terrified. I couldn’t sleep because when I closed my eyes at the end of the day, you took your true form. I couldn’t focus during the day because when I opened my eyes, you’d cloud my vision and turn my beautiful world dark and cold, even on the hottest days. I refused help. I began to make excuses for my actions.

“Oh, I’m just tired.” “No, I’m not hungry, I ate already.” “I’m okay, really.” “Oh, that? I must have scratched myself on something.”

I knew exactly what was going on, but my lips couldn’t form the simplest four letter word:


I was trapped inside of my own mind. I was alone in a crowded room. You made me believe that I was unwanted and unloved. How could anyone love someone so miserable and useless? You made me hate my own body. I would become so stressed that I would overeat, but when I looked in the mirror and was disgusted with what I saw, I would stop eating. I would skip meals and try to catch up on sleep. I began to skip classes because my thoughts were louder than my professors. I couldn’t laugh without the urge to cry, and I couldn’t cry because you blocked my tear ducts — you even stole the comfort of crying from me. I was completely numb. Happiness came in flashes, but never stayed longer than an hour at a time.

I sought help from a therapist. It’s not that he wasn’t helpful — he was. But you continued to spill doubt into my mind. What if I’m burdening him with my issues? Is talking to someone really going to help me? How do you fix someone that’s so broken? I can’t go to a psychiatrist or be put on medication — that means I’m broken, I’m crazy.

But enough was enough.

Every morning, I take a tiny pill to help me get through the day. Every second, I look down at my body and am reminded of the battle that I have been fighting for these past years. My battle wounds. Now, I’m no longer ashamed of the marks that people may see.

Every day is a new journey, a new mission. This mission is simple:

You’ve overstayed your time here, depression. It’s time for you to go on and leave me in peace.

I know that the road to recovery is not going to be easy. I know that each day, you’ll reappear when I least expect it, and usually, when I least want you to.

I still get worried and anxious about certain things, but I’m slowly learning that some things are just out of my control. Some days, I don’t want to get out of bed ever again, but each day I peek outside of the window and look at the sky the scenery around me, and take in its true beauty. I’m still not completely happy with the way that my body looks, but I’m now working harder to better myself not because I hate my body, but because I love my body and realize that if I’m going to continue living in this skin, I may as well make the best out of it.

I ask for help. I am learning to love myself each and every day. My world is no longer pitch black. My heart isn’t quite as heavy. I can finally cry when I need to, but I can also laugh when I want to. I’m not crazy, I am not broken, and I do not need to be “fixed”.

The way that I see it, I’ve lasted this long no matter what you’ve thrown at me. I am still standing. I am unbroken, and I will remain unbroken, just with a few dents and scratches. In the end, I will come out of this shiny and new and happy.

Things are getting better. It’s time that you pack your bags and get out.


(Finally) Learning to Feel Again

The Mirror of Emotions

Today, I’ll start my post out with a little personal story. Those of you that follow me on Instagram and Facebook have already seen this, but I think that it’s important to shed some light to it on here.

This evening, I decided to head to Planet Fitness to work out. I had not been to the gym in four days, I gained roughly two extra pounds in that time, and I wasn’t in good spirits about my body. I like Planet Fitness, because their big selling point that it’s a “no judgement zone”. It’s plastered all over their walls, and is basically drilled into everyone’s minds as soon as they walk in the door. So, I went back to their stretching room to get ready for my workout, when I noticed two older women glancing at me. I turned my music off, but kept my headphones in, and tried to focus on my stretching.

“Now, if my daughter were that big, I wouldn’t let her wear shorts that short,” the older woman said to her friend. This 50 year old, fit woman in her Nike Pro shorts, was criticizing me while I was on the ground in my over-sized t-shirt and black soffee shorts.

Of course, these women didn’t realize that I could hear them. I only knew that they were talking about me because I was the only other girl in the room. So I got off of the ground, collected my things, and went to the stair climber. I had a hard workout, but I could not wrap my head around the fact that this woman had the nerve to say that out loud.

So, I left, devastated.

I have always struggled with my body image. I’ve always had a sort of “athletic” build, but as my aunt likes to tell me, I have “polish thighs”. Which means that my thighs definitely jiggle and touch when I walk.

When I started college, I was 140 pounds. At graduation (and currently), I weighed in at 187.

Now, I have a small disclaimer. I have never identified with having an eating disorder, though I know a few people that have/do. All I can say is that that woman is very lucky that she didn’t make her snide remark to someone who is suffering. In the United States alone, up to 30 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder (anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder). It is not uncommon to encounter someone silently suffering from an ED.

EDs are not to be taken lightly. There is a major difference in wanting to change your body because you feel flabby or want to tone up, and genuinely hating the body that you live each day in. When you look in the mirror and just want to cry, throw things, or make drastic changes to your body through binging and purging, starving, overeating, etc.

Those suffering from EDs need support and help just like any other illness. There are several warning signs for those suffering, and help is out there. Help to end the stigma of eating disorders and mental illnesses. Be that support system for someone. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.

Be careful what you say — you never know who could hear you. Words hurt. Suffering hurts.

You are not alone.

Stay strong.

“The Best Years of Your Life”

This post is going to be a little difficult for me to write, but I wanted to start officially telling my story. If at any time, anyone reading this gets uncomfortable, bored, or feels an ounce of pity, you are more than welcome to exit the page. 

Most people will tell you that high school was the “best four years” of their lives. When someone tells me this, I just laugh. Unfortunately, I did not have those high school glory days. To put it very bluntly: my four years of high school were shit. Now, I did have some good memories. I left that school with a handful of friends out of the school (7th grade – 12th grade) of 250 students.

Day one of high school was intimidating. Luckily, 90% of the students I went to elementary and middle school with ended up at the same HS, so it was nice to know some people. Of course, I didn’t have lunch with anyone that I knew, so I was automatically tossed into a sea of the unknown. I walked into the cafeteria and got in line for some sort of pasta meal. An upperclassman boy stood in front of me, turned around, and looked me up and down. I remember being confused, but the boy was relatively attractive, so I got excited. He then smirked at me, chuckled, and said “You should probably just go and kill yourself now.”

And that’s where it all started. I was officially alone in the cafeteria. I didn’t eat lunch that day. Why would someone that didn’t even know me say that? Obviously, there was something wrong with me.

October rolled around and we were getting ready for homecoming activities. By this time, I had gained a few friends, but still didn’t feel like I quite fit in. Something seemed off. People would whisper about me in the hallways. I could feel eyes judging me in the hallways. I became paranoid. I began to shut people out of my life.

Then came the rumors. I don’t even remember what they were about, but they were bad enough to make me cry every day on the bus ride home for the next two weeks. I wasn’t going to tell my parents until one day, I broke down in the car and told my mom that I wanted to transfer schools. I didn’t feel safe. I didn’t feel wanted. I didn’t want to step foot in that school ever again. I made up excuses to miss school — I was sick, I was tired, etc. By the end of freshman year, I missed about 18 days of school.

My parents called the principal and set up a meeting to discuss this matter. I was being bullied. We began to explain the story and situation to him, when he abruptly stopped us.

“Well, it’s clear that your daughter is ostracizing herself. The boy that you mentioned would never say these things. He is a football player; he is a good kid. Your daughter must be lying.

He’s a football player. He can’t be a piece of shit.

It was in that moment that I knew I had lost. I had no hope of ever making it at the school. I wanted out — for good.

This is the year that I really began to consider self-harm. I don’t know why, but there was something so appealing to me about making myself feel something. I didn’t want attention. I didn’t want questions. I didn’t want help. I wanted to know that I was alive, that I was capable of feeling, and that I wasn’t broken. Up until that point, nothing else showed me that I could feel. I was an athlete — physical endurance pain wasn’t enough. I needed something permanent.

So I did.

Ironically enough, I’m very afraid of sharp objects. I always have been, they have always made me feel uneasy. But here I was, crying in my bed, scratching a straight line onto my forearm with an earring. A silver hoop earring from Claire’s. The scratch wasn’t enough to bleed — it was just red and puffy and I suddenly felt so alive. I was crying; I hadn’t been able to cry for months. The release felt so good.

But with that release came a bunch of other emotions. Shame. Anger. Disgust. Loneliness. I put a Spiderman waterproof band-aid on it and told everyone that I reached into my locker and cut it on the metal. It wasn’t an unlikely story.

This is the first time that I am admitting the truth. I have managed to hold this in for almost nine years now. And this is the true release that I have been looking for.

So what can schools do to stop this from happening to other students? A 2009/2010 article and study states that “approximately 14 to 17 percent of children up to age 18 have deliberately cut, scratched, pinched, burned, or bruised themselves at least once” and “[…] 5 to 8 percent of adolescents actively engaging in this behavior”. The article later states:

“Most self-harming adolescents use the behavior as a coping strategy to get immediate relief from emotional distress.”

I pray that schools do not handle situations like my principal did. Start support groups for those suffering from self harm or any other mental illness. Students need to be able to go to school and feel safe and wanted. Furthermore, I truly believe that the adults in an establishment need to be properly educated on how to handle these situations. Do not tell them that it is their fault. Do not make them seem broken. Do not suck up to the bullies because their mommies and daddies have lots of money, or worse, they play a school sport. Take a stand. Do not be silent. If you are or you notice someone suffering, reach out to them. If you see scars, burns, or hear them crying in the bathroom, do not judge. Hear their cries of help. Be there for them; you never know when you could save a life in one small moment.

If I ever saw my old principal, I’d roll up my sleeves and remain silent. So thank you, Mr. Principal, for both ruining my life and opening me up to how the world truly views mental illness. Obviously it was my fault that I wanted to leave and hurt myself. How silly of me.

Don’t be a Mr. Principal. Change the world. End the stigma.

Stay strong.

Long Live the Silent Sufferers

I was overwhelmed with how many views I had in just the first day of having this blog, and I just wanted to thank anyone that continues to follow my journey. Thank you for helping me, supporting me, and supporting others.

After posting a link to my blog last evening on Facebook, I received a comment that really made me stop and think. The comment read:
“Super sad to see someone with such a great smile and a seemingly positive outlook via other Facebook posts suffer through that. Getting flashbacks to Robin Williams…I can’t do much to help but I’d be happy to at least hear what you have to say.”

To be compared to Robin Williams came as both an honor and as a shock. I was, and am, in love with all of his work. When his death was announced, I was nothing short of heartbroken. But what was it that intrigued me so much about his death? Another celebrity had committed suicide, and it was all over the news.

This celebrity was different, though. He hid his depression and mental illness. A man that was so boisterous, humorous, and seemingly cheerful was actually dying inside, and no one had any clue. Every day, as he aimed to make others laugh, he was breaking. This man was surrounded by millions of adoring fans all over the world, and yet he felt alone.

How many others out there are silently suffering because they do not want to show that they are weak? How many others would be ridiculed or treated as a joke if they admitted that they needed real help? How many others simply do not have the means to get the help that they need and deserve? Celebrities, average Joe’s, whomever. Every person matters.

Like Robin, I have tried to hide my depression deep inside, striving to make others happy. While this is usually a good thing, it’s one of my biggest downfalls. I get so caught up in making other people happy, that I leave out one person’s happiness — my own.

I do not want anyone else to ever feel alone, broken, or like they aren’t important. I would never, ever wish the feelings and the battles that I’ve felt and gone through on even my worst enemy. Because no one deserves to feel alone when they’re surrounded by amazing people. No one should have to cry themselves to sleep most nights because it’s one thing for no one else to understand, but it’s another to not even understand what’s going on in your own mind. The mystery of the illness is enough to drive a person mad.

I know that happiness, or even contentment, will not come easy. It is a constant struggle even to wake up and get out of bed each morning. It’s hard enough to even get out of my pajamas and shower each day. Some days I don’t want to eat. Some days I overeat. I’ll break out in tears randomly and shut off my family and friends. But I know that when the day comes that I get out of bed and notice how beautiful the sky looks, I’ll be making progress. Little baby steps. I know that somewhere out there, there are others that can’t get out of bed because the weight of the world seems like it is too much for them to handle. To those people: you are not alone. It’s okay to want to sleep all day or even just not get out of bed, but try to appreciate the little things. You have a bed to sleep on. You made it one more day. 

Sometimes, realizing that you lasted another 24 hours is enough of a victory to continue going on.

Let’s make it another 24. And then another, and another…

Stay strong.

Be an Act of Kindness in this Dark World

According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., the 3rd leading cause of death for people aged 10–24 and the 2nd leading cause of death for people aged 15–24, and approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.7 million, or 18.6%—experiences mental illness in a given year.

Just think about those numbers. 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. By that statistic, that means that if you’re standing in a crowded room, there’s a very good chance that, if you are suffering from a mental illness, you are not alone. The stigma of mental illnesses such as depression, bipolar disorder, or any others make it seem like there is only one person suffering (you) and the rest of the world is just so happy. By this logic, why should you be sad?

People don’t realize that the stigma put on these illnesses shames the person, making it a lot less likely for them to ever come forward when they need help the most. Sometimes people yearn for just a sliver of hope and attention — they often act out in the hopes that someone out there will care enough to help them fill the void and prove that they are not like everyone else. Too often enough, though, those people who cry out for help never receive it.

I’m fortunate enough to have a very major and amazing support system in my family and friends. On my worst days, I can always count on them to help me. I am able to pay for the proper medication to control my depression. I was lucky enough to go to a college where therapy sessions were free and numerous. Sometimes, people aren’t that lucky. Sometimes, it’s someones family and friends that cause them to end it all. Sometimes, those people push them over the edge, and do not realize what they’ve done until it’s too late.

I say we fight for those people. Too often enough, the signs are noticed when it is too late. “At least they aren’t suffering anymore,” some will say. But those kids will never hear you — it’d be better to help them (even when it’s hard and they fight back and deny your help) and be able to some day tell them to their face. We need more celebrations and fewer funerals for those that struggle. They need to receive more hugs so that they will be less likely to hide away.

I know it’s hard to understand sometimes if you aren’t going through this, or do not know anyone that is going through this, but trust me:

Any little act of kindness, sympathy, or understanding could help to save a life.

Be that lifesaver today. Stay strong.

Climbing Into Bed…Again.

Hello everyone!

I’ll be using this blog as a sort of outlet for myself — sometimes writing down what is running through my mind helps the thoughts to escape and give me some peace, even if it doesn’t last very long.

As some of you may know, I suffer from Major Recurring Depressive Disorder, and have for about eight years now (6 self-diagnosed, 2 clinically diagnosed). For so long, I’ve hid what I was going through because I was ashamed of feeling this way. I was ashamed of feeling sad and broken, when my life was seemingly pretty good. I was ashamed that, if I admitted that I was unhappy, that my parents, friends, and family members would feel as if they had somehow failed to make me happy.

I’d like to break my silence, and finally share what is going on — the good, the bad, the scary, and most of all, the depressing. 

Now, I will not be using these posts in the hopes that I will get some sort of pity. In  fact, pity is the absolute last thing that I want. So if at any moment, you begin to feel sorry for me, please stop reading my posts. I do not want to hurt you, and I do not want to hear “It’ll be okay”, or even worse “I’m sorry you’re dealing with this” because in my mind 1.) It will not be okay, at least yet, and 2.) I’m sorry I’m dealing with this as well, but I’m very glad that you are not dealing with it. I actually envy you for the fact that you are not going through this.

I want to use my stories, moments, and testimonies as little glimmers of hope. I want to be able to read them later and think wow, maybe life really can get better from here. I also want to use these posts to maybe inspire others who are struggling with depression or any other form of mental illness (because let’s not sugar coat it — it’s a diagnosable illness) to step forward and work towards living a better life. I want to share my journey with others so that I know that I’m not alone, and others know that they are not alone as well.

I would also like to use these posts to shine a light on mental illnesses and the stigmas that they hold. We are not our illnesses. They do not define us. I am Kelsey and I have depression. I am not my depressionSo please, stop acting as if I am.

Maybe one day I’ll be courageous and strong enough to share my entire story, but I’ll stop for tonight.

Stay strong.