Memories haunt, words remind, fears remain, but I will survive.
When people warned me that he wasn’t a good friend, I just smiled sheepishly and shrugged. Sure, he was not perfect. Yet, a quirky, introverted, socially-anxious preteen girl took the friends she could get. So, I told myself repeatedly, “It’s not a big deal.”
It’s not a big deal if he tells me to shut up. I do talk too much.
It’s not a big deal if he belittles my dreams. They won’t come true anyway.
It’s not a big deal if he slaps my face. It was a gentle hit to keep me from being too weird.
When I was first diagnosed with depression my mother-in-law termed my illness as a “bad case of the nerves”. I always shook my head at that one, and questioned, what does depression have to do with bad nerves; an incredibly old belief or judgment perhaps?
The term “nervous breakdown” is used by the public to characterize a wide range of mental illnesses. Nervous breakdown is not a medical term and doesn’t indicate a specific mental illness. Generally, the term describes a person who is severely and persistently emotionally distraught and unable to function at his or her normal level.
What is depression? How does it feel? Why does it make people so miserable?
There are many different answers given to those questions. Everyone with depression experiences it a bit different. Some might say that it is like a whirlpool pulling them under while others attest to it being locked away in a pitch-dark cell. For some, the loneliness is the hardest part while others cringe from the self-loathing.
Recently, I finished the book 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher. The novel tells of a girl who sends out a message to the thirteen people who caused her to commit suicide. Although difficult at many parts, this story is honest and fascinating.
While reading it, I thought of the times that I felt like giving up on life. There are many things that stopped me. However, there are certain people who had the most influence on saving me.
So instead of sending out a message to those who caused me to give up, here is a message of hope and love for those that supported and saved me. I excluded my family members simply because they are an obvious (for me) help. Thank you to all of them as well as those who also aided me on this beautiful but painful journey of life.
A long time ago, someone shared with me that one of the most loving things we can do for others is to tell them what we need. It gives others the same opportunity to show grace and love and care that we ourselves have when they do the same for us. If we withhold, we rob others of that gift. And being able to give grace and help others in time of need is truly just that; a Gift.
So that’s what my last few essays have been about here on my little blog.
But make no mistake: I am not only talking about things that I have concluded that I need for myself. I truly believe this applies to so many people out there in the world ~ not just those who might struggle with an invisible illness, like my Fibromyalgia. There may be some deep and dark grief…
My bulletin board might not look perfect, but that does not mean I am free of OCD.
“Oh, I must set everything up in a certain way. I am so OCD.”
How often do you hear that? People often make comments about OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) that are dismissive and unsympathetic towards those who actually have the disorder. This creates lack of awareness and support surrounding mental illness.