Personal

I suffer from a mental illness. #EndTheStigma

Trigger Warning// Self-harm & Depression.

“My name is Sara. I’m 23 years old and I suffer from social anxiety, general anxiety disorder, and depression,” I typed into the Twitter text box, then paused. Should I be so open about my mental illnesses? I have always been shamed about it, or told to be quiet. 

It is hard to talk about mental illnesses. Some people can be quite accepting and helpful when we tell them; for others, it is a different story. 

When I was 19 years old, I decided to finally ask my doctor about my anxiety and depression. For years, I just thought I was over sensitive and sad. I was always told to ‘just get over it’. Well, I figured if it hasn’t gone away in 7 years, there must be a problem. 

I talked to my doctor and she prescribed me a generic version of Zoloft. I remember sitting in the doctor’s office trying to explain my depression and anxiety to her. It was hard trying to open up to someone. Especially someone I’m not really close to. It honestly made me tear up. After the appointment, I felt better though. I felt like I was actually making an effort to control my illness. 

At this point in life, I was still living with my mom. Little did I know, I forgot my pharmacy called my mom’s house phone once the prescription was ready. She knew I had just picked up my birth control the other day so she knew it was something else. She asked me what it was, and I told her it was medication for my anxiety and depression. What she said still hurts till this day, honestly. “You’re too young to have depression. What problems do you have?”  

It hurt a lot knowing that even my own mother refused to acknowledge my problems. I wanted to get help, but at this point I felt stupid for asking for help. Asking for help is hard sometimes.  

I wanted to go see a therapist, to see if that would help me. But, living with my mom still, I was unsure where to look. What places would take my insurance? Would my mom find out and get mad at me again? 

I stayed on the Zoloft for about a year until I tried to convince myself I didn’t need antidepressants, because people made me feel bad for using them. I was even involved with a guy who told me I didn’t need them, because ‘you can heal depression naturally’. Ok. 

So I stopped taking the pills. Did I get better? Of course not. 

It seemed to just get worse. I ended a not-so-great relationship. I never felt good enough, I hated myself, and he cheated on me, which lead me to self-harm because I never felt good enough. I hate the feeling of not feeling like enough for someone. After ending the relationship, things got somewhat better. I then moved, and homesickness got to me. I moved three hours away from home to pursue my college degree. I felt lonely because I didn’t have many friends for a while when I first moved here. I was lonely, exhausted, and homesick. I didn’t get out much. 

This past winter, seasonal depression hit me hard. I failed a class the previous Fall semester, I hated what I was majoring in, and other emotions. I had no motivation to do anything over Christmas Break, I didn’t have much money to my name, and I couldn’t buy many Christmas gifts for my loved ones. I spent most of Winter taking long naps in my comfy bed. I didn’t want to leave home. Self-harm happened some days.

This past March, I finally saw a therapist. I found a doctor in my new town that took my insurance, and a therapist who worked on site at the doctor’s office as well. My new doctor tested some new antidepressants on me. I am now currently on 20 mg of Lexapro, which has helped me out a ton. I started seeing the therapist, and it was very hard at first to talk to someone I didn’t even know, about my problems.  

 In no means am I cured of my depression, anxiety or social anxiety, but I’m trying every day.

——-

 Depression is hard. It doesn’t just go away. It’s hard to wake up, it’s hard to get out of bed, it’s hard to have any motivation. I felt this way for years, I get it.  I guess the whole point of this post is to end the stigma. We shouldn’t have to hide the fact or acted ashamed because we have depression. Over 3 million people worldwide suffer from depression. You can be a teenager, young adult, or even older and suffer from this disease. I’m not “proud” or anything that I have depression, but I want people to know they are not alone. If one person talks about it, it can be easier for the next person. It could even encourage said person to seek help, if they are too afraid to.  

Talking about our problems can help. It was hard for me at first to talk about my depression to anyone, but it shouldn’t have to be. 

 

-ss

College Life · Personal

It’s OK to Work All Summer.

Lately this summer, I’ve been a little bitter. I’ll admit it.

I’ll log on to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, and I’ll see one of my many social media friends who are on vacation. There are pictures of them drinking mojitos on the beach in Italy, Greece, or some other country that seems like a magical paradise I will never be able to see myself. (Well, hopefully I will one day.)

Every time I saw one of these posts; I rolled my eyes. How dare they have fun while I’m at work all day.  I even picked up a second job over summer break, because I just wasn’t busy enough. Also, I wanted extra money to actually pay off my debts. For the first few weeks, I was bummed because everyone around me seemed to be having exciting summer adventures, or going to concerts, or going on exquisite vacations.

I was pretty annoyed by these posts for the first part of my summer, but I got over it. I’m still jealous though. They’re lucky to get the opportunity to vacation in such beautiful places.

I had to keep telling myself; It’s okay to be busy all summer. It’s okay to save up money. It’s okay to work hard all summer.

I graduated high school 5 years ago in June. (Go Class of 2013!) Ever since then, I’ve had a job. Every summer, I’ve had to work. My friends would ask me to go hang out with them, but sadly I would always have to reply “Can’t, I’m at work rn.” It sucked, but you get used to it.

Every summer, I get bummed because I’m busy working, trying to save up money for the next college semester. But I have to keep reminding myself that it’s okay.

It’s okay to be busy all summer. Sure, you may not be having as much fun as everyone else, but in the end it will pay off. I’ll have more money saved up. I’ll be able to focus more on college when the semester starts. I’ll also be able to afford more things if I work more.

If you’re working one, two, or maybe even three jobs this summer. Try to stay positive. There are plenty of people out there who are in the same boat.

We got this.

Personal

To The Boy Who Loved Me When I Was At My Lowest; Thank You.

What can I say? Thank you. Thank you for everything.

Thank you for being there for me when I was down, when I was depressed, when I was at my lowest. You saw parts of me that no one else has ever saw.

You’ve seen the scars that I would hide from everyone else. You didn’t judge me, you tried to understand why. You tried to make it better for me so I would stop.

The other people I’ve been with; they just didn’t understand. They told me to ‘get over it’ or ‘stop being so sad’. But you understood that it was more than just being sad.

Thank you for not pushing me away. It was my biggest fear. Who wants to love a girl who is messed up? Many people just don’t want to deal with it. It’s too much work.

But you didn’t leave, you didn’t run away. You stayed with me through it all.

And for that, I can’t thank you enough.

College Life · Lifestyle · Personal

Dear younger self…

Don’t be in a hurry.

I know you’re an independent girl. You want to grow up, move out of your parents house, get your own apartment. You can do whatever you want– even eat cookies for breakfast!

But, it’s not as amazing as it sounds. Sure, cookies for breakfast is great, if you can afford the cookies.

For the love of God, don’t get more than one credit card. You’ll regret it in the end. Trust me.

You don’t need the newest iPhone. You don’t even need the iPhone. Just get a phone.

College is a great experience. ‘Put your stamp on the world.’ But, don’t let a boy hold you back from going to the college of your dreams. He won’t even be around to see you succeed and graduate, anyway.

Speaking of college– pick a major that makes you happy. Not what your parents want you to do, or the world wants you to do. Everyone is a doctor now days. Be different.

Couponing is good. No, it’s not just an old lady thing.

Find a man who is willing to support you. Not one that wants to take everything from you.

Don’t listen to what other people say. Do what feels right in your heart, and listen to your own judgement. After all, it’s your life, not theirs. You’re going to live it. So do it the way you want.

 

 

College Life · Personal

“Tattooed Love Boys.”

A poem.

“You were the first to talk to me.

You were the first to add me on Facebook.

I knew you added me because you wanted something from me.

You messaged me first.

“Hey, what’s up?”

Casual opening line.

We send messages throughout the day.

You send subtle hints towards me.

“Going to the gym is a good work out, but I know a better way of losing fat.”

You think I’m naive.

You think I don’t know what you want from me.

You message me everyday until I tell you to come over.

You come over at 8 a.m.

You sneak in my room so you don’t wake up my roommates.

I play indie music so they don’t hear any noises.

You change the music to rap music.

“I’m from Flint. I grew up with this music.”

I liked the indie music better.

You take off your shirt. I see all the tattoos you hide under your work uniform.

“Fuck,” I think to myself. I love tattoos.

You get underneath my purple comforter. My heart beat increases. My anxiety levels shoot through the roof.

I lay next to you. Your arm is around me. I haven’t been this close to a man since “he who shall not be named” left.

My heart beat increases.

“How are you feeling?”
“Nervous.”

You lean in and kiss me. Tattoo Love Boy kisses me. It’s weird kissing a new boy.

Your hands slide down my body. I feel so in lust.

Things get hotter. Things get sweaty. Things happen so fast.

You’re done. I have to get to class at 11. Is there a quiz today?

You leave. We don’t talk on Facebook anymore. We only talk at work.

But you won’t come over anymore. You got what you wanted.

Tattooed Love Boys.”

 

College Life · Personal

Homesickness: it happens.

Homesickness: one of the biggest issues students face when going to college.

I moved out of my mothers house when I was 21, so I was a bit older than some kids who move out once they leave high school. I wanted to take a few years to save up and go to community college in town before I moved away on my own.

At first, I was very eager to leave home. I’d finally be independent and free to do as I please. I was independent when I was growing up, but not as much as I thought.

Living without parents has it’s perks; yes, you don’t have to worry about your mom bothering you about not cleaning your room. Yes, you can play your music as loud as you want. Yes, you can eat nothing but TV dinners. This is all quaint, but personally,  I still felt sad.

The day after my mom let me go, I was sad. I was sad all day, the next day, and the next week. I just wanted to curl up in my bed and watch Netflix all day. My new home didn’t even feel like a home. Home to me was back home with my mom. The independence was nice, but I missed the morning conversations my mom and I would have. I missed watching the local news with my mom and laughing when the news anchor messed up. I missed my mom’s perfect home cooked meals. I missed it all.

It’s been two months now. I’m not as sad as I was that day she left, but it bothers me time to time. I go on with my day and try not to let it bother me. I keep busy with studying and being involved in organizations on campus. It helps push the thoughts aside.

Moving out and leaving the nest is something most of us deal with in our life time. It’s easy for some people; not so easy for others. Most of us deal with the pain of homesickness; you’re not alone. In time, it will all be okay.

 

-ss