I’m back! It’s been a few months since I’ve updated this blog and I apologize to all of my lovely readers for such a long break. My life has been in a stressful state lately. I was spreading myself too thin during spring semester at school which, combined with ADD, got to be too much and culminated in a major screw up on my part. I spiraled out. My depression and anxieties shut me down; for a while I was in a scary place because I hadn’t felt this bad since I had started treatment and getting help. I felt like I wasn’t going to be able to come back from it again. But now I’m home for the summer, regrouping and taking each day one step at a time. While my screw up sent me to a pretty dark place, something beautiful grew out of it. I actually learned alot these past few months, about myself, about selflessness and responsibility, about what it means to move on and accept changes. I decided my first post back would be about these lessons.
Lesson 1: Throughout my life, I constantly sought to prove myself and I would measure myself against others and their achievements, their lives. I would say to myself, why can’t you be more like this or that. It was worse before I finally got help for clinical depression and sensory issues; the past couple of years have been the best yet for me as far as that goes. But the urge to compare and compete was still there, and when I messed up in May, it threw me for a loop. I felt worthless, not enough, incapable. Seeing my fellow peers, friends and family going about their lives, accomplishing this and that, just twisted the knife further in. I was also terrified of telling my parents about what happened for fear that they would be eternally disappointed and angry. But then I told them and was met with support, understanding. I was so caught up feeling overwhelming guilt and anxiety about how this incident would affect my life, I forgot that these were the same parents who stood by me through all the years of meltdowns, fights and detachment. They reassured me that I am enough, even if I’m a bit lost currently, not sure of what I want for my future, of what I want to be and do, racked with guilt from my mistake. And that’s what I needed.
That’s what so many people my age need to hear. It might seem like common sense but when school gets to be a lot, when it seems like other people already have it together, you start to doubt where you are and who you are. You think, I should have a cool internship like him, I should be making straight As like her, I need to know exactly what I’m doing with my major, ect. At 20 years old with only a general idea of my future plans, it is scary. But these past few months have helped me grasp the concept of working on the present day by day so that I can better myself. Everyone takes a different path in life and I hope people who struggle like me, can come to terms with that.
Lesson 2: Accepting the things I can’t change and moving on with a plan of action is hard for me but has proven important. I messed up and had to deal with the consequences, which meant accepting the fact that I was powerless to change what happened. What I do have power over is how my life will go from here, how I will take this pain and turn it into something worthwhile. I’ve done it before and I need to do it again. It was hard at first to stop analyzing what I did and the many ways in which it could mess my life up, but I’m steadily moving on as I focus on what I can fix. To anyone who feels like they’ve screwed up beyond repair or that the hole in which they’ve fallen down is too deep to climb out of, you are capable of pushing onward. Understand that your inner strength is as abundant as you let it be and you’ll be surprised at how far you can go. Don’t ever think something is the end for you, because it’s not. That May afternoon when I found out I screwed up, I pictured dying as the best solution. I hadn’t thought of suicide since senior year of high school before getting help. Mental illness can blow things out of proportion and make them seem like the end of the world. Please don’t let a mistake stop you in your tracks for good.
Lesson 3: Love and gratitude. I’ve never been more aware of how loved I am than during this time in my life. My roommates were there for me from the beginning of the whole fiasco with no judgement or conditions. They hugged me, bought me food, stroked my hair while I cried, helped me figure out what to do next. With depression, even treated, there is a struggle with loneliness and feeling isolated even if you really aren’t. It was these past two months that gave me, for the first time, a genuine sense of home and warmth. The amount of love and gratitude, unsullied with the ache of loneliness, I have for the people in my life has never felt so real, so present within me. Like I mentioned before, I forgot in the midst of everything that these people have stuck with me through so much already. It’s important to know there are people who will want to listen and understand, no matter how unlikely it seems. Whether it’s a friend or a family member or someone else in your life, reach out because you are worth fighting for. It starts with you but it doesn’t have to end with you.
I’ve covered mental illness and my own struggles multiple times on here, as I believe it’s an important topic, and I ultimately want people reading this to know they are not alone.