I’m so busy with the blog tour for Summer Crush and all the books I want to review that I almost forgot about mental health month… Though my depression is definitely not forgetting me. These past few days have honestly been hell. I don’t feel like doing anything, I go to bed early and try to forget about all the misery that seeps into my thoughts. Thankfully, I am going to see my therapist again this week. But I am not here to waddle in dark thoughts, on the contrary, I am here for the positivity. As I mentioned in previous posts, I found this post on tumblr, and decided to follow the prompts every week – but on my blog rather than tumblr. The idea is to share about your experience, and try to find some positive things in life, which is something we all deserve.
And I have to say, talking about it on my blog really helps. I am writing some poetry at the moment, because it really helps with my feelings, and I ended up writing something among the lines of “I’d rather have stranger read this than people I actually know” and it perfectly sums up my feelings. Writing is so relieving, even more, maybe, than talking to people face to face. Partly because, probably, I don’t have to see the look on people’s faces, which is something that really scares me, something that I don’t control, and therefore would rather avoid.
The prompt of this week is
Post it for reflection
Sharing stories of personal growth and development
And I have to say, it really speaks to me.
Something that I realised about me is that it’s easier to stand up for my friends than to stand up for myself, and realising this has taught me a lot about myself, and about my self-care and my problems.
When I was in the tenth grade, I somehow became the personal confident to two of my friends, and got to bear all of their problems with them, to the point that it became unbearable. One of them was about to move towns and was afraid because she wouldn’t see all of her friends again. The other one had confidence issues, but the real problem was that her mom had cancer, and of course that is something that was very hard to bear. The thing is, neither of them realised realised how much of a burden it was two me. They would text me until 2am and I wouldn’t go to bed until I knew it was fine. I eventually ended up in the nurse’s office crying a river, and she told me something I will never forget: of course it is important to be a good friend, and pay attention to other people’s needs. But sometimes, you have to put yourself first. If your friend’s burden is also a burden to you, to the point that you are not able to help, you should speak up. Maybe they should seel the help of a professionial. Whatever the problem is, never forget that your health – both mental and physical – is important.
What’s also important with this story is that when I was in middle school, I used to be a very positive and happy person. But this visit to the school’s nurse put a lot of things in perspective, and made me think a lot. And I realised I wasn’t this happy, cheerful person anymore. I even wondered how I could have been happy before. I didn’t know what it felt like anymore. I figured it must be what growing up felt like. But now that I look back, it was my first warning sign.
That was the first story I wanted to share. But of course, there is more.
When I started college, things started getting worse. This is something I have already talked about on my blog. I was attending a very hard college, with general studies (I had 6 different subjects, and about 30 hours of class, plus tons of homeworks, and exams every Saturday). The thing is, I was just there because my high school teachers had recommended it. And the only good things is that I met amazing friends there. Otherwise, it was horrible. I wanted to transfer at the end of the first year, but eventually I didn’t. Figures.
My second year was even worse. My roommate was a nightmare. She was really making me feel bad about myself, and at first I didn’t realise, but as time went by, I really couldn’t stand her anymore. She kept making awful comments, and honestly made me feel like shit. She was really inconsiderate, and I’m not sure she was even realising it. But whatever. We’re not in touch anymore. By the end of the year, I was crying myself to sleep. I stopped writing for a month. And then I spent a month in Germany, and I started writing again.
The thing is, when I reread my diary from this time, I realise something must have snapped inside of me at the time. Because when I started writing again, I was finally feeling much better, I felt free. I was hopeful. But when I reread what I wrote, I realise I had actually become sarcastic and bitter. And that should have been the second sign that things were actually not getting better.
One thing I realised during this month, though, is how much I enjoyed being on my own. I love traveling on my own. I love being independant. I need to be alone. I need “me time” way more than other people, I guess. And I loved being away from my parents (which is something that became quite recurrent the next year, as I moved back home…)
Fast forward to September 2015, I started my third year of college in a new university, and in the span of a month I lost 10kg. My mom told me happily: “Didn’t you want to lose weight anyway?” Thanks mom. I didn’t want to lose my appetite and my sleep though.
My doctor eventually recommended me a therapist, and gave me meds. And those two things, actually, finally, made me feel better. Another thing that helped was talking with my friends, because they were really supportive. So don’t hesitate to do that as well if you need.
Finally to answer the prompt about self-growth and development, I have another story I have already shared on here, so I will just give you the link if you feel like reading it as well…
ON GETTING A JOB AND QUITTING AND MY LOVE FOR BOOKS
So first, thank you so much if you read up til now. It means the world to me. And my best piece of advice if you suffer from depression, or anxiety, or any mental illness, would be to never forget that you deserve to be cared for.
You’re awesome, and you deserve love. You deserve to be put first, and if no one does that for you, then you gotta do it yourself. It’s hard, I know, but I promise it’s worth it.
(And if you need, you can always talk to me.)