I’m feeling good this Monday morning.
Over the weekend I reconnected with old friends, watched a lot of Food Network, and applied for a summer semester abroad in 2019. I reenergized myself, focused on who I am and who I want to be, and got back to my roots. So, this morning, when my alarm went off (after three hours of sleep), I rolled over and got dressed up… because I feel good. I feel like I’m holding the world in my hands.
I walked out of my dorm to see that the colors of fall were in full force. I was happy to see that the leaves finally decided to change into their vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow. However, on a serious note, I know that with the change of the season, for many people, comes seasonal depression. It’s a real thing. It happens to me, too.
As we end mental health awareness month, I want to open up about something that has been so hard for me to talk about. And even now, it’s still hard to discuss. I’ve caught myself typing five words and deleting six because mental health has such a negative stigma attached to it. Society wants you to believe that there is something shameful about admitting that you’re not okay. But that’s not true.
I feel like I need to admit that for a long time, I was not okay.
And first of all, I want to thank each person that reached out to me and provided genuine support. And second, I want to clarify that this isn’t me begging for sympathy or attention or someone to tell me how “strong” I am. This is me telling you that I struggle too, and reminding you that you will overcome it. You don’t have to keep it a secret, because the fact of the matter is, we’ve all been there.
I have struggled with depression, anxiety, and overall poor mental health. I hate to be the person who self diagnoses based off of what WebMD has to say about it (I really am that person though), but when you know, you know. Since I can remember, I’ve questioned if I’m good enough, if I’ll ever be successful, if I’m making the right decisions, etc. Sometimes I laugh at myself and just say I’m a drama queen — after all, I’m a theatre kid — but sometimes, I really do worry myself sick.
I’ve been in really dark places. I’ve felt the physical weight of depression keep me from getting out of the bed. I’ve felt the shortness of breath from my anxiety. I’ve cried if I’ve had to walk or drive in the dark because I was paranoid. I hid a lot of this from my friends, and even family, because I was under the impression that it’s embarrassing. Discussing mental health is so taboo.
The worst thing for people with poor mental health is to feel alone. When you’re alone, or isolated, you have time to think. And when you have time to think, you conjure up all of these crazy things that spiral you deeper into your illness. Sometimes, sadly, you can even feel alone when someone is saying they’re there for you. You can hear and feel the insincerity as they say one thing and do another. Sometimes, for your own sake, you have to separate yourself from whatever is bringing you down, regardless of how hard it is.
Over the weekend, it’s like I felt a weight lifted from my shoulders. That’s not to say I won’t still have these struggles — I will. But sometimes when you least expect it, you see the light at the end of the tunnel. And almost always, the things you think you’ll never overcome are the things that will eventually remind you of how resilient you are.
In case you needed to know this, A Tapestry of Me is a safe space and you are always welcome to reach out to me on one of my social media outlets. To each person fighting their battle, you will win it. Don’t give up on yourself. It can’t rain forever.
I know this has been a brief post, but I’m still learning how to be comfortable with sharing my journey. I have a quote in my dorm room that inspires me: “In order to love who you are, you cannot hate the experiences that shaped you.” – Andrea Dykstra. I’m gettin’ there.
Also, here’s a link to a Spotify playlist I created with some of my favorite happy songs! Spotify has several playlists for confidence boosters, pick me ups, and car ride sing alongs. Happy listening!