Depression. Sometimes we struggle with it. And it is always a struggle. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. If you’re dealing with it, it’s a struggle. For some of us it’s a severe condition, for some of us it’s seasonal, for some of us it gets worse depending on the climate of our new homes, the list of circumstantial pieces goes on and on. Here is a little something that the Bestie recently sent to me from The Twelve-Step Program for Life.
“1. There will be some days when you close your eyes while crossing the street, maybe because you want to see what fate has in store for you, or maybe because your depression is running rampant again and you don’t know how to calm her. It’s okay. I will still love you.
2. There will be a year, or a series of years when your birthday doesn’t feel special. Celebrate anyway. Because people spent time baking you a cake and buying you cards and even if they’re your family and they’re obligated to, they still love you. Cherish that love. Revel in it. It is the best gift you will ever receive.
3. You will learn that the saddest word in the English language is stay. Whether it’s your mother’s voice whispering it before you leave for college, or your ex-lover’s desperate screams as you walk out of the house, it will always be a hard word to hear. Sometimes you should listen to it, other times you shouldn’t. Trust yourself. Go with your gut.
4. Along with hearing the word stay, you will also hear the word why from every person who is remotely related to you. Why did you get that tattoo? Why did you try to kill yourself? Why aren’t you married yet? You don’t have to answer them. Be selfish. Keep somethings to yourself.
5. Some nights you won’t be able to sleep. You will lie awake at 2 am and contemplate existentialism and wonder if the French had a point. Get up. Get out of your bed. Do something. Because even if there is no God, what you do matters, who you are matters. You matter to me.
6. Some days you will want to run away and never return. So go. Drive to a small town in the Northwest, maybe Oregon, and settle down there for a while. Tell people your name is Elizabeth, because you loved Jane Austen as a child and because this a town full of strangers and who’s to know the difference? Don’t be selfish. Call your mother each night and remind her that you love her. Come back home when you find yourself seeing your sadness painted in the shadows, and when you feel more at home in the arms of a stranger than on your own.
7. There will be several nights when you lose yourself in the medicine cabinet, because liquor and morphine seem like a faster cure than time. It’s okay. I will still love you in the morning.
8. One day, in the midst of work, you will learn to forgive. It will start out with a simple reminder of the past, maybe a facebook notification from an old schoolmate or a wedding announcement from an ex-lover. In that moment you will learn that yearning for the past isn’t romantic, it’s stupid, and that if Gatsby had just let go of the green light he would’ve lived. So forgive your past, it didn’t know any better, and move on.
9. Leaving home will hurt, but soon you will learn that home isn’t a place but a feeling, and that there is a compass on your heart that points directly to that feeling. Follow that compass. Don’t get sidetracked by boys who don’t care or alcohol that doesn’t forgive. If you follow that compass, no matter how lost you get, you will always have a home.
10. The hardest lesson you will ever learn will be to love yourself. But you can do it. There will always be days when you hate yourself, days when you wish you had never been born. But darling you are beautiful, and if Shakespeare had met you you would’ve inspired his 18th sonnet, and if Monet had known you he would’ve given up painting water lilies and chosen to paint you instead. I know it’s hard to love yourself, but sometimes it’s okay to be a little selfish with your love.
11. When you begin to feel worthless, remember that the stars died for you. You are made of elements that are thousands of years old, elements that make up every atom of your being. When you want to cut your wrists, remember that the souls of stars live in your veins. Don’t kill them. Don’t be selfish.
12. Some days will be beautiful. Live for those days. Live for the days when the sun shines on your soul and the smile on your face isn’t forced. Live for the days when you don’t give a fuck what anyone thinks because your scars are a part of your story and you don’t need someone else’s approval to wear them with pride.
Live for the life you always wanted but were too scared to pursue.
Live for you. Live for me. Live for every person who has ever loved you, for the people who have come before you so that you may be here today.
Live for the fire that burns in your soul, that tells you: keep going, you’re almost there, just a little farther. Because when Rome burned down the emperor didn’t run away, he stayed and he sang for his people. Stay. Sing for your people. Sing for us. Are you listening? Because this is your life, singing a siren song to capture your attention and steer away from the rocks, to guide you back home.”
-The Twelve-Step Program for Life, by M.K.
For more helpful everyday tips, here are some notes from a DIY blog I follow of a woman who deals with severe depression. She is great and I love her sharp, sometimes dry, wit. 🙂
Well, Ladies and Gents, it has been a MINUTE since I posted last!
Last I left you, I was a sad, pathetic ball of mess on the floor.
Honestly, I don’t know how much better I’m doing, but I’ve resigned myself to just working through it. I have to push the feelings of inadequacy and fear and pain way down deep and move on with life.
As you may know, graduation is a mere 7 months away! That is both exciting and terrifying. Even more frightening, grad school applications are due beginning next month! I have my work cut out for me. This all makes me very nervous and puts me under a great deal of stress. The result is a mixture of sickness-I’m currently fighting off a bout of strep throat-, panic, and insomnia! Hooray!
“Where’s that good news you promised us?!” You ask?
WELL! I can reassure you that there are good things happening around here. I have found that there are still friends here that remain loyal through it all. Some were surprising candidates, I must admit, but some I should not have doubted. I’m more thankful for them than I can express, they help keep me out of my own headspace. And when I do get caught up in my thoughts, they let me say what I need to say, shed my tears, and be done with it. And the best part, they never bring it up again.
I’m also being constantly reminded of why I love my professors so dearly. They daily say and do things that put a smile on my face. They make me proud to be their student and they make me want to make them proud. Sometimes in life it is hard to find good role models, well I have plenty right here at my fingertips. They are kind and intelligent adults who look out for each other. They genuinely care about those who care about learning from them and they treat me like a mature individual who is going somewhere in this life. When I start to feel down, they are there to remind me that they have confidence of the utmost in my abilities, even before my friends are. I can’t wait to be their colleague!
I know that those who regularly read this are used to the rollercoaster of my life. Most of you probably wish I would just get used to the fact that life often throws me cruve balls that I am not at all prepared to deal with. I’m trying. I still don’t know what I’m supposed to learn from all this, but people I trust, people I look up to, keep telling me that I will be stronger and more able to fulfill my purpose because of the heartache, the sorrow, and the stress that this semester has brought. I can only hope and pray that they are right.
I love you all. Thank you for everything.
First, I would like to apologize for making a typing error in my last post. The confusion over the 4-sided triangle thing, yeah, I just got trigger happy. It has been corrected. My bad.
NOW! ON TO BUSINESS!
I leave for Chorale Tour in T-Minus 7 hours! Yay!!
I’m super excited! We sang our first concert of tour this evening(it doesn’t really count as tour having started, because it was just in the next town over, we car pooled, and returned to campus afterward). It was beautiful, if I do say so myself! I can’t wait to get on that bus tomorrow with my lovely friends and do nothing but SING for the next week! Yay! Yay! Yay!
This may not sound like fun to some of you, and for some it wouldn’t be, but this group includes some of my very best friends on campus and we get a little crazy and a little over-excited and it makes life very interesting! 🙂
Anyway, the point is: I will miss you, readers! Please keep thoughts of health and safe travels for my choir going this next week! I don’t want to sick! Yikes!
I would promise a blog post the moment I return, but, due to the mono issue, I will probably sleep for several days afterward. I will update sometime over Thanksgiving break, though! If it’s after, have a happy holiday everyone!
I love you, bloggers!
*A wonderful phrase I learned today in The English Novel, a class I’m taking.
This is long overdue, but I’d like to dedicate this status to my best friend, L.A.
For those of you who are new to A Day In The Life, my two best friends in the whole wide world are The Bestie and L.A.
The Bestie has been my best friend, literally, since before I can remember. I think our story would have turned out quite differently if I hadn’t marched up to her mother and asked, “Mrs.—–‘s Mom, can she come to my house tonight for Girl Scouts?” 5 yr old me was way braver than 20 yr old me.The Bestie and I have a very unique friendship. I like to believe that we’re 100% honest with each other, although I know that we each have our secrets and that sometimes we hold back information to protect the other. We are pretty opposite in most things, but we respect each other on a level that I’ve encountered with very few others. We’re also very similar(we’re talking identical twins similar here) in other aspects. We can go weeks without talking to each other(though that rarely happens) and pick up the phone and leave off where we left off. It’s pretty rad.
L.A. and I are a little more complicated. He moved to The Hill our Freshman year of high school. I had only been in the public schools there for about a year when I met him. Our first contact with one another(that I can recall) was when he instant messaged me on AIM(way back in the day) using my friend Flag Girl’s phone. He was apparently the new kid that had just moved into her neighborhood. We talked this way for quite a while before I actually figured out what face went with his screen-name. It turns out that he was that goofy kid sitting at the end of our lunch table that I didn’t know. Lol. I can’t really pin-point the moment we became good friends, let alone best friends. We slowly, over the course of a few years, became fairly inseparable.
We had our rough patches, but when he left for boot camp, I was pretty broken-hearted. I was pretty sure that was the last time I was going to see him. Luckily, his mom is a really wonderful lady. We came into contact with one another via Facebook and she kept me updated on how he was doing. Then he was out of boot camp and I slowly received more and more phone calls and texts. And then he left the military. And he moved to L.A. to be with his mom. And he needed a friend that could be a constant while he went through a great many changes. And somewhere along the line we realized that no matter how different we were and how many things were out of the ordinary about us being friends, there were few others we could talk to about our particular brands of broken.
I’ve never loved him more than I did the night he let me cry as I explained that I was severely depressed and had lost sight of why I kept going. He talked me through a lot of things that night and he told me things he had hidden in high school, things that we now found common ground in. He’s been a great support system for me, especially in the last year.
The last few weeks I’ve felt really broken again. I haven’t been taking care of myself and I’d been off of my medicine. I resented the possibility that I may need to take them the rest of my life in order to not make myself and the people around me miserable. He reminded me that there are people that love me and want what’s best for me and he listened, once again, as I got angry at the world and at myself. Then he told me to get my head on straight and start doing what I needed to do.
Thanks, L.A. I love you. And I’m always here to return the favor. 😉
*By the Beatles. One of the few songs I actually really like by them. Don’t tell mi padre. Haha!
Things are better. Or getting there anyway. I had an emotional breakdown yesterday. It was pretty ugly, I broke up with the Nerdmate. Luckily, he is a better lover than myself and didn’t really accept that as an option. I did some soul cleansing and some crying and today is going much better.
A huge part of my problem is this: I don’t want to have to rely on meds to be happy for the rest of my life. I hate that that may be what’s necessary to function as a normal human being. I’ve never wanted anything more than to be normal. I got to college and thought that I had found a place where I could be normal, I seemed normal. For a while anyway. I hate being an emotional roller coaster. I’m going to have to learn to live with the meds, I guess, because I can’t keep making myself and the people around me so miserable. That just makes me feel even worse.
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: Growing up is really freakin’ hard! Trying to grow up as a responsible, functioning, positive member of society is even more difficult. Bear with me, people, there are more mistakes around the corner. Lol.
Well Hidey-Ho there, neighbors!
Yeah, I know. I haven’t held up to my end of the bargain. Life’s been a little, no scratch that, a lot crazy. School is back in full swing. I love it, as usual. This semester has started off a little rocky; so far I’ve learned that I’m going to have to go out of my way to make sure I’m spending time with The Nerdmate(yes, we’re still very happy) and that taking 21 credit hours while trying to recover from mono is, in fact, a bad plan. I’ve dropped a class, though, so I’m back down to a manageable 18 hours.
I’ve been kinda moody lately, The Nerdmate can attest to that(although he probably wouldn’t say it). I don’t know what the deal is. Since I haven’t been to the nutritionists since I got mono, I don’t have an anti-depressant anymore, I wonder if that’s part of it. I’m hoping that I’m to the point in some form of recovery from last fall that I can be ok without it. I have some St John’s if I get too bad. And a loving young man who will let me cry on his shoulder if I need it.
It’s awesome having him so close, both physically nearby and emotionally. It’s hard, because we’re both so busy, but I feel like we’re doing pretty well. Next Monday will be 7 months together. That probably doesn’t sound like a long time to most of you, but it’s huge for us. We didn’t expect this to turn into something serious and now we’re pretty sure we’d like to spend our lives together.
Anyway, I’m kind of rambling now, but I just wanted to let you know that I hadn’t forgotten about you, readers. I’m still very much attached to this, my blogging family. I should get back to homework now.
Check ya later,
Well, I’m by no means recovered, but I am in the process of recovering.
This week I even made it back to work at the church! This is day three in a row of being in the office. That may not sound like a whole lot, but if you’ve ever had mono, you know how ridiculously ill you can get. I get tired very easily. A week ago I would move from one floor of the house to another and feel exhausted, stairs were killer. This week I seem to have improved much more rapidly than I was before. Recovering from mono is like a boulder rolling down an incline plane. It starts off budging ever so slightly, but with another push, you can have it moving slowly and before long inertia has the thing and it’s moving like a freight train. I hope the “moving like a freight train” begins soon.
In other news, because I wasn’t able to preach as scheduled in June, I’ll be at the pulpit July 3-17. I’ll be doing a sermon series of sorts, speaking on why and how we as Christians are called to change the world. My inspiration and basis, as I shared in a previous post, is Max Lucado’s book, Outlive Your Life.
I’m starting a Bible study this Sunday, June 26, I think it will go fairly well, but it might be difficult to get people awake and participating at 8:30am. We may be playing with the scheduling a bit. This study is also based on the aforementioned book. We’ll be using the small group kit that is a companion to the book.
While preparing I was pointed in the direction of these links:
Even if you’re not a Christian, I hope you’ll check these sights out. You don’t have to be a follower to want to make a difference.
It feels good to be posting again. I hope to do it again soon.