Well...First off: I now have a facebook page for all the people that actually read this blog. It's great :) . Like it on Facebook!Also I've noticed that people who aren't my friends on facebook are sharing my blog posts! AND THAT MAKES ME FEEL RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME!! So thanks guys :)
Anyways, with the shameless self-promotion out of the way we can get down to the nitty gritty. I have the wonderful feeling that my writer's block is finally over! Yay! *cough* But today's blog post is going to be one of those deep dark intimate fears type posts. So brace yourself.
There are some things we never talk about. As a society we tend to avoid certain topics, or we tend to not to want to talk about them when they are presented to us. One of these topics happens to be mental disorders; mental disorders such as bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety (to name a few prominent ones). The reason I'm writing this is because a friend of mine was recently diagnosed with depression. Her parents think it's just a "phase" she's going through, they think there's something inherently wrong or perverse with her condition, as though she's making it up. Her choice to take medication and seek therapy is viewed as weakness by her family, and as a society we tend to see these disorders as taboo. Going to a therapist means you're crazy, taking "meds" insinuates that you would be locked up in a looney bin otherwise, and these things are inherently untrue.
I have been seeing a therapist on and off for 5 years, but more consistently over the last two. By consistently I mean every other week/every week. It isn't because I'm "messed up" or "broken". I see my therapist because it's nice being able to go to someone and work out all the little road bumps in your life. I'm a 17 year old girl and at times life can be awfully overwhelming. Going to college, boys, friends, my ever fluctuating hormones and emotions make life seem more complex than it really is. I started seeing my therapist consistently when I went through my anxiety-filled, nauseating relationship with Matt. Yes...there's a blog for that too! (Get It Right) And since that time I have been going very consistently. I have come to the realization that I can't figure out everything on my own and I shouldn't have to. It shouldn't be "bad" for me to talk to someone. It shouldn't be "wrong" for someone to struggle with depression or bipolar disorder or anxiety. These things aren't caused by wanting them to happen or faking it, these disorders are chemical, not personal.
So back to my friend, she's really struggling with her depression. The fact that her family doesn't support her isn't helping things either. It's making it worse. She feels alone and scared and absolutely out of control of her life, and she doesn't feel like there's anybody for her to hold to. She shouldn't have to feel that way. Her family should be supporting her 150%, and showing her the love she deserves. Her disorder doesn't make her any different or a different person. It isn't her fault. It's nobody's fault and that's what gets to me. It gets to me that people seem to think that depression is a choice, that these can people can just "make themselves" happy, or snap out of it. And those suffer from depression seem to think that they're alone, and they aren't. Most people suffer some form of depression; it's normal.
Being depressed or bipolar or having anxiety doesn't make you a social leper. It doesn't make you any less valuable or wanted. It jsut means your chemicals react differently and that's okay. You haven't done anything wrong, you aren't broken I can promise you that. Some people may argue that having a chemical imbalance is something "wrong" and you know being depressed isn't the best thing, but it doesn't define who you are. The person you are isn't bad, it's just you and your depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety don't define you, even if you may feel that it does.
I suffer from anxiety. I can keep it under control most of the time but sometimes I spiral into these anxiety filled holes where I feel like my anxiety controls my life. Sometimes I feel that it drowns me and takes me captive and that there's no way out of it, and that's not the truth. My anxiety is a flaw and it's something I deal with, but it isn't who I am. I am a perfectly normal person and I am proud of who I am. My anxiety could rule ym life if I let it but I can't do that, and neither can you. I can't turn my anxiety on and off, I can't just make it go away or fix it, but I can try my best to make it easier. I can go to therapy and work on ways to calm myself down. I can be who I am and do the things that scare me because I am more than my anxiety. You are more than your depression, bipolar disorder, or anxiety. You are a person, a normal person who deals with a normal problem and no matter what people say you aren't broken. There's nothing wrong with you because almost everyone goes through it, you're just aware of it.
When I first started uncovering my anxiety (because identifying it is kind of a step.) I felt so worthless and broken and fucked up, to say the least, and my dad told me one thing. He told me that being selfaware is the most important aspect of becoming who you are. So many people walk through life being completely blind to themselves. They live this half full life, never knowing why they don't feel right because they're too scared to admit anything is wrong or that they might not be as happy as everyone else. And that's not good, denying your disorder only lends it more control over your life. It sounds weird, but admitting to yourself is the most freeing experience if you let it be.
There's support out there for people struggling with any mental disorder, please reach out to it especially if you're hitting a particularly low point. Life is beautiful, even if it doesn't feel like it. I promise.
I hope someone reads this blog and leaves feeling a bit more hopeful and a bit more accepted. Obviously disorders can't be sumemd up in a thousand words and these aren't supposed to be a cure or have weird healing powers. I just hope that they are a reminder that you are who you are, you aren't you disorder.
And most of all...I love you. And I'm not the only one.