Life

You Are Not Alone

Depression does all kinds of things to you. It convinces you that you don’t matter. It is a voice in your head that tells you no one loves you. It’s the part of your brain that tells you, you can’t do it. It’s the part that tells you that it would be better to be alone, and just push everyone away. You don’t want to leave your bed, you don’t want your dog to look at you, you don’t want anyone to be anything to you.

But you are not alone. Millions of people go through this with you. Millions of other stay awake at night thinking that everyone hates them, that they don’t deserve to be loved, and that maybe their friends would be better off without them. But they wouldn’t be. You are never as alone as you think you are. It feels like you are alone, but you aren’t.

Sure, people are going to walk out of your life. People are not always going to understand that you have to cancel plans, that you are not the same you anymore, or that things will change. But there are the people who will understand, trust me I do.

Honestly, depression and anxiety are more common than you would think. People are just afraid to talk about it. No one can blame them, it’s scary enough just to battle it. Opening up leaves you completely exposed. I know that if you are battling either one of these, it feels like you are alone. The thing is, you aren’t. You are never alone. There is always someone there for you, it might not always be who you expected, but someone is there. I know that when people talk about it they treat you like you have something they can catch. I know people think you control it and don’t understand that you don’t. I know how lonely that feels.

I know what it’s like to want to give up at three am. I know what it’s like to think that people would be better without you. I also know the heartbreak of losing friends and family. I know what it does to people. I know how terrible all of this is.

You are important. You are loved. You are strong. You can do this. It’s never going to be easy, but it is going to be worth it.

Life · Uncategorized

Why Wonder Woman Is Important

I’ve read countless articles on the new Wonder Woman movie that came out this weekend, and I finally saw the movie last night. I loved it. It is absolutely amazing, I think everyone should go and see it. But a lot of people don’t understand why it is important. Here are a few of my thoughts about the matter…

It is honestly so cool. Wonder Woman showed that women can be so much more than a pretty face.  We are strong, compassionate, we are fighters, we are courageous, and we will do anything for the people we love. Nothing can stop us, and nothing will.

The world is filled with strong women (and men), but it is also filled with people who tell us that we can’t be that. There are people who tell us our job is to stay quiet and look pretty. I wish I was making that up, but I’ve been told that. We fight every single day for things that some people are just given.

One moment that has always stuck with me was in 6th grade my history class talked about why we had never had a woman as president. My teacher talked about how a woman couldn’t handle it, and that we were too emotional and cared too much. I said that a woman could be president if she wanted to be, and his only response was “come find me when you become president and I’ll believe you”.

First of all, I can do anything I put my mind to. Second, it is not at all your place to make fun of me for standing up for what I believe in. I am the last girl you want to talk down to. I will fight you, because I have so much to prove. I’ve been laughed at, made fun of, told that I couldn’t do it, and I’ve heard no. I’ve worked in an office where some days I was the only girl. I’ve been told to give up because it is a man’s world. I might be little, but I am a little ball of fire. Do not tell me, or anyone that we should give up or not try. Sure, I care a lot about things. You could probably call me emotionally, but in a way that makes me stronger.

My parents taught me that I can do anything I set my mind to, I was raised thinking that I was equal. Because I should be. Don’t get me wrong, I’m 5’3” I need help moving stuff, or opening jars. But if you tell me I can’t do something, now I just have even more to prove.

This past Halloween I happened to be going through a really hard time in my life, and one of my friends invited me to a Halloween event with her and I needed a costume. I didn’t really want to go, but it was better than sitting at home crying. It would be a good distraction. Why am I telling you this? Well, I walked into the costume store fully expecting to walk out with some Star Wars related something. But then a Wonder Woman dress caught my eye. I tried it on, and I felt incredible. It fit so well, it was comfortable, and I loved it. I felt amazing all night long. There was something really amazing about passing a window and seeing my reflection, I felt so confident, which if we are being honest is hard for me. Sometimes, every girl should feel like Wonder Woman.

Wonder Woman is important, because in a way she is a part of all of us (ALL of us, not just girls). She is strong, she cares, and she will not be stopped. She carried a great burden, and she carried it well. She amazed people, she lead people, and she cared about the people. She brought new ideas and viewpoints. She was real and raw, she fought her battle, and she won.

Friendship · Life · Uncategorized

I Don’t Trust You

To all of my friends,

You shouldn’t take it personally, it’s more about the people who came before you than you. See, the thing is I don’t know how to trust people anymore. I’m still learning. It’s hard once you’ve been broken so many times.

I know it’s not really fair. I hate that if we have plans I want to text you five times to make sure we are still going. I hate that I expect to be let down, I expect you to cancel on me. I expect you to drop me the moment it becomes convenient for you. I know you’ll end up replacing me, because that’s how it’s always been. Someone more fun comes along. Someone who is easy to hang out with, who is always happy and always down with whatever you want. I know that it’s not fun to be around someone who is depressed, misery loves company and all that. I know I “bring down the room”. I don’t want to do that, but sometimes it’s going to happen.

Why do you think I won’t ever tell anyone what I want to do? It’s because I would rather be unhappy doing what everyone else wants than risk making someone unhappy with me for wanting to do something different. I don’t want to upset anyone, because I’m afraid of losing them. I’ve learned that standing up for myself leads to losing people.

I don’t want to get attached to any friendship, because I’ve had years of friends walking out on me. I’ve been replaced for someone who was more convenient or more fun. I’ve been tossed to the side. I’ve been lied to “Oh, I still care about you” but then they won’t make plans with me. I’ve had people tell me that they loved me, but told everyone at work how horrible I am. So maybe you can see why it might be harder for me to trust you.

You can’t tell me that you love me, but refuse to talk to me when I need someone. That’s not the way friendship works. The thing is, I have had so few friendships where I wasn’t hurt, that it’s hard for me to believe you will be any different. What’s to say that you will change your mind, or find someone else to hang out with? I’ve learned I’m replaceable. So I’m sorry that I don’t trust you. But I’m afraid of trusting you.

Life · Uncategorized

Calm Down

You tell me you want me to calm down, but do you realize it’s not that easy for me? I can’t just tell myself to stop panicking. I am not staples, I do not have a button to magically fix things and then say “that was easy”.  It is not me being dramatic, it’s not me looking for attention. It’s something that happens to me. I am a little bit like a roller coaster, I have my ups and my downs, and sometimes I cry and get scared.

The thing is I can’t just stop feeling the darkness. “There is nothing to worry about” yeah, that’s really easy for you to say. Logically, I know that everything is okay but my brain doesn’t believe that. To me something is very wrong. I fight myself about it every single day. It feels like I’m trapped in a box and the box is being shaken. It feels like terror is eating me alive. It is real.

You say don’t panic like you think I have control. You tell me to calm down like you think that I can… Do you honestly think I want this? Do you honestly think I want to feel this much darkness? I don’t. I didn’t chose this. I can’t wave a wand and feel better. You make it sound so easy. I wish it was a light switch to turn on and off, but it’s not.

Believe me, I am trying to calm down. I want my heart to stop racing, I want to feel normal. Once it’s started it is unbelievably hard to get rid of the panic. It gets hard to breathe correctly, I just want to curl up into a ball and cry. When you tell me to calm down, it makes me feel like I can’t talk to you about it. It makes me feel like you think this is my fault. It sounds like you are trying to blow over it and move on. I’m trying my best here, even if it’s not good enough for you.

It might take me time to breathe normally. It may take me a little bit for my hands to stop shaking and for the room to stop spinning. It may take me a little bit to be able to tell you what’s wrong. I might be exhausted during the day because I can’t sleep because I lay there panicking. I don’t even understand why I feel the anxiety half the time. I know it sounds crazy to some people.

The best thing you can do is be there. What I need might change depending on what I’m feeling. I could need space and a dark room, I could need to talk to you. Sometimes I need to not think about anything, I need a distraction. Other times talking makes it worse. There are times when I just need to cry and then I’ll feel better. There is not one right answer to this, every situation will be different. I can’t predict what I will need when it happens.

I know it is hard, but telling me to calm down doesn’t help anyone. I don’t want to feel like I’m bothering you. If I need help, I’m not going to tell you. I don’t want to make this your problem. I get that you don’t know what to do. I get that is sucks feeling helpless, but you help more than you could ever imagine. I know that it’s not easy to be the friend of someone who is going through this. I know it’s easier to let yourself drift away. I know other people are more fun than I am. But I need to feel loved and supported. I don’t want to be alone.

Life · Uncategorized

Why I Never Thought it Would Happen to Me

I never thought that I could be depressed. I never felt like I had the right to be depressed. I never thought that I could have anxiety, I never thought I had a reason to. I spent a long time telling myself I didn’t need to get help. I told myself that it was selfish of me to think something could be wrong with me. I knew so many people going through so much worse than me, what reason did I have?

I was raised by two wonderful loving parents, they supported me in everything. I have always received the most unconditional love from my family. I was raised in the middle class, and most of my life was spent in suburbs. I was set up to be an American sweetheart. I had everything I could ever ask for. I was living out one of my dreams. I’ve got a wonderful fur baby. My life looked so perfect. So why did I want to give up so badly? It didn’t make sense.

I didn’t struggle with any of the things I thought you had to have to be depressed or have anxiety. I had read articles that friends shared on facebook about symptoms, and I had all of them. But I felt like I had no right to feel that way. So I kept everything locked inside. I thought that maybe I was making it up, since everyone saw my life as so wonderful and I didn’t.

The thing is, you don’t have to have a reason. It’s not fair to yourself to say things like that. Trust me, it only makes it worse. I spent weeks feeling confused. There was one point where I hated myself for feeling the way I did. I hated myself for not being able to be happy. I hated myself for wanting to disappear. I hated that I was afraid of myself.

When I finally admitted to a couple of close friends what I thought was happening, they didn’t look at me like I was crazy. They both actually told me they had been thinking for a while that I didn’t seem like myself but they didn’t know how to bring it up to me. That was such a huge relief for me. It was incredible to know that I wasn’t going crazy, and for someone to tell me that it was going to be okay.

When I finally accepted it, I was able to start the process of becoming better. The thing is, this can affect anyone. Stop adding telling yourself that you have no right, because it will only add to the pain. Depression and Anxiety are part of my life now. It’s a part that I am learning to live with. It is okay.

It can happen to anyone, but it is okay, because you have people to love and support you. There are so many places for you to go and people you can talk to. Trust me, you have ever right to feel however you feel. You have every right to need support or help sometimes. Don’t let yourself become worse because you don’t feel like you have a right to need help.

 

 

Life · Uncategorized

My Dog Is My Child

I read an article a few days ago saying that women who think of their pets as their child should be classified as having a psychiatric disorder. HAHAHAH I’m sorry what? I have so many issues with this. If anyone hasn’t seen that article floating around yet, give it a google.

First of all, I feed my dog, I take care of him, I give him a bath, he cuddles with me, and we spend a lot of time together. There is nothing wrong with that. I’m not saying that it is as hard as being a parent to a child, I’m not saying it is the same thing. They are very different things. But at this stage in my life, it is okay for my dog to be my child.

It is not my job to become a parent, it is a choice. A choice that right now involves a Jack Russell Terrier. I am not married, I am very young, I do not have a full time job, and I am in college. It’s really perfectly fine that I do not plan on having a child in the next two years. Loving my dog as much as I do does not make me a lesser person than women who have children. It doesn’t mean I’m not doing my part in the world.

I have friends who do not want to have kids, I have friends who have tried to have kids and couldn’t, I have friends who want kids down the line but not right now, and I have friends who have kids already.  None of them judge me for having a dog and not a child.

Neither do my parents, both of them will tell me “say hi to Walter” or “Give Walter a belly rub for me”. They are not embarrassed that I love my dog. They also love him, and are very thankful I found a dog like him when I needed it. They are not sad that I don’t have a kid (pretty sure they are happy about that fact). They are nothing but loving and supportive about my dog, and how much he is part of the family.

My dog is also not the reason I’m not married, or dating, and if you think that is a part of why this generation is not getting married as quickly, as young, or as often as our parents then you really need to do some research.

By the way, I did adopt my dog. I did rescue him from a shelter, and I will use the word rescue. He had been abandoned, and had no one to love him. I did not pick the cutest fluff ball, I picked the dog that had the personality I was looking for.

This does not mean that we think children are not important. I know just how important they are, I have been in children’s theater programs where we get to help the kids grow. We know children are our future. That does not mean that we have to have one to be doing our jobs. We have lots of other things we are doing to make this world a better place. Yes, eventually I do want kids, but even if I didn’t, the world has no right to judge me for it.

It is my choice, not yours. I’m not crazy because I love my dog. It is not a disorder. This dog is one of the reasons I’m alive today. I’m not exaggerating that. I was raised with dogs, they were amazing with me when I was a toddler, and all through growing up. They are a very important part of families. Maybe instead of worrying about how much I love my dog, or how important he is to me, you should be worrying about something else. My dog has nothing to do with if I have children or not. So don’t blame him.

Maybe the world should learn to love and support each other, that way the children that are in the world are not raised around hate and judgement.

Life · Uncategorized

Rose Tinted Glasses

I’ve had several people ask me if my relationship was so bad, why I was in it for four years. The thing is, when you are in it, it is very hard to see that. I thought everything he was doing was trying to make me a better person. It is hard to find the line between when someone is trying to help you, and when someone is trying to control you. I didn’t hate him until it was ending, until I realized what had happened, until I let myself see the truth. I loved him very much. I was planning to marry him in less than six months. We had been together four and a half years, and had been best friends for three years before that. I assumed he wanted what was best for me, he taught me that I wasn’t smart enough to think for myself, but I only saw the best.

The problem was that I was so desperate to make him happy, that I didn’t ever see it as him controlling me or being abusive. I always thought that maybe I had done something wrong, and he was telling me so that I could be better. I always thought that he was trying to lead me to be better. It happened so slowly at first that I didn’t notice any changes at all. I didn’t notice that I had drifted away from all of my friends because he didn’t like them. I didn’t notice that I had stopped all the activities that made me happy because he wanted to spend more time with me. I thought it was him being sweet, since my love language is quality time. But it wasn’t that at all. Everything was always my fault. I’ve actually been yelled at for going home for Christmas to see my family one year… I was yelled at for not having dinner ready when he got out of class. I was expected to be perfect, even though he constantly told me how I was never, and would never be good enough. But I saw it as him caring about me, and loving me.

I always saw the best in the situation, and I never saw the bad. Everything looks lovely when you are looking through rose tinted glasses. You don’t ever see the darkness. You are able to justify everything. You find a reason for it to be okay, you find a reason to tell yourself you are happy and in love. It’s a wonderful idea, being in love. It’s easy to convince yourself to be happy, because everyone wants love.

It took one of my closest friends sitting me down and looking at me and saying “you aren’t happy, something is very wrong here”. When she said it, I almost felt the glass shatter. All of the fears and thoughts I had been pushing away flooded me. I knew she was right, I knew I had been trying to ignore it for the better part of the relationship. I felt crazy until someone else saw it too. I had been looking through rose tinted glasses at our relationship, because I wanted to be loved. On the outside, our relationship looked so wonderful to so many people. I got to the point where I clung to the idea of our perfect relationship and was able to trick myself into ignoring what it had become.

See he had me convinced that I was crazy, and that he was perfect and I needed to be fixed, so I left him try to fix me. I had tried to talk to him about it several times, but things only got worse. Every time we talked about it, he told me that every couple fights and has hard times, but that he would get better. He made me feel like I couldn’t escape.

When you love someone, you want to see the best parts of them. We should always look for the best parts of people. The world needs that. But there is a difference between seeing the best, and not seeing abuse. I couldn’t see the difference for a long time. If you are ever in that situation, I promise you, if I was strong enough to get out, you are too. You are not alone, you are not trapped. There are people who can help you. Getting out of situations like that is so much better than staying in them.