“I am not my depression”

Project Description:

It’s hard to put years of thoughts and feelings into a concise story, so I’m not going to attempt to do so. What I will do is share some of what I’ve experienced and learned. I don’t in any way aim to blame individuals for my struggles and insecurities. My goal is simply to reflect on and show respect for my mental health, as I believe we all should.

I.
“You’re beautiful on the inside,” they said.

Short. Big nose. Pale, dry skin. Thunder thighs. Double chin. Love handles. Big butt. Too much cleavage.
Beauty is… beauty is… beauty is… not me.
“You’re beautiful on the inside,” they said.

II.
Cloudy

Difficulty making decisions.
Exhaustion.
Lack of motivation.
Irritability.
Feelings of emptiness.
Sadness.
Decreased energy.
Feelings of guilt.
Anxiety.
Loss of interest in everyday activities.
Loss of appetite.
Restlessness.

Together, we checked the symptoms off a list. Finally, we knew. But had we always known?

III.
Gratitude

It would be impossible for me to do justice to the wonderful people in my life in thanking them for their support. Thank you to my family and friends for sharing your knowledge about mental health, for your advice about how to best help myself, for your patience and care and thoughtfulness, for your honesty and openness, and for being there when things have been most tough. I don’t say it enough, but I love you all very much.

Everyone’s struggles are real. EVERYONE’S STRUGGLES ARE REAL. If it’s real to you, it’s real. And you owe it to yourself to reflect on and respect your struggles – and push through them.