Barbie's Real Talk

Barbie's Real Talk

A Discussion on Depression

When I was growing up, Barbie was every girl's favorite toy and was our idol. Literally, if you did not have every Barbie movie, doll, and accessory, what in the world was your childhood as a young girl? She could do literally everything; being a doctor, president, rock star. She was everything that any girl ever wanted to be and proved that a girl can do anything that she wanted to do. She proved she didn't need a guy by breaking up with Ken. She proved that friendships last lifetimes by having the same friends for years. Barbie was something that every girl wanted to strive for, because who could say no to a girl like Barbie?

She was always fun and perky and loved life.

But she just got serious. For those of you who have not seen the recent video that Barbie uses as from what I assume as a podcast for an online TV series or just for a new TV series in general, her video talks about how she herself has gone through depression. Barbie does not specifically say that she herself has depression but by describing the feeling as being blue. She goes into talking about how she is not like this all the time but how she doesn't like to talk about it due to the expectations because of people always seeing her as this perky, fun-loving girl. I mean if she is this happy all the time how could she have depression?

The truth is that a lot of the people who always seem happy all the time because that is what is expected of us. People who are depressed don't show it because that is what is expected of them. No one wants to hear how much you are not loving life, or how sad you are. People want to hear how wonderful your life is because no one wants to be sad. No one wants to feel anything in life other than happiness.

I love that Barbie has come out with this video because she explains that people need to love and feel life. As she has stated, life has its springs and its winters. I have more winters than springs. But when I have those springs I feel as if my life is utterly amazing. I feel lighter than air.

My winter has been around for awhile. I might have one spring day or even an hour and I cherish it. This is something that I just cannot turn on or off. My depression is a part of me and I honestly believe that it has made me a better person because of it. I have moved slowly away from the deep end and now just treading water. But when I get those spring days It makes me feel alive. Depression makes me feel as if I can get through anything that life gives me.

The fact that my idol is giving me advice years and years later that I have been looking for my entire life feels full circle. I want to make my idol proud and work harder to beat this monster that I know will be with me my entire life. That is why when the spring comes I will love it. And when the winter is lurking around the corner, I will look for that small flower that refuses to believe that it is winter.

Thank you so much, Barbie.

Link to the video is here:

Cover Image Credit: Caroline.lehnert

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A Senior's Last Week Of High School

The bittersweet end.

Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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You Aren't The Only One Whose Depression Follows You, I Understand

Depression is an intrusive illness, and doesn't leave any room for negotiation.


Let me put this on record now: I have gotten help in the past and continue to get help for my depression now. Unfortunately, it doesn't just go away. I battle with it every day, and many other people do, too. Hopefully, this will help you understand a little bit more what it is like, and help YOU to better help those you know who struggle with depression.

1. Sleeping becomes the highlight of every day

I, like most people when they become teenagers, began to appreciate sleep a lot more when I started high school. The days were longer, and the work was more tedious and sleeping after school became a necessity. However, unlike most people my age, I don't desire to go out at night and have a good time.

In fact, I don't really like going out at all. Being home, being asleep, is comforting to me.

Forget about waking up on time in the mornings. It has become impossible. It doesn't matter how important the events of that day are. Sometimes, I cannot physically and mentally muster up the strength to get out of bed. It's an activity that brings me comfort because I don't have to think about anything.

2. Going to work becomes harder than it should be

If you have a normal job like me, and not some kind of dream job, chances are, you don't necessarily enjoy working.

I have a somewhat easy going job, and the hours are very flexible. Despite that, I find myself equating going to work with a huge, impossible, unobtainable task. It's normal for people to dread their job, but I call in sick sometimes because I KNOW working is far beyond what I'm able to do.

I don't ditch to do anything fun, just to sleep the day away in hopes I'm stronger tomorrow. Unfortunately, not working means not getting paid.

3. My relationships deteriorate

If you don't experience depression, it can be hard to empathize with someone who does because it's confusing. I'm confused.

I face these weird feelings, I have scary thoughts, and I don't know why. And I can't make them stop. Because it's hard for others to understand, it causes my relationships with others to fall apart. Sometimes, I feel like all of the fun has been sucked out of me, and some of my friends don't like that.

Some people aren't able to sit with me in silence and just be. Some people don't like that I am moody and miserable (who would like that?) and aren't able to see around it. I'll tell you one thing though, facing something like this DOES reveal who your people are.

They don't budge, they remain constant, and they assure you that they are here for you every step of the way.

4. My motivation disappears


Things that I once loved to do don't seem as intriguing anymore. I love to paint! And before the painting comes the drawing, with I also have no motivation to do anymore.

Even when it's nice out, I almost always choose to stay inside. I don't want to go on a walk or even step outside, things I used to not mind doing. Sometimes, I'll be out with friends, or doing something "fun," when it's almost like I crash and need to be alone.

Nothing else matters to me at that moment than escaping to be by myself. Depression is an intrusive illness and doesn't leave any room for negotiation.

5. I need to compensate for how I feel

Feeling grey and empty on the inside means one thing: compensate on the outside.

When I can, I shop. I buy clothes and shoes and spend way more money than I have in order to do so. Even though I don't hide the fact that I struggle with this, I still like to at least pretend I'm doing OK sometimes.

So, I buy clothes, I dress nice, I look good, and I hope that fewer people will ask me today, "What's wrong?"

6. I become rude

When asked to describe myself, the first word that comes out of my mouth would not be "nice."

That doesn't mean I'm NOT nice, it just isn't the first word that I would use. Unfortunately, I'm sort of a naturally irritable person. Even more, unfortunately, it becomes way, way worse when I'm having a hard day. I don't MEAN to be rude when I dismiss someone's caring questions, but the truth is, if I say just one word, I'll break down in tears. I choose to stay to myself because I might explode on someone who doesn't deserve it.

I'm not intentionally being grumpy, or rude, but it comes with it. All I can do is keep my mouth closed and hope to resume a conversation when I'm feeling better.

7. I'm emotional...ALL the time

I've never been an overly emotional person, but now, it's like I can't escape my emotions. I cry, a lot. Over stupid things. One not being able to sit up in bed.

Over not wanting to go in the shower because that means I have to start my day. It interrupts everyday life, like when I'm at work and have to excuse myself to the bathroom to get myself together. Or when someone tries to comfort me, but I can't tell them what's wrong because I don't KNOW what's wrong.

I'll go from being OK to being upset in minutes, and nothing people say can help me out of that space. It just needs to pass.

But, as I mentioned earlier, though everyday life sucks while dealing with this, it's something I have to get through, and thousands of other people do too. Though being alone is the most favorable option to me, I try to surround myself with those who I love, and those who love me. There is a quote somewhere on the internet that says, "When you cannot see the light, I will sit with you in the darkness." Thank you to those who do just that for me.

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