A Breakup Letter To My Mental Illness

A Breakup Letter To My Mental Illness

Hey, we need to talk.
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Wow. I think writing that headline took ten years off my life. My heart started racing, my anxiety deciding to come out to play while I wrote this. I suppose I've always wanted to pretend that my brain functions normally, that my hormone levels are where they're supposed to be, and that I have never had a problem getting out of bed. So, here it goes. The breakup letter with my mental illness.

Hey, we need to talk.

We've been together for a while - we first met in eighth grade, and I was too young. You took advantage of a child, wrapped me into your lies at an age where I was so impressionable. You convinced me that numb was normal, that I was all those things I feared - fat, ugly, worthless, and that no one would care about the things I had to say. You took a girl who used to be so outgoing and turned her into someone who was shy, awkward, nervous around even herself. You became my old paint under the new, a piece of me I could never quite shake, even when you decided to take a break from me. You would release me just long enough for me to get a taste of normalcy, and suck me back in.

You were moderately contained through high school. You'd creep back onto my shoulder for about a week, and get bored again, burrowing yourself deeper and deeper inside my soul. You would make me anxious when I hadn't heard from you in awhile - what horrible, terrible thing was coming my way?

And then, all of a sudden, your interest in me became insatiable, and there was nothing I could do to keep the black hole of your presence at bay. So here's where the meat of this letter comes in: Fuck you. You came into my life in a whirlwind, destroying everything in your path this past autumn. You turned a lively, happy and excited college kid into a phantom of who she was once - uninterested, empty, and overall deep into a pit of despair where the light at the top could no longer be seen. I couldn't get out of bed, couldn't take care of myself, couldn't stop crying and feeling the aches of your presence in every bone in my body. I was in some state beyond empty - I felt the emptiness and numbness deep inside my bones, my soul. I thought I would never see the light again, and old habits came back, biting harder than they ever did before. Do you know how soul crushing it is, crying on the floor of your nasty dorm shower at 4 am because you are so terrified to sleep? Of course, you do; you caused it all. You rooted yourself deeper than ever, telling me every few minutes that no one cared, nothing mattered, that this was the life you were doomed to live. What was the point of fighting you? You'd win every time - sucking me back into the black hole of my bed.

And in a moment of strength greater than I ever thought possible, I dragged my haven't-showered-since-before-Vietnam ass to the doctor, and sat in a chair and cried to some man I had met four minutes earlier as he told me that he had never seen a depression index score this high on anyone who hadn't tried to kill themselves. Imagine hearing that. He wrote some words on a small piece of paper, and I began the long, exhausting and frustrating road to breaking up with you, to leaving you behind. And you grasped my shoulders, dug in, trying to prevent me from being the person I used to be.

But here's the thing: you don't own me anymore. You don't get to choose my moods, my relationships, my self-worth. You don't even get to define me anymore. You are the burden I will always have to bear, but I cannot allow you control over me. This is my life, this is my choice - I don't want to be a person who has no control, who can't even get out of bed, let alone stop crying. I want to live this life to its fullest, and I can't do that with you on my shoulder.

I suppose I do have to thank you. Thank you for showing me the inner strength I always had, for showing me the people who will love me for my relationship with you, not in spite of it. Furthermore, thank you for showing the relationship with God I desperately craved, for showing me that there is something worth believing in, especially when you can't quite believe in yourself yet. Thank you for teaching me how to be a better friend, a more compassionate and caring person, and someone with empathy.

But you owe me an apology. You have taken so much from me, having taught me early on that protest is pointless. You have robbed me of social opportunities, of feelings (whether positive or negative), and from fully living this one life I've been given. You have tainted the memories of the greatest times of my life with shadows of you, confirming all of my worst fears and insecurities. You have made me harm myself in every way a person can harm themselves, and you celebrated me for it. These are all parts of me I will never be able to take back, things that will never fade in my heart, on my body, and in my memory. I will have those horrible moments engrained in my mind forever, and that alone warrants an apology.

I'd tell you good luck and I'll see you around, but I hope no one has to experience you, this horrible combination of hormone deficiencies because you suck so bad, and I hope I never feel you creeping up on me, because you'll recieve a swift punch to the face.

Sincerely,

Kate

Cover Image Credit: Kate Marlette

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5 Things I Really Wish I Knew ~Before~ Losing My Virginity

Advice to our younger selves.
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Everyone has a first time. We're all at different stages of our lives when it happens, which impacts how we approach the situation and how we feel about it immediately after and in reflections. Some people idealize their first time, some people regret it, some people feel nothing about it. I agonized over my virginity.

I wanted nothing more than to throw it at the first willing participant. I felt that it made me someone inferior to my friends who had already had sex, like somehow I was missing out on some great secret of life or somehow I was less mature than them. I spent a lot of time wishing it would just happen, and then one day, it did when I wasn't expecting it. I don't regret my first time, but because I had wished for it to happen for so long, I had built up this image in my head of how it would be that was completely unrealistic.

So, this is for those girls like me whose imaginations get the best of them. Here are some tips to ease your worries and prepare you for what it's really going to be like.

1. It's going to be awkward.

Not just the first time, every time. No matter how much porn or how many blogs or erotic fiction you read, you will not have any idea what you're doing. The other person probably won't, either. There are too many variables, and you're both so concerned with doing it well, you'll be focused on too many things to properly control your limbs.

2. Don't think about your body.

The angles that are required for things to work leave both participants in awkward positions with limbs in strange places. Don't look at your body; don't even think about where your limbs are. Just keep your eyes and mind on the other person and what they're doing and how you're feeling. If you're feeling bad, let them know, so you can change it. If you're feeling good, enjoy it.

3. Don't do it drunk.

Not even a little tipsy, at least not for the first few times. Alcohol throws in another variable and another reason your limbs are flailing listlessly on top of other unforeseen complications. Just wait until you've had a little practice to introduce alcohol into the mix. You want to actually remember your first time and understand what's going on.

4. You're not going to feel any different after.

I expected to feel a weight being lifted or some newfound maturity, but I really didn't feel any different at all. That's because I really was just the same girl as before. Finally having lost this imaginary flower didn't make me physically any different at all.

5. You're going to feel something.

There wasn't some profound emotional release afterward, either, but I did feel a little different. Again, not in the sense that something had actually change, but I felt different because I had placed so much importance on this, on having sex, and now it had happened. I wanted there to be some big release or celebratory moment, but really, I just felt the same. I didn't even feel a little more mature or experienced. I was positive that if I ever did it again, I would still have absolutely no idea what to do (which was true).

Cover Image Credit: Seventeen

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7 Messy Things Everyone Is Guilty Of Saying After A Rough Breakup

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Sometimes building the right relationship can be hard, and it is incredibly discouraging when you find yourself in a pattern of failed attempts. Throughout the process of meeting someone, it is important to not pretend to be someone else, act like you care less than you do or even blame yourself if things don't end up working out. Here are seven things that people say about relationships that--in the end--can be detrimental.

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