Depression Reflection

Depression Reflection

Depression has a physical feeling too, you know.
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Depression. It’s a heavy word, and one that we are all too familiar with in our day and age. You probably know someone close to you that struggles with it, or maybe you do yourself. For a lot of people who have never had depression though, it’s hard to put into words what it feels like. Sure we all know the consequences of depression, and sure we all know it means that someone is sad, but it is (unfortunately) so much more than that. It’s not just an emotional state, but a physical and mental one as well. I myself struggle with depression, and while depression isn’t the same for everyone, this is what it feels like to me.

Depression feels like a solid stone, the same temperature as your body, that has been lodged in your chest. It's heavy, yet you cannot feel it. It weighs on your chest, and though it's as imaginary as my childhood fairy friend, it controls me in a way my imaginary friend never could. It holds me down and back, and makes me stress over the world I'm trying to ignore, praying devotedly that the world ignores me right back.


I have ambition and drive, cunning wit, and resourcefulness. When I don't feel my depression, that is. The moment that my depression hits me like a wall, it's as if I'm an empty sack of sorrow, feeling nothing, wanting nothing, and receiving nothing. The only thing I can even possibly imagine doing is laying down and doing purely nothing. Nothing is quite easy to imagine, after all. I do cry, sometimes, but don't ask me why. I'm sad, yet this is for no reason that I have found. My face is wet, and tears often fall over down one cheek, over my nose, only to join up with the other tear on my other cheek, then landing softly on the bed beneath my face.

The tears somehow relieve my chest, as if all the useless tears are stored where the stone is and by crying I'm emptying space for the stone, causing less pressure inside of me. And while the tears are relieving, they are also infuriating. I hate crying, especially for no reason at all. I hate crying, especially when it's neither the time nor place. I hate crying, especially when I'm around my friends and all they want to do is help.

"Can't you just go away and let me weep and mourn in numb sorrow over nothing? And if you do want to help then hug me and say nothing!" I cry out. But not aloud, oh no. Never out loud. Always quietly and inside myself.

But back to when I do cry and can't control it, I can't feel the emotions that make me cry, or even comprehend what might make me cry. This confuses me beyond all belief, and makes me annoyed at the fact that I don't know why I'm upset or why I'm crying or why I'm not alright and happy like everyone else.

I don't get the tears and why I cry at those times, and I don't think I ever will.

I don't get why I lack all of my strongest driving qualities at those times, and I don't think I ever will.

I don't get why my chest is heavy at those times, and I don't think I ever will.

I don't get why I have and struggle with depression, and I don't think I ever will.

I don't understand any of it, ever, at all, and I don't think I ever will.

Cover Image Credit: www.precisionnutrition.com

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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My Eating Disorder Was A Secret, Even From Me

No one ever talks about it, and if they had my life might be different.

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I remember ninth grade health class very well, specifically one day in particular. The day we talked about eating disorders, I was ready to hear about anorexia and bulimia. I was not ready to walk out of that classroom with confirmation that I had an eating disorder, but that is exactly what I did that day.

After speaking on anorexia and bulimia, my teacher told us about Binge Eating Disorder.

My 14-year-old ears perked up. I had never heard of this disease, but I was immediately interested. I knew anorexia and bulimia well, they were the diseases that, at the time, I wish I had the determination to try, but I was too scared to hurt my body.

Binge Eating Disorder was new to me. My teacher described it as continuing to eat after you were full and eating for hours at a time. As the signs and symptoms continued to be read, I realized... that the last three years of my life had been plagued by binges. There was a lot I couldn't control in my life, but eating was one thing that I always had control over. It was the one thing that always brought me comfort.

Most binges would start after I came home from a hard day at school, or maybe after I got in a fight with a family member. Maybe I felt insecure about the growing number on the scale, but I ate.

It always started with half a bag of chips, then maybe a cookie or other sweet treat, and then I would finish with something else I could find in the pantry. My mother would come home and begin making dinner.

Ashamed, I would hide the food anywhere so my family could not tell I had been eating and then I would go eat dinner.

This was a common occurrence for me, but I had no idea that my habits were wrong or should point to an eating disorder. The only thing that I knew was wrong with me, was that I was gaining weight.

For the longest time, I thought an eating disorder was something that helped you lose weight unhealthily, not gain weight. It wasn't until I sat in a health class that I realized that there was anything wrong with me.

Education is so important in overcoming eating disorders. We are making such great strides about informing people about the dangers of eating disorders and positive body image.

It is so important that we start making Binge Eating Disorder a topic that is as known as anorexia and bulimia. No one ever discusses Binge Eating Disorder, not even the dangers of it, maybe if they had my life might have been different.

Maybe I would have found out about it earlier and could have gotten help before it got out of hand.

I wish I could say that I left that health class that day and never had a binge again. The truth is I binged several times after that, and still to this day I have an episode, although they are very rare.

It would be unrealistic to tell you that I overcame my eating disorder that day because it is a journey I am still completing. Every day presents a new challenge, and sometimes I fail, but I will succeed, and succeeding is worth a few failures.

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