I might only be 19-years-old but I definitely feel like life has come at me at full speed and I've been forced to grow up quickly. This means I've learned a ton in the past few years about myself, others, and really just about how the world seems to work. It's been crazy, and by that I mean, challenging yet super rewarding.
Living with depression has made making friends a lot harder than it would be without mental illness. There's a lot of facets to depression that can affect relationships and how I function which can be difficult for others to understand. Or more likely, it can be difficult for others to want to care for someone outside of themselves.
I was bullied pretty much my entire childhood which became a huge factor in my beginning symptoms of depression. In middle school, I had a few fake friends that were nice to my face but talked major crap behind my back (ah, yes, we love middle school girl drama). Of course, high school came with its own set of challenges as well. Now in college, I feel like maturity is a spectrum and people are all over it, which continues to make making friends hard.
I had a few really good friendships that started out amazing. It felt like one of those friendships that would last a lifetime. Until it didn't. Maybe friendships have the "honeymoon phase" too, but whatever the case may be, I ended up pretty much alone in a matter of time.
That's when it hit me.
Everyone, along with myself, wants to feel accepted. We crave that feeling of belonging, and sometimes it doesn't matter who it is. People settle. And that's not always a good thing.
Yes, I'm guilty of it. I've changed who I am for people (in a negative sense), and at the end of the day, I wasn't happy. I wasn't being true to myself and it hurt. I was sick of the immaturity, the surface-level friendships, and constantly feeling like I wasn't good enough. I was tired of overthinking everything I said and did to please people that made me feel like trash. I deserve better.
Sure, I've lost a lot of "friends" and sometimes I feel incredibly alone, but at least I'm not sacrificing who I am. At least I'm not stuck wondering what I need to do to please people that simply could care less about me. I have a big heart, but I'm making my own happiness a priority. To those of you who have continued to be amazing friends to me, I love you. You mean the world. Thank you for accepting me as me, and never making me feel like I had to change.
You deserve to be yourself- unapologetically. You're worthy of friends who would climb mountains and cross oceans for you. Don't ever settle for anything less.