Through the Looking Glass
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Health and Wellness

Through the Looking Glass

Coming to terms with my mental health

12
Through the Looking Glass
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I'm a friendly person. I smile a lot. I like making my friends laugh and crack jokes all the time. Behind this personable demeanor though, I have a well-kept secret. Most of the people that know me probably would never guess that I have struggled with depression since middle school. Only a few of my very close friends are aware of the inner demons I've struggled with throughout my life. There are only three of them who know I have had suicidal thoughts. Well, that was then and now there's more.

I'm divulging all of this for the first time because mental illness should not be something that is dealt with in secret, is an "issue" to be stigmatized, or a factor that isolates an individual from those they love/care for most. I just had an incredible- mind you, hectic- first week of my final collegiate semester.

I finished applying to Graduate programs, I was accepted to a national conference, and I squared away my academics so I am on-track for Commencement in a few months. I also came to terms with my mental health and scheduled my first counseling session.

However, I am also fully aware that while I'm on Cloud 9 now, I will soon be in a low. Sometimes it happens gradually and I simply lose motivation or productivity.

Other times, I feel so abysmally inept that I want to stay in bed for days because nothing about my life or current situation is worth having to face the world. I have days where I cry alone in the library or a random empty lounge merely because I think I'm an utter waste of cognition.

There are days where I wish or think humanity would genuinely be better off without me. Rationally, I know that's not true. That's the thing about depression/anxiety though, it's not rational. It doesn't account for the mundane and the little achievements of everyday living. It doesn't allow you to see the whole picture. You. Just. Feel. Like. Shit.

Now, I'm not writing this as a pity party so my readers see me differently. That may happen, but that's not the goal of this piece. What I do want you all to take away is that mental illness doesn't have one face. It doesn't have a certain "look."

There aren't always "signs" or "signals." It's just there. Affecting anyone, possibly everyone at some point or another in life. And that's ok. You don't have to have everything figured out, you don't have to be perfect or functioning 100 percent of the time, and you certainly don't have to be happy in every moment.

I do want you to be safe and to feel like you're not suffering alone. It may come off as cliché, but it's true. If it helps someone out there, even in the slightest way, to know that someone who seemingly has it "all together" really doesn't...then take a long look. We're in the same boat kiddo! I'm throwing you a life vest of support and we can float on together.

So please folks, remember to show compassion for your fellow human. Choose kindness. Be patient. Try to understand. There can be a lot happening behind that smiling, jovial face.

(Some) Resources

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1- 800-273-8255

Hopeline: 1-877-235-4525

The Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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