​A Letter To The Person Who Doesn’t Understand My Depression

​A Letter To The Person Who Doesn’t Understand My Depression

Please stop telling me how to feel.
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I know you probably mean well, but I need you to stop.

Telling me you “feel sad, too, sometimes,” is not going to help me. Encouraging me to “go out and make new friends, talk to people,” is not going to make me okay. Saying “don’t be depressed,” is not a cure.

Do you think that I haven’t tried? That I haven’t forced myself to go out and mingle in hopes being social will make me better? If someone has suggested it, I have probably tried it and I’m tired of people thinking that they understand my illness better than I do when they have never experienced it.

When they have never cried in their room late at night because they feel so alone, when they have never felt like they were drowning by simply existing, when they have tried and tried to the point of wanting to give up on themselves. You don’t understand, and I’m not expecting you to, but I need you to stop pretending.

Pretending is an art that depression has taught me to perfect. I pretend to smile, pretend to be happy, pretend to be okay. But the fact is, I’m not. It’s something I am dealing with every day of my life and I am continuously trying to move forward. But sometimes the sadness tries to win and it’s hard. It always comes close. It’s tethered to me like a phantom limb and I carry it with me wherever I go – even in my best moments, it is still there.

Though I don’t expect you to understand my illness, I do need you to understand that none of this is easy for me. Existing is the hardest thing for me to do and yet I am trying my best to hold on. But telling me to “get out more” and “people have it worse than you, why are you sad?” is not going to make me better. Being “strong” or trying a new medication won’t magically fix me. Even if you think I “don’t have a reason to be depressed,” it doesn’t make it go away. I need you to stop minimizing what I’m going through.

Depression is not a simple sadness. It is an all-encompassing darkness that hangs over me and attaches itself to everything that I do. Switching between yanking me under and tossing me in other directions.

But I am a hurricane of a person.

I’m 20 years old, and I have a depression that lives inside me like a storm brewing under oceans, lying in wait for new victims to pull under, yet I find myself to only be marginally afloat, too.

There is destruction in my blood and grief in my mouth and though I do not seek to ruin all that casually exists before me, I seem to do it without trying.

I am spiraling toward my destination without stopping, I have tried without luck to change directions, to stop myself – I just keep spinning. But I’m trying.

Cover Image Credit: Shushan Khachatryan

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Sorry Not Sorry, My Parents Paid For My Coachella Trip

No haters are going to bring me down.
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With Coachella officially over, lives can go back to normal and we can all relive Beyonce’s performance online for years to come. Or, if you were like me and actually there, you can replay the experience in your mind for the rest of your life, holding dear to the memories of an epic weekend and a cultural experience like no other on the planet.

And I want to be clear about the Beyonce show: it really was that good.

But with any big event beloved by many, there will always be the haters on the other side. The #nochella’s, the haters of all things ‘Chella fashion. And let me just say this, the flower headbands aren’t cultural appropriation, they’re simply items of clothing used to express the stylistic tendency of a fashion-forward event.

Because yes, the music, and sure, the art, but so much of what Coachella is, really, is about the fashion and what you and your friends are wearing. It's supposed to be fun, not political! Anyway, back to the main point of this.

One of the biggest things people love to hate on about Coachella is the fact that many of the attendees have their tickets bought for them by their parents.

Sorry? It’s not my fault that my parents have enough money to buy their daughter and her friends the gift of going to one of the most amazing melting pots of all things weird and beautiful. It’s not my fault about your life, and it’s none of your business about mine.

All my life, I’ve dealt with people commenting on me, mostly liking, but there are always a few that seem upset about the way I live my life.

One time, I was riding my dolphin out in Turks and Cacaos, (“riding” is the act of holding onto their fin as they swim and you sort of glide next to them. It’s a beautiful, transformative experience between human and animal and I really think, when I looked in my dolphin’s eye, that we made a connection that will last forever) and someone I knew threw shade my way for getting to do it.

Don’t make me be the bad guy.

I felt shame for years after my 16th birthday, where my parents got me an Escalade. People at school made fun of me (especially after I drove into a ditch...oops!) and said I didn’t deserve the things I got in life.

I can think of a lot of people who probably don't deserve the things in life that they get, but you don't hear me hating on them (that's why we vote, people). Well, I’m sick of being made to feel guilty about the luxuries I’m given, because they’ve made me who I am, and I love me.

I’m a good person.

I’m not going to let the Coachella haters bring me down anymore. Did my parents buy my ticket and VIP housing? Yes. Am I sorry about that? Absolutely not.

Sorry, not sorry!

Cover Image Credit: Kaycie Allen

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To Strong Women

An ode to every woman
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To strong women, know that you are enough. Even when you don’t feel like it.

To strong women, remember to laugh, and laugh hard. Life is way too short to spend your days upset.

To strong women, always be honest. It’s incredibly important for cultivating authentic connections with others.

To strong women, remember to speak up, but also to listen.

To strong women, be confident in yourself and in your decisions. You are the only person who knows what’s best for you.

To strong women, know that it’s okay to not always be kind.

To strong women, know when you should be kind.

To strong women, don’t lose yourself trying to live up to others’ expectations. Live for yourself.

To strong women, learn to ask for help.

To strong women, remember that beauty isn’t defined by anyone but you.

To strong women, wait for the right person, whoever that may be, and never settle. Life can feel very long if you spend it with the wrong person.

To strong women, if they want to be in your life, they will. It’s as simple as that.

To strong women, keep those that are there for you when things get rough close.

To strong women, find happiness within yourself.

To strong women, know that you are.

Cover Image Credit: CNN

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