​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.

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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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.

Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things. If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity towards this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you, if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs. In a world where a six figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm..

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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30 Million People Will Suffer From An Eating Disorder, And That Is Why I'm Walking For NEDA

Come join my team or make a donation for the West Chester NEDA Walk!


Did you know that over 30 million men and women will suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their life? I am one of these people, and I am walking to support NEDA and it's mission: to raise awareness about eating disorders and treat individuals and families affected by them.

For over six years, I suffered from a mix of anorexia, exercise addiction, and binge eating disorder. I was hospitalized once and relapsed four times. I wanted to give up countless times, but I never did stop fighting, no matter how hard things got. It took a lot of physical and mental growth to overcome my eating disorders, and it is something I never could have done without the support of my family, friends, therapists, and medical professionals.

Even though I am technically considered to be "recovered" now, I will admit that I still have to fight urges to engage in disordered eating behaviors. I still struggle to maintain a body positive mindset and properly take care of myself. I am still extremely hard on myself. I now have some adverse medical conditions resulting from the damage I did to my body, but I am managing them. Each day I choose recovery rather than giving in to my behaviors, I grow stronger. Each day I forgive myself for not being perfect, it gets easier to accept who I am and all of the flaws I have. Each day I look in the mirror, instead of degrading myself, I think about how far I have come. I think about the goals I have, the friends and family I love, and the positive characteristics that define me.

I am sharing a little insight into my story because I want everyone else battling an eating disorder to know that they are not alone. I want everyone struggling to know that it is 100% okay to ask for help and there is nothing to be ashamed of. I want everyone to know that recovery is extremely difficult, probably the hardest thing you will ever have to do in your life, but it is possible and you are worth the fight. It will be challenging. It will be hard to see yourself physically changing. There will be a lot of ups and downs. There will be tears. There will be setbacks and, potentially, relapses. It will take time, patience, determination, motivation, and dedication. But I want everyone to know that recovery is possible and every single challenge is worth it the fight.

I am walking because raising awareness about eating disorders, what they do, how they affect families and relationships, and how they can be treated is something that is very important to me. If this is something important to you, too, please join my team, WCU Group Fitness, in walking at East Goshen Park on Saturday, November 3rd. The walk starts at 11 am but it is recommended to arrive early to get your goodies! You can register through the NEDA wbsite (the password is "ramsup"). If you can make the walk, please feel free to make a donation to our fundraising page, also through the link below. If you want to hear more of my story, I am happy to share more of it with you, too :)

Thank you for supporting NEDA and it's mission with me! I, along with the millions of individuals and families affected by eating disorders, appreciate it very much!

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