​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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Poetry On Odyssey: The Fitness Revolution

It's taking over.

Within the last couple years - especially 2017 - society has been going through a fitness revolution. Social media platforms have lately been accelerating a movement for America to get fit. This fitness revolution has its positives and negatives, which is what I have explored through this poem.

There's a revolution happening in society

Trying to make ambitious fitness goals a reality

consumes most minds constantly

Pinterest and Instagram filled with fitness body goals

Learning how to get a flat stomach with no tummy rolls

liking and pinning persistently

Healthy eating habits haunt even the humble

you missed your weight mark so you grumble

the goal is not skinny, it's toned with muscle

your waist better be mini, every day's a hustle

leggings and a sports bra mirror pic aesthetic

the healthy food mood but don't be rude

women lifting weights, men counting macros

carbs, protein, and fat - balance or you're fat!

L.A. lifestyle nationwide - fitness is a crazy ride

ride or die with my gym ladies

ladies looking slim thick on the 'gram

but there's no time so you cram

obesity is left far behind with processed foods

living the fit life is how we do it now

We eat real food and get our exercise in

our health and longevity is the real win

fitness is functional

for a society that needed a revolution

Cover Image Credit: pexels

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Why You Deserve To Be Happy

Isn't that what we all want?

I can't say I'm always happy, but who can? I try to be for the sake of other people, sometimes. In general, I'm a pretty happy and satisfied person. A few things can bring my positive mood to a halt: a bad grade, toxic people, and even a paper cut – those types of things.

As people, we're too hard on ourselves. We expect to always reach an end goal or vision within a certain timeframe, or get bullied by other people just for the sake of having "friends". Nobody wants to be unhappy, especially because sometimes we think nobody else cares about our problems. As a result, we shove those problems until it becomes unbearable to deal with.

You deserve to be happy because your pain isn't beneficial for yourself or anybody else. The more we grieve and suffer, the less we grow, the less we connect with people, and the less we push ourselves to become bigger and better versions of ourselves.

When we're miserable, we shrink into the second-rate versions of ourselves. When we're happy, we thrive, envelop, and burn brightly to light up those around us. Our lives take on a stronger and more meaningful purpose.

You deserve to be happy because there is no sense in not being yourself. The more you hide, quiver, or retreat into the quiet recesses of existence, the more you lose the chance to show off who you are. The world deserves the inspiration of people who come alive through what they hope for, the people who end up creating change, be it artistically, technically, or persistently. The world doesn’t need people half-fulfilling someone else’s dream: It needs people who are fully embodying their own, and are happy doing it.

Now, I'm not implying a need to always be happy. My point is to not be so critical and harsh on yourself. Its okay to not achieve that one test grade, or personal best. Its okay to cut off a toxic person from your life, or to be late to a class/meeting. It's okay to not stay on your diet 24/7 –say "f*** it" and eat whatever you want because it makes you a happy, well-rounded individual.

You deserve to be happy because happy people make their lives matter, and what more can we ask for than that?

Cover Image Credit: Candace Jones

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