Dear Mental Illness

Dear Mental Illness

A letter to those who understand, and those who don't

Dear mental illness,

You suck. When I say this I don’t mean that you suck as in you aren’t cool or are a bore, I mean that you suck as in you are sucking the life out of me. You are the reason that I find no joy in the things that I used to love. You ripped the beauty from sunrises and impregnated my thoughts with negativity. My mental illness crafted a stigma in my brain that because I am depressed, I am not good enough. I am single, which means that I am not good enough for relationships. I cannot look at myself in the mirror and see beauty, so I am not good enough.

Dear mental illness,

You hurt me. You hurt me in the sense that because of you, I can't speak as easily as I used to. I can't make friends with new people that I meet because I am terrified of letting them inside my head. You hurt me by causing my anxiety. You hurt me because you won't let me live my life without being consistently filled with worry and sadness.

Dear mental illness,

I can't be happy and it is your fault. There are fleeting moments where I think that I will be okay, but then I am placed right back into this never ending hell. I look at the people around me who are happy and it hurts me. It hurts that they can find joy in little things and themselves and I can't. I can look at things like flowers and sunsets and feeling nothing, but I can look at bridges and wonder if a fall from them would kill me.

Dear people who don't understand,

Mental illness messes up the beauty of being alive, and that it something that kills me. It kills me to look at children, so full of joy and innocence, and wonder if they are going to turn out just like me - hating the world and everything in it because they feel so separated from it. It hurts that I can't watch a sunrise or a sunset and think it is beautiful, I can only think that another day has passed where I don't want to be alive anymore. Mental illness is the reason that my friends won't let me go near bridges alone, the reason that they don't let me near knives, the reason that they choose their wording so carefully when speaking to me. It is the reason that my family walks on eggshells around me, careful to not set me off. Mental illness is the reason I spent time in a mental institute and came out feeling worse because I didn't get better. Mental illness is why I look in the mirror and hate my reflection.

Dear mental illness,

Thank you. You gave me an opportunity to connect to a different subgroup of people. You brought me my closest friends. You showed me who was there for me. You made me, me.

Cover Image Credit: Odyssey Online

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Being Sick In College Is A Real Struggle

Being sick in college is definitely not as fun as having a sick day in middle school or high school.


Something that I have had to deal with multiple times these past two semesters is being sick while in school. It can be a real pain especially depending on what type of sickness it is. I have had tonsillitis, mono, and I'm pretty sure I also had the flu.

Being at school and away from home can make being sick worse because there is nobody to take of you such as your parents. Another thing is having to make the decision to get the rest that your body needs in order to feel better or staying on top of your assignments to avoid falling behind. My parents will always tell me to get a good night's sleep so my body can feel better the next day. However, sometimes I will feel more stress if my work isn't getting done and I feel like I'm falling behind and leaving things to get done in the last minute.

Currently, I am sick now and the past few days haven't been easy, but I still attended all my classes so I wouldn't miss any material or assignments that were given. I usually end up feeling the worst at night when trying to fall asleep, and by that time the doctors are not present at the student health center. Even though my health is important I usually don't like taking too much time out of my day to go to the health center to see a doctor. Some days I don't really have much free time before the evening.

I don't believe I have been over-exerting myself, but I don't want to just stay in my bed all day and sleep, even though that may be what is best for me. Most professors will be understanding if I email them and provide them a doctor's note as well, but I also just got back from a conference where I had to miss two days of classes next week.

I have been trying to keep hydrated so that way my body can fight the sickness. Also, I have been told if you stay hydrated you can flush the virus out of your body quicker.

Eating can also be a pain when you have a sore throat, for the past couple of days I have tried to have some soup in order to help. Most meals I would have to force myself to eat something of substance in order to give my body some type of energy in order to get through the day. It's also never fun not being able to breathe out of your nostrils. If it wasn't my nose being stuffed, then it would be constantly runny so there was no winning that battle.

Looking back, I probably should have done a bit more work over spring break in order to get ahead in the case that something like this would happen. I wanted my break to be exactly that, a break. After not being home for a few months I just wanted some time off to relax.

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