My Mad Fat Depressive Episode

My Mad Fat Depressive Episode

A television series may have taught me more than therapy.


Spoilers ahead!

Similarly to many others, I recently visited home for Thanksgiving break. Personally, I didn't eat any turkey, but I did find a new series to binge that would completely destroy and save my life all at once. "My Mad Fat Diary" is the series I so desperately needed when I was younger, but I'm glad I found it as a college student instead.

Growing up, I was far from a beauty queen. I always thought I was overweight and had some major self-confidence issues. I also struggle with my own variety of mental health problems.

"My Mad Fat Diary" is a short British television series set in 1996 Lincolnshire. There are only three seasons and 16 episodes. The show depicts an overweight teenager named Rae Earl leaving a mental hospital and going on to tackle friendships, boyfriends, sex, self-esteem, and more. In the first season, Rae is on her way home to face her life again when she runs into her best mate, who she hasn't seen since she went away and has no idea she's been ill.

Her best mate, Chloe, eventually invites Rae out to a pub to meet a gang of new friends. It is there she meets her soon-to-be love interest, Finn Nelson, who she despises at first. Throughout the first season, Rae struggles to fit in with a new group of friends who don't know she's been mentally ill. She also struggles to identify and process her feelings for Finn, and she does it all while struggling to find healthy ways to cope.

In season two, we finally see Rae and Finn living out all our relationship goals to the fullest, but sadly, it's short-lived. Rae struggles a lot with her confidence. She worries what people may think of her next to the guy so clearly out of her league. Things escalate when she and Finn decide to have sex, but she is unable to get past her insecurities long enough to undress before him. This is what ends the relationship at the very beginning of the season.

Rae spends the rest of it on what I like to think of as her journey of self-discovery. She begins to accept therapy, loses her virginity, adjusts to her new family, and even finds her way back to Finn.

The third and final season of "My Mad Fat Diary" is only three episodes. Rae has to accept the end of her therapy, choose between a life with Finn and a life at University, and mend her friendship with her best mate. It's a bittersweet ending to a story that brought me on an emotional roller coaster unlike any other.

Sure, this may all seem pretty melodramatic, and in some ways it is, but Rae Earl is the type of character almost anyone can relate to. Rae associates many of her faults with being overweight. She struggles to believe she is deserving of many things but mostly struggles to believe she deserves love.

The show isn't perfect. There were no trigger warnings where they were needed, and there weren't always happy endings. What the show does do is bring you along a journey to learn how to save and love yourself, and for that, I'll never forget it.

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A Short Story About Depression

As I was recalling these events I heard a knock at the door, it was my mother.

For my writing class, my professor challenged the class to write a fictional story about something important to us. I thought for a little while about what is important to me, and then it hit me. I should write about a battle with depression. I know a lot of people don't like talking about it so I knew people may find it interesting. I hope this story helps give perspective to those who do not suffer from depression or maybe even help someone with depression. Either way, I hope you enjoy it. And remember, it gets better...

An Old Friend- Ryan Jordan

I woke up to my alarm clock around 8:30am, the third of the five alarms I had set. I turned the alarm off and looked around my room. Nothing had changed in the three days I had been in bed. My fan continued to blow cold stale air in my direction, just hard enough to cause my hair to move. A heart shaped sandwich that my mother had made two days before sat untouched on my dresser. It was staring back at me, almost begging me to get out of bed to eat it. However, I knew I wasn’t getting up, not even if I wanted to. I had not been out of bed since I got back from the doctor’s office. I thought about the appointment I had as I glanced at the pill bottle I was given, which still sat unopened next to my bed. I thought about the bandages on my wrists as the doctor talked with my parents and I in her office. “Depression” is the only word I could hear before I tune the conversation out once again. I only remember feeling my mother and father each taking my hand and squeezing it, telling me “everything is going to be okay”.

As I was recalling these events I heard a knock at the door, it was my mother. She entered the room with a kind of forced smile on her face and walked over to my bed and sat down. I saw that she too made a glance toward the untouched pill bottle, and reached for it. I knew what she wanted me to do, but I wanted no part of it. She extended her hand towards me with a pill clenched in an almost fist. I stared at her for a while and saw as her eyes were almost pleading with me to take the pill. I did not want to take it but I did, for the sake of my mother. I opened my mouth and pretended to swallow the pill with a swig of water, my mother stared at me with a smile as if she expected it would take effect instantly. But I simply took the pill in my hand and threw it in the trash when she wasn’t looking. My mother gave me a hug and a smile and then left my room, closing the door carefully behind her. I didn’t like lying to my mother, but if I fake taking the pills we will both get what we want. She is taking this all especially hard because she has seen how bad it could get. When my mother was a teenager she walked in on my aunt half-drowned in a bathtub with her wrists slit open. My aunt had never told anyone about the way she was feeling until they read the suicide note. So if it meant faking it for my mother’s sake, I would do it. I looked at the clock and saw that it was only 10am, I had been up for an hour and a half and I already needed a nap. So I grabbed my sheets and threw them over my head, as if I were trying to hide from reality, and went to sleep.

The next thing I knew I was being shaken awake by someone, but I couldn’t tell who. As I opened my eyes I saw a dark shadow over me and it sang the words “Good morning sunshine” right in my face. I shot up immediately and looked at my old friend standing in my dark room and I was so happy to see him. I had rejected everyone that had tried to come and see me since my incident, but it was good to see him. We both sat on the edge of my bed and talked as if nothing had ever happened. We talked about sports, girls, school, everything you can think of, we covered it. It reminded me of the times before I felt so low and helpless. Before I would even think about taking my own life. It was odd, but no matter how happy I seemed to him I knew he could tell I wasn’t doing well.

We were watching Sports Center when I heard him take a deep breath before he asked the question, “What happened to you?” I didn’t have the courage to look at him as my eyes began to fill with tears. I avoided going into detail about how my brother had found me passed out in the kitchen with both of my wrists slit, I didn’t have the stomach for it. So instead I shrugged my shoulders and whispered: “I don’t know; I just couldn’t do it anymore”. He looked at me with a slight frown and inhaled deeply. He opened his mouth but no words came out, almost like he was waiting for the words to come out on their own. “Why didn’t you ever tell anyone?” he finally asked. I sat quietly for a few seconds before I muttered: “I didn’t think anyone would care”. I could tell he was staring right at me without even looking at him. “That’s crazy!” he finally said, “You have plenty of people who care about you”. I shook my head slightly in disagreement. It was hard for me to hear that someone actually cared about me, no matter how much I wanted to believe it. He put his arm around me and said: “Everyone deals with this type of pain at some point, maybe not on a clinical level, but other people know how this feels too”. Again I remained silent. “I know things seem bad right now, but you have an opportunity to try and get back to the old you”, he said. I knew he was right, but I didn’t want to believe him. “You mean by taking those pills”, I mumbled, he just looked at me and said “Yes, a lot of people did not have the opportunity to make it as far as you have. They didn’t get the opportunity to get help with their problems. Do you realize you could be dead right now? Do you realize you have a chance to get better? You have the opportunity to get treatment and get yourself back to normal and be happy again. Even if you don’t believe it for yourself, believe it for the sake of the people that care about you. Your little brother doesn’t have anyone to play catch with, your mother cooks dinner by herself, and your father watches the games alone in the basement. Your classmates miss you, and your teachers worry about what happened to you.” I sat there in thought, for what seemed like an eternity, about everything I had just heard. I thought about how the people I love were suffering too. It never occurred to me that my presence had such an impact on so many people. It felt an odd feeling come over me that I had not felt in quite some time, and my friend could tell. “See, ” he said with a smile, “You know that everything I’ve said is true. You matter more than you will ever know to so many people. And they all want to have the old you back. But most importantly I want back the old you.” After he said that he ruffled my hair, stood up, and began to walk towards the door. Before he could open the door I let out a tearful “Thank you, I miss you too”. It was then that he turned and stepped into the sunlight and I saw myself, almost as if I were looking in a mirror. The old me. He looked so happy to see me smiling, and I began to feel happiness for the first time in a long time. “I’m looking forward to seeing you soon” he as he closed the door behind him.

Almost as soon as the door closed the door re-opened with my mother on the other side. “Who are you talking to, dear?” she questioned. I paused for a moment then looked at her with a smile and said “Oh nobody, just an old friend”. I rolled over to grab my pill bottle and inhaled deeply before popping it in my mouth and swallowing it. I knew nothing was going to happen instantly, but hey it’s a start. I knew that I was going to have to at least try and be happy because nothing can happen if I don’t make an effort. So with that, I got out of bed, for the first time in a few days, and went downstairs to have lunch with my family. My old friend was right, they did miss me.

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Goodbye To The Boy Who Sexually Assaulted Me, You Can Never Hurt Me Again

In 30 minutes you turned my life around.


*Content Warning: Sexual Assault*

You destroyed me.

You took away my innocence.

You were able to take away my dreams and aspirations.

You were able to shut me down in ways I didn't know to be possible.

In 30 minutes you turned my life around.

Broken trust, that is what you left me with. A broken sense of stability and love. Sometimes I sit and wonder why you thought it was okay to take advantage of me? Why it was okay to hit, and belittle me? You had me left feeling foreign to my own body.

But then I realize it is not my fault, it is yours. This is not a cry for help or an avenue to get attention this is me raising awareness that not only did you hurt me but others are experiencing the same thing you put me through.

My innocence was taken by you without consent. I sat in my room for hours after that night thinking of ways to end the life I was given. I spent countless nights waking up screaming with tears rushing down my face. I spent the majority of my future relationships scared of ever letting myself feel again. I was forced to take avenues of help like therapy appointments and trying different depression medicines. All of this resulted from the 30 minutes you could not control yourself.

Yes, you destroyed me. But now I'm stronger than ever, you will never be able to hurt me again.

With all of the pain and endless nights of contemplating my reason to live, I found strength, I found a way to share my voice and help others experiencing this pain. I am stronger now than I ever thought possible.

I wake up every day now appreciating the things in life that matter most to me, like the love my boyfriend has for me, the amazing family I am blessed with, and the amazing friends that helped me through this experience. I have learned that fighting for my life was worth it and I was not going to let you take that away from me.

I will not stop sharing my story, I have learned that sharing my experiences of sexual assault has let others feel less alone in the scary process that you, unfortunately, put me through. What you did to me was not okay. But through this, I have understood and realized my worth in this crazy rollercoaster we call life.

I found strength in the moments you made me the weakest, and I'm no longer looking back.

I have hope that other survivors will understand that their life is just as valuable. There is a bigger fight for happiness and finding it is not always the easiest but the journey getting there is worth it.

You ARE strong.

You ARE worth it.

It's NOT your fault.

You're NOT alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

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