Have you ever been in a little slump?
That type of slump that gets into your bones, your soul, the deep crevices in your brain? At first, it stems from something small, like missing an assignment. But then it grabs hold of your everyday worries, your melancholy, your anxiety; it flourishes and snowballs into a full-blown roller coaster of foggy eyes and skipped meals, forgotten appointments, slipping finances. That kind of slump?
It's a type of slump where you tell yourself, "I'm just having an off week. I'll be fine by the end of it".
And then you aren't.
Suddenly you've missed a week of classes, your friends are texting you asking where you are, you haven't showered in three days, and you see that your Chinese takeout in the corner of your room now has ants on it.
"I shouldn't worry, I'll get my act together," you tell yourself.
And then you don't. Your rooted sadness grows stronger.
Your slump blooms to the point where you're calling National Suicide Hotline so often it seems like you're just looking for someone to talk to, someone who will listen because you have no reason to be in your slump except for the fact that you "just feel sad".
So why can't you just "get help"?
Every time I was faced with a psychiatrist or therapist appointment, I would make sure I dress nice and wear some makeup, along with my favorite head wrap. I was afraid that if I go in with sweatpants and no makeup on, they were going to think I'm either crazy or I'm in the worst mental shape of my life. But why did I care so much about what other people think of me? Aren't we all going there for the same reason?
Over time and through observation, I've learned that seeking help was one of the best things I did for myself, even though I had to be coaxed into doing it. Seeing other people my age walking through the door, I wondered if they thought the same way I did, wanting to pull the hood over their head to avoid anyone having to see them.
I realized how disordered this thinking was, and brought it up to my therapist who assured me that this was one of the best choices I ever made for myself. Suddenly I was wearing sweatpants to almost every appointment because being comfortable in myself and my environment was my only worry.
There is absolutely no shame in getting help, nor is there any shame in battling mental illness. Carrying the weight of your therapy appointments like some big, dark, shameful secret shouldn't even be an issue, but it is for a lot of people. To the people who suffer from this, just know you're making yourself a better person for it. If you're reading this and you think you need some form of treatment, you owe it to yourself to seek it and become the best person you can be.
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