My Mental Illness Episodes Won't Last Forever And I Won't Always Be Like This

My Mental Illness Episodes Won't Last Forever And I Won't Always Be Like This

My mental illness episodes won't last forever. I won't always be like this. If you can't love me at my worst, then you don't deserve me at my best.

Today I want you to hold me, touch me, love me. I feel silly and happy and carefree. Everything is light and hopeful and promising. My smiles come easy and I laugh without hesitation.

I won’t always be like this.

Today I have boundless energy. The sun is just a little brighter, and the troubles that were there yesterday still remain, but that’s ok. I want to walk outside with you, even though it’s raining. I want to stay up late watching our favorite movies because I feel so awake and present. There aren’t enough minutes in the day, and I don’t want to waste time.

I won’t always be like this.

I want to read new books with you, obsess over the ones we’ve read a million times, and watch our favorite guilty pleasures on tv.

I sleep through the night and dream through the day. Anything is possible, not because I believe it is, but because I have the motivation and focus and energy to face anything. If I fall, It won’t be so far that I can’t get back up.

I won’t always be like this.

Today I want to help anyone and everyone who is hurting. I want to hear about their fears, and problems, and troubles, and everyday stresses without a scale of how serious or minute. It all matters to me.

I won’t always be like this.

Today I take advantage. I know what it’s like to feel lost, reach out, and be ignored. If I can make one person feel heard, acknowledged, cared about, make them feel like they matter in this world of boundless activity that’s so easy to get swallowed up in, then I can breathe easier.

I won’t always be like this.

It’ll happen in a moment. It might happen somewhere between falling asleep a functioning human and waking up as someone who gets overwhelmed by the simple action of pulling back the covers. Of getting a bottle of water from across the room. Of looking you in the eye. Or it could happen at the smallest trigger that one part of my brain picks up on while the rest is oblivious, and follows suit, the blind leading the blind. Every human part of me that I should be able to control will be hijacked by an invisible, unrelenting force. I don’t know how long this will last.

I won’t always be like this.

Some minutes, some hours, some days, some weeks, some months. You won’t recognize me any better than I can recognize myself. My mind is at war with itself. I have no motivation to care that I have no motivation to live. I am both paralyzed by feelings I can’t grab onto fast enough to make sense of them, and numb that I don’t have any feelings at all.

I won’t always be like this.

I don’t want you to touch me. I don’t want you to tell me you know. I don’t want you to give me that look that says you can see what’s happening, and you know to stay close, but far. I want you to text me that it’s ok, you’ll always be there to listen, even though I ignore you and don’t answer back.

I want both your love and space.

I want you to comfort me and leave me alone.

I want you to know that it took everything in me just to breathe today, but I don’t have the energy to speak.

And I don’t care. Sometimes I care too much. I’m as confused and whiplashed at my actions, and my thoughts, and my feelings, and my brain, and my anger, and my silent threats.

I won’t always be like this. Just know that I am still in there, waiting. Because I won’t always be like this.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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5 Things That I Prefer To Do Alone

Being alone isn't the worst thing in the world.

My whole life I have been stuck between being an introvert and an extrovert. There are certain things that I love to do with other people, but other things I would much rather do by myself. Being around people all of the time is absolutely draining, and I always need time to myself to relax. The majority of people would probably like to do these things with other people, but the introverted side of me prefers to do these five things alone.

1. Watch a movie

Watching movies by myself is a lot more enjoyable than watching them with other people. I would rather sit and watch a movie by myself and stuff my face with candy than watch a movie with other people who will probably just interrupt the whole time. I can stop it whenever I want to, I don't have someone annoyingly talking to me, and I don't feel the need to wear pants. It's an ideal situation.

2. Study

I seriously don't know how people do homework or study together. Whenever I get around other people, I get super distracted and it takes me twice as long to do my work.

3. Eat

Eating alone was probably everyone's fear in high school, but in college, I would much rather eat alone and watch YouTube videos or read for class than eat with other people. Meals are always "me time" and I prefer it that way overeating with other people constantly.

4. Sit in class

I kind of detest sitting in large lecture halls surrounded by friends. It isn't like I hate them, but I have ADD, so in order to focus I have to be alone.

5. Drive

While I don't drive often since I am in college without a car, when I am home I would much rather drive all by myself than drive someone else around. This alone time allows me to sing horribly at the top of my lungs, and if I screw up while driving there isn't anyone to laugh at me.

Don't get me wrong, I do love spending time with other people, but as a second year in college, I would rather do these simple things by myself. It allows me to have a mental break from the world around me and focus on myself.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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To Those Who Feel Everything So Strongly, Do Not Let Your Empathy Crush You

Empqthy and You

I’ve talked about a lot of things on this website, and ultimately, they all have one thing in common: they exhaust me. Every time I write an article or a journal entry or a homework assignment for one of my many classes which focus on human suffering and how to address it, I wind up completely burnt out. My emotions come at me from an alternate angle—as if they were not my own—and I just want to lie down somewhere and sleep. Problem is, sleep won’t fix that kind of tired.

You see, I’m not writing this article to commiserate about how hard it is to be black in America—or on Wake’s campus—or how hard it is to be broke in America—or on Wake’s campus. I’m writing this short little piece of me down to tell the people out there like me that it is okay to get tired. It is okay for you to back off all the save-the-world projects and save-your-friends projects sometimes. It is okay to go home and sleep like the dead for a week instead of going out and doing what other people think is fun. It is okay. But what isn’t okay is taking on all the problems you encounter at the expense of dealing with your own.

For those of you like me—those of you who feel everything so strongly that it seems every day has the potential to crush you—it is important to temper your own empathy. This isn’t to say that you need to lose some of it—lord knows I couldn’t get rid of any of the empathy in my heart if I tried—but you have to learn how to manage it. If that means completely unplugging from life over spring break, do so. If that means talking to a counselor once a week or once a day, do so.

If it means meditating or doing martial arts or reading, please do so, because the world needs you and your empathy more now than you could ever know. The world needs people like us, people who can’t look at the news and mean it when they say, “Whatever, people die every day.” The world needs compassionate teachers, doctors, food service workers and mail-carriers. The world needs more empathy, and it won’t have it if you let your empathy crush you.

Ultimately, this piece is for those of you who are beginning to wonder whether or not there is a point to trying to change anything. This is for those of you who are so tired that it doesn’t matter what you do, you remain that way. This is my acknowledgement—however little that may mean—that you are not alone with how you feel.

The weight of the problems you are trying to face are not yours alone, and you can shoulder the burden, but you must have help and you must make sure you maintain your own emotional, psychological, and physical strength to do so.

This world is fucked up in a million different ways—I won’t deny it, but without empathy and without compassion, we can’t do anything about it. Without you, we can’t do anything about it. So, as I said in a speech once: “It’s okay to lose hope sometimes, as long as you find it again,” because, without hope in the face of everything hurting the world, without those of us who are willing to understand, listen, and feel what others feel in order to address the problems we see, the world will die. I don’t know about you, but I refuse to be the one who lets that happen.

Cover Image Credit: Alexander Holt

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