Most days I have to put on my “socialization doesn’t terrify me” costume, and pretend that the world and its inhabitants don’t horrify me. The days are growing darker earlier, and if that isn’t a metaphor for my depression, I don’t know what is.
I read a post this morning that said, “There is a difference between being happy and being distracted from sadness.” So, so often I find myself falling victim to this truth. For a few hours a day, I’m able to distract myself from the depression that sleeps on my left shoulder. Sometimes it’s by reading, or dancing, or even working. But for the other (approx.) 19.75 hours, my brain is thinking of all the reasons that I am sad. Or anxious. Or nervous. Or curious. Or obsessive. Or irritated. Or angry. For no particular reason.
19.75 hours of the day, my depression sleeping on my left shoulder battles the anxiety that is screaming at the top of her lungs on my right shoulder. They fight. My brain is a war zone. It is a battlefield. I am caught in the middle of their aggressive altercations. I am the collateral damage that is left behind after my mental illnesses have exhausted themselves by arguing.
I wish I was able to see myself as the rest of the world sees me. I have an unbelievable support system that make me the person I am. The encouragement I receive from my Earth Angels is the closest thing to magic I will ever have. I am able to wrap myself in their love and kindness, and most of the time, that is enough protection from the Dementors that linger around me.
I have not always had this overwhelming support. I didn’t always have a place where I felt I could fit in. I battled many, many years seemingly alone. I spent many, many days dreaming of a better world, a world that accepted everyone for exactly who they were- a world that embraced the differences that make us so beautiful.
But I am living proof that help is given to those who ask for it. So today, know that you are worth getting help. Know that you are worth being happy. You are worth the whole world. And if you know someone who maybe, like me, needs people to lean on- reach out to them. Let them know you are thinking about them. Or tell them a joke you heard. Or send them a picture of a cat. That will always work for me.
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TurningPointCT.org was developed by young people in Connecticut who are in recovery from mental health and substance use issues. We know what it’s like to feel alone, stressed, worried, sad, and angry. We’ve lived through the ups and downs of self-harm, drugs and alcohol, and the struggle to find help.
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