A Letter To Everyone Hurting Me Right Now

This week has been one which has started off hard. One in which I needed people close to me to care more about me than they ever did before. But one in which they haven’t. See, I have had a relapse into severe depression after my Doctor halved one of my meds in an attempt to improve my memory and finally start the getting off it process. What does that mean? What does it mean to have a severe depressive relapse? Well let me enlighten you. It means my heart hurts so incredibly badly that I cry in sobs every day and don’t know why. It means my body feels too weak to stand up. It means my mind is overwhelmed with thoughts that make me worry. It means I need the world to stop for a bit before my mind tells my heart too. But what that means for you;

It means you do not get to judge me or push me away

It means you do not get to make this about you

It means you need to encourage me and love me every day

It means you need to be around to sit and listen if my heart feels overwhelmed

It means you need to tell me you love me and hold my hand when I am afraid

It means you need to tell me things will be okay

It means you need to show up. Even if you say or do nothing.

And it means I shouldn’t have to ask for any of this.

It means you need to support me with each step.

It means you need to stick by me through good and bad times.

It really isn’t that excruciatingly hard. I look around me and see people in the hospital having family and friends visit and I see how they are hugged and held and listened too. I see how the same people consistently show up every day. And I wonder why you won’t show up for me even one day. I see how they are still appreciated for the type of people they truly are regardless of whether they are sick and I only hear your distance and silence when it comes to me. I am alone. I have never felt more alone. You are the people who mean the most to me in the world and I’d do anything for you yet you couldn’t even treat me with kindness. You couldn’t even call me and ask me about my day or tell me you love me and things will be okay. You couldn’t even send me a nice text message. There will be many times things are about you and times things will be about us and times things will be about me. The latter is one of those times. Because my heart is both angry and hurt that I am in a forest fighting demons alone and you couldn’t even offer me a flashlight or pack me food for my journey or send me off with a hug. You wanted perfection and that I am not. But what I am is a person who has fought her way through hell and back and kept pushing to get ahead. What I am is a person who loves the hell out of the people around her and always strives to make them laugh. But right now, that person is tired and cannot do those things and needs you to be that. And sadly you aren’t. You still just expect. And that isn’t fair. 

I needed one of you to be a boyfriend.

I needed one of you to be a father.

And was that really too much to ask? Because I’ve been disappointed by men too many times and I am tired now. 

I just needed you to care

I just needed you to show up

Dealing With Depression In A Relationship

This topic is something I am faced with today. Something I have always thought about but never personally had to experience up until now. I have depression. A chronic illness. Some people consider it a death sentence or stigmatise it. We get called a lot of things. “Crazy”, “Unstable”, “Weak”, “Damaged” …. The list goes on. Would you ever think of someone with a heart disease that way? Or if someone had say, cystic fibrosis to live with making it literally hard for them to breathe at times? Would you consider such a soul unworthy of companionship? Of love? Of being seen as a person with a unique identity worthy of being known? Obviously heart disease and cystic fibrosis is so much more of an easy answer for most to say no, they are not any less. But ask someone that question when it comes to depression and other mental health problems the world faces and suddenly the answer is yes. They are not special or unique, worthy human beings. They are a tradgedy. And a tragic mind that is a write off, having nothing to offer the world. But what is the real tradgedy is the world’s misconception and stereotyping of such individuals. 

Who are we really? We are people. Normal people. We have thoughts and feelings and likes and dislikes. We love, we hate, we laugh, we cry… We have hopes and dreams and passions. Sometimes, we just lose sight of those things and our vision is clouded. Our hearts lose track of things as our minds’ chemistry goes haywire. But even in the midst of all that pain and confusion, we still love what we love and want what we always wanted. We are still ourselves and we still have one hell of a story to live out. 

The thing is, you don’t get to judge someone based on them being ill for a while. If I judged the type of person you were at the lowest point of your life do you think I would’ve liked that person? And most of all, do you think it would be fair to do so? No. You know it wouldn’t. The only time you get to judge a person with depression or another mental illness is when they don’t fight to recover anymore. When they don’t want to see their illness anymore and instead just choose to become their illness, denying its existence. Then you get to judge, by all means. Because depression is not a character flaw. But refusing to fight against an illness, that is a decision of character. 

Today I am being admitted to a psychiatric hospital for depression. When I told my boyfriend that, I felt ashamed. I knew he wouldn’t judge me but he admitted it’s a bit tough for him to process because he could never fully understand it. I am good at compartmentalising my mind and when I interact with others they only see the compartment of me being normal and laughing and saying all I should. I never allow them to reach into that compartment of darkness and pain that resides in the back of my mind. That compartment has been mine to stare in its ugly face. Just mine. Mine to fight and hide. But when you let someone into your life and into your heart and you love them, your compartments cannot stay hidden. Telling him about my depression was one of the hardest things for me to do because I expected the blow of rejection. The thing is, I hide my pain because I don’t ever want it to become somebody else’s pain. I don’t ever want my darkness to effect anyone else and moreover, I’ve seen it as my demons to fight and I would never let my fight become somebody else’s. But nonetheless, it’s something that has to be told and as uncomfortable as it may be, it’s something that the person you are with needs to understand and acknowledge to a degree if they are to support you.

But above all, I want people who are in a relationship with someone who suffers from depression to understand how to be there for the people they love. It really isn’t rocket science or as though you need to carry them through. Having depression is something only you are responsible for fighting. But having support is vital and you deserve that support. You deserve having someone learn as much about your illness as they can and to understand the biology. You deserve having someone tell you they love you regardless and to visit you and show you they care about you. You deserve having someone love you a little louder when you forget how to love yourself. You deserve having someone hold your hand and still see you as you; your unique identity which is why they fell in love with you in the first place right? You deserve it. If you have someone who cares about you then that is how they should support you. People get sick and then they get better again and life goes on. So don’t judge them. If you do then leave because I can promise you we judge ourselves enough already. Maybe throughout their life they will have dips and end up admitted again but so what? They are still fighting to live life and you owe it to them to stand by them anyway. This isn’t a perfect world and there is no such thing as a perfect relationship.

Stigma is a load we will forever carry and being misunderstood and judged is something we will forever face. So the decision is pretty simple. Support us or don’t, but don’t ever make us feel like we are less and a liability to your future. That isn’t fair. I am still myself. I am still a unique human being with thoughts and feelings that go far beyond my depression. Whether you choose to see that is your choice alone. 

You’re Going To Fail But You’ve Got To Rise Again

You’re going to fail no matter how hard you try to be perfect. No matter how hard you work and all the effort you put into everything in your life. No matter your attempts to make everything fall according to plan, and despite the meticulous step-by-step path you create for yourself, sometimes you’re going to slip. Sometimes you’re going to mess up. Sometimes you’re not going to measure up, you’re going to falter, you’re going to let yourself and others down, you’re going to trip and land flat on your back. You’re going to fail.

But that’s okay.

No one in this world is perfect. No one has it all together, despite the photos and social media posts and smiling faces when you happen to bump into that person in public. No one is getting through life unscathed. No one is continuously on the up-and-up, never having a moment where they make a mistake or feel empty.

We’re all in this mess of life, trying to fight through, trying to make sense of our troubles, trying to find love and companionship and answers and hope.

And in this mess, we’re going to experience triumph and success and happiness, and we’re going to fail—that’s just how it is. But you cannot let the moments you falter change your course. You cannot let what brings you down shift your future, your perspective, your purpose.

You’re going to fail, and fail hard. But that doesn’t mean you’re any less of a person.

You cannot let the moments you slip change your self-image. Just because you messed up or went through something awful doesn’t mean that you are unworthy. It doesn’t mean that you need to carry your pain around with you like a badge on your chest for everyone to see.

You’re going to lose people you really cared about. You’re going to feel like your heart was dragged in dirt. You’re going to aim for a promotion or raise and not get it. You’re going to experience physical pain, mental pain of exhaustion and emotional pain you cannot comprehend at times. You’re going to create beautiful things and you might lose beautiful things. You’re going to fail.

But you’re going to learn too. You’re going to grow. You’re going to take the ways that life has defeated you, and turn them around into lessons. You’re going to find new wings and fly all over again.

Because defeat does not and should not ever define you. And you can’t let it.

So take the negative moments of your life and try to see the positive. Keep your head up and crawl through the lowest times until you can find your footing again. Don’t be afraid of starting over and letting go of that which no longer serves you. Don’t be afraid of continuing on through your brokenness.

You will be okay. You just have to hold on through the hard times and lean into the good. You have to know that life may always have difficulties but that doesn’t mean it can’t be good.

You have to remind yourself of all that you’ve pushed through already and the strength within you. And you have to take the courage, the will, the fight from inside yourself and battle back.

It’s a bad day maybe. Maybe a bad week or a bad month or a bad circumstance. But as clichèd as this may sound… It’s not a bad life. Remind yourself of that and move forward, never letting what has defeated you convince you that you will never rise again.

Because you can. And you will.