I am fine. It is normal for a teenager to have angst, to have bad days, to be sad. I’ll feel better tomorrow. Or the next day. There is nothing wrong with me. I’m not all that different from my friends or my sisters. I won’t cry as much tonight. I’m not that lonely. I don’t need help. I can handle this. Everything is okay.
4% of adolescents will develop significant symptoms of serious depression each year in the United States. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among children and young adults aged 10 to 24. (Healthline.com)
What the hell is wrong with me? Am I cursed? God, I hate me. I hate how I feel. But I can’t just flip a switch and change moods. I’m not a fucking robot! Why do people keep telling me to ‘snap out of it’? If it were that simple, I would have done it. Obviously! If I hear that one more time, I may punch someone’s stupid smug face. Jesus, would they tell someone in a wheelchair to just get up and walk?! Is this how my cousin felt? Is this why, at 16-years-old, he shot himself? Depression is a real thing! I need help but no one believes me. Dad is a doctor… Mom is a nurse! They should understand. They should take me seriously!
[…] of the 450 million people worldwide who suffer from mental health conditions, the majority (60 percent) do not receive any form of care […] (The Stigma of Mental Illness Is Making Us Sicker | Psychology Today)
If I had someone special in my life, I wouldn’t feel this way. If I had a boyfriend, I would be happy. I would never cry again if I wasn’t lonely. I would love myself if someone else loved me. If I make myself prettier and buy those new shoes or that new top, I’ll have confidence. Maybe I should pretend to be happy so people will like me. But if they see me happy, they’ll never believe I need help. So I should show them how messed up I am. Shouldn’t I?
I’m going to be alone forever. I’m tired. I’m so tired. No one knows what to say to me. I think everyone wishes I wouldn’t talk about how I feel anymore… unless I pretend I’m happy. Maybe I have to fake it. But it’s exhausting. God, I am such a mess. I wish I could find someone to listen… someone who loves me… who will give me a hug and just let me feel what I feel. I’m losing hope that I’ll ever find that.
“On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your pain?”
I don’t mope around drowned in tears and sadness all the time. The crying, the inability to get out of bed, the lack of eating or sleeping or doing too much of either of those – active depression, if you will (pretty sure that’s not a real term… I just made it up) – doesn’t happen often for me. Not any more. I am a fully functioning wife and mother (and professional before the layoff). I have improved through modern chemistry. (And sex. That helps, you know.) It’s not perfect and I know I will likely fight my demons forever. At times, I want to quit. But I won’t. Oh, even on my best days, something inside me tries to fuck it up. I can never quite silence that voice – that evil little voice – making me wonder why I feel good… questioning my right to be happy. Before I know it, my head is filled with everything I’m convinced I should be worrying about and I’m fighting again. I may never win but I am still fighting.
Complete eradication of my demons might actually be a bad thing. Being sad or angry or dejected aids the creative process. I’m not sure I’d write as well without it. I’d lose something. In some fucked up way, it’s a gift.
“I think it’s very hard to write things about being joyful. I find that quite difficult. I think when you’re happy you don’t want to write songs, you just want to enjoy being happy. But when you’re heartbroken or sad, when you’re miserable, you have a lot of time to reflect on that and put it into words.” (Irish Crooner Hozier Will Have You Singing Gospel Seven Days a Week)
Creative-types seem to have a predisposition to depression/mental illness. Not that I think every great writer or musician or artist is afflicted. And maybe I’m totally off. But Van Gogh cut his fucking ear off. Michelangelo had OCD and never took off his boots.
“Great thinkers of the past from Aristotle to Shakespeare have remarked that creative genius and insanity are often characterised by the same unleashing of thoughts and emotions. This is supported by epidemiological studies demonstrating overlap be between psychiatric disorders and creativity,” the scientists say in their study. (Scientists have found a link between mental illness and creativity)
I must be doing all right, though, because I still have all of my organs and I prefer being barefoot.