You ever think about how dramatic millennials are? Maybe I think about it more because I’m a Leo and I’m “Lola from Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen” level extra. Sorry not sorry, it’s just who I am. But in recent months whenever someone has said what’s up or asks how I’m doing I just want to put on my best Leslie Knope voice and tell them how I really feel: everything hurts and I’m dying.
Except of course I’m not actually. I’m just being “dramatic.” But am I? Because “tbh” my depression sucks. (And my back hurts. And I’m too young for my back to hurt.) I’m extremely emotional all the time. I feel everything. Happy? Sad? Angry? Everything is multiplied. It’s like I’m pregnant or a vampire. No dad I’m not pregnant, do not fear. It’s just that everything hurts and I’m dying, ya know?
Last week I posted something on my Instagram for World Mental Health Day and I got a lot of really great responses, which kind of surprised me. I posted it not to pat myself on the back, but because there are so many people I love that are struggling with the same issues I am.
And of course because buffalo chicken pizza. #idigress
Note: I hate calling them “issues” but I don’t really know what else to call them. Having depression or anxiety or any other mental illness is just the same as having IBS or migraines or diabetes…. it’s caused by some sort of chemical imbalance that the body has and I believe it should be treated just like any other type of condition! Seriously. If you had debilitating migraines once a week are you really telling me that you wouldn’t go see a doctor to see what you could do to help stop them?
I’m preaching aren’t I? Apologies. Just some food for thought: There’s nothing to be ashamed of with mental illness. And it makes me sad that you probably just read that and automatically added some sort of negative connotation to it. I know I did. I can’t help it. That’s just what we’ve been taught to do.
Think about it. Read these two statements:
“Ohhh did you hear about Demi Lovato? She’s bipolar!”
“Ohhh did you hear about Selena Gomez? She has Lupus!”
Why did you just feel sympathy for Selena and distaste at Demi? Got you, didn’t I? And yes, I am a Disney child, and yes I did own a Team Demi and Selena t-shirt in 2008.
There should be no shame to call into work and say my anxiety is too bad for me to leave my apartment today. Or at least to say I need to take a mental health day and work from home. There should be no shame to tell your friends that actually you can’t meet them at the bar later, you’re just not feeling up to being out around people. And on that note, stop shaming your friends when they cancel on you for this reason. Support them instead. Don’t push. Just be there for them in the best way you can be.
Life can be overwhelming. Be nice to yourself. I need to be nicer to myself. Now excuse me while I go shamelessly pop a Xanax. My anxiety is giving me anxiety.
“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”
– George Eliot, aka Mary Anne Evans