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Dear Depression

I think it is about time we sat down and had a little chat. It’s been a long time coming.

I’m not a fan of yours, not at all. We’ve known each other for quite some time now but the deeper we get into our relationship the more I want you to go away. You have to laugh at the irony otherwise you’d cry. I remember the first time I noticed you’d rocked up on the scene, I couldn’t get my sentences to string together, I couldn’t keep thoughts in my head and you began to strip me of my greatest love – learning.

See at the time I was meant to thrive, to be doing my best intellectually and absorbing as much as possible, I grew disinterested in everything I once loved. My motivation dropped to zero and school became a chore, so I didn’t go. You clouded up my brain and consumed my thoughts with emptiness, until I gave up.

I’m so angry at you for making even the tiniest things like waking up in the morning seem impossible. As I try to will myself out of bed you lure me back to the faux warmth and cosiness by overwhelming me with the fear of outside.

You shroud over every aspect of my life, infiltrating everything, I think I’ve managed to lose you for a while but then I turn around and there you are. I kind of want out of this game of hide-and-seek if that is okay.

When university was meant to be a time of adventure, self-discovery and trying new things, it was instead a time quite often of overwhelming loneliness. It is hard to meet new people and make new friends when your esteem is so low it is virtually non-existent, you don’t even want to hang out with yourself so why would anyone else.

You’re selfish Depression, you want me for yourself, you crave so much attention, that you ruin all the other relationships I have. Pushing the people who love me far far away so we don’t hurt them because somewhere along the way I lost where you began and I ended; we became one.

You make me tired, exhausted, grumpy, anxious, sad-then-happy-then-sad-again, weary, angry, frustrated, impatient, scared, worried (about every little thing; from the future to ‘did I turn that plug off?’), cynical, kinda rude, scary, closed-off and so so weighed down.

But, old friend, I really do not want to be one anymore. So even though you drag me back by the feet everytime I try to escape and kick me down every time I stand up, I think I need to try.

I don’t think there is much point in me being angry with you really, that just drags me further down the rabbit hole, and that’s what you want. So I choose to be thankful. Thankful that you have provided me with the skill set to be there for people, to be empathetic and caring, to be honest and open with others because your presence only grows when I keep quiet. Thank you for allowing me to understand what it is like to pretend that everything is fine because it allows me to recognise when others are doing exactly the same. Thank you for teaching me to be vulnerable, that it is okay not to have everything altogether and to rely on other people. Thank you for allowing me to recognise how you affect the people around me.

I’m thankful for all I have learned from you, and all I will continue to learn, but you’re no longer welcome at the party so I’d like to show you (gradually) to the door. I’m aware you’re more like that pesky person that doesn’t get the hint that it’s time to go, that this will take a lot of time, but I have hope, even if small.

Not-so-kind regards,

Sophie

The Last Few Months

It’s deadline season, which is always the time my brain goes into full on blog-writing-ideas mode, my brain is a procrastinating entity if not anything else.

It’s been a whirlwind few months, hence why I have not written a single thing (sorry). There’s been lots of change, lots of loss, lots of new things and lots of stress. Final year  has hit me like a brick to the face (I’m not great at similes, but you get the jist) and so the not-so-welcome fear and dread associated with the impending doom of adulthood looming ahead has become a daily part of my routine.

I struggled with it a lot at the start. I think when there’s so much going on you don’t overly think or deal with anything until one day, when you least expect it, BANG! Three hundred and fifty emotions, thoughts and feelings hit you and you’re so overwhelmed that all you can do is panic (not helped at all by the fact you are already a hormonal girl). You muddle on through, people probably thinking you are the most miserable human there is, complaining quite regularly, crying quite regularly – until eventually it gets a little easier to manage.

The ‘easier to manage’ part is what I want to write about today. Note I say ‘easier to manage’, not ‘yay, life is so awesome, I have everything together, woo hoo’, because for me that is extremely unrealistic. I think the easier to manage phase comes when you realise that no you do not have control over absolutely everything. That it is okay not to have it altogether. That other people are in your boat, rowing alongside you, even if they look like everything is grand.

The truth is everyone has struggles, on the outside it may look A-okay, but on the inside there’s generally always something to worry about because we are human and that is what we do. Whether it be self-esteem, loss, grief, money, looks, confidence, the future, careers, relationships… there’s always going to be something.

Yet, here is were I think the true beauty lies. It’s not in acting like I have it altogether, waking up and jumping out of bed to smile at the sun (firstly, I am not a morning person the only thing I do is growl first thing in the morning and secondly, I live in Northern Ireland, what is the sun). I think it’s in accepting that things do not work out how you think they will, that plans get messed up, that it is okay to be sad for a while and still managing to get up and face the day.

It’s in admitting that ‘hey, I’m a little bit of a mess right now’ that you realise who is there to support you. That you don’t have to be okay 100% of the time.

I will hands down admit that the most beautiful people I’ve encountered are those that are the strongest. Those that have had a genuinely crap time but pushed on through, AND then still have the time and patience to listen to my little fears and encourage me. Shout out to you.

So here we are. Admitting that it’s cool not to be cool (coming from the least cool human who is trying to be ‘hip’ by the use of the word cool). That it’s okay to be stressed and not have everything figured out. The secret is to share that stress, to talk to others and listen to others, to go easy on yourself. To treat yourself, the house I’m living in at the moment LOVES facemasks (I think the boys more so than the girls, no judgement here) so have a spa night every so often, read a book you’ve wanted to, watch a cheesy movie that you know will make you feel good… whatever your preferred niche, go for it. Take a break, you deserve it.

So – final year – I think I can handle you now.

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