Hey you.

Hey you. Yeah, you. You’re pretty wonderful. Maybe you haven’t heard that lately, but you are. You are smart, beautiful, capable, and most importantly, strong. Do you know how amazing you are?

Maybe the words you hear every day are cruel. They might come from crowded hallways or from behind a keyboard. Sometimes they get so loud, so incessant, they’re hard to ignore. Sometimes they build up so much that you feel trapped beneath their weight. They push you down, forcing you to bend to their will and believe in them.

Maybe those words come from your own mind. Passing thoughts turn persistent until there’s no doubt that you’ll never escape that dark place. You conceal the pain behind a glued-together exterior, all the while yearning for an escape.

There is so much stigma around suicide. We don’t talk about mental illness. People still think if you can’t see something, it must not exist. Bullying is still brushed off by many as harmless. But that doesn’t make it any less real or any less painful.

Everything hurts. You feel broken, like you’re drowning in black waters and you just want it to end. Even breathing feels impossible: making the conscious decision to allow that air to rush into your lungs feels like more than you can possibly stand.

Worst of all, it feels like a terribly dirty secret. People might be able to see it on you, so you swallow it down deeper and let it grow. It grows and grows, until it bursts.

When you get to that point, just try to remember one thing. You’re worth it. You’re worth that next breath. You’re worth a tomorrow. You’re worth another chance. It might not feel like it, but you are. Even if you think no one cares, that’d they’d all be better off if you were gone – there will always be one person who cares and that’s all that matters. You care. You matter. You’re worth it.

All these things you’re feeling – they’re part of you. The anger and the pain, the hopelessness and the sorrow – they belong to you. Don’t let anyone diminish your experiences, your thoughts, or your feelings. It’s not going to be easy, but you are worth it.

You’re worth that next step. Whether it’s admitting to a friend, family member, teacher, doctor, or anyone that you are struggling or it’s calling a hotline like the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255.

You’re worth helping. Take care of yourself. Reach out – people want to help. Don’t go it alone.

You’re worth the fight. Depression and suicidal thoughts are an every day struggle. Some days are harder than others. You have to choose to live every single day. I promise the choice is worth it.

 

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Climbing out of the hole

I’m rarely serious here and this is not exactly one of those times. I’m not sure I’ll actually post this, but then again, it is Saturday and my readership has magically shrunk back down since I am no longer blogging about the Kardashians, so who knows. Honestly if I do post this, you probably shouldn’t read it. You’d be way better off watching How I Met Your Mother re-runs or cleaning out your fridge.

Before you read anything I have to say, you should head over to Allie Brosh’s blog Hyperbole-and-a-Half and read her post about depression. It is hilarious and perfectly sums up what it’s like to be in a depressed person’s head. I absolutely adore bloggers like Allie and Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess) for being inspiring, funny women and making it okay to be crazy.

I am a lazy person all of the time, but when I’m in my hole (as I so lovingly call it, like when 1950’s housewives talk about Aunt Flo visiting), I become even more so. Even the most menial task suddenly requires this gargantuan effort that I simply do not possess. Today that task was getting out of bed.

Now some mornings, I am able to hop out of bed all excited for the day. But lately that has not been the case. And today, despite a marathon 11 hours of sleep (this should be an actual Olympic sport because I would dominate), I still could not get myself up. And it wasn’t for lack of things to do: I haven’t done laundry in three weeks, my room is an absolutely disaster and there is possibly a Nutella jar hiding in a drawer somewhere, and I really really needed to pay my credit card bills. (Note: I made the huge mistake of signing up for two credit cards this summer. The first one was legit and I’ve been great with it since I only use it for gas and online purchases. However, the other one is an Amazon card that I bought on a whim because if you signed up they gave you a $40 Amazon gift card. $40! With that I could buy 8 Kindle books, the first season of Pretty Little Liars on dvd, and a napkin holder. I’ve only used the card once via Amazon to buy a textbook, but when they sent the card in the mail, it somehow got mixed up in my overflowing paperwork pile and I have yet to find it in order to set-up my account in order to pay my bill. And now my credit score is probably screwed up, so I’ll never be able to lease that Buick Lacrosse.)

Anyway, I was trying to lure myself out of bed. I tried yelling at myself to get up and shower and shave my legs. That didn’t work because honestly no one is going to see my legs anyway. I tried bribery: I told myself I could have jelly beans for breakfast if I got up. That finally worked. I spent a record 17 minutes in a vertical position before I retreated back to my cozy bed, jelly beans in tow, to read all the Kindle books I had purchased.

When you’re depressed, everything feels hopeless. Usually I’m a really optimistic person and am constantly daydreaming, so being stuck in a hopeless hole sucks. It becomes extremely hard to find the motivation to do real-person things like empty the dishwasher and put on real pants (which is why I spent two days in Santa pants).

Climbing out of the hole is definitely the hardest part. You have to be extremely patient (another trait I do not possess) and let yourself celebrate the small victories. Did you make it all the way to the mailbox to get the mail today? You get a gold star! The hardest thing about doing so is everyone else out there is accomplishing amazing things. It makes it difficult to talk to friends because they are being rockstars and you are celebrating eating soup with a real, freshly washed spoon instead of drinking it out of a Solo cup.

Me: What did you do today?

Friend: Oh you know, ran a 5k, planted a community garden, saved 15 starving babies in Africa. It’s been a pretty lazy Saturday morning. What about you?

Me: I put on a bra for the first time in a week.

So yes, it is hard to celebrate these little steps, but it is extremely important. My plan is to celebrate one additional little thing each day until I once again am a real-life, functioning member of society. And also I will probably be burning the Santa pants.

Update: The second best way to get out of the hole is a Hoarders marathon. Because either a) You’ll realize you’re so much better of than these people living in garbage-filled houses and start to clean up from your pity party or b) You’ll realize you are a perfect candidate for this show and will get the help you need.