On Shitty Friends & Depression

Being depressed usually causes anti-social tendencies: unanswered texts, broken plans, and, worst of all, loss of friends.

The friends you had when you were introduced to depression are what I like to call first wave friends. A few might’ve hung around but most scattered when your normal happy self became the exception instead of the rule.

You see, depression can teach you a lot about friendship. Partly because it shows you what crappy friends are like, including yourself (yeah, sometimes you’re to blame). But it also gives you a new appreciation for having true friends you can turn to and confide in.

After going through your first encounter with depression and first wave of friends, you no longer want to settle for mediocre friendships: you want the best.

Somone you could call day or night.

Someone that can look at your face, see something’s wrong AND cares enough to ask.

Someone that empathizes.

Someone that listens.

Someone that loves.

Someone that calls you on your bullshit.

Someone who’s actions matches their words.

Someone that gives just as much as they take.

Anything less is not a friend.

Stop wasting time on friends that get swept up in the current. Here one day, gone the next.

You deserve better.

You’re the ocean and your friend the sand. When your depression washes over, together you’ll stand. And one day, when they need you, too. You’ll weather their storm as they did for you.

-(Rule)

On Letting Go and Holding On

Letting go is hard. Like, really hard. Sometimes impossibly hard.

But, holding on is also hard. Clinging to pain and broken promises and shattered friendships only feeds  your anxiety and depression. It brings about loneliness and longing, all in one sweep. It eats at you until you want to say screw it and let go.

But you can’t. Because letting go is fucking hard. Even when the person doesn’t deserve a 4th and 5th chance. Even when you claim you don’t care. Even after hours, days, weeks of silence. Even when you delete them from your life. Letting go is still hard.

But one day, you’ll look up and realize that letting go is easier than holding on.

Letting go is being out of breath but holding on is being smothered.

Holding on robs you of your  air, suffocating you from the inside out.

So let go.

Save yourself.

-(Rule)

I’d Rather Hate My Body Than Hate Myself: ED Recovery

When you suffer from an eating disorder and decide that you’ve had enough, there are thousands of conversations you have to have with yourself. One of the toughest is whether you or your body is more important to you.

Recovery involves doing a lot of things to your body that you never would’ve done otherwise.

Mainly, it involves doing a lot of “normal” behaviors that other people do.

Eating regularly.

Not obsessessing about calories.

Exercising for fitness and not as a punishment.

Not vommiting for any reason other than the flu.

To a person without an ED, these probably seen like no brainers. But a part of me and I believe other people with EDs believe we don’t deserve this normalcy.

If we’re not thin, we don’t deserve to eat food.

If we’re not thin, one workout is just not enough.

In our heads, we don’t deserve recovery until we’re thin.

But that means recovery never comes.

So when the time comes you have to choose: you or your body.

Every day you have to choose to put your health, happiness, and sanity above your physical appearance even if it feels impossible.

Today, I choose me.

I don’t know about tomorrow.

-(Rule)

 

Anxiety Attacks & Small Victories

You know that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach that no amount of deep breathing can wash away?

No matter what you try, the anxiety builds. The feeling starts to move up to the top of your stomach until it finally reaches your chest.

Then you feel like you can’t speak. You can’t breathe. The anxiety that usually only preoccupies your mind has now taken over your entire body and you have no adequate recourse.

You tell yourself, it’s okay…this too shall pass. But that just makes it worse. Like you’re taunting yourself.

Deep breathing doesn’t work.

Counting backwards doesn’t work.

Your mind can’t be distracted.

So you decide to get all of your worries out:

Why doesn’t anyone like me?  What if I’m not good enough?  What if they judge me?  Why do people suck? Why do I suck?  Why can’t I be normal? 

Finally, you take another deep breathe as you let the thoughts float in and out of your consciousness.

You smile as the anxiety sinks back down.

You survived your anxiety attack.

Small victories are the backbone to mental health. Without them, you can’t stand tall.

-(Rule)

Nature walks and depression

Standing in the middle of the forest, eyes fixated on the skies and the trees, the cool air washes over, and for once, you feel alive.

But only for a second. Then you realize you’re not alone. You’re surrounded by people who all seem to be with their families and friends.

Their faces blur as you look pass them to ignore their smiles. Trying really hard to push down all feelings of resentment and jealously.

You turn your music up louder. Walk faster. Breathe deeper. Trying to focus on the nature surrounding you. It’s just you and the thousands of trees in the forest.

Then you look up and realize you’re not alone. You can recognize your old friend hiding in the brush: depression.

She’s back and she refuses to leave your side. You walk through the forest trying to escape her but you can’t.

And you think for a second, maybe, just maybe, having her with you is better than being all alone.

-(Rule)

Dear Cutter Girl,

Dear Cutter Girl,

Every Tuesday, I would see the pain behind your eyes. As you sat, trying your hardest to blend in, I could see you using your smile as a weapon to hide your tears.

Regret would flash across your face whenever you would  speak. Second guessing everyone and everything.

You’ve been covering up your battle for a while now, and you think you have it figured out. Think you’re another manic depressive pixie girl slowly coming about.

But that’s not true.

You’re more than your scars.

You’re more than your depression.

You’re cautiously, recklessly fighting the abyss.

And you’re winning.

-(Rule)