Let's Talk About IT (Plus a New Friend!)

Oh yes. The big IT.

I was sitting on Facebook the other day when this article showed up on my timeline. Nine things you need to know about people who conceal their depression. It kind of hit me as I read it and I realized that my depression had been creeping back over the past few months.

Before I jump into this post, I want to make it clear that there is a difference between self-diagnosed depression, and depression diagnosed by a doctor. Self-diagnosed sad feelings are very different than actual depression. If you think you have depression, of course tell someone and reach out to get help. It is not a glamorous issue, and should not be romanticized or made light of.

My experience with depression has been pretty short. I always assumed I was a self-diagnosed person. I was just sad and upset, but just down. I knew I'd be fine eventually. I worked to shake off what I felt, and continued my days, acting like it wasn't there. Last summer, I finally went to a doctor about it, and was diagnosed with anxiety and depression.

I hide it from pretty much everyone I know personally, because I don't want it to affect how people view me or treat me or act around me. Of course, now that I post it here, it's a lot less private. But I'm posting it here to confront these feelings, trying to take them out in a new way. So let me get back to my story.

The past few months have been really stressful for me. A lot is riding on my academic performance this semester. I have definitely improved over time, but it's still a difficult and slow transition out of the bad habits I had last year. I've also been under a lot of stress trying to get my class schedule squared away, especially since I register so late in the process. There has also been problems with my housing for next fall. As of right now, I am dorm-less. I cannot afford an apartment near campus, so if I don't get housing, I don't know if I'll be back to AU next fall. On top of that, I've had some added stress because of my current friend-situation, which always seems to be in-flux these past few years. Then, throw in some family health issues, and financial issues. And I have yet to hear back about any jobs for this coming summer.

All of that, plus being hit with the final reality that my entire college/life plan is out the window, it's been a pretty difficult, like, four weeks. I'm not bitching about it really, just having a good old venting session to you guys. Okay so yeah, bitching a little bit.

But it took all of this, plus a couple of those really oddly deep posts from some poem account on Twitter for me to realize the deeper issue here. Without realizing it, I have really sunk back into a depressed mindset. I let the negative and anxious and sad and scared thoughts take over my mind again.

A few days ago, my parents had a sort of mini, spur of the moment intervention, asking about me and how I was feeling and acting. They suggested that I come back home, transfer to a more local university. I didn't realize what they were actually saying, more than just talking about school trouble.

Today, I realized that I was settling back into my old habits, watching Netflix, ignoring people I know, skipping classes, avoiding homework. I stopped working out because of an allergy spike, but never got back to it. I just haven't been taking care of my body. Physically or mentally. And it was taking a toll. I was gaining back the weight I worked really hard to lose, my grades were beginning to slip  a little bit, I was lethargic all of the time, I stopped eating regular meals. And, I've been severely neglecting my blog. Looking back at the past few weeks, it has not been good. Actually, it's been really freaking crappy, the way I've been acting, thinking, and treating myself.

The most popular post on my blog, to this day, was one I made back in September called, Today I Will Be Happy. It was a quick post, a promise to myself to make the 24 hours after that 24 good hours. I had a picture of some flowers I had bought. I promised myself that I would be happy.

Today I hypothetically stand before you in the form of this very long blog post with a similar promise. For the next three weeks, I will be positive. I can't promise that I will be happy every day, but I will be positive, I will be productive, and I will be present. I will try my hardest every day to accomplish as much as I can. And I will work on myself. I will work as hard as I can to grow in mind, body, and spirit, to be the past version of myself that I can be, both mentally and physically.

I received a final care package from Mama K a few days ago. In it contained a few food items and a couple garbage bags for the last few days of my semester. I also got a few items to help me along the next few days including a bag of Dove chocolates, a new coloring book, my favorite beat-up old shoes (what they lack in arch-support, they make up for in mental support!) and Harriet.

Hear me out and don't think I'm too crazy.

In my final care package, my mom included a small bucket. In the bucket was a few condensed dirt disks, a seed packet, and planting directions for a small Chinese Forget-Me-Not plant. Which I have named Harriet. Why Harriet? Because she just wasn't a Harold. So I'm going to be the epitome of lame, and use Harriet as a metaphor for myself. I've got to remember to water my plant and take care of it to make sure it grows. Every day that I do that, I'm going to use it as a reminder to take care of myself too. Watering Harriet every morning will be the metaphor for taking care of myself. She's going to be the reminder (pun pretty much intended) for me to go out and run, eat at least two nutritious meals a day. sit for three minutes of meditation, work on my homework, prepare for the next day. For the next three weeks, Harriet's growth will be my growth. We will grow together. Hopefully I will not sprout flowers like her, but you get my gist.

Considering it's coming up on 2 AM, I'll close it out with a picture of little Harriet in her cute little bucket. And for the record, no, I have no clue how I'll get her home without dropping her at least twice and I am terrified.

(She started to sprout this weekend!)

Anyone else struggle having a rough patch? How do you get through the bad days? Let's talk about it in the comments down below.

Until next time,

Writing to you from M, Personally