Let it Out

Over the past few months, I’ve read ESPN’s headline story about a track athlete taking a running jump to her death, saw updates on the thought process behind Robin Williams suicide, and I’ve even noticed one of my role models, Andrew Jenks, disclose his own struggles on twitter.

My initial response to the posts were pretty uncomfortable.

They felt invasive.  They felt way too close to home.  

Depression was pretty common in my household as a child.  My grandmother committed suicide over 37 years ago, and many of my immediate family members also deal with a similar fight.  Still, even with depression so present in our family circle – we never talk about it.  We all know it exists.  We all know we are fighting the same fight, but we go along with our day to day interactions without addressing the issues.  We’ve pushed those big elephants further and further into the corner, until they’ve become this sort of shrine that we aren’t allowed to talk about or visit.

I don’t know if this is just with me, but depression has always had such a negative connotation.  Growing up, my father believed depression wasn’t real.  He didn’t understand how it could truly overcome someone.  For some reason, that has stuck with me, no matter how hard I’ve tried to fight it.  I’ve struggled with depression for years, but I’ve never wanted to admit it.  Not even to myself.  I’ve refused to see doctors or take medications because I didn’t want to be labeled.  I didn’t want anyone to think I had anything else working against me.

Depression isn’t something I struggle with on a daily basis, but when it comes – which it always does – it really hits hard.  I go through this weird stage of feeling completely disconnected from the world around me.  Holidays, religious sanctions, and even close relationships all suddenly seem so systematic.  I know that may sound harsh, but I don’t know how else to explain it.  Life becomes more like a formula or Nintendo game, and I can’t seem to rally up the significance in it all.

The general separation from the daily world is bad enough, but feeling like you’re the only person experiencing those thoughts is even worse.  I guess that’s why I’m saying all this now.  I guess that’s why I’m happy other people are finally saying it too.  This depression thing is real.  It doesn’t have a standard, there are no prerequisites, and there’s no reason to go through it alone.

Let it out.


Insert Inspirational Title [here]

It’s over.

The long, grueling, nocturnal life as a college girl is done, and I don’t even know how to go on through life without crying and smiling from ear to ear simultaneously.  The past three years felt like an old, broken down bateau was steadily pulling me through a thick, gator invested marsh while bystanders stood along the bayou and shot BB guns in my direction.

For real. 

I could use a week or two in a lock down intensive care unit with a constant flow of fluids and vitamins pushing through my veins.

Or botox. 

Will botox take away the damage three years of sleepless nights left on my face?

Summa Cum Laude, y'all.
Summa Cum Laude, y’all.
Deciding to go back to school was one of the scariest decisions of my life.  For whatever reason, I didn’t think I was worthy.  I had this notion that school required an elite level of tenacity, talent and smarts.  I didn’t realize an education is what gives you that.  I remember driving to enroll back in school three years ago.  The vivid image of me pulling over on the side of the road because I was too intimidated will forever haunt me.  Who was I?

I barely recognize that girl.

Going back to school was the first endeavor I’ve ever seen all the way through. It was the first time in my life I said, “this is what I want” and got it. 

An education has taught me more than I ever thought I could learn, which suddenly makes the thought of my $60,000 in student loans seem like the most frugal and vital investment of my life. It taught me that I have a voice, even if no one ever wants to listen. School taught me to live for myself, It taught me to dream, and it made me realize I never want to stop learning. 

I never want to think I peaked. 

A productive life is like running a steady incline. Sometimes your legs feel like jello, and walking down hill would be the easiest 180 degree turn you’d ever make… But I hope to never reach a top.  Because where else do you go? Hopefully I can learn how to slow down and enjoy the parts of the road that level off a bit before the next hurtle. Hopefully I learn to push through so the incline keeps growing into something bigger than we’ve ever dreamed. 

Because isn’t the alternative so much more daunting? 

It’s been real, UC.  Thanks for the adventure.