By: Marissa

That is always the question we as humans have. Why? Why does it rain? Why does this animal do this thing? Why are there no cookies left? I too am subject to always wanting to know why. My questioning stems mainly from my depression. Why does this happen to me? Why am I sad again? Why are there no cookies left? The cookie part then just triggers non-stop crying. Nevertheless, the important part here is the WHY.

As humans, we want to know why things happen. However, for a healthy mental state, I have been taught recently, not to ask why. Why, you may ask?

When I ask myself why, it tumbles me into more of a depressed state. Lets use the cookie as an example. First it starts as noticing that there is no more cookies. In order, these are the questions you will probably ask…

Why are there no more cookies?
Was I not good enough for the cookies?
Was I not eating the cookies in a moderate way?

In the end, while you are sitting on the floor crying because there are no more cookies, you find out that your SO (significant other) ate the last one, and has returned home with a whole new pack just for you. The moral of the story is, if you let yourself be consumed by one bad moment, the moments leading up to you feeling better will be worse. Asking why makes it worse as well. It tumbles you into worse feelings. However, if you just ride out that one bad moment, you know you will end up feeling better either way.

Where Have You Been?

By: Marissa

As of late, I have been looking at myself in the mirror, and seeing a happier, more centered, me. I have to look at myself and question, ‘Where have you been?’ I ask myself that almost every day. Where has this person been in the past few years? Where have you been hiding? Lately, I have been in a really dark place. Things have happened that have kept me from doing the things I love. Things that honestly, I am afraid to post on social media. Maybe one day I will, but now, the wounds are too fresh.

I can’t express though how grateful I am for the people I have found in my life. Even during the dark times. In the past few weeks, despite the depression, I have found new friends, and even found people who I thought disliked me. Through all of that, I have realized how loved I truly am, how much people actually care, regardless of how I thought they viewed me. Because of recent events, I have been able to find these people and form new friendships and new bonds. I have the strongest support system I have ever seen, and I can’t explain how happy I am.

I can’t truly explain what it is like to live with depression. I can tell you the symptoms and the feelings I have, but I can’t really explain the darkness in my head. It happens to a lot of people, and I have realized that with each person that approaches me and tells me their story, offering their help. Suddenly I don’t feel so alone, so isolated. It took me to be alone in the darkness, just to realize that one the light comes on, there were hundreds of others standing right with me.

That is something I can explain though. As someone suffering with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), I have the tendency to feel as if I was alone. But once a light comes on, once someone comes to me and tells me their story, I realize I am not as alone as I think, and that is an amazing feeling.

I promise I will try harder to present more to you all. While there will be days that I don’t post for awhile, I promise you guys are always on my mind. Even if I don’t know you, you are a community that I can come to when I can’t stand for myself. While there will be bad days, while there will be times where I can’t control the tears, I just have to look in the mirror and say, ‘by God it’s great to be back.’

Taking A Break…

For the past month at New College, we have this thing called an Independent Study Project (ISP). It is where we focus on a specific internship or project for a whole month to better ourselves through that specific task. My ISP is called NaNoWriMo, where I basically write a 40,000-50,000 word book in a month. Terrifying right? I have been trying to write as much as possible to be able to meet my word counts for the day. Everything seems to get more and more bleak as I continue. My hope for this project dwindles as we get closer to the end. It certainly is difficult trying to write everyday and not lose motivation.

My topic, specifically, is about mental health and my gender identity, and how it all meshes together. After all this time of writing, I am taking a break… To write more here. This journey of trying to write all these things has brought me to a point where I realize a lot of things, such as where I’ve been and how far I have come. When it is all in the moment, and you’re jotting down everything you have felt in the past seven years, it gets tough. You start to think, maybe I haven’t come that far at all. Maybe it is just another hole I am letting myself slip into. If you are a writer, and you focus mainly on mental health like I have, don’t fall into that hole. These past few weeks there have been days I haven’t slept, not only trying to get my word count in, but also trying to try and rationalize all my feelings that I have had developing inside me for all these years. It certainly is a great feeling to get it all out, but still. It’s all a work in progress. Life in general is… there I go! Rambling again…

Needless to say, it all gets better. I guess that is my main point in all the posts I make and all the things I try to elude to you all. It may seem tiring and upsetting right now, but it certainly does get better. I hope you all stay tuned with Miss Olivia, my new co-writer, and I, for all our future posts and endeavors!

It’s Okay to Not Be Okay

Hitting home with those rough topics today.

A few weeks ago, after the Coming Out Monologues held by the NCF Alliance, I walked to the bay with my good friend Sofia. We talked about our depression and how we’ve gotten through it all. We both had our rants and chatted about what it all meant, and I realized something that night.

I am grateful for my depression.

I know, I know. “How can you be grateful for something that has destroyed you for years?” I have actually come to terms with my depression. It has made me into the person I am today. Sure, I will have my bad days. Everyone does. The part that helps it all make sense to me is the realization that this wont go away anytime soon. I’ve lived with it for a long long time, and I can foresee it for a long time to come. But the difference between me a few years ago, and who I am today, is that I have grown into a better human through my depression. I have been able to communicate my feelings much better than I did before, and be able to help others that need it.

I feel as if that has helped me more than anything else; being able to be there for other people. I seem to have the ability to feel others pain a lot easier than others may be able to.Through that, I have been able to help pull others up when they are down, and that in turn not only makes me feel better as a person, but lifts me up.

But overall, having those days where everything isn’t “okay,” is totally okay. It’s healthy. It makes you reflect and push through the days harder, and more efficiently. The trick is to not let it bury you. When I have piles of work I want to get done, social things I want to do, and I get hit with this wave of sadness, I do need to take a day off, and that is totally okay. You have to do what you need to do to make yourself feel better.

What pushes you to feel better when you feel down?


Update: The World is Still Spinning

Good morning! I can feel it in my bones, it is going to be a good one. Or maybe it’s indigestion, I’ll let you know.

I am spending the day with my cousins, sister, and grandparents, and wow having everyone here is amazing. But lately I’ve been feeling quite down. It’s amazing how we get so wrapped up in situations. How the smallest things can take a week from you, inducing crying every night. I know for me, my mind can take the smallest thing and spin it into a very big thing. But no matter how bad it gets, it has taken me awhile to accept it, but the world is still taking it’s trips around the sun. The world hasn’t ended, I’m still breathing, still questioning whether I feel a good day in my bones or it’s indigestion.

I fall privy to the fault of doing this… and often. I am at fault for causing more drama than I am worth. I realize this, and want to fix it. I know this was something I did often when my depression began to hit. I wanted to focus on something bigger and more “drama filled” then what was going on inside my head.

My mom reminded me yesterday,

“In 48 hours you’ll look back and think, ‘Wow what was I thinking!?'”

And she’s right. It sucks but the days we feel terrible will soon be just a yesterday. You just gotta get to tomorrow.

What is True?

Good morning, and happy Thursday! Work week is almost done, don’t lose hope!

Today, I wanted to bring to light some of the myths about depression, hopefully to bring around more of an understanding to the mental illness. I am using the myths from Mental Health America but, I am writing my own excerpts on why it is false. The published article is linked below.

Myths About Depression

Myth: Depression is not a real medical problem
If it were not a real medical problem, I wouldn’t have to seek medical treatment. Just because it is not a physical ailment, does not mean that it doesn’t affect us any less. Trying to tell someone that suffers from depression to stop taking medication, is like telling a diabetic to stop taking insulin. Some of us just can’t do it.

Myth: Depression only occurs when something bad happens in your life
Granted, something bad can happen to trigger the brain to produce less serotonin. My parent’s divorce was what triggered my depression when I was 11. But it doesn’t mean that is the case for everyone. Depression isn’t caused by failing an exam or a break up, because you can recover from that sadness.

Myth: Depression goes away
The fact that some people have that opprotunity to have depression that eventually goes away, and don’t need medical treatment, you are blessed. You are extremely lucky and I am happy for you. But there still is a large majority of us that don’t have that opprotunity.

Myth: Talking about depression makes it worse
What do you think I am doing here? I talk about it often to bring light to the topic. To help someone that may be suffering in silence and is too afraid to reach out for help. Talking about it with someone who is clinically depressed, you never know, may help them. It also opens the conversation to talk about mental illness in general.

There are ways to keep the conversation going. Just make sure you have the facts. Here is a link to Washington University School of Medicine, that lists pretty accurate facts to Major Depressive Disorder.

If you suffer from Major Depressive Disorder, what do you wish
others would know or understand?