Tuesday, February 28, 2012

In which Nadine rambles on excessively about matters irrelevant to anyone but herself

Hello there, all. Tonight, I want to share with you something a little more personal than an outfit or some preachy life philosophy of mine. I'd like to share a little bit of my story. Why? Well, I have a dream to some day be able to reach out and connect with people all over the world who are struggling with similar problems to mine. I want to help people, give speeches. I want to change lives, and I want people to know that they are better than their issues. So, I'm going to start right now.

A lot of people don't understand depression, especially when it occurs in talented, intelligent, well-liked youths from well-off families in happy little towns. Looking back on my life from an objective point of view, I had no reason to be suicidal two years ago. I had loving friends, good grades, a leading role in the drama production, quite a bit of talent, and lots of nice material things. So why on earth shouldn't I be happy? It makes even less sense when I consider how I despised my body: I am 5'3" and weigh 93 pounds. I have wavy/curly thick brown hair and very pale skin and big hazel eyes and long legs for my height and curves that suit my body perfectly. But when I looked in the mirror then, I wanted to destroy the body I was born into. And I did. I slashed at my arms, stomach, legs, and even once my cheek. I hated myself. I hated my personality, my body, my life. I was never good enough, and I felt so utterly alone. All I knew was that I wanted life to end.

I'll spare you the rest of that sob story. The point is, just because I lived in a nice house and had nice clothes and had a bunch of friends didn't stop me from trying to die. Depression isn't that simple. And hey, guess what? You can't cure it. I am still manic-depressive. Although for the past two months I've been overwhelmingly manic, it's definitely still difficult. Sometimes, for a split second, I want out of this world and all its pressures and cruelties. But I am stronger than I think I am. I've seen myself go from about-to-check-into-a-mental-hospital to bursting-with-happiness-and-creativity within a day. Life is beautiful, and I know that. So how do I deal with the sad stuff?

It's a process; I'm still learning. For starters, my priority right now is to figure out what I'm doing for me and what I'm doing for other people, and then to stop doing the things I'm only doing for other people. I've caused myself so much misery in the past by sticking with friends that only dragged me down and participating in activities just because I didn't want to be left out once again. And guess what - I'm still having immense difficulty extracting myself from situations that make me miserable. I've been drilled with these misconceptions that I have to do certain things. Some of them are pressures from my parents to take a zillion and one AP classes. Others are unspoken rules from my friends and fellow actors that you have to be in the autumn drama or else you'll be left out in the spring musical. And frankly, I can't handle a zillion and one AP classes, and I'm not going to do something just for the sake of looking good on college applications. And since the teacher who directs the autumn drama gives me anxiety attacks simply by existing, it's really not smart to participate.

Basically, I need to compartmentalize the different aspects of my life and then prioritize, cutting out the things that are dragging me down or that I don't particularly care about. One of the main causes of my depression and anxiety is my own over-complication of life. Agh! Talk about frustrating, when it's something that is completely in my power to change. As Sam vents about in this post, I need to simplify my life, physically and mentally. It's like an exercise we did when I studied the preforming arts at Cambridge University over the summer: we'd lay down, close our eyes, and envision placing all our stresses and distractions in a giant trash bag so that we could be calm and present in the space throughout the class. That's exactly what I need to do right now: get myself a big imaginary trash bag and fill it to the brim. And while I'm at it, a big physical trash bag would be a good idea, too... my room is long overdue for some cleaning.

I realize that this post is completely irrelevant to everyone but myself. Hopefully I'll follow up with more personal posts that convey some sort of relatable message...  I guess tonight I just needed to rant.

1 comment:

  1. I totally see what you mean here (and appreciate that you linked my post). There is just so much PRESSURE on us; it's what comes from living in a society with so many OPTIONS and an emphasis placed on not having nearly enough time to take advantage of said options. That's why I dropped out of Honors chem this year. It was just too much stress and pressure for the level of interest and relevance it had to me. Just not cool. I feel you...no one really acknowledges the battles we all face every day. It sucks. As Plato once said, "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."