WordPress alerted me today that 5 years ago was my first post. December 13, 2013.
And wow… what a difference. When I wrote my first post It Starts I was trapped in my Melbournian apartment. It was a bright, sunny, summer day…which was so weird considering I’m from America, and normally December 13th is cold and might even have snow! Normally on December 13th, I’m giddy and anxious for Christmas (like I am this very second). But back in that year, it was all so wrong.
I was completely alone in a new country. My depression was bursting at the seems. My anxiety had lead to agoraphobia. I was getting sick all the time because of how miserable I was.
I remember one of my last days out of the apartment before the agoraphobia made it completely impossible to leave, was spent at the department store Myer.
Their Melbourne store is absolutely beautiful, and I went to walk around and get some fresh air. I was hoping to feel some of that Christmas magic I love so much in retail. Throughout December I love walking around stores. Not to buy anything, but just to be there. I love the Christmas music, the hustle and bustle, all the decorations for Christmas…and really, who decorates for Christmas more than retail?
But even that was skewed. It was probably 85F outside (30C) and the Myer department store was blasting the air conditioning. Everyone walked around in shorts. There were a few images of Christmas throughout the store. But the sun and the heat made me feel ashamed to be inside, wasting such a beautiful day.
But really, let’s be honest, most days that holiday season were wasted. Lost to the rumblings of metal illness.
But, let’s flash forward a few years……
OG GOD! TOO FAR FORWARD!!!! GO BACK GO BACK!!!!!
Alright, New York still exists? Ok good!
Let’s just stay right for a moment.
It’s December 13, 2018.
And this Christmas I’m going to be very thankful for 2 things. First, that I’m still alive. There are so many people out there who deal with mental health problems. And a lot of them don’t know how to get help, or feel there is no help. I’m so fortunate that even during the darkest of times, I always seemed to see a small flicker of light in the darkness. The dimmest candle in the far distance seemed to keep me going. And for that, I’m so thankful.
For anyone out there who feels alone or hopeless, this is a list of lifeline numbers for around the world. Please call them and never feel embarrassed or ashamed for doing so. You don’t need to be suicidal to ask for help. If you feel that living is misery, no matter what your reasons are, you have a right to talk to someone.
NEVER EVER THINK THAT YOU DON’T DESERVE SUPPORT. YOU DO.
And secondly, I’m thankful that I’m not only alive, but for the first time in my life, I feel like I’m thriving. I remember reading in chat rooms and blogs when I first started having the attacks when I left my apartment. I would sit in my room afraid to walk outside, reading stories about agoraphobia. What I kept hearing over and over again was this:
“You’ll never be better again. It will always stay with you. You might get “better”…
but you’ll never ever be “fine”.
Well, bitches, listen up. That shit aint true.
One of my idols is Jenifer Lewis, cuz she knows how to inspire in the face of adversity.
And she’s damn right. If the elevator is broken, take the stairs. Sure, the fight is long and hard, but don’t ever give up. And don’t ever let anyone tell you that you don’t have a full life ahead of you, even if those are people who claim to know more than you.
I feel bad for the people on those chat rooms who are convinced that life won’t get better. I feel bad that they don’t believe in themselves. I feel bad that this is happening to them.
But one thing that really pisses me off, is when people try and tell other people that SHIT CAN’T HAPPEN. CUZ MOTHERFUCKERS, IT CAN.
I remember how scared I was after reading those stories. After hearing countless people who suffered in the same way that I was, tell me that this will never get better. I never want anyone to feel that way. And nobody should ever have to.
So, this holiday season, remember to help others, but also help yourself. Grab a tea, go for a walk, paint a picture, open a nonprofit, star in a movie, become president, change the world.
Ready for some inspiration? Ok, here it comes…..
Naaaaaaaants ingonyaaaaama bagithi Babaaaa!!!!
choir comes in: Sithi uhm ingonyama!!!!!
5 years goin, and still aint proofreading!
~The Dark Horse