So I started a Tumblr blog what feels like way too long ago when I went abroad and did some semi-cool shit. I haven’t posted since because let’s face it, no one wants to look at pictures of non-exotic lands.
Since then I have done some grown up things and such. I passed some classes, drank a lot, graduated college, landed my dream job and continuously miss my friends that I no longer live 10 feet away from. I also fell in love, moved in with that fella to lock that shit down and became the parent to a wonderful little fish named Luna.
But not everything has been all adulting and fish care. Over the past year I have grown more acutely aware of my stupid mood swings, shitty attitudes and occasional inability to get out of bed and be social. I thought I was just becoming a crotchety (hehe, crotchety) old lady, but I’m only fucking 22. So I eventually accepted that I got something else is going on.
Anxiety, depression, OCD, mood swings and thankfully only rare bouts of depersonalization have weaseled their way into my cheery little life. These things have always been a factor in my life, but I think this is the first time I’m really coming to terms that I, like 1 in 5 people, have poor mental health. And I’m not going to let it beat the shit out of me anymore.
I read an incredibly powerful book recently, Jenny Lawson’s Furiously Happy. I have to admit I picked it up because of the fucking perfection of the cover (judge books by their covers, I’m convinced only good authors appreciate the importance of having fun with that precious real estate).
I wandered through the pages fully unaware of what it was about, and then it hit me like a load of bricks. I felt like fate had led me to this little raccoon just itching to tell me that my situation is not unfelt by others. I was laughing on the beach surrounded by my family who probably accurately, thought I looked insane. This book made me laugh, it seriously made me cry and it made me realize that I have been denying myself to the truth of my mental state for far too long. Even if you’re pretty normal, read this book, because I guarantee you someone in your life sympathizes far too well with Lawson’s story.
So like Lawson, I’m going to write. I’m going to write because sometimes it’s too hard to speak. I’m going to write because I’m not ready to submit to drugs or hardcore therapy. I’m going to write to raise awareness surrounding mental health, something that 100% of people have whether good or bad. I’m going to write because my wonderful partner, Dan, doesn’t deserve to take this all on single-handedly even though he assures me he’s more than willing…does that make him more crazy than me?
Most importantly, I’m going to write for my life, a life I don’t want to lose to the darkness. Because letting that beast fester in the shadows gives it way more power than flashing the lights in its eyes. It’s like how Sulley in Monsters Inc. is scary until you realize he’s just John Goodman in an ugly dog suit.
I’m terrified to let this post out into the world and be judged by all the people whose opinions I tell myself I don’t care about but do. But I need to do this for myself. Mental health has been hidden due to fear and shame for far too long. There are people in my life who will read this and care less or judge more. Some will never read this. But some will. And some will appreciate it, and maybe some will understand. And maybe I can help myself and help a few others to see that this beast that’s growing inside just needs to be shown that laughter is far more powerful than fear….I mean, that shit powered all of Monstropolis, right?
So join me, or don’t join me, I won’t be taking attendance. Except for you, yes you in the back, stop chewing that gum and pay attention for fuck’s sake. I think it’s about time we stop living our perfect lives on social media and stop hiding away from what’s really going on. Let’s start to shed some light and find out what that beast really is…personally, I hope its a pile of puppies wearing top hats.