The second time I overdosed,
my body couldn’t handle it,
and I threw it all up.
I texted my dad saying,
“I think I took a little too many pills”.
And every time I’ve overdosed,
I always downplay it.
I’ve always tried to act
like it wasn’t a big deal.
That having the urge to swallow a whole bottle of pills
was something daily that normal people do.
My dad hurried home and saw the empty bottle
and he shook me to make sure I was awake.
I kept mumbling “I threw it up.. I threw it up..”
while I was drifting off to sleep.
He had to wake me up every 15 minutes
to make sure I was okay.
Let me tell you now,
it is a big deal.
The third time I overdosed,
I slept through first and second period
and passed out in the counselor’s office.
I didn’t want to go to the ER.
I just wanted to go home.
All I wanted to do was sleep.
Again, I just said,
“I think I took too many pills this morning.”
The fifth time I overdosed,
my dad found the empty pill box.
I hallucinated, I had a fever.
I couldn’t move my legs.
All I could do was scream,
“Don’t take me to the hospital this time.
I don’t want to go!”
I became friends with a girl who had overdosed
she’s one of my best friends now
and when I heard she was hospitalized as well,
it just makes me realize how real this problem is.
A couple months ago, another friend of mine overdosed.
Do you realize how fucked up it is,
that I’ve done it so many times
that I know the exact procedure that she’s going to go through?
She messaged me saying,
“I took a bunch of pills,
but I just realized I didn’t want to die.
I don’t know what to do.
And I’m screaming at her over the screen
that she should throw it up and call 911
because sometimes when someone you love
decides that they hate the world,
that’s all you can do.
You can’t teleport through the phone.
You can’t travel through the internet.
You can’t be there to hold them
and take them to the hospital.
Your love is not charcoal that can
absorb all their poison in their life.
I know, love that you would have done all you could.
Sometimes words aren’t enough.
Sometimes love isn’t enough.
Sometimes a person needs to try dying
to know that that’s not really what they want.
There’s nothing you could have done.
You’ve done all you could.
Just keep loving them.
But you see the thing is,
I got lucky.
I’ve made it back from 5 overdoses
without a scratch on me.
But that’s not always the case.
My favorite teacher’s stepdaughter
locked herself in her room and overdosed.
To this day,
her stepmother still has a scar on her heart.
To this day,
on the anniversary of her death,
her stepmother still stays home from school
on the anniversary of her death.
Her sister is in a bad mental state,
and so is her biological mother.
Her family has fallen apart.
You overdose because you think
you will get a peaceful release from death.
It’s not peaceful.
It is not like falling asleep.
It is convulsions, vomiting,
muscle spasms, fevers,
and sharp stomach pains.
An overdose is not instant.
Hollywood has you believing,
that an overdose
is how a lady should exit the world.
As quiet as she came in,
Peaceful and unnoticed.
You will go out kicking and screaming
and wishing you hadn’t taken them.
6:03 p.m. (I think I’m done overdosing)
Dedicated to Rae
- via expresswithsilence(via perfect)
- person: but what if your parents had aborted YOU
- me: well okay for starters i wouldn't have been forced to hear that stupid ass comment you just made
I was six when Robert from down the block
pushed me onto a pile of rocks
my mama brushed the dirt off my cheeks,
washed off my bleeding knees
and told me “don’t cry, don’t show
and in fifth grade my friend’s cousin passed away and
two days later i overheard some boys
calling her a crybaby
i think maybe i complain a lot about small things
like sore joints or headaches or chapped lips or
how long it is until the next episode of game of thrones
so everyone thinks the only problems in my life
are itty bitty butterflies but
I don’t talk about the bad stuff, you know? I don’t mention
the stuff that’s eating me up, the stuff that makes this skin
feel less like home and more like a prison,
the stuff that’s making my particles disconnect
from one another so i become
atomic dust, i just
i help a lot of people with their burdens, as often as i can
and i know they wouldn’t really mind it if i told them maybe
just a little about how bad it’s getting
but even my closest friends
i never want to bother because i hear their stories
about what they’re carrying and
i don’t want to add to it when they’re sad enough as it is
and when they’re happy, I know exactly
how rare it is for them,
so I don’t want to spoil it
the only thing is
a few days ago, I offered advice to someone who needed a
pick-me-up and she looked me in the eyes and asked
“how is it exactly that you know this stuff”
and I could have unzippered my bones and come
crashing out all over the floor
but instead I shrugged and smiled and said
“That’s what I do. That’s what I’m here for.”
I’m sorry for shredding you to pieces
when you deserved to be cherished
I’m sorry for the six years of abuse
I put you through and thought that you deserved
For the countless times I deprived you of things you needed because I thought you could survive with out it
For thinking you were meant to please others,
when you’re only purpose was to keep me alive
For the time I should have spent acknowledging the fact that you were already fine as is,
instead of tearing you down
For the amount of times I wished that you could change,
but you weren’t meant to be molded into something else
For the words I carved deep into your bones
that are scarred there for ever
For the time that I made you hide who you were
because I believed the world didn’t want to see you.
For the way I made you feel,
for pushing you too far,
you didn’t have to go that far.
For the way I didn’t recognize your existence
like I pretended you weren’t there,
when you were,
when you were screaming at me to take care of you.
You were not trash,
and I’m sorry for treating you like you were.
You are a universe trapped inside your bones
You are made of the same elements that make up the galaxy
You are stardust and are worth being here just like anything else.
You have life racing through your veins,
pulsing through your body
You have a heart beat begging to be noticed,
pounding in harmony to the sound of life
You have flowers growing in your lungs,
blooming with every breath you take
You have a brain shouting thoughts,
good thoughts, let them be herd
You have a voice that can change the world,
so speak up, you are here,
let them know you are here
You have hands that’ll create anything you wish,
you only have to try.
I’m sorry for ignoring every hint you gave to me,
and thinking you were okay.
This is an apology for the time I spent despising you
This is an apology for destroying you
This is a promise that I’ll spend forever making it up to you.
This is a promise that I’ll love you and take care of you.
This is a promise that I’ll keep you safe
That is a promise —
A letter to myself: Carol Shlyakhova (strong-but-breakable)
21 Tips to Keep Your Shit Together When You’re Depressed.
A while ago, I penned a fairly angry response to something circulating on the internet – the 21 Habits of Happy People. It pissed me off beyond belief, that there was an inference that if you weren’t Happy, you simply weren’t doing the right things.
I’ve had depression for as long as I can remember. It’s manifested in different ways. I did therapy. I did prozac. I did more therapy. My baseline is melancholic. I’d just made peace with it when I moved, unintentionally, to a place that had markedly less sunshine in the winter. I got seasonal depression. I got that under control. Then I got really, really sick. Turns out it’s a permanent, painful genetic disorder. My last pain-free day was four years ago.
So, this Cult of Happy article just set me off. Just… anger. Rage. Depression is serious – debilitating, often dangerous, and it’s got an enormous stigma. It leaves people to fend for themselves.
It’s bad enough without people ramming Happy Tips at you through facebook. There is no miracle behaviour change that will flip that switch for you. I know, I’ve tried.
A friend of mine suggested that I write something from my point of view because, surprisingly, I manage to give an outwards impression of having my shit together. I was shocked to hear this. And I find this comical, but I see her point. I’m functioning. I’ve adapted. I’m surprisingly okay. I think the medical term is “resilient”.
So, here it is.
My 21 Tips on Keeping Your Shit Together During Depression
1) Know that you’re not alone. Know that we are a silent legion, who, every day face the solipsism and judgement of Happy People Who Think We Just Aren’t Trying. There are people who are depressed, people who have been depressed, and people who just haven’t been hit with it yet.
2) Understand that the Happy People are usually acting out of some genuine (albeit misguided) concern for you, that it’s coming from a good place, even if the advice feels like you’re being blamed for your disease. Telling you these things makes them feel better, even if it makes you feel like shit. (If they insist on keeping it up, see #12.)
3) Enlist the help of a professional. See your doctor. You need to talk about the ugly shit, and there are people paid to listen and help you find your way to the light at the end of the tunnel.
4) Understand that antidepressants will only do so much. They’re useful, they’ll level you out and give you the time you need to figure out your own path to getting well. They can be helpful. There are lots to choose from. They may not be for you, and even if they are, they take some time to kick in. Conversely, they may not be for you. Work with your doctor.
5) Pick up a paintbrush, a pencil, an activity you got joy from in the past and re-explore that. Or, sign up for the thing you always wanted to try. There is a long history and link between depression and creativity. It’s a bright light of this condition, so utilize it to your best advantage.
6) Eat nutritionally sound, regular small meals. If you’re having trouble eating, try to focus on what you’d like to eat. I went through a whole six week episode of tomatoes and cream cheese on a bagel twice a day. Not great, but it was something – helpful context, I’m a recovered anorexic. Conversely, if all you want to do is scarf down crap, try to off-ramp it by downing a V-8 and doing #9 for 15 minutes, and see how you feel. Chucking your blood sugar all over hell’s half acre is going to make you feel worse.
7) While you’re doing #3, get some bloodwork done. If you’re low on iron or vitamin D, or if your hormone levels are doing the Macarena… these can all contribute to zapping your energy or switching your mood to Bleak As Hell.
8) If you’re in bed and the “insomnia hamsters”, as I like to call them, are on the wheel of your head, watch Nightly Business News on PBS. This has the effect of Nyquil. Swap out your coffee for herbal tea. If you just cannot sleep, try the next tip….
9) Learn how to meditate. Start by focusing on your breathing. Not sleep, not thoughts. In through the nose, out through the mouth. Meditation is focusing on being present in your body, not careening around in your brain. It may not be as good as sleep but it will give you some rest and recharge you.
10) Face a window as often as you can – at work, at home. Look out into the world. Watch. Observe. Try to find something you find pretty or interesting to focus on. And, handily remember that one in five of those people out there feel the way you do.
11) Cry. Better out than in. Sometimes it’s not convenient or career-enhancing to cry, so find a private place as best you can and let the tears go. Carry Kleenex and face wipes and extra concealer if you wear makeup. You can always claim allergies.
12) Any “friend” who resolutely believes that your depression is because you’re lazy, because you’re not trying hard enough, who blames you for not bootstrapping out of it- that friend needs to be cut off. Polite (#2) is one thing, but there is a limit. You don’t have to explain, you can just not respond. You feel badly enough, you don’t need their “assistance”.
13) Limit your time with people who drain you. You know who they are. Often you don’t have a choice- but you can put the meter on. And, subsequently, be aware of what you’re asking of those close to you.
14) Everyone has shit they’ve got to deal with. What you have been saddled with is your shit. Recognize, just as you’re not alone, you’re also not unique. The grass may look greener, you may be jealous or envious of others who don’t have to deal with depression, but you likely do not know everything that’s going on with them.
15) Let go or be dragged. This is an old Buddhist saying. It’s a very useful way to frame aspects of depression. Betrayal, anger, fear… letting go is a process – often a painful and difficult process - but it’s ultimately going to show you the path out of this terrible place. Repeating the mantra can help when you’re feeling gripped by these feelings.
16) Wear clothes that make you feel confident. It takes as much time to put on nice clothes as it does to put on sweatpants. You will want to wear the sweatpants. Fight the urge. The whole “look good/feel better” campaign isn’t limited to cancer and chemotherapy. Or women.
17) Avoid fictional drama and tragedy like the plague. No Grey’s Anatomy, no to The Notebook, or anything that won a Pulitzer prize. You’ve got enough going on In Real Life. Comedy only. Or trashy stuff. Old episodes of WonderWoman? I’ve got the box set. Mindless drivel, like the latest CGI blockbuster. Or clever, funny books. David Sedaris. Jenny Lawson. Fiction exists to elicit emotion, and the emotion you need to express most right now is laughter.
18) Simple exercise, if you can. It can be something as simple as taking the stairs up a flight, or walking around the block. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, it doesn’t have to involve climbing a mountain or running a marathon. Baby steps.
19) Depression will lie to you. Depression will try to tell you what others are thinking. That you are unloved and unworthy, that others think little of you or don’t care – or even wish you harm. You are not a psychic. Keep repeating that. “I am not a psychic”. Repeat. The only way to know what another person is thinking is to up and ask them.
20) If you are well and truly losing this battle, reach out to someone. I’ve been the random friendly-but-not-close person who has fielded the occasional outreach. I like to think I’m not judgemental and generally resourceful, and others have thought the same, so they called and asked. You know someone like me. And they will help you.
21) Forgive yourself. I’m writing out all these tips, and I can’t always muster the strength to even stick my nose outside, or walk up the stairs, or eat my vegetables. Today, I got outside for ten minutes. I will try again tomorrow. And I will try again the day after that.—