Depression and Perfection
Meet the lovely Sydney. She is currently a junior in high school and I am blessed to have her in my world. She is brave in ways that many of us strive to be. She is honest and beautiful in her writing and I am so grateful that she is sharing her story. It is a story that is all her own, but a story so much like many of ours. She is wise to acknowledge that we don't always know the answers and smart enough to recognize the need for self care. A lot of adults struggle with these concepts. Thank you, Sydney, for sharing yourself here. I am incredibly proud of you. LP
I have always thought that I had to be perfect. I had that engraved into every thought and every action. I had to be the perfect student, the perfect daughter, the perfect friend, even the perfect employee.
I had all A's, great friends, a job; I was so happy with where I was. Then out of no where that "perfect" in me just kind of, wore out. I didn't feel like me. I didn't care anymore. I shut everyone out and my grades spiraled down. Everything took a turn for the worse. I thought that I could handle it. I've done it many times before, why couldn't I now?
There was always this lingering darkness that I ignored and pushed away. I like to think of it like the weather. Some days the sun was shining bright and it was so nice and welcoming. But on the dark days, it was gray. It was cold and rainy and it felt like the wind sucked me in and wouldn't let go. It would drag me down and take little bits of me. "The Bad Days" as I like to call them. They're not like the typical "Oh everyone has a bad day", no. These were the, "Leave me alone", "I can't do anything, why try?" "I can't get out of bed", "I don't even like me how can anyone else?".
Everyone saw a change in me. I would tell them I was fine it was just a "Bad Day". They would shrug it off and assume it was like a normal typical bad day. They didn't know that on the inside I was dying, my soul was slowing disappearing and I had no intention to save it.
I am not the person to ask for help. I'm a Taurus so I'm known to be stubborn. I was independent and I liked to learn it on my own. I tried my old coping skills, like listening to music, but that didn't work. I'd write what I was thinking which helped for a while but then, things were different, more dark and twisted and more scary. This is something I couldn't fight alone. After all of the late nights feeling worthless and empty, the bad dreams, the bad thoughts, I knew I needed to ask for help. Who could I ask?
What would my parents think? Or my friends? Even my teachers! I thought I had to be "perfect" and "perfect" people don't have mental disorders.
That's where I was wrong.
I had spent so much time trying to satisfy everyone else's wants and needs that I had been destroying my self mentally and emotionally, and I thought it was okay. I was so set on the idea of pleasing others and completely forgot my self worth.
I asked for help. I saw a doctor. I was diagnosed with Major Depression. It was like a punch in the stomach but I was on the right track to getting better. I saw a counselor and took medication and felt like a new and improved version of myself.
You will never be 100% okay. Don't have the idea that you need to be "fixed". No person or thing can "fix" you. You're not an object that is broken. You're a person. You're a human being.
I always think of how I actually feel and how things will affect me when doing something. Of course I still ask "What do you need, Can I do anything for you?" but I also add on "What do I need? What will help me?"
I have learned that it is very important to take care of people in your life, but it is just as, if not more, important to take care of yourself in the process.