Open Topic

When Depression Hits.

“You used to be the happiest kid growing up.” 

“You always had the biggest smile on your face.”

“You are too quiet.”

“We miss the old Carla.”

Every time my parents say something like this, my heart completely breaks. And I’m overcome with a sense of guilt like who I’ve become as a result of the things I’ve experienced is my fault. Like I chose to change.

If it were my choice, I would go back to who I was, that kid who never stopped laughing or talking.

Some days it feels like I’m in a competition of me vs. who I used to be, and the present day, me always loses. Like everyone would rather see her as if we were two people.

And because of that, I spent so much time rejecting every part of myself and resenting the person looking back at me in the mirror.

The greatest battle wasn’t getting strapped with the label of “depressed,” but rather learning to not hate myself for it.

It took me a very long time to even admit I had depression. I denied it. I ignored it. Repressing and hiding my bad days though only made them worse when they hit. I felt a sense of shame like it was some character flaw within myself, I should have been able to control. And I tried to control it. It was tough wrapping my head around the science behind why someone is depressed.

So I read and researched and tried to “fix it.”

Run. They said.
Take Vitamin D. They said.
Eat Healthier. They said.
Lose weight. They said.

But no matter what habits I changed in my daily life, depression lingered like an unwelcome house guest who stayed too long.

After struggling to accept it, came a lot of anger. Why was I the one in my family who had to live with this? Why couldn’t I go back? When did things change? Was it my fault? My life consisted of bad days and really dark moments I knew my siblings would never relate to or understand, even if I tried to explain it to them

Because how do you explain I feel lonely standing in a crowd?
How do you explain you need to cry right now but there is no reason why? How do you explain why you’re tired, even though you just woke up? 

You don’t. Instead, you stay quiet as you fight these battles within you.

I didn’t think it was fair. But at the same time, I would never wish depression on anyone. Especially my siblings. And if given the choice and one of us had to fight this, I’d pick myself every time. If me living with this meant they didn’t have to, I’d take every bad day that brought me to my knees in solute.

“You’re going to do fine in life,” an aunt said. 

“You’ve overcome and endured things they never will have to and it’s going to make you stronger than you even realize.”

That statement stuck with me. Because for the first time I stopped defining myself by this cloud that hovered always, by this ghost that always followed, by this thing I finally stopped hating. I stopped running from it.

And every time those comments strike me, instead of allowing negativity to drain me as it used to. I remember I’m still the person I used to be before depression came waltzing into my life trying to control it.

I still care very deeply about people. I still feel things as much as I did. I’m still the same hopeless romantic who looked at Boy Meets World at the age of 9 as the epitome of relationship goals when I grew up. I still have the same dreams as I did. I still like the same movies.

So much of me is the same except this minor glitch of a chemical imbalance.

And maybe I don’t smile as much as I used to. Maybe I don’t laugh as hard as I once did. Maybe I’m a little quieter. But the things I’ve gained from learning to live a successful life, depressed comes with a compassion, an understanding, and being overly observant of others.

I know what it’s like to hide how you feel when you can even explain what it is you’re feeling. I know what it’s like to struggle and have battles within yourself. I know what a fake smile looks like in a crowd. And I can tell with one conversation based on your tone if you are lying to me. Because I’ve been there and I’ve lived it.

But above all things, depression has taught me to truly appreciate the good days I have. Because they come in waves. One day could be the best day of my life and the next could be me alone in my apartment crying for no reason and realizing I forgot to eat that day. But those days are okay too. Those days teach me also to appreciate the good days and look forward to the next one I know will come.

So no, I might not be the person I used to be and I’m sorry if you miss that. But of the things I refuse to apologize for is, who I am and this just comes with the territory. 

Open Topic

You’re Afraid To Love Her.

You’re afraid to love her because you know she’d be good for you. 

You’re afraid to love her because across the board she’s everything you want that you’re afraid to admit you need.

You’re afraid to need someone like that.

You’re afraid to love her because she doesn’t play that game everyone else does.

Her blunt honesty and forward nature is something you’ve been taught to fear.

You’re afraid to love her because you aren’t ready to heal yet. And her love is the type of that heals people.

You’re afraid to love her because you don’t want to lose someone like her if ever you did her wrong.

So you keep her close.

You’re afraid to love her because you aren’t ready to meet the right one yet.

Even though in your heart you know she might be.

So you date others and do your own thing.

But what you’ll come to find is, it will be in everyone you look for her and she won’t be found.

You’re afraid to love her because you know she’s not like the rest of them.

You’re afraid to love her because you know she already loves you without needing it to be reciprocated. 

That kind of selflessness in a world full of people demanding so much of you is something you fear.

You’re afraid to love her because she loves you to the core of who you are and accepts it.

You’re afraid to love her because you don’t want to disappoint her when she finds out who you really are.

But in your heart, you know even that part of yourself she’d love too. And that’s what you fear.

You’re afraid to love her but I know she’s the one that’s keeping you up at night. 

You’re afraid to love her but I know you see her face when you listen to certain songs.

You’re afraid to love her but I know you think of her every time you’ve had one drink too many.

You’re afraid to love her because you know her value and you know her worth.

The truth is, I don’t think you’re afraid to love her at all. I think you already do and that’s what scares you. 

Open Topic

Not Enough.

She’s not it right now. You know it. She knows it. 

But what you don’t know is she’s trying. She’s trying so unbelievably hard to be what you want. She’s fumbling through the confusion that is modern day relationships and making an effort. She stays up at night wondering why she’s not enough. And racking her brain of ways she can improve. 

Her phone blows up with people’s names who aren’t you. And when they ask her out, she’s always busy. She’s busy waiting for it to be you. She’s busy wondering what does she have to do differently? What does she have to change? 

While she builds you up she’s knocking herself down in the process because for some reason, she’s the one that thinks she’s not good enough for you.

If she does better, if she works harder, if she’s more successful or prettier, maybe then you’ll notice someone who has been standing a foot in front of you giving you her complete time and attention.

Conflicts between her heart and head appear like a boxing match because she knows it’s not supposed to be this hard. But she also can’t deny what the heart wants. And no matter who she gives her time and attention to, she’s always going to wish it were you instead.

But even the most resilient and stubborn people wave their white flag because when you’ve done your best, tried your hardest, and put 110% into a relationship that doesn’t reciprocate it, eventually, the only choice you have is to walk away.

And it’ll be then you miss her. Because right now her time and attention is something you’ve taken for granted. It’s something you’re used to. It’s something you expect. 

You can read her better than your favorite book. You know every text will be answered quickly. You know if you asked she’d be there. Wherever there is, she wouldn’t let you down. With her, the answer is always yes. You look at her and across her face is exactly how she feels and exactly how much she loves and adores you. There is no complexity to her, but rather a raw honesty and blunt nature you’ve been taught is unattractive. But she doesn’t change. 

And the love you aren’t able to reciprocate doesn’t change her. 

But people like her who have an ability to love like that are the ones who changes others.

So she carries on to someone new giving them everything she gave you. And it’ll be in the moment someone realizes her value in a way that took you too long to see, that you miss her. 

It’ll be in that moment you see someone with their arms around her do you feel jealousy you’ve never felt. It’ll be in that moment she introduces you as her friend, it hits you.

She isn’t what you want right now because that would be too easy. But the second you realize she made you a priority and she’s no longer the choice you can make, is when you’ll miss her most. 

You’ll miss the texts that come too quickly. And the plans you always canceled. You’ll miss every effort she used to make in a valiant attempt to impress you. You’ll miss the conversations where she was the one always keeping them going. And you’ll miss knowing she’s there. You’ll miss knowing someone cared, even though you didn’t. And when you’re lonely at night wondering where she is, you’ll reach for her phone and not text her even though you want to. 

You’ll want to tell her everything you should have said and realized a long time ago. But sometimes it takes losing something that wasn’t ours to realize what could have been.

And she’ll smile at you across the room holding no animosity at all towards you because she still loves you and she probably always will. And it’ll be in that moment you realize something she’s known for a while, sometimes lost love that was never found is the one that strikes the deepest.