Last Sunday our family received some really heart breaking news. A childhood friend to my cousins and one of my Aunts best friend’s daughter at the beautiful age of sixteen left us. Sixteen and did I mention beautiful? I wasn’t incredibly close with her, but I have known her since she was about seven years old, so it did hurt hearing those words. Her older brother and my cousin are still best friends to this day. I am not using a name on purpose, by the way. First of all, it is not my story to tell, nor my news to throw around. I am just choosing to more so speak on the topic of it. Something I have been trying to do for a while now. This beautiful girls’ passing was unexpected and hit incredibly close to home for me. She left us because her pain was so deep and she unfortunately could not bear that burden any longer. That tore me apart, because I too at that age suffered from the same demons and continue to at the age of twenty-six. Depression is no joke and it angers me when people don’t take it seriously. Unless you have experienced it yourself you will NOT understand what goes through the mind of anyone who deals with it. I could explain it to you, how I feel on an almost daily basis and where my mind wonders and even then you wouldn’t understand. A lot and I mean A LOT of people think depression is a way to seek attention. Um, no in fact it is the opposite. I wanted zero attention when I was at my worst. Anyone who thinks that is just wrong. Now, I was never ever in a mindset to handle my depression like others do. I didn’t take anti-depressants. (But, that is also because I hid my depression and kept it very mum.) I couldn’t handle it in that way either, I would get anxiety just thinking of doing it. I wasn’t there, mentally, to do that. If anything, I wanted to hide my depression as far as I could, deep into my heart and soul. I wanted no one to know what I was going through. I was embarrassed by my depression. Anytime someone got mad at me for being sad or having those feelings of self- doubt, I got yelled at. Fuck that. If me expressing myself and the hurt I feel is only going to result in ridicule and people putting me down further then I already felt, I would rather just suffer and pretend like everything was okay. My depression had a lot to do with body image and just not feeling good enough. I didn’t feel beautiful, confident or smart and it’s not like anyone ever made me feel those things. I wrote then, as I write now. Writing about my feelings has always been the best way for me to get my feelings out there. At twenty-six I still battle these demons and I don’t hide from them anymore. Losing weight helped with that, not because I was getting more attention from peers, but rather because I wasn’t afraid to look in the mirror. I accepted my faults, my flaws, every single God-damn imperfection I had/have. The only way I was going to overcome those feelings was to embrace my body and accept the fact that I do have depression and it’s not going to go away. Also, I wasn’t going to let other people’s opinions about me get to me either. Knowing that it does get better and that there is a way to block the negativity is what breaks my heart for that beautiful girl who is no longer with us. Depression is real people and we all need to be more accepting to that and more accepting that we are not all the same and handle things so much differently. Knowing that she won’t experience pain anymore brings a little more peace to the situation, it is just unfortunate that she couldn’t find peace within herself while she was with us. Words can cut deeper than anything and I think we all need to be more aware of that. Discussing my depression any further is still difficult, I won’t lie. I am willing to talk about it with anyone and share my story and experiences. I definitely make an effort to try and reveal bits and pieces here in my writing, But putting it all out there all at once, is jus, ahhh, too much. So bear with me as I slowly reveal my acceptance of my depression. It is a huge piece in my journey these last few years and was something I hid from the world for 12 years. Baby steps people.
Kyndra and I embarked on our first hike of our 2016; 12 hikes, 12 restaurants. (Still a working title until we find something a lot better sounding.) Mount Tamalpais did us good and a park ranger named Carol was no help to us. After 10 miles we met two lovely women who helped us with our journey. It was an exhilarating 12 mile trek and I will be writing about that in a separate post. It was a great way to end my last weekend before school officially begins for me tomorrow morning at eleven am. I cannot believe it is already here and that I am a student again, lord help me.