Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Always Keeping Fighting

While it has been several years since I've watched an episode of Supernatural, I've always supported the show. I really do need to catch up on the show. I really miss it. Thank God for Netflix. :)

In January, I got excited when Stephen Amell from Arrow started his Sinceriously campaign to raise money and awareness for mental health. Shortly after that, Jared Padalecki started Always Keep Fighting and while I missed the first round of Jared's campaign because I couldn't afford both campaigns at the time, I was so excited when I was able to partake in this current round. I cannot wait to get my shirt.

I wish I could have been in Hall H at Comic Con this year to light a candle for Jared and for the person(s) who thought of it, only one word comes to mind: brilliant.

Earlier today on Facebook, Jared asked a simple question. "What does #AlwaysKeepFighting mean to you?" This may not be a simple answer for most people, but for me it is. So Jared, here is my answer:

Always Keep Fighting reminds me that I didn't give up on my life at the age of 10. 

I've said for a long time that fifth grade was the best and the worst year of my life. It was the best because I had one of the best teachers I ever could have asked for in my life that figured out I'm dyslexic and encouraged me to read. I've never stopped reading and I now work at a used book store and couldn't be happier.

Fifth grade was also the time where I was bullied the worst in school and I began a five year stint of my life where I threatened suicide to my family. At 10 years old, I was done. I was entering into puberty faster than my peers and I didn't know who I was or even wanted to be or what was going on with my body and mind. Being a tomboy was hard enough and did nothing to help the tormenting, but to add the mood swings and confusion to the mix, I was overwhelmed. My teachers also didn't know what to do with me. They knew something was wrong but I was afraid to talk about it. The one time I did talk about it, yes I got three boys suspended for a couple days for calling me a boy-wannabe, after that, I was just called a tattle-tale. So I learned the hard way to keep my mouth shut and bottle everything inside until everything blew up and I took it out on my family. I believe that was the true beginning of my depression. The sad part? I was able to hide it so easily, like most depressed people do, that my friends had no clue.

My friends never really knew that dark side of me, because only my family got to see it. I'm also a fan of Criminal Minds and one of my favorite quotes from the show was when Reid said, "I know what it's like to be afraid of your own mind." THAT is depression. Plain and simple. People with any type of mental disorders become experts at responding, "I'm fine" when someone asks how we are doing. We smile when really we are screaming inside our head, but there we are are, smiling and saying "I'm fine."

I still have days where I stay in bed and only get up to get food or coffee, mostly for the coffee, and I don't care if I don't see anyone or utter a single word throughout the entire day. I just call them my depression days and it's okay. I'm okay. Honestly, I am. I just need that time to myself to sort out the bullshit inside my head.

One thing that is so hard to comprehend for most people in life is that it's OKAY TO ASK FOR HELP. About 6 years ago, I finally confronted my doctor. I was on antidepressants for about three years. I did the worst thing you can do while on them. I stopped cold-turkey. I DO NOT recommend that. I went off them for two reasons: (1) I didn't want to take a pill to be somewhat happy with my life and (2) the main reason, I couldn't afford them anymore. I still know that it's okay to ask for help and most of the time I call my mom when I'm having a depression day because I need to talk to someone.

Since I had my health scare in November, I decided that 2015 was my year to focus on ME and only ME. I want to finally be happy with who I was, who I am and who I'm becoming. Tonight, my cousin got to hear me say something that I NEVER thought I would say in my life. I have started to finally be able to look in the mirror and tell myself that I'm beautiful. You have no idea how big of a feat this is for me. I HATE that word with a passion, because I've never believed it. I built up this barrier around that word and finally that barrier is cracking. I actually wake up in the morning and want to wear makeup because I like who I am when I wear it. It doesn't cover up who I am, instead makeup is showing off what makes me me.

I AM BEAUTIFUL!! Yes I'm awkward and overweight (something I'm working on) and a geek and a bookworm and an all-out weirdo and I can curse worse than a drunken sailor, but I'm a beautiful person on the inside and out and I'm okay with it. In fact, I love it. So I'm not perfect. Who is? I've never wanted to be. I am me and if you don't like, too bad.

After 23 years or more of dealing with the many, many, many, many ups and downs of depression, I'm finally starting to win the battle.

So Jared Padalecki and Stephen Amell, thank you sinceriously from the bottom of my heart for reminding me that having depression is okay and I promise that I will always keep fighting.

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