Trying to be Alive and Well
I feel it in my stomach, not my bones like how I originally thought it to be like. It starts in my stomach, forming a type of hurt that makes me feel nauseous as I try to focus on the task at hand. The hair on the back of my neck stands up as its chilled hand cups itself around my throat, making the need to breathe feel quite impossible while I struggle to choke out the words “I’m sorry.” I’m sorry you’re doing this; considering it’s my fault. Even though it’s not, someone tries to tell me. But I can’t escape the prolonged feeling of guilt it makes me feel. Most days, I imagine them as a she, with her feeling of beauty and a tone of melancholy always present in the back of my mind. She is beautiful. As I start to get better I can’t help but miss her, and long for her touch-not in a sexual or romantic way. She is a being that feels no such thing. She is a motherly figure without the image of parenthood. She makes me feel comfort as she grabs my hand and brings me to swim in the stars with her, feeling the inkiness of the night sky before its daybreak. She lets me warm the sun with her, before it is expected to rise and fall in for the day. Sometimes we paint the skies to the liking of the needy and the less fortunate, seeing as how they tend to light up when brilliant pinks swirl with a natural glow of orange. Its picture not only breathtaking but extraordinary. She lets me follow in her wake of destruction. But I stay oblivious, focusing on the curls of her hair or waves of radiation coming from her frozen heart. Yes frozen. She does all these things that allow me to forget the days she brings me to my own tasks. Sometimes it’s the fresh arrival of blood stemming from the cool, clean cuts of a razor blade. Other times it’s the warmth of sleep that she makes me yearn for, forgetting the world I was just a part of. Other times she makes me feel small, shoving me underneath the sea of sadness that’s bound to hit everyone lucky enough to be near her presence. Only, when she does it, she waits until I am one second from approaching death to pull me up. It’s not her fault though. I don’t let it be, since she lets me visit the lost souls normal people call stars. Yes the stars, with her help, eventually I’ll get there one day.
I know she’s calling for me when she starts in my stomach, sending chills throughout my body, sometimes numbing my legs and pulling them towards the tasks she has planned. When she isn’t here, I miss her. I miss her most when I become detached from her, slowly getting better and turning my attention towards a man in a yellow suit who calls himself Happiness, and says he’s going to fix the damage my beloved beauty had done. Sometimes I let him. Sometimes I don’t. Which is why I wish to always feel the way I do with her. Alone, fulfilled, tired, empty, draped in a blanket of melancholic cotton that she wraps around me. I know the right thing to do is follow the man in yellow but her pull is too strong. Too thrilling, too chaotic. I’ll never have anything but admiration for her, and never in a sexual or romantic way. She is far too powerful. Far too beautiful, to be associated with such joyful things.
My therapist calls her an It. Even though I know her name is nonexistent and she prefers to be called a She or Her, my therapist insists on calling her Depression, pulling a smile towards my heart when they say I’m depressed.
And though I wish She wasn’t so sad,
I can’t help but feel grateful for the company She provides.
- Being negative or depressed can make you feel alone and sad. You are strong for trying to get help with your problem even though you suffer deeply.
- If you need someone to talk to, you can head to the Teen Central website and click the Help tab to use a hotline or textline. The Stories tab has stories submitted by other teens and answered by counselors. The Tools tab has downloadable resources for positivity, relationships and others. You can click the Learn tab to read more about Depression, Spirituality, Suicide, Self Injury, Bullying and Wellness among others. You may also speak to a trusted therapist, school counselor or religious leader.
- You can find healthy ways to dwell on deep emotions, dark thoughts, sad feelings or other symptoms of depression you may face. For example, creativity can help you express your feelings in a healthy manner. Creative writing, painting, drawing, clay sculpting, listening to music or playing a musical instrument among others are just a few creative activities you can try. Besides this, being more spiritual can help you gain meaning and a sense of purpose, accept the things you can’t change, feel less alone, have something to believe in, have peace of mind and feel deep empathy towards others. Prayer, meditation and yoga are spiritual techniques that can be beneficial to your health and help you be more positive in your daily life. You may also attend church services.
- Volunteering can help you forget about your own problems, since you’ll be focusing on helping others with theirs. Consider training to become a counselor, writing for a nonprofit, reading to children at a local library, helping out at a local pet shelter, helping others with art therapy, planting trees to help the environment or others. Consider fostering or adopting a cat or dog from a local shelter to give an animal the loving home they deserve. You can find volunteer opportunities by visiting websites like Volunteermatch.org.
- You can be more positive and gain better control over your thoughts and emotions by repeating positive affirmations to yourself when you become negative. Read inspirational quotes and write down a few things you’re grateful for each day. Find something positive to laugh at by watching cartoons, reading comics or drawing humorous pictures. Be yourself by expressing your feelings. Stay hopeful for the future by always having something to look forward to. This may be a movie you’re going to watch or book you will read among others.
- Trying too hard to be positive can have the opposite effect by making you negative. Instead, you can just live in the moment in a healthy way and do the things you enjoy.
- If you lack unconditional love in your life, you can find other ways to comfort yourself. For example, you can spend time with a pet, do arts and crafts, read inspiring stories or watch inspirational movies. Brainstorm ideas by writing down more comforting activities you can try.
- To get your mind off negative thinking, try focusing on something else. This can be homework, achieving healthy goals or something else. Consider joining a school club, sports team, gymnastics or other activity where you’re comfortable.
- You can practice self-care by eating healthy, exercising regularly, being more spiritual and exercising your mind on a regular basis.
- You can let your problems make you stronger. When someone treats you badly or you’re forced to endure negative situations, see this as an opportunity for growth.
- In what ways can committing to positivity improve your life now and in the future?
- How does self-love contribute to healthy living?
- In what ways can dwelling on negativity be a waste of time? How can volunteering, practicing spirituality or doing other meaningful activities help you use your time wisely, and gain meaning and a sense of purpose?
- How can having healthy goals contribute to your life in the present and future?
- In what ways can you use your own unique talents to make a positive impact on the world?