Madison Looking Through My Eyes

This blog not going to be the same as others, because it’s going to honestly be a little of everything. You will understand in a bit, I do want to warn you that this is going to be a bit touchy and sensitive to some people because I will be talking about an experience I’ve had. Our group did an activity a little while ago that triggered my depression and got this blog on my mind since and I know if I don’t get this out I may not be able to face them. I do not blame them it for triggering me don’t get me wrong there I love everyone in our group, but it’s the thought of feeling broken even though I try not to show it that bothers me the most. It also feels like I’m being untruthful to them not sharing what’s bugging me that also nags at me. So I wanted to get it all off my chest for everyone.Today I wanted to talk about what I’ve been thinking about lately, and it’s been constently in my head. I’ve also tried writing this multiple times in the past few weeks. I wanted to talk about little bits of my past, and how it brought me into the field of work I am in now. For those that don’t know I’m a youth worker and I work with at-risk youth that are homeless. It’s very rewarding job and I love it, I’ve been able to work with some very awesome people and some amazing youth. The most amazing this about my job is watching our youth succeed. I got into the field because I have been faced with homelessness at a young age, and I remember the fear of my next step. I went to a fundraiser last night with my work to open up a second house staging for youth that have aged out of care, and it was an amazing experience. We are hoping to open that up in the next couple years.
But what got me into this field was when I ran away from home when I was younger, I went to stay at a friend’s house. His parents had passed away a couple years before that, so his older brother was taking care of the house. I also had heard he was taking in other young girls on the street who were in similar situations as me. I remember being so happy being allowed to stay there, they had always been like brothers to me and I loved them. To this day I can still remember my first night at that house, as I was laying in my room the walls echoed with the screams of the other girls. The fear that pulsed through my veins when I went to try the door and it was locked from the outside. That night was one of the worst nights of my life, as this man who I saw as a big brother took advantage of me and I learnt that was the payment to staying at his house. As time went on and thing only got worse, I started feeling helpless and isolated. As well the more I fought back the more I got beaten down both verbally and physically.

So when I started working in this field my main goal was to never have another youth go through the same toutures I went through. I also got into this field to show the youth that they have support, someone who will help and listen to and that won’t throw them away after. My love for my work helps drives my passion to help the ones I need. Youth homelessness is something close to my heart and something I really feel strongly about. Growing up I was always told that the youth are our future, so why are we denying them the most basic needs and resources. That to me is one of the most frustrating things is trying to help a youth get towards a goal, then tell them that they are on a waiting list due to an overabundance of others trying to access the same resource. And that is because of the lack of the resources we have for our youth, I believe we need more and that is why our group was started. So that we can help make more resource for our community.

 

Howie: Depression Part 2 (Electric Boogaloo)

Hey blog readers, it’s Howie Defranco here and today’s topic is depression specifically the second part of a blog I wrote last year. This blog has changed drastically from the idea had to write for this a month ago, for the better mind you as the part of depression we’re talking about is the after. If you’ve read my previous one you know I covered both causes and how it feels to be depressed and said that everyone goes through it differently and in different stretches of time. At some point though people need to stop being pulled down and need to stop feeling as though they’re drowning. Sadly that point comes to happen one way or the other, by taking their life or they’re life changing for the better.

You could take your life, you could it’s a quick easy end to your suffering and no one can blame you for doing it. However, you’re robbing the world of your life, your talent whatever it may be and whoever loves you of your love. Yes ladies and gents, your life matters because despite how it may be going right now it’s apart of the story it isn’t the whole story though. You thrived once, laughed once, felt joy, felt love, had hope, one of these things came into your life before and it may be staring you in the face right now. Looking to pull you out, or at the least give you ground to stand on. A person in your position doesn’t have to let it go, they might, or move on sure but if you can be reminded of the pain everyday and still feel good about yourself. You just have to look for that reason to smile. I mentioned that before to that taking it one day at a time was important and looking for your reason to keep going was too.

Once you find that though that bit of faith, you have to use it. Faith and hope and love are powerful emotions that can change you’re views for the better, I told you all in my last blog about that I thought I was starting to get better, I wasn’t I was just holding on to that piece of hope. I hadn’t changed anything in my life hadn’t fixed anything, still was doing things to forget the pain I didn’t want to be doing anymore. Then last month I took a leap of faith in myself, I applied for a new job at this point it was the biggest thing holding me back in my life. I stayed for a long time there because I was comfortable and I think that was a bad idea, I think it was just a reminder of everything that happened the last few years. Not to mention a constant stressor and that every day it chipped away at what little self esteem I had everyday.

So I took a leap of faith to change that get rid of it and I ended up proving to myself that I could do something like that. That I was strong enough to fix my life and pick up the pieces that people had left shattered. It all came from just finding one reason to go on everyday for I guess 5 years now it feels a lot longer.

However the purpose of this blog I need you whoever you are to understand. This is not someone saying hey look things work out, this not someone saying hey look at I fixed things. That is not the point and if that’s what I conveyed I owe you an apology. For the purpose was to say things come in time, pain doesn’t necessarily go away it gets pushed to the side. You can’t push it all at once though, it takes a bit every day. Every day you have to push it a millimetre, a centimetre, a metre, a kilometre away, until it’s far enough away. Far enough that you can remember and feel the pain without feeling the suffering.

Lynn On: Depression and Me

Here’s a little warning before you start getting into this. I’ll be writing on my experience with depression and how I manage. My way may not work for everyone and if it’s extreme enough for suicidal thoughts and tendencies, I suggest going to a medical and/or mental profressional instead.

So I’ve suffered from depression for a long time and still do to this day. I used to take antidepressants for it, almost every dosage doctors could legally give me, but nothing really worked. Nothing really made me “happy” or “stopped the sadness”. I realized later in life that that’s not what the pills are supposed to do anyway and even if they did, a lot of my depression came from my situation at the time so there was really no way of fixing that. Leaving the situation I was in did help, but it was more than that. I still have depression and it’s still affecting me, but I’m trying to figure out a way to manage.

When my depression hits hard, I feel…empty. Like I’m not supposed to exist. Like I should, and I’m going to get stupidly artsy here, melt into the night sky or sink into the sea. Something like that that leads to me vanishing and putting and end to something that’s gone on too long. It’s not a suicidal thought process I don’t think, just a very empty, lonely, and all around sad feeling. It may take a long time to push on sometimes like weeks or months, and I doubt the feeling will ever really go away, but I learned something that helps me feel better about it all.

It’s okay. It’s okay for me to be upset. It’s okay for me to feel down and out and tired of life in general. I know it’s a mental illness but I also know that there’s no real ‘end all’ cure. Like I said, it’ll probably be with me my whole life and in my case it’s not all consumming, so I think I can handle on my own for the most part.

It’s like a really pesky cat in my case. I should know, I own one. Sometimes it’ll do everything in it’s power to get my attention and most of the time I hand it over. I pet it and talk to it as it meows at me, but sorting it out tends to quite it down enough to take it’s attention off me a while. Other times, like now as I’m writing this for example, I have to push it aside to get this done. It’s tried to get my undivided attention, but I put on some chill music while I work. That seems to shut it up for a while and makes it like a cat sleeping on my lap or something akin to that.

After I’m finished this though, I’ll probably keep the music going while thinking on this whole thing on my own. Which is fine since I usually do that anyway, even when I’m out with friends or at meetings. Sometimes, I just need to stop and step away to sort it out. Again, it may take a while and I may not get it all done, but I’ll be good enough to make it the rest of the way. And I think that’s all I need at the end of the day.

Madison’s Struggle with Depression

I suffer from Depression, which is no news flash for anyone who knows me. I struggle every day with it, it is not something that will ever go away. I know that, and I’ve grown to accept it, so in a way I have it under control with just the acceptation. I’ll give you a definition on depression then I’ll get into a little more detail about what brought upon this topic.

Depression: a condition of general emotional dejection and withdrawal; sadness greater and more prolonged than that warranted by any objective reason.

I got this definition from Dictionary.com

I wanted to bring this topic to light because I have been struggling with my emotions lately, and it’s starting to drain me physically as well as emotionally. With people who have depression of any kind go through emotional detachment between them self and others or themselves and object/activity they enjoy. They may even withdraw from people or certain objects due to their emotional detachment. A big one for me is a loss in energy or motivation to do anything. There can be days where I don’t even have the motive to lay in bed, and all I want to do is disappear. Another one that I go through is feeling lost and alone even though I may have 2-200 people around me. Sometimes my emotions will get the best of me and I have thoughts. Thoughts about packing my stuff up and taking a trip no phone, not internet, nothing, and only telling family where I’m going and seeing how many people notice. Though that may be fun and relaxing that’s nothing more than a thought for two reasons. One: because I do not want to put my friends through that, two: I don’t want to know the answer. Depression can send your head through so many situations and put every day fears in you then times them by 10.

There are some pros that my depression has brought into my life. One of the pros in my depression are that I feel it has given me is empathy. I have a great sense of empathy for those around me, and with that it’s given me the strength to help and relate to others who are struggling, and the power to say you are not alone. The second pro is my friends, it’s given me a group of friends to relate to and confide in. And the biggest pro is me, I wouldn’t be me without my depression, nor would I be capable of being who I am at without going through the struggles I have.

What I am about to talk about is going to be a little touchy because it’s going to be of how I feel and act when I’m the middle of my depression, so I advise you to read with caution from here.

I go through what I call episodes where my depression affecting me the most  and then I have my highs which means I’m alright and then my lows where I’m not doing so well. My episodes only typically happen for a week maybe a week and a half at most before I reach out for help. Right now I’m sitting at my 12th week in a very bad low, my worst in a long time. This episode has taken over me emotionally, right now I feel like an empty shell with over bearing emotions that aren’t mine. Because of this it is causing paranoia, fear, desperation, OCD, and anger. I’ve been going through multiple anxiety attacks, yet I got it in my head that I cannot show it, because I’m afraid of being judged and it’s funny because the only one who would judge me is me. I was once told that we are our own worst critics. In many ways that is too true and I am afraid of letting myself down, I have been trying for so many years to prove to everyone around me that I am better then what I am now. I have pushed myself further than I ever thought possible, but not for the right reasons. I shouldn’t have had to prove I was better to anyone else but myself. My depression stems from a lot of my fears, my worries, my lack of self-worth, my lack of self-confidence, etc.… I don’t know how to correct it, but I have learn to live with the fact that I am better then what I think I am. People always tell me it will get better if you talk to someone, but what I don’t understand is how you are supposed to approach someone and go “hey I feel depressed today because I feel unimportant”. One if I say that to someone all there going to say back is that I am important to them, which is nice to hear don’t get me wrong but that not what I need to hear. But at the same time I don’t know what I want to hear. It’s funny cause I just said that my friends are a pro to my depression and in many ways they are, but sometimes I just feel that if I keep them in the dark I give them a better chances to let go of their emotions and help them deal with what their struggling with.

I have always been told I act older for my age when I’m having to deal with situations, yet every other time I act too young for my age and people always seem to wonder why. It’s simple that’s a wall I’ve had up since I was little, you can’t hurt someone who is already insulting themselves it takes the fun out of it. The same way how I always talk myself down, because no I’m not the smartest pea in the pod but you can’t talk me down when I’ve already said it myself. It is not a healthy way to live and I’m trying to break the habit just for the fact that I’m not a dumb women I can be smart if I tried but after being told that so many times it’s hard not to always believe that, but hey I’m still working on it and my boyfriend is calling me out on it. As well as a son that always tells me I’m beautiful, when I’m feeling down.

I apologize, I know it’s not really a blog it’s more just vomit of words and emotion, but to be honest I am feeling a bit better now that it is out. Feel free to leave any comment, concerns, questions anything I’d love to hear from you.

 

~Madison

IvyBelle Talks Depression

“Everybody feels these moments of sadness and moments of loss and sometimes I think everybody can relate to sitting alone and feeling like crap and a friend of yours comes up and starts like, you know, ‘come on, feel happy,’ and you don’t want that. Sometimes it’s alright to let yourself live in a moment and let yourself be upset about something and so that you can show yourself that regardless of how low you feel, you can always rise out of it, but not in that moment. And so the song ends with the lyric, ‘I believe we all fall down’ but I don’t say ‘but we get back up’. It’s just, sometimes you fall down and sometimes you feel low and that’s okay.”    – Andy Biersack
(in reference to the song Lost It All https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IE6HfvtX5g )

Talking about my experience with depression is hard. Ive been staring at this blank page for hours not sure where to start or what to say. I can say that it’s not something that is easy to talk about. I can’t really explain how it all started or what triggered it, because I don’t really know myself. All I know is that I was never really happy. If I was, it would maybe be a day or an hour and then I would just hit rock bottom again. It wasn’t that I was ungrateful, it’s just that it seems like I didn’t know how to be happy. It wasn’t a familiar feeling. Still today I’m not really sure if I will find true happiness one day. If I’ll actually wake up in the morning be happy about my job, not fight with my mom, not just sit and just feel sad or always be angry. Some days I worry that I’m going to lose my job because every day I become more and more aggressive. This filter that I once had doesn’t exist anymore. I see my manager’s reaction to what I say sometimes and I can tell she’s not too happy about it. I know if I keep this up, I won’t have a job soon.

Happiness is hard for me to find.I’ll be somewhere with a friend or family, and yet in the back of my mind, I just miss someone, or just want to sit at home and not do anything. I’ll be sad about something that happened years ago or I’ll just get irritated. My mom would bug me a bit and I would snap back even though I know shes joking, I just can’t control myself. Every time I move I keep telling myself, this time I’ll be happy! This time, my depression will go away. But the next day, sadness and anger comes back.

I didn’t really think much about the fact that I have depression until I looked up the symptoms of depression.  Theres days that I hear my alarm go off and I just roll over and try to ignore it-  but unfortunately, I need to pay my bills, rent, food, etc…  motivation is something that I lack big time! It’s something I struggle with. Im passionate about a lot of things but it hard for me to reach my goals, it’s a constant battle with myself. There’s days I wake up and just start crying, not wanting to get up, tired of hurting, tired of struggling. When I looked up on google the symptoms of depression this is what I found:

What Are Symptoms of Depression?

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, symptoms of depression may include the following:

  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
  • Fatigue and decreased energy
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
  • Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
  • Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
  • Irritability, restlessness
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex ( Depending on person )
  • Overeating or appetite loss
  • Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment, etc…
  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings
  • Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts

Source:   http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/detecting-depression

When I read the symptoms it definitely helped me understand why I was/am being the way I was/am. Ive heard that you can take medication and I’ve tried it, but it didn’t really work for me. Ive had therapy, it made me feel better for that one hour. I told myself that one day ill be able to walk out of there with a smile and be “fixed”. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. Ive had therapy for 3 years and I don’t regret it. My therapist was great, taught me things about life, and made me understand things that I didn’t know before. Helped me be wiser. When I told people I was in therapy they would look at me like I’m crazy or like I’m mental. I had to tell my friends that I had therapy because I kept telling them that I had a doctor’s appointment every 2 weeks and they thought it was weird until I told them that I wasn’t actually going to see a doctor.

“Here is the tragedy: when you are the victim of depression, not only do you feel utterly helpless and abandoned by the world, you also know that very few people can understand, or even begin to believe, that life can be this painful.” – Giles Andreae

One of the feeling I hate is feeling helpless. You see a friend or family member hurting and you feel bad, you want to take their pain away but at the same time you feel awkward because you’re not sure what to do. That’s when the feeling of being helpless comes in. I can sit here and be someone’s therapist – give advice cause in that moment I’m not thinking about me, Im thinking about someone else’s issues. Sometimes I think that I’m not worth it. When I’m in a relationship I tell myself “why is he even with me? Im broken, I’m depressed and lost.” Even my friends, I wonder why they are even my friends. All I do is either talk about my problems or I shut them out. I feel like I shouldn’t be talking about my problems because I feel like I’m a burden or sometimes I feel like they will judge me even though they don’t. It can be really frustrating.

Some days I go without eating or I’ll over eat… but then when I look in the mirror I keep seeing that I’ve gained weight and I tell myself that I’m ugly. Some days I’ll get irritated about little things or everything and it just cuts my appetite. Food is not the only reason why I’ve gained weight, it’s also because of how stressed and depressed I’ve been. Every night I try to go for walks, try to just forget everything by listening to music when it’s late and quiet out. I don’t really do it to get in shape. I do it because I need to get away from everything.

Sleep is my only safe haven. It’s the only place where 80% of the time I can have dreams and be happy without anyone telling me what to do or judge me. A place where I don’t have to worry about work, people, money, my depression, thinking about self-harm, all that goes away and that’s why I like to sleep. I love to sleep. Most of the time I can sleep for more than 12 hours and yet I still want to sleep. Even though I like sleeping, sometimes I hate it. When nightmares come around it’s a painful time, I can’t wake up from it until it’s done. Whatever feeling I have, injury or etc., I feel the pain when I wake up. For example if I get stabbed in my nightmare, when I wake up I will feel the pain exactly where I got stabbed. Waking up is a relief at that point except for the pain. However, when I have dreams waking up is painful because it reminds me of that everything was just a dream. Sometimes the hardest thing is to wake up after a nightmare and feel like you’re also living a nightmare. Some days I can’t sleep or I don’t want to sleep. Too many things are on my mind or I’m scared of what the night holds for me. I’ll go to bed crying not sure why, just this heavy feeling in my chest.

“There are many who don’t wish to sleep for fear of nightmares. Sadly, there are many who don’t wish to wake for the same fear.”

― Richelle E. Goodrich, Dandelions: The Disappearance of Annabelle Fancher

Over the years, I lost interest in all the things I was passionate about. Still today even though I love music, acting and writing, I seem to have loss interest, motivation for. When I was a kid, that’s all I cared about. Told myself I would be in the showbiz but today I’m 24 and Im just working in a store full time and trying to finish college. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still something I want to do – sing, act, write, but I struggle with getting out of bed. I don’t sing, play piano, write poetry, or act anymore. For someone who struggles with depression it’s really hard. We often get told that we’re lazy, we don’t care enough, that we expect people to just hand it out to us and honestly, hearing that frustrates us.

I’d love to be able to say it gets better, but unfortunately it doesn’t happen for everyone.X Some people never truly get over depression. I, myself am still struggling with depression but it doesn’t mean you will never feel that moment of happiness. It doesn’t mean that no one will get over depression- some people overcome it and others keep fighting. Depression doesn’t make you crazy, worthless or unloved; it makes you resilient. If you need help or support, don’t be afraid to ask for it.

Stay strong. Stay you. Stay beautiful. Keep fighting.
Ivybelle – XOX –

Howie’s Opinion in Depression.

Hey blog readers, it’s me Howie Defranco and today’s topic is going to be all about depression.  Depression to me at least is a very personal subject and not in the sense that I went through a great depression of my own, but in the fact I see it as different for everyone.  When you look at it, it’s a wide variety of causes that can bring a person to this state as well as different emotions that go along with it.  People who go through it can experience different sets of these emotions and go through different experiences because of it.  I guess the point I’m trying to get across is I view depression as each persons own personal cage and unless someone’s experience is exactly the same it’s almost impossible to compare.  Anyways I’m going to talk about my own personal past story a bit, that lead me to my personal state of depression.   Before we get into that though let us start with a little more discussion of the causes of it and the emotions associated with it.  I know, we all want to get straight to the big juicy steak but we got to eat our vegetables first or these blogs will stray from the way I want them.

So the causes of depression, basically speaking I feel can be summed up in nine main categories that would have too many sub categories to list.  We’re going to start with the grieving of a loved one as depression is one of the major stages associated with it, it’s very easy with the stress and sadness to fall into depression.  As in some cases it can come as a shock to the system putting you into a more receptive state for depression.  Then you have abuse, mental, physical, sexual, emotional, doesn’t matter which, they can all not only be the direct causes of depression but can make you much more susceptible to other causes.  Such as substance abuse, that’s right those of you who partake in it not only can it take the edge off, it can put the edge on.  In the same breath though some medication you get from a doctor can lead to depression and major depression disorders, you really should read those side effects more often.
Genetics is the next cause as a history of depression in your family means a good chance you will end up depressed in life as well.   It’s not just our genetics though as the biology of someone with depression has been shown to be slightly different then those of someone not in the state.  For example, the hippocampus a part of the brain that receives the serotonin your body produces which is a neurotransmitter that affects the brains mood.  Essentially it helps you be happier if you receive more. Anyways that’s enough of the science stuff let’s get back to the causes.   We were at number five as I count genetics and biology as scientific causes for depression.
Not to say the other ones aren’t scientifically proven just that those ones are the inside the body causes of what can actually cause it.  You can’t say the others aren’t as we’re coming to some of the biggest causes, ahem, conflict: fights with friends, with family.  If you have a big enough blow out or they say the wrong thing it goes to far and your personal relationship becomes your biggest stressor putting you into a state of depression.  This also goes another way though as the stress that comes from major life events can actually cause you depression and I don’t just mean the bad ones, I mean the good ones.  Like getting married, having a child, losing a job, moving etc as sometimes they send big enough shocks to the system to just shut you down, isolate you and make you feel lost.  Depression can both co exist or be caused by a serious illness or other mental disorders, you don’t have to think hard for examples, for one anything where the doctor sets the clock at how much longer you’ll live.  Finally other personal problems which include isolation, rejection, even just something as simple as a relationship status.
That brings us to the emotions caused by depression, which is why I particularly feel depression is very personal.  Depression is a very versatile state of mind and if your sitting there reading this and going it just means there sad, well buster you don’t know jack. It’s a mixture of any of these emotions and sometimes all of them, anger, sadness, hopelessness, loneliness, aimlessness, laziness and tiredness (these two are very different by the way), anxiety, self loathing and recklessness.  Take that puberty there’s a new ball of confusion in town and it destroys you little by little.  It feels like life, the world, even your loved ones would be better off with out you.
Well that was the vegetables I guess it’s time for the main dish, if you read my first blog this is one of the reasons I listen to music so much.  This story is all about the major event that caused me to go through my own bout of depression as if I added everything from beginning to end I’d have nothing to talk about in future blogs.
Enough delays, it all started a long time ago in a school far, far, away, well 20 minutes if you walk.  I was a grade 9 straight A student and yes I was the guy who sat there in class never studied and always had not only the in class assignment but the homework for that night done before he left school unless it required a lot of work.  I was in band class learning to play the saxophone, she was a clarinet player who sat in front of me.  Her and others names for purposes of privacy have been changed, for example she is Sarah (props to anyone who guesses the reference here) I really liked her and she was in my science class at the time as well and we were ok friends.  She started complimenting me a lot, saying I was a good judge of character and that I was really smart and nice because I helped anyone in the class that asked me.  I really started to like this girl a lot but I had a lot of confidence issues and didn’t want to tell her how I felt.  Those issues stemming partly from the fact I’d been rejected by my elementary school crush in grade 7, that was a debacle in its own right.
That’s not the story to tell right now though, we come to grade 10.  I guess before I go any further I should say in high school I never wore anything but sweatpants and am a bit overweight.  I decided I was gonna ask her out but then Hans this foreign student who had just come to our school beat me too it.  I hated him for it but decided to try to just become better friends with her, as the months went on that’s what happened I was as good a guy as I could be to her and he was a rude, arrogant, scumbag.  I’d find her often crying at lunch or over text because he was doing something upsetting her.  I understand in a relationship it’s normal to fight, it’s normal to get upset but to the extent was horrible.
Grade 11 I decided if she didn’t want to leave him there was nothing I could do about it, but I couldn’t stop thinking about her.  By this point mostly anyone else who know me knew how I felt, it’s something that is important to the later part of grade 11.  December came and went and things were getting worse between them, this guy was yelling at her over the dumbest things like putting his bag on the floor in the cafeteria or the fact her hands were pale.  Whenever it came to the point where she’d talk to us about it I’d never told her to break up with him because I was afraid that would reflect badly.  So I always told her she needs to stand up to him and say it isn’t right and that we’d, me and her other friends would be there if she was nervous.  At the very least that she should talk to him, at this point though trying to help her save a relationship i was hoping would end drove me up the wall.
I felt like I was losing my mind, that my heart was trying to drive me insane and that’s why it chose to like her and care so much for her.  I walked in one morning in February about an hour before school as I liked getting there early and sitting to listen to tunes.  There she is, at my spot crying her eyes out ” everyone’s going to be so happy he finally dumped me” she said sobbing.  He actually dumped her because “she wasn’t enough of his culture” and he started dating someone of that culture two weeks before this.  I gave her space after this, in the sense that I was there for her as a friend and didn’t dare make a move.  Then of course one of the people who knew went and told her how I felt, I wanted to punch that person so much.  Instead of waiting for things to get awkward or for her to come to me, on April 3rd 2012 I go and kamikaze myself.  I told her how I felt and Sarah said exactly this “yeah a few other guys have said that to me this week.”  Then she just kind of looked at me smiled and I walked away feeling like I got hit with a baseball bat.  She blew it off like my feelings everything I did for her, to make her just smile meant nothing.
We didn’t talk the next couple months, I became very lazy at school and started to feel incredibly lonely.  I knew I had friends there for me but it didn’t matter I couldn’t see past my own self pity and loathing for liking her in the first place.  I left school early every day, became a loud mouth in class just to get attention, and wore sunglasses inside a lot to hide my red eyes on the days I cried.  I didn’t want to do anything I even had my mom call and say I was sick somedays and I just stayed at home in bed. The summer started and I almost did something looking back on now I would’ve regretted, I was going to take a razor to my wrists tear up as far as I could on my arm and rip the veins out with it.  Which of course I never did.
Things got better over that summer I started getting back to being me and in grade 12 her and I started talking again, we tried being friends.  Also I started to like Hans he turned out to be a not so bad guy after all of course she hated him now.  That year was emotionally charged for me both from bad and good influences I mean it’s the final year of high school how could it not have been.  Sarah started dating another guy and I went on to be friend zoned by like 5 different girls that year.  Then prom came her boyfriend couldn’t come as Karl was in a younger grade and well I think it’s quite obvious my date was named nobody.  She and I oddly enough ended up spending most of the night dancing together.  Then her parents shipped her off to Kamloops.
It wasn’t till about a week later I found this out, the next year we spent texting back and forth a lot.  As all of this was going on my grades started slipping, I started just not working, I even failed a class.  I lost basically all but three of my friends from high school because of another person who will no doubt be the centre of a future blog.  I just felt like it was hopeless I didn’t have her I put all my determination into trying to be the guy for her and I failed.  I failed to even get a date, and not one of the girls I met since either which just contributed to the utter lack of confidence and complete self loathing.
She got a job got her own apartment with a roommate, broke up with karl and was doing ok but was really lonely.  I figured this was my last chance to show her I’m the right guy and in the August of 2015 I went out to visit her, spent money I didn’t have and spilled my heart out.  She flat out just said were better as friends, I accepted this left her and came home.  We continued to text back and forth.  Over that summer I decided that I had enough of failing myself, made a couple more friends, was more social with the friends I already had and at work.  Was going to give it my all at school too, and then Sarah just stopped talking to me.  I was trying to find out if she had this thing I wanted to get her for her birthday, but 2 months and 5 different attempts to talk to her later, I had to accept that she was just done with me.  Then I found out she moved back here and I was heart broken as it was during the time I was just trying to talk to her.  I didn’t even get a hi or let’s grab lunch.
Nope I was just cut out and rejected like an appendix before it explodes and infects the person it resides in.  The saddest part being she knows, everyone knows I would never do anything to hurt her, or anything creepy, or that I would continue past that point I told her even that night I told her everything.  That I was fine with that but that I had to try one last time. After that, I basically gave up on school as I had no drive for it at all and am currently still in a state where I don’t even suggest I’m good enough to be something more than I am in this life, mind you now it’s become more a question of what to do with my life.  I became bitter and aggressive towards my customers at work although not so much anymore.  This time at the very least I had real friends whose shoulders I leaned on without crying as I did enough crying over her the first time was my mindset.
I know that it’s hard maybe to see how it all links together, if you were to meet me in person, I feel I could convey this story better and show just how much it pains me to remember Sarah.  Unfortunately this is just some words on a page and I’m not an author, I’m a speaker.  If you feel this way, I’ll tell you right now and yes it’s going to sound like fortune cookie talk here but life goes on.  You don’t have to be over it in 5 minutes, this for me has lasted years and I truly think I’m just starting to be myself again truly.  Just remember just because there might be a stumble, a fall along the way doesn’t mean you can’t get to the finish.
Bibliography
 “Causes of Depression: Genetics, Illness, Abuse, and More.” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 13 Sept. 2015.
 “Depression Symptoms and Warning Signs.” Depression Symptoms & Warning Signs: How to Recognize Depression Symptoms and Get Effective Help. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Sept. 2015.

Marie Olsson Talks about Depression

“I think one thing is that anybody who’s had to contend with mental illness – whether it’s depression, bipolar illness or severe anxiety, whatever – actually has a fair amount of resilience in the sense that they’ve had to deal with suffering already, personal suffering.” –Kay Redfield Jamison

I am Bipolar type II. It is a form of depression and it is something I am learning how to live with. My experience with depression will differ from others; but no one’s experience is the same.

When I think of depression I don’t think of writing on symptoms and how I know I have depression or how to spot it. I think of the endless questions I encounter when someone finds out I am depressed. I think it’s best suited for my blog to be on some of the most common questions I get asked. I could go on for hours but I’ll sum it up in just a few.

“You’re just lazy.”

Sure ok I may seem like I’m just being lazy, but to me it feels like I’ve just ran 12 kilometers and you are asking me to run another 10 kilometers. For me this is a constant feeling that does not pass, it’s with me when I wake until I go to bed and is there again as soon as I wake up the next day. I may have the day or couple hours where I feel like I want to do something and want to get up, get dressed look pretty and go out, but that never lasts long. I cannot remember a time when I woke up and wanted to do something even two times in the same week, let alone two days in a row. So yeah it may take me longer to start my day or gain the will to go do a task but I feel like I have no motivation or any energy to start the task.

“It’s not that hard to get up in the morning.”

When I go to get up in the morning my whole body feels like it’s made of molasses, my blankets feel like an indescribable amount of weight on top of me, and it feels like I haven’t actually slept at all. Yes I should fight harder, yes I could try something different, yes I know it impacts things, yes I know it messes up my schedule, and yes I know it’s an unnecessary evil. However I do not need to hear you tell me things I already know, I already struggle with. I hear these words and it doesn’t help; if anything it makes things worse.

A lot of people I know who struggle with depression say that sleeping is their safe place, their escape from their never ending nightmare. But for me it feels as though my nightmares never end, with my bipolar when I am awake and night terrors while I am asleep it wears me out. I wake up feeling just as tired, if not more so, then when I went to sleep. It took me years to come to terms with the fact that I am dependent on my mother even to this day when I have a really bad night terror. Some nights I wake up having a panic attack and cannot breathe, the only thing that can soothe me is curling up with someone I love and trust. I hate knowing that at night I can never be truly independent, I will probably always have to rely on knowing there is someone I trust nearby that I can go to if I need them. The only time sleeping is my escape is when I am sleeping beside someone and it’s sad; but over time I have grown fond of knowing that I have an escape and that only those I love and care for can help me achieve it. So yes it’s hard for me to wake up in the morning, yes I’m grumpy and lethargic; but at least I am trying to get up.

“So you self-harm?”

No I do not; yes they can be linked but just because I am depressed does not mean I self-harm, that is not an outlet I am using. Not everyone who is depressed self-harms, so please do not put those two together.

“It just takes time”

How much time? Is there a magical number of hours, days, weeks, months, or years that I have to deal with this and then it just goes away?

“You’ll find happiness when you find someone.”

My happiness is not dependent on another human being, thanks. I need to be happy being me, and be accepting of who I am before I can find happiness with another. No that does not mean I need to be cured, it just means I need to accept that some days I may struggle more with my moods then others.

“Others have it worse than you.”

Is life a competition? By that idea plenty of people have it better too. This point it irrelevant for many reasons. One reason is everyone is different, we all handle situations differently. Things that really affect me could not affect you nearly as much; but on the other hand it could also be completely reversed.

“Just smile.”

If I do not want to smile I won’t. You are not helping anyone by telling someone to smile. Maybe I don’t feel like smiling but I am happy. Even if I am not happy I shouldn’t have to plaster on a fake smile to please others, unless I am at work that’s another story. As long as I am not growling at you or bawling my eyes out the fact that I am not smiling should be the least of your concern. I cannot think of a reason you should tell me to smile unless I am having my photo taken, so please keep that input to yourself. Yes, jokingly it is fine but I do not need to hear it in a serious manner or from someone I hardly know.

“Stop feeling sorry for yourself.”

“Depression isn’t about, ‘Woe is me, my life is this, that and the other’, it’s like having the worst flu all day that you just can’t kick.” –Robbie Williams

Robbie Williams sums it up perfectly in my opinion. Depression is not about feeling sorry for yourself, that’s not depression. I often find when people think of depression they think of a temporary period of time of suffering; however I find it is more of a constant weight on my shoulders, just some days are worse than others. Depression is not about anything and it is not stuck to a certain amount of time, it has no concept of boundaries. Depression is a state of feeling lost, a feeling of floating through dark clouds.

Depression is not a word to throw around lightly.
Depression cannot be summed up in an article or a blog.
Depression is not the same for everyone.
Depression is not something someone likes to answer endless questions on.
Depression is not fun.
Depression is depression.

Stay Loud, Stay Proud and Keep on Being You Lovies,
Marie Olsson xx

For More Information:

On Depression: http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/detecting-depression

On Bipolar type II: http://www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/guide/bipolar-2-disorder

Madison Opinion on Depression

hey first things first I’ll be giving you a brief definition that I got off of Dictionary.com. Then alittle about my opinion, with alittle back story about me :). Then it’s alittle bit about breaking some common stereotypes.

Depression: a depression so severe as to be considered abnormal,either because of no obvious environmental causes, or because thereaction to unfortunate life circumstances is more intense or prolongedthan would generally be expected.

When it comes to depression every one goes through it diffrently and there are so many diffrent kinds of depression. I’ve struggeled with depression for majority of my life, it hasn’t been easy but I’ve been able to get through it. I know for me It come in episodes where I may have a couple really good days then it’s like a switch had been flipped. I don’t know how exactly to describe it but I feel every empty, I alway feel lonely even if there people around, and there times where I just cry, and when I cry I can’t undersand why. the feeling of depression can very from mild to exstrem that it’s hard to stand back from. I know people tell me all the time that “I’ll grow out of it.” but sadly I know I wont. It has gotten better through the years, I have been through alot of doctors to help train myself how to better control it. But it’s still is apart of me and a strong part of who I am. I’m also really proud to have made it this far in my life because it’s also the part that keep me motivated, when I stop to think about where I’ve come from and where I’ve been I do not want to go back to that place so I push forward.

Next thing I want to talk about are some of the stereotypes.

Depression is only dictated by life circumstances.

  • Not all depression come from life circumstances, some can be but that does not mean everyone with a life chaning event is now going to struggle with depresson. Depression is caused by a cemical imbalence in your brain.

People who experience depression aren’t mentally strong.

  • weather you have depression or not it doesn’t determine weither or not you are strong or weak. Just like how someone with out depression can be mentally strong or weak. It all goes down to the person in a hole not a lable or a stigma.

Everyone with depression takes medication

  • I didn’t take anymeds for mine. That comes down to the person again, some people need medication and some people don’t. whatever you feels right for you is what your going to do. I wanted to try working it out on my own before consulting medication, but hey that’s just me.

I hope you guys liked my blog. Leave a comment down below if you have any questions or comments. I love hearing from you guys.

~You Always Have A Choice~

-Madison Taylor

Brian’s Take on Depression

Depression is one thing I think no one should go through alone. It’s terrifying and deadly, depression as we all know will kill a lot of people. We often feel alone and upset; some of us feel physical pain, emotional pain, and don’t want to wake up in the morning or do anything because it just upsets us. To be honest I battle with depression and it sucks. There are days where I want to not wake up and just sleep, as well as not leave my house but I have to force myself to get up and leave. I realized when you stay in an area for a long time and isolate yourself you will go  insane at times, I personally did and it was the worst feeling ever.

I love being alone most of my times don’t get me wrong; but when I do it all the time it haunts me because I’m isolated in my own thoughts and those thoughts are scary. The things that I was going through in my life and the current situation I’m facing right now has its ups and downs. Sadly I have grown to accept that depression is something that I can’t get over and don’t know if I ever will. All I can do from my experience is do something everyday to keep myself occupied and stay busy whether that’s through working out, playing soccer, or even work in general.

One thing for sure is that you are not as alone as you think you are, there is a lot of people out the in the world that are dealing with depression. We can fight it by talking to a councilor, a close friend, or even a family member. When you talk out what you feel it’s better than holding it in because what happens next is you’re going to explode and regret the things you did. We all have a story and you’re lucky because your struggle and past will change a life. You can over come depression by not letting it get to you and live the life you want to live.

– Brian O’Connor

Ivybelle Opinion Piece on Self Harm

Self-Harm is a very touchy subject to a lot of people. It has been around for years and yet people don’t really understand why people do it or don’t really understand that there is more than one type of self-harm. There’s mutilation, burning, too much food or not enough, there’s drugs/alcohol, there’s lack of sleep or too much, and many more. A person doesn’t always realize what they do to themselves. People who starve themselves or have lack of sleep don’t realize that they are harming themselves because they think it’s a normal thing and that it doesn’t hurt their body.

The first thing people thing a person will think when mentioning “Self-Harm” is cutting or burning themselves. Self-Harm can not only be caused by a mental issue but also from bullying, harassment, Abuse, etc.. It can really push someone into harming themselves. Self-Harm is something that I know very well. I myself have struggled with it for years, mine was a combined of different harms including; mutilation, lack of sleep, lack of food and at some point I wanted to turn to burning myself. Not a lot of people knew because I didn’t want anyone to know. I was scared that they would tell my mom or they would make fun of me or send me into a hospital.

The first time I ever tried self-harm I was 10. When I was 10 years old, I got bullied really badly. I got called every name in the book, physically abused, people made fun of me because my mom was deaf and a girl started a petition of who wanted me dead. Eventually I started starving myself. Not only because I was being called ugly and fat, but because my mom was poor and couldn’t always afford to buy food. I stopped eating and I was afraid to tell anyone about the situations I was going through.

In gym class one day I blacked out and the gym teachers didn’t do anything. I thought to myself maybe no one actually cares about me after all. At that moment I didn’t really want to live anymore. With the years I just got the habit of starving myself without realizing that I was actually self-harming myself. I thought it was normal I didn’t think I was harming myself. When I was younger, sleep was not something that I would allow myself at times. The abuse I went through since I was 5 caused me to be paranoid and cause a serious trauma. I would stay awake for weeks and I would start having physical pain. Like cramps, headaches, my eyes would hurt, I was emotionally drained and eventually it didn’t matter anymore because I allowed my body to suffer because of my fear. With time, I didn’t have to force myself to stay up anymore and I wouldn’t get any physical pain because I got used to it. I didn’t realize the damage I was causing to my body.

In high school I was finally told by an old friend told me that cutting was a way for her to release pain and it felt good. I tried it and that’s what I turned to… I did it for many reasons. One of them was to focus my pain physically and forget the pain emotionally. I hated the feeling of pain. So instead I would focus on the physical pain because it was only temporary. Another reason as well, was because I felt ugly. I was bullied for years and people would always call me ugly, fat, useless, they said that nobody loved me even my mom. Eventually I believe it. Self-Harm was a way for me to express how I felt on the inside to match the outside. Another reason was that I became addicted to the pain. The pain felt good, It made me feel alive again.

When go through a lot of emotional pain and bottle it up, you eventually become numb. It’s like it becomes too much mentally and emotionally and you forget that you are even alive because eventually you don’t feel the pain of cutting or burning or any other type of self-harm. After cutting wasn’t enough for me, I wanted so badly to try burning myself. I came close to doing it until I got caught by a friend and gave me a speech about how self-harm wasn’t the way to deal with situations. At that point, bullying wasn’t the only problem. There was family issues as well. But then I thought to myself maybe I should just stick to cutting along with the other things I was doing to myself. See, even though people tell you to not harm yourself, it’s something that is not easy to stop.

Often you think to yourself that no one understands your pain, that they don’t really care about you, that they say it out of pity or that they would feel responsible if something happened to you. You think that you are alone, that you will never get through your problems that the easiest way to deal with it is self-harm to the point that you kill yourself or even become numb. Sometimes you would like to wear a t-shirt or shorts but you can’t because you don’t want people to judge you on the battle wounds you have or you feel too ugly because of the scars, yet you can’t seem to stop. It’s a way to relief yourself, a “home”, an addiction, your therapy.

A lot of people won’t understand why you do it. And really, it’s not something that’s easy to explain unless you go through it. Often people who self-harm are being called weak, stupid and even “useless”. I’ve heard that one many times,but it’s not. People who self-harm are a lot stronger than people think. They go through a lot and don’t know how to deal with it. It’s so easy to be judged. Not everyone has the courage to take a blade, knife, razor, etc… To their skin without thinking without crying and doing it over and over again.

Often people tells us that we are attention-whores, or we are a sad excuse. Sometimes were are just looking for people to pity us. That would wouldn’t be harming ourselves if we really wanted to end ourselves. However sometimes, people who starve/over eat, use drugs/alcohol, etc… Don’t realize they are harming themselves, so how can they be looking for attention- not everyone has money to get therapy. A lot of doctors would say that you need medication or therapy, but honestly, we don’t need therapy or medication to make us feel crazy. We need someone to give us a hug and tell us we will be okay and that we aren’t crazy. We need a true friend who won’t betray us, and no one wants to be a medication because they just think we are crazy and that medication will make people stop harming themselves.

Self-harm is a very vulnerable thing to admit and to talk about. Schools don’t really talk about it anymore. People choose to close their eyes instead of getting them some help. More and more people are turning to those releases because it’s the only thing that can make them feel free in a way. Today’s society is making us more and more depressed because of the standards or being “beautiful“ or  making us so stressed out that we feel like there is no way out. Today, I still struggling with self-harm. I’ve stopped for a couple years and every day is another day that I am struggling to not get into it again. It’s not easy. When I see a knife, the temptation is there. There’s morning and lunches that I skip eating and there are days that I force myself to stay up. It’s a battle that I keep fighting but I tell myself that I have to stay strong.

So remember people, stay strong. You are beautiful and it does get better. Don’t be afraid to get help. You are not crazy, you are just going through pain that is overwhelming and hard to deal with. You will get through it. Stay strong. Stay Beautiful. – Ivybelle – Xx