Mental Health • Depression Is Happiness

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“Depression is not robotic. You can still express a genuine smile; you jut may cherish it more.”

Depression changes more than who you are. It changes the people around you.

Your supportive family panics.

They ask you to comfort their racing minds. They want to hear you say you’re fine and everything’s back to normal – even if they know it’s not.

Your friends don’t know you anymore.

They sigh when you pass on a night of drinking and like everyone else, they just want to pat you on the back and tell you it will blow over.

Your job is slipping from your control.

You can’t devote your hectic mind to 8 hours of concentration a day. You can’t accumulate enough vacation hours to sacrifice when the illness numbs your body and your bed holds you hostage.

You live your days in frustration and judgment.

You live misunderstood. And the days you don’t feel those feelings. The days your mind doesn’t strangle you – are the days you’re a shell. You don’t feel anything at all.

Depression is the inability to be who you are.

You want to be the one with the kind heart.

You want people to watch as you achieve big things and concur life flawlessly.

You want to wear a permanent smile and see the good in people’s eyes – not pity. It sounds so easy. Anyone could be happy if they let themselves. But it’s not that easy, and it takes losing simple happiness to understand it.

Depression is not suicidal.

It doesn’t paint purple bags beneath your eyes or leave your wrists scared with self-loath. There’s no rain cloud over your head or a mandatory all-black dress code. You don’t spend your days choking on tears with makeup stained cheeks.

Depression isn’t an Instagram caption, proclaiming sadness about a broken heel and it isn’t an opportunity to incorporate self-pity into casual conversation. Depression isn’t robotic. You can still express a genuine smile; you just may cherish it more.

Depression shows you the dark to remind you there’s light.

It knocks you down so you can learn how to stand. It opens your mind so you can survive the closed world and it makes you strong so you forget you were weak.

Depression is pushing against the wind that keeps pushing back. Its resistance hitting you cold in the face.

It’s reading your life on paper, the words resemble a script, telling the story of a character in a desirable life. It’s sitting by the water, a Caribbean drink in hand while your mood still sings like a twisted Beetles song. It’s as agonizing as a broken arm, threatening to restrict day-to-day movements.

Depression is happiness.

It’s not sadness. It’s intelligence. It’s wanting more from life. It’s wanting more from yourself. It’s wanting what you don’t have. It’s wanting what you don’t yet know.


This image was illustrated in collaboration with Lemon Chicken Por Favor

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BEING Young & Twenty Submission • Ashleigh

BEING Young & Twenty Submission • Ashleigh

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Ashleigh Davis
The Story Of Ashleigh Davis
Age • 20

“It’s time to think for yourself. Defend yourself and be the best that you can be.”

As I wrote this I thought, “what if my life isn’t as put together as other twenty-year-olds”? I don’t really know what I’m doing with my life as it is. But when I did my research and read other submissions, I realized, we aren’t meant to have our life together yet.

BEING Young & Twenty is a strange age to be. You aren’t quite an adult but you aren’t a child either. The reality is, nobody knows what they’re doing and that’s okay.

It’s time to think for yourself. Defend yourself and be the best that you can be.

There are many positives and negatives that you’ll experience throughout your teens and this will impact HUGELY on the person you become. Life is too short to stress, so take it with a pinch of salt and enjoy BEING Young & Twenty.

You’ll do fine. I know it.

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Love & Lust • Fate Has No Patience

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“I continue to lose you as I fight an impossible battle, but as fate has promised – this will one day make sense.”

I wasn’t ready to love you when I met you.

There wasn’t anything you couldn’t said – or anything you could’ve done. You gave me the chance to have you. You gave me the opportunity to miss you. You gave me nights alone, looking at my bed, without you there.

You gave me time to decide.

Time to open my arms – but I didn’t.

I couldn’t.

We were lost. Our chance was missed. Our hands untied.

Timing is everything, and time worked against us.

I left us to fate, and fate has no patience. No hesitance. No “we’ll see how it goes.” No mercy on the love letters or the people who sign them. Fate gives you a box of tools and the hands to use them. Gives you people to love and the hands to hold them.

I continue to lose you as I fight an impossible battle, but as fate has promised – this will one day make sense. And so, I continue to look at the door and hope you’ll walk in – so we can meet, again.


This image was illustrated in collaboration with Lemon Chicken Por Favor

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BEING Young & Twenty Submission • Cameron

BEING Young & Twenty Submission

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Cameron Jull
Cameron Jull
Age • 20

“I’ve finally learned how to accept myself, despite going through years of insecurity and low self-esteem.”

BEING Young & Twenty means a lot of things.

It means moving out of the house you’ve always called home. It’s making decisions like getting married, starting a family, and finding a career. It’s sorting out your bills and dealing with responsibilities.

Being the pessimistic teenager I was, I was scared.

“What should I expect from being 20?”

I since discovered the answer to my own question.

BEING Young & Twenty doesn’t always mean deadlines, mortgages or what day the bins go out. It means maturing. It means making mistakes and learning from them. It means spending time with your family and friends, and making sure you’re happy.

I’ve grown a lot since I turned 20. I’m happier than I was during my adolescence.

I feel free.

I’ve made mistakes and I’ve learned from them. I’ve learned how to accept myself, despite going through years of insecurity and low self-esteem.

I don’t know how the next 10 years will go. No one does.

BEING Young & Twenty is about having the time of your life.

So, live. Write a story worth telling.

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BEING Young & Twenty Submission • Kirsty

BEING Young & Twenty Submission • Kirsty

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Kirsty Thomson
Kirsty Ann Thomson
Age • 23

 I want to own my own home within the next few years, but I also want to be able to do at least one decent push-up!”

When I was younger, I didn’t have a very high opinion of myself.

I wasn’t worthy of having nice hair, nice clothes, a nice boyfriend. The error of judgement meant that I spent NO time or money on my most important investment – which is, myself.

This year, I decided I was taking time for me.

I was going to take the time to paint my nails, even if that meant the dishes don’t get done straight away. I like how put together I feel with a fresh manicure. I’m going to go to yoga, because it’s something I’ve always wanted to try, and I like having an hour away from my phone. I was also going to invest a little more in the clothes that I buy.

I may have fewer things now than ever before, but, I’m madly in love with every piece knowing that the fit is great and most importantly- it makes me feel great.

I’m also making a conscious effort to appreciate the small things- a really crisp sunny day and a long lie in bed to name a few.

It may only be February but I’m already reaping the benefits of my new mindset. I feel like I’m a woman who can. I can chase my dreams, no matter how big or small! For example, I want to own my own home within the next few years, but I also want to be able to do at least one decent push-up!

I feel like I’m a woman who can. I can chase my dreams, no matter how big or small! For example, I want to own my own home within the next few years, but I also want to be able to do at least one decent push-up!

BEING Young & Twenty is about taking time for yourself to figure out what makes you happy and going for it.

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