I was on homecoming court in high school.
Everyone knew I would be,
I knew I would be.
I was on prom court in high school.
Everyone could have guessed that I would be.
When I tried on my dress in the boutique,
I told a girl, whom I had been chatting with,
“Good luck finding a dress!”
As I walked out, she quietly replied,
“Good luck winning prom queen…”
I do not think I was supposed to hear that,
It was not spoken to me,
It was spoken to her mother,
I have been arrested before,
I have spent twenty-four hours in jail,
I had three tickets.
I had to pay around eight hundred and fifty dollars in fees.
I cried to my brother on the phone about it all when I was released,
And to my ex-boyfriend in person,
Because I could not bring myself to tell my parents yet.
I was captain of the swim team in high school.
I was the fastest person on the team for a while,
Because I used to compete in USA swimming.
Then I was just the fastest girl on the team,
I dated the captain of the wrestling team in high school,
AKA the football star,
The classic jock;
The kid who teachers loved,
Girls crushed on,
And guys were scared of.
I had eating disorders.
I was bulimic and anorexic,
And part of that was from swimming,
And part of that was from him,
And part of that was from me,
And that is a part of me now.
I am a happy person,
I am a very positive person.
I have a wonderful outlook on life,
And people often tell me,
That they admire that about me.
I have amazing friends and family.
I have been blessed with the people who surround me.
They carry me,
And when I can,
I carry them.
They are my heart.
I was depressed my freshman year of college.
Not at first,
Not in the fall,
But in the spring.
And I do not know why.
And there does not have to be a reason,
But my personality will always look for a reason.
I found one in birth control.
Because the number one symptom of the birth control,
That I had just started on that spring,
Was clinical depression.
My mom pointed that out.
Then I did research,
Because I like researching.
And she told me to stop taking the pills,
And to drink water,
Lots and lots and lots of water.
To flush it out of my system.
To physically flush depression out of me.
So I drank lots of water,
And I fought through it.
I dragged myself to my classes,
And I sat in them,
And I made myself talk to my neighbors.
Because I am a social person,
I love people,
I love communication.
So I raised my hand,
And I answered questions,
And I forced myself to be better.
And my best friend would ask me how I am doing,
And I hated it when she would ask,
Because it was embarrassing.
I hated it when my parents would ask me,
Because it was embarrassing.
Because I had to let people in,
And that is terrifying to me.
Terrifying to anyone,
But I did it,
Because I love them,
And because they love me.
They pulled me out of depression,
And I pulled myself out of depression.
And I am scared to take birth control now.
And every time I go to my OBGYN or go to get tested,
“Are you on birth control?”
“Are you sexually active?”
“Do you use condoms?”
“Do you want to get pregnant?”
Then I cry,
I cry a lot.
Then the doctor feels bad and she always cries too.
I always make people cry,
Without meaning too,
They just cry when I cry.
Because it is sad,
To see someone hurt,
When you do not even know why they are hurting.
And because they feel like it is partially their fault,
But it never is.
It is just how I am.
But that spring was hell.
Then he came back into my life,
And he became a bigger part of it this time.
And then my best friend invited me,
To do a lot of things with her;
To visit her college,
To stay with her and her family for Easter,
To go to the Carolina Cup with our friends.
He made me feel like I mattered,
And she made me feel like I had a home,
No matter where I was physically or emotionally.
And neither of them will ever know how much they helped me.
But they saved me,
They really saved me.
I got my highest GPA that semester,
Highest of that academic year.
I really pulled my grades up,
And got my act together.
I found a job,
An awesome job.
I still have it today.
And I do not think I would have accomplished those things,
If I had not been depressed for that period of time,
If I had not felt that low.
See in high school,
I would do this thing,
That I called,
I did it when I was at my saddest,
And my worst.
I did it after break-ups.
I did it when someone would ask me about my mother’s cancer.
I did it when I tried to write about my mother’s cancer.
I did it when I had to feel real.
When I had to feel pain and heartache.
I did it to avoid hurt.
The funny thing is,
I hated being physically numb.
I have always hated it.
I hate not feeling that part of my body,
Because it is like not having control over it,
Not having control over my own body.
And it feels like I am outside of myself.
Depression was pain.
It was serious, hard-core, merciless pain.
And I had never felt that before,
And I hope I never feel it again,
But at least I will be prepared next time.
It was real.
Life is real.
We cannot always go numb.
We should never go numb,
But we will sometimes,
And that is all right,
Because it is okay to fight the things that we hate.
But you have to let yourself feel,
I had to let myself feel.
I have learned so much from this.
I am stronger,
And a more understanding person now.
I can read people with greater ease.
I can see signs in people’s actions and words now.
I can sense,
In a way,
When my friends’ lives are hell.
And even though I do not always know what they are going through,
I know it is something.
And I now know how important those three words are:
“Are you okay?”
Because those words can save a life,
Those words are real.
“I love you.”
“Someone loves you.”
“People are here for you.”
“You will get better.”
Those three words are a promise:
That the situation will turn around,
That life has ups and downs,
And turns and twists,
And chaos and trauma.
And that life has beauty and love,
And hope and balance.
And that people are kind,
And people love.
And people get depressed.
And people have eating disorders.
And beautiful people are broken people.
And they are not fixed,
And they do not need to be.
“Not everything that is broken needs to be fixed.”
Because they like feeling.
They like the lows.
I love the lows,
Because feeling the lows allows me feel the highs.
I get to live this roller coaster life,
And it is thrilling.
It is incredible,
Because I never know what is coming next,
And it is terrifying
Because I never know what is coming next.
But life is love.
And love is everywhere,
In every person,
And in every place,
And in every memory.
And love is painful,
But so magnificently beautiful.
And I would never trade anything for that.
And this is why life is worth living,
Because love is worth feeling.
So stay alive,
Swallow your pride.
Because I could write on this topic forever,
And never run out of things to say.
Because I am still learning,
And I will never stop learning.
Because I was that popular,
In high school.
And I am broken.
And I am loved.
And I love so much.
And I am in absolute,
With this life.