Facebook has this fun function now called “On This Day” where you can pull up posts you made years past on this particular day. I check it for laughs, the occasional sentimental posts, etc. However, since November 10th, there hasn’t been anything on my On This Day. I’ve realized that there won’t be until the 16th, because this week last year, I wasn’t posting on social media. That’s because this week last year, I was in the psychiatric unit of a hospital for a week.
Mental health needs to be talked about, but I’m not going to dissect the emotional intricacies right now. Most of you know me, most of you know that depression has been a long journey and fight for me. Most of you have probably experienced depression, either within yourself or within a loved one, and know the complexities of it. So, I’m going to start talking with you from that base assumption.
When I was first admitted, on November 10th, 2016, I was placed in a holding unit with no windows for 26 hours. My family was not completely aware of where I was, because I was not allowed to contact them. I was too upset to speak to anyone, and due to fear for my wellbeing, I kept my binder on the entire time. I was angry and non-responsive, blaming the world around me for my situation.
I don’t remember much of the next week except a blur of nurses, cold showers, and short phone calls with my loved ones.
Now, when I think back on it, I can understand that it was my fault. It wasn’t my psychiatrist for prescribing the wrong medications, it was mine for not taking them. It wasn’t the universe’s fault for giving me mental illness, it was my fault for not accepting my reality and working with it. Not to say I could have in that moment; I needed to not accept fault. However, that wouldn’t let me have any control over my situation.
It’s weird to me that that’s who I was last year: a scared kid who probably should have listened to literally everyone telling him he shouldn’t go to college. It’s kind of amazing, though, because I’m not that kid anymore.
Yeah, I still have depression. Yeah, I take four medications every single night. Yeah, life is still a constant battle, and I can’t always win. But I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, that I am the most consistently happy I’ve probably ever been in my life. I still get overwhelmed, I do often, but I can get back from it. I’m taking a full load of classes, I’m working, I’m doing extracurriculars, and I’m doing ok.
I think the main difference is that last year I was trying to do fantastic, and when I inevitably couldn’t, I would spiral. This year, I’m aiming to do okay, and that’s something that not only can I do, I can surpass.
This year I’m doing fantastic.