Graduation Day

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It’s currently 2 in the morning and I must be awake by 5:30 so I can look presentable for the day.

But I can’t sleep. And it’s not because I’m excited.

I feel as if I don’t deserve this. It’s weird having zero friends attending graduation, and having my family leaving immediately after because they’re the ones I care about. I don’t care about walking across the stage.

I went to the hotel my family is staying at to give my dad and brother donuts. My grandparents were surprisingly still awake and gave me such a generous gift.

And my brother wrote such a heartfelt letter.

And my dad looked so proud..

And I don’t feel as if I deserve this because I’m not excited.

I didn’t like college. I didn’t make friends. I didn’t make good grades. Why am I celebrating?

So instead of sleeping, or rather not sleeping due to excitement, I’m sitting here feeling guilty.

I don’t deserve such generosity for something I suffered through for five years.

I contemplated suicide so many times, only during the school year. I got more depressed every semester, missed classes, had professors concerned if I was still alive, because I hated going so much.

And now I have a day dedicated to me.

Honestly, once the ceremony is over and we get lunch, I’m coming home, putting on friends, and packing.

So cheers to five years.

 

Always the victim

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Why do I always play the victim?

Things fall apart.

Friendships. Relationships. Families.

It’s a natural part of life for good, or even great things to fall apart. For your life to feel as if it is crumbling with every step you take… Only for even better, amazing things to form.

You grow out of each other. You are no longer compatible. Your lives are going in two different ways.

Instead of sitting here, playing the victim, blaming myself for everything that goes wrong, I’ve been learning to accept.

And let me tell you, acceptance is hard. 

It’s been a struggle for me losing my best friend without any final words. It’s hard for me when she posts things about how wonderful and amazing her life is now that I’m not in it. It makes me feel as if I am a toxic person.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but a few bad things have happened to me. And I can’t help but ask myself do I deserve it?

Did I deserve to be raped? Did I deserve to beaten by my mother? Did I deserve to lose my best friend?

And after moping around for a month I can tell you, no. 

Nobody deserves bad things, they just happen. It is how we take those bad things, and turn them in to something positive, grow from them, that we deserve.

So at this point in time, I needed a lesson.

I needed to know how to survive on my own.

Ever since elementary school, I’ve clinged to my friends for everything. I needed them for entertainment, advice, rooming, school…

Hell, both colleges I’ve been to were because my friends were here and I was too afraid to venture out on my own.

So, thank you for the lesson. Thank you for allowing me to grow more in this past month than I have in awhile.

I doubt you’ll read this, ex-best friend, but I don’t hate you and I hope you don’t hate me. We have so many memories together that I cherish, and you’ll make more with your new friends, and I’ll eventually make new friends.

Thank you for allowing me to grow. Its been a long time coming.

 

Is this happiness?

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I’ve been off my medication for over a month. At first, it was terrifying because I was so dependent on it for five years.

My doctor forgot and I was left without. I was left with withdrawals. I was left feeling crazy.

But when the two weeks without medication passed, and all of the SSRI left my body, I felt different.

I feel awake. I feel alive.

This past month has tested me.

I’ve lost a friend for reasons that aren’t clear. I thought I could never survive without a best friend, but here I am, thriving.

I’m doing things on my own. I’m reaching out to friends I’ve too-long ignored. I’m opening up to others.

I’m being honest. I’m being vulnerable. I’m being real.

I’m experiencing love and acceptance from other humans.

I’m experiencing gratitude for friendships I should have rekindled long ago.

I’m experiencing what I think is happiness.

Despite the stress of finals week, finding a new place to live, bills to pay, grades I need to raise, the things I need to clean…

I’m feeling better than I ever really think I have.

And maybe it’s temporary.

Maybe depression will wrap me back in it’s deadly arms and tell me I’m not worthy.

Maybe my friends will drift away.

Maybe I won’t be able to graduate….

 

but I hope, with everything that I have, that this is real.

That the love I have been experiencing and been so grateful for is real.

That my hard work will not go unnoticed and I will graduate.

That I am finally able to feel happiness.

 

I may have to go back on medication.

but that’s the risk I’m willing to take for how I am feeling now

Mother’s Day for the motherless

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In elementary school, we always spent days making things for mother’s day. I would always sit there awkwardly and write “to dad” and my teachers would say, “no Hannah, it’s Mother’s Day not Father’s Day.”

It was always uncomfortable and embarrassing for me to say that I didn’t have a mom, not really. It was hard for me to say I hadn’t seen her in years and she was with her new family.

More embarrassing than anything because my teachers would look so crushed. Like I was missing something. But the truth is, I never felt like I was missing anything.

My dad is a super star. He single handedly raised my brother and I from the ages of 7 to 18. He was there when I was sick, celebrated my birthday, let me have sleepovers, taught me about life. He was my mother and my father. And I always felt extremely lucky to have him. I didn’t need a mom.

But that didn’t stop people from feeling bad for me. Even in high school teachers would ask why my mom didn’t come to parent teacher conferences and I’d have to awkwardly tell them she wasn’t in my life.

As much as I adored my dad, I felt like maybe I was missing out. While in elementary and middle school I felt lucky to have one man be both parents, in high school, hearing others talk about their strong bond with their mom, it made me long for a relationship with my mother.

I made a choice to become close to my mother. I reached out. I planned. I came to visit her. I parented her when she made bad decisions. I parented her when she was lost. I parented her when she felt like giving up. And it was hard.

I became bitter that the mother/daughter relationship wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. But god, I wanted to feel that connection.

On days when I wish I had a mother, I remember all of the good times I did have with my mom. There were days where she seemed almost normal and loving. Days where we’d hang out all day and just talk, and have fun, and laugh.

And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with looking back, and loving those memories.

While I am not ready for a relationship with my mother, I think it’s natural to love the good times, and cherish those memories.

I think it’s okay to look back and smile.

I think it’s important to have a positive outlook on negative situations.

So, even though my mother and I are not currently speaking, that doesn’t mean that one day, maybe after both of us have been through therapy, both of us have come to terms that our relationship is not the normal relationship, I like to look back on memories and smile.

So, happy early mother’s day to the woman who broke my heart a young age, but also taught me I deserve better. Happy mother’s day to the woman who made me laugh and smile and showed me what fun is. Happy Mother’s day to the woman who I hope will return to therapy so we can have a normal relationship.

 

So long, anti-depressants

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This is it.

This is the third or fourth time my doctor has forgotten about my prescription.

I know doctors are busy, but this is my livelihood.

She upped my dosage to three pills instead of two, and now I’m on none because she forgot.

So, I’ve been two weeks no medication.

In two weeks, I’ve lost my focus. But I’ve felt so much.

I’ve had a love hate relationship with my anti-depressants for the five years I’ve been on them. I’ve read the articles from the super liberals about how medication and big-pharma are bad and making us worse. But it’s hard to listen to those who have not been on medication when you’re dependent on it.

Anti-depressants allowed me to focus. I was actually able to read and comprehend. The world didn’t seem fuzzy anymore.

Anti-depressants also made me sick.

I remember the trial and error process of all the medications. I remember throwing up constantly. Feeling light headed. Feeling more depressed than I was to begin with

Anti-depressants made my good days mediocre and my bad days well…mediocre.

Everyday I was just a baseline of emotions. No real joy. No real sadness.

Two weeks no anti-depressants.

I’ve lost my focus. Reading to understand is so hard. My brain is going a million miles a minute and it does not care about textbooks or news articles. It cares about surviving.

My good days are really good and my bad days are really bad.

No longer am I a baseline of a person. I have a wide array of emotions.

I’ve thought about killing myself more than I count in the short two weeks.

But I’ve also felt love.

Butterflies in my stomach that I thought was lost forever.

Fear. Happiness. Excitement. and of course Depression.

But now I’m at a crossroads.

Do I continue feeling human? Do I allow myself to feel joy in return for feeling suicidal?

Do I continue to feel the amazing love in exchange for contemplating driving off a bridge?

I want to feel love because my god. How amazing.

But I don’t like my mental breakdowns that come from nowhere. I don’t enjoy making my coworkers worry about me. I don’t enjoy having my peers thinking I’m on heroin.

But what to do now?

Find a new doctor. Find a new diagnosis of bipolar which I’m sure is to come. Find a new way to feel alive.

Anti-depressants feels like I’m half living. I’m just on life support getting by without feeling the immense joys the world has to offer.

Here’s to trying again.

Here’s to more survival. Whatever it takes.

 

 

Don’t tell me that you loved me

This is hard for me to say.

But I want to say it.

I hope you don’t think I’m seeking attention or pity…

It’s just talking openly about my childhood and my mental illness has helped me cope so much better.

And I’m not coping well with the fact that I was raped.

I was 20. The main reason I tell you this is because I don’t want those of you who know me personally to think it’s someone it’s not.

It was a guy I had been seeing for a few weeks. He lived far away from me and I put so much effort in to our “relationship”

I drove hours to see him every weekend. I cleared up so much time for him.

One weekend, he told me to come see him.

I did.

He didn’t tell me he worked all day. I got upset that morning and told him I was leaving. I didn’t want to spend my time alone in his house when I could be doing something productive.

He took my car keys to work with him.

He told me to stay in his room because his roommates didn’t need to see a fat ugly bitch like me.

I had no way to leave. He worked too far away to walk to and cause a scene.

There were no uber’s out there.

So I stayed. I stayed locked away in his room all day so his roommates didn’t have to see my fat ugly face.

When he got home, I was furious. I screamed at him. Demanded my keys back.

Instead, he pushed me on the bed.

I screamed. I cried. I hit him. I did everything I could to get him off me.

He made his way in to me anyways. He held me down. Covered my mouth.

When he was done he tossed my keys on me and told me to leave.

He said he was done with me.

I drove the few hours home in shock.

I wasn’t sure what had happened.

I didn’t believe it was actually rape.

I probably did something that suggested I wanted it, right?

 

It took me a few weeks to fully comprehend that yes. Yes. That is rape.

That is the thing so many women fear when they walk down the street at night.

That is the thing so many people say they never want to happen. They’d rather die than be raped.

And it happened to me.

I felt like I was a used piece of paper towel crumpled up in a corner.

It broke me.

 

After that, I became promiscuous.

I wanted to see if I could take control of myself somehow.

Like somehow, if I was able to have sex again, I was fine.

 

I’m not fine.

I was with someone I’ve been seeing for a little bit recently.

I had a panic attack. I started crying mid-coitus.

Because I’m not fine.

Thinking about other’s stories made me think of my own at the worst possible time.

 

so.

there’s that.

a secret I’ve been keeping.

That makes me feel so sick thinking about it.

I don’t want to be broken anymore.

I want to talk about it openly and freely and show that it did not ruin me.

not completely.

I can be rebuilt. I can stand strong and confident and not let this become a part of who I am.

 

What 5 years at college has taught me

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I wasn’t ready.

I wasn’t ready to start this crazy part of my life. But high school Hannah thought that I was just depressed in high school. My small town made me sad, not my brain.

I thought a new town with new people would make me happy.

But I became a recluse and never left my dorm. I spent a lot of nights crying myself to sleep.

College is hard. Really really hard. Even if you don’t have a mental illness or anything inhibiting you from doing your best, it’s fucking hard. You don’t sleep, you can’t afford to eat, classes are hard, sometimes your professors are assholes.

Roommates really shouldn’t be your friends. I’ve put so much strain on my friendships because people realize that all I do is cry and have panic attacks and I don’t clean up after myself because of it. These people see another side of me and I see another side of them and our friendship turns to nothing more than being a roommate.

If I could go back to 2012 and tell 18 year old Hannah not to go to college, not just yet, I would.

I don’t appreciate my education because I’m sad. It makes me feel stupid and I know I’m not.  Professors can’t give you special treatment just because you can’t get out of bed in the morning. People can only help you as much as you can help yourself.

I would tell baby Hannah to not go to college. Not until I’m older. Maybe 23, maybe 25, maybe not until I was 30.

I would tell baby Hannah to wait until I was ready. Until I got my mental health under control. Until I was stable enough to appreciate my education.

I learned that I really hate school. And maybe that’s because of my depression. Maybe I’d like it if I was older… If I was wiser and healthier.

But I feel like I wasted 5 years of my life being sad. Ruining friendships. Wasting money. Failing classes. Crying myself to sleep.

People say school isn’t for everyone. And I need people to realize how truthful that is.

Knowledge is important, I would never say otherwise. School is important.

But for some of us, school is a battleground.

It feels like life or death. It feels like if you don’t go to school you’re a failure, but you’re a failure at school anyways.

5 years later, I’m still sad. But now I can cry in to my Bachelor’s degree instead of my pillow.

 

 

Cheers.