Society Told Me

Yesterday was World Mental Health Day. It has exploded on twitter and it makes me smile to know that there are so many people in this world who struggle with the same issues that I do. It also makes me smile knowing that there are so many people speaking out about their illnesses despite society constantly dehumanizing us for having them.

Mental illnesses have always been something I struggled with. Although when I first started struggling I didn’t know they were called mental illnesses and I merely thought I was some emo freak who wanted to die for attention, because that’s what society told me.

I can remember the first time I ever thought about killing myself in seventh grade and how I thought  would never be happy. I remember thinking that I belonged in an insane asylum which is why it showed up in every single one of my seventh grade art projects. I laughed it off but secretly thought I belonged in one, because that’s what society told me. I can remember the first night I self-harmed and how I had to cover my arms and legs and stomach at all costs in fear of someone calling me out for being a freak and ostracizing me, because that’s what society told them to do. I can remember defending one of my friends for cutting and saying she was just like us. Each of them told me I was “as crazy as her” for saying something like that, and they were afraid she would kill herself because of the cutting, because that’s what society told them, that everyone who cuts is emo and will kill themselves.

Here I am, 7 years after I wanted to kill myself for the first time. I still do sometimes but I begin to realize that this feeling will pass and it won’t make anything better. I can remember the last time I ever self-harmed, a little bit over a year ago. I remember how happy I was when I was one-year self-harm free and how much I cried on that day because I never thought I would live to see that day.

Today I want society to piss off. Mental illnesses are normal. 1 in 4 people have them. The stigma behind mental illnesses needs to stop. If I post this anywhere, ever, I guarantee most people will not even believe this is something I struggle from, because unlike what society tells you, people who live with mental illnesses can function in everyday society just like those without.

The last thing anyone wants to hear is that it gets better, but the one thing everyone needs to hear is that you are not alone. I needed to hear that 7 seven years ago, I needed to hear that last night. World Mental Health Day exists for people who suffer from mental illnesses to know they are not alone. We may feel like it so often, but we aren’t. This day also exists so that we can end this stigma that accompanies mental illnesses. This stigma is the reason I waited 5 years to get help, the reason so many other wait that long or don’t get help at all. Society has dehumanized people with mental illnesses and this is our day, to show that we are humans and we are just as capable. Everyone fights their own battles, mine just take place inside of me.

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The Top 100 Inspirational Weight Loss Bloggers

Hi, everyone. Look at me double posting. My life update post will be up in the next few days, however, I was checking my stats page this morning and saw that I had a lot of viewers that were referred to my blog by DietToGo.

Curious as to how that was, I clicked the link in my stats and was brought here

I immediately noticed that the post was entitled “The Top 100 Inspirational Weight Loss Bloggers You’ve Probably Never Heard Of (Until Now)” and got super stoked because people have noticed I exist and they think I’m decently cool.

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Your girl (me) was lucky enough to score spot #13 on that list (happens to be my favorite number too) and I’m just so happy/stoked/honored to be put on this list with so many other amazing bloggers.

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So, I recommend everyone check out DietToGo’s post and check out all of the other amazing bloggers who are also featured on the list. I know I did!

Anyway, I want to say again how excited I am that I was featured and want to thank Caitlin (author of the post) for taking the time to hand select my blog and to read some of my posts. It means so much

Talk to you all soon,

Alicia

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She

The feeling is one of an indescribable measure. How can you describe something where you feel so much but so little at the same time?

She washes over me a like a wave, engulfing me like a flame, bringing me down with her into that dark abyss. I can’t go back I tell her, I’ve come so far from where I once was. She doesn’t listen to me, she never does. I can never escape her, no matter how hard I try. She will always continue her chase. I try to run away but she takes my hand and drags me back down, farther back, deeper than I had ever been before.

I’m taking one step forward and five steps back. As I put on my mask of happiness for the day to cover the empty feeling writhing inside my very core, it’s back to my daily ritual. Masking my sorrow with a mask that looks almost as fake as it feels.

We all carry on with our days. People pass me by and I can’t help but wonder if they don masks too. What are they hiding? I can’t tell if I have mastered the art of hiding behind this pasted on mask or if no one cares enough to see that I’m falling apart behind it.

It’s obviously the latter she tells me. As the razor glides across my skin I look at myself and all I see is her. How did I get to this point? How did I let her envelop my very being, my entire self?

It has been years of struggle. Of letting her take me to rock bottom. This is the better life she assured me. I’m the only one who cares about you, she reiterates for the hundredth night in a row. As she caresses me every night in bed as I cry to her and tell her of my struggle, she is the only one who listens to me. She understands me, the only one who understands me. At a certain point, I start to agree with her. Maybe she’s right. Maybe she’s the only one who cares for me, understands me, loves me.

But how could that be? People say they love me. She tells me they are lying. That they feel bad for me. That she is the only one who truly cares. Day after day, I debate with what is right. Do I let her continue to love and cherish me, or do I try to get rid of her? How can I get rid of something that seems so natural, so needed. Maybe she needs me and I need her. That’s what she tells me anyway. That the two of us were went to be. And maybe she’s right.

Years of me trying to take control. Trying to loosen the grip she has on my life. Loosen the grip she has held for years. It works sometimes. Sometimes I can pry her long slender fingers from my arm and get free for a period of time. But, no matter what  I do, she always finds a way. She weasels her way back into my life. She creeps up on me when I least expect it. And she seizes me again. After I writhe in pain at her touch for a while, it becomes the norm again. She has done it again, gotten me under her spell, and despite my protests and cries for help, no one can hear me and she has total and complete control over me and my entire being.

Until next time,
Alicia

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Letter to a Younger Me

Dear Alicia,

You are beautiful. I will tell you this right now. No one will tell you except mom and all of her friends who are obligated to comment sweet things about their awkward teenage daughter because she has commented similar things on their posts with their model children. Have you met the Carey family? Anywho, you are beautiful. I don’t care what all those bullies have/will say, you’re beautiful.

You are an intellect. Everyone is. We’re all just good at different things. You are good at math and science and cannot draw for shit. That’s okay. Art and history aren’t your strong suits. Excel at what you are good at. Meanwhile, the artist and historian will be jealous of all of the amazing things you are accomplishing.

You are spectacular. You are a girl who has a smile to light up the room. Friends and family who cherish you (even when you don’t think they do) and let’s be honest, pretty great hair. Never let anyone tell you otherwise. In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Give no one consent.

Those girls who are being mean to you now will mean nothing in 5 years. When you graduate with honors and they struggle to make it our high school and end up at community college… who really won? Oh yeah, you.

College is your decision. Student loans suck but honestly, going to your dream school that you love and are comfortable at is worth lifelong debt. Never let anyone try to sway your college decision. Go where you want, and study what you want. Also, you don’t need to have your mind made up at the age of 14. Molly thought she did and completely switched. It’s okay to not know.

It’s okay to cry. Cry about grandma, cry about missing the dog, Madi, dad, cry about your favorite TV character dying (you will trust me and you’ll be embarrassed, it’s fine). But do never let stupid people make you cry. (You will, trust me, but never cry in front of them) Don’t let them win.

You will regret cutting yourself. When people ask what’s wrong with your legs, and you have to say you fell, or your dog scratched you, or what have you, it’s embarrassing and sad. You also will still have those scars in college and you will not wear shorts because of them… yes even in California.

Do not kill yourself. People will tell you to kill yourself. People will tell you that killing yourself will not matter and no one will care. People. Will. Care. Trust me. Do not do it. Everyone will be sad and you can’t let those people win. Please don’t do it.

Spend as much time with your friends as you can. Once you all go off to college, scheduling hang outs during break is almost as painful as stepping on a lego. You won’t see everyone you wanted to and not everyone will want to see you. Move on.

That boy doesn’t love you. You may think he does, but he doesn’t. It will hurt, but guess what, his loss, not yours.

Be nice to Madi. She isn’t the worst sister you could have gotten and she deserved to be treated better.

Be kind to Rosie. Cuddle her, play with her, take her on walks. When you go off to college, you will only see her for four months and she is getting older. Just remember that even what she growls, she deep deep deep down does love you (i hope anyways)

Shower everyday. If you aren’t leaving the house… okay I get it. Whatever. But at least wash your face because you will need to.

Wear deodorant. Just do it.

Listen to mom and dad. Sometimes they are right (not always but sometimes)

Don’t be afraid to speak your mind. You have beautiful thoughts and they deserve to be shared with the world. People will listen and you will have enlightened someone on something. Speak up.

Do not be afraid to tell people your favorite movies or bands or books. Even if Shrek, Emperor’s New Groove, Miss Congeniality, Legally Blonde, High School Musical, One Direction, 5 Seconds of Summer, etc. are on there. It’s not just you who loves them.

Do not be afraid to not have plans. Stay in, watch movies and eat popcorn. One day you’ll wish you stayed in more.

Love yourself. This is something we are still working on. Growing up and being a teenager is very hard and going to school with models and beautiful skinny girls is even more rough. Women in magazines are not women in magazines. It’s just fact. Your body type isn’t the same as everyone else’s and your body is not their body and you are not them.

Do not compare yourself to other girls. Because guess what, that girl you idolize probably idolizes someone else too. You are too beautiful, amazing, perfect, and 100% unique to do that. No one looks just like you, so why do you want to look just like someone else? You don’t.

Be yourself. Dress like yourself. Act like yourself. If you have to act fake in front of people, they really aren’t your friends. Be friends with people who you can act like yourself around and keep them close.

I love you. You may not see that now and you may cry yourself to sleep every night because you hate yourself. You may cut yourself because you hate yourself. You may want to kill yourself because you hate yourself. But I love you. I am proud of you. I am proud of you for not killing yourself and stopping hurting yourself. You don’t cry yourself to sleep anymore and I have never been more proud of anyone in my life until now. You are an amazing girl and have accomplished so much in your 18 years on this planet and while there have been ups and downs, you are still here and in one piece. I am proud of you for that.

I love you,

Alicia

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