advice to me, two years ago

What I would have said if I could have talked to myself senior year of college.

Don’t be afraid of labeling this as depression. The label doesn’t change anything except for giving yourself something to grasp onto and make sense of how your mind, body and heart are trying to move you through each day. There’s a disconnect. Call it what it is. Naming has a freeing power. 

Don’t be afraid of medication. Explore your options. You will not be less than who you could be for taking a pill.

Talk to yourself kindly. No one needs you to be okay today. No one is waiting on you. No one is disappointed in you. God does not wish you were different.

God does not wish you were different.

Celebrate when you get out of bed. Be gentle when it’s harder to.

Don’t be embarrassed to invite friends into this darkness, as if you offer them something less beautiful for where you are. Who you are, where you are, is enough. You do not need to hide until you are presentable. You do not need to punish yourself with your loneliness.

Don’t feel guilty that your sorrow isn’t as important or real as others who are suffering more present, physical sorrow. Your story is your own. Their stories are their own.

Be careful with your delicate, lovely heart. Don’t steep in sad music, or watch movies where people die, or stay up late looking at pictures of happier friends on vacations or at parties. You are just as fragile as you are strong. Be wise.

Eat green things. Go for walks. Listen to funny podcasts and watch funny TV shows so you can laugh. Pick up the phone when your friend calls. Read good books with comforting words. Cook new things. Walk in circles at Target. Do what gives you joy. It’s there to take hold of.

The words will come back. I promise you the words haven’t disappeared. The ground has to be torn for planting.

God will give you what you need. Prayer is your source of power. You are not helpless. You are held.

No matter what city you run to, this will follow you. Don’t let that discourage you or make you keep running away to the circumstances you think will make everything better. The circumstances will almost always be against you. Finding an earthly home was never the point anyway. Fix your eyes on what will satisfy, and you’ll be right where you ought to be.

Your story has dignity, weight, purpose.

You are useful here in your darkness.

You are necessary and wanted just as you are.

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