4 | Heavy

“Heavy” by Linkin Park (featuring Kiiara) is playing over and over in my mind right now, particularly because of the news of Chester Bennington’s death by suicide.  I’ve heard this song many times in the car since its release in February, but since it was on the radio, I never paid any real attention to who the artists were or what they were singing about.  Even then, I sang along, thinking it was a great-sounding pop tune with relatable lyrics.  Now, I’m reflecting on those words that I unthinkingly memorized each time I heard the song, and they hit home.

I don’t like my mind right now
Stacking up problems that are so unnecessary
Wish that I could slow things down
I wanna let go but there’s comfort in the panic
And I drive myself crazy
Thinking everything’s about me
Yeah, I drive myself crazy
‘Cause I can’t escape the gravity

I’m holding on
Why is everything so heavy?
Holding on
So much more than I can carry
I keep dragging around what’s bringing me down
If I just let go, I’d be set free
Holding on
Why is everything so heavy?

You say that I’m paranoid
But I’m pretty sure the world is out to get me
It’s not like I make the choice
To let my mind stay so fucking messy
I know I’m not the center of the universe
But you keep spinning ’round me just the same
I know I’m not the center of the universe
But you keep spinning ’round me just the same

I’m holding on
Why is everything so heavy?
Holding on
So much more than I can carry
I keep dragging around what’s bringing me down
If I just let go, I’d be set free
Holding on
Why is everything so heavy?

I know I’m not the center of the universe
But you keep spinning ’round me just the same
I know I’m not the center of the universe
But you keep spinning ’round me just the same
And I drive myself crazy
Thinking everything’s about me

Holding on
Why is everything so heavy?
Holding on
So much more than I can carry
I keep dragging around what’s bringing me down
If I just let go, I’d be set free
Holding on
Why is everything so heavy?
Why is everything so heavy?
Why is everything so heavy?

Chester Bennington, may you rest in everlasting peace.  You were so willing and open to share your story with the world, even on the darkest of days.  You were struggling; it’s easy to see.  But you created beauty in the face of fear and despair—through your family, your friends, and your art.  Thank you for being you, unapologetically authentic.  Your music and legacy live on.

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3 | Fear

Some of you know my name and my face because I shared this blog with you through my personal Facebook account.  (I didn’t share with any of my family members, however, so I kindly ask that you NOT share this blog with them if you know any of them.)  A few of you have no idea who I am.  None of you know the entire person that is me—my past, my thoughts, my dreams, my true self.  You may know a bit of my background from my first blog post and my “About” pages, but you don’t know the whole story.  You’ll get a better idea of who I am as I continue blogging, but unless you know me personally, you will never know my real name or what I look like.

Why?

Because I’m scared.

Fear has slowly overtaken my life, little by little.  It’s why I didn’t tell my previous employer that I suffered from mental illnesses.  I pretended that I was okay because I needed the job and the insurance, and I didn’t want any preexisting conditions getting in the way of that.  It’s why I took sick days for physical sicknesses I didn’t have, exhausted from literally acting like someone else each day so that none of my students or coworkers could see the struggling person inside.  Fake it ’til you make it, I thought; that’s what one of my professors had said.  But I didn’t make it.

I guess fear is a side effect of losing the trust of those whom you love.  Once that’s happened so many times, it’s difficult to let anyone in.  For that reason, very few people know enough about me to understand why I struggle each day, and even then I feel unable to talk freely about certain things.  So, I guess it’s safe to say that no one really knows the “real” me.

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2 | Blog Update

So far on this blog, there are three resource pages focusing on my particular mental illnesses (ADHD, dermatillomania, and major depressive disorder), and one page dedicated to resources that could benefit anyone with any sort of mental illness.  I’m thinking about eventually adding pages for the autism spectrum and general anxiety, too, but that may be a couple months or so away.  Please leave a comment if you have any suggestions on what I’ve got so far, though.  I’d greatly appreciate it!

I have also created social media accounts for this blog on Facebook and Twitter.  Please like, follow, and share!  👍🏻

1 | The Greater Good

I created this blog in May 2015.  At the time, I had huge plans for it and wanted to create a resource hub for people struggling with mental illnesses like me.  I spent days and days creating resource pages filled to the brim with as much information as I could gather.  I worked diligently on making the site visually appealing, searching for open-source images that conveyed each page’s underlying theme and tone.  I began writing short summaries of the resources that I had compiled, hoping to highlight their benefits and share the wealth of knowledge found here on the Internet.  I was hyperfocused and ready to break out into the blog scene!

Then life happened.

I returned to my university to finish up the last two classes of my graduate studies, while I worked part-time in a grocery store for financial support.  I was determined to graduate that semester, but after completing and passing my comprehensive exams (a week-long venture of writing three ten-page papers and nothing else—no work, no classes, no nothing), things started going downhill.  I fell behind in my classes due to missing a week for comps, and I was so financially unstable that I had to apply for SNAP benefits.  I also began working full-time at the grocery store, after being offered a position that paid more but required me to be at work at either 3 am, 4 am, or 5 am on a rotating schedule.  Stress and anxiety took over.  My mental health was on the decline.  My mind would not focus on the piles of work that needed to be done in order to graduate, yet I continued to prepare for graduation, inviting family to come see me walk across the stage in the next couple of weeks.

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