I’m right in the middle of the 5th episode of Season 6 of Game of Thrones as I type. I dragged myself through Season Five over the weekend after having “lost interest” (my free ride for episodes) shortly after Season 4.
Anyway, as many of you well know… there went my weekend. (For nothing, I might add. Season 5 was terrible.)
So here we are. I promise you haven’t stumbled upon a fan review site or worse, SPOILERS.
I’m Emma, by the way, and while this probably wasn’t the best way to establish a sense of editorial authority, this is how I do my best writing and I’m really excited to start my tenure here as Editor in Chief.
To break the ice: I was diagnosed with high-functioning depression during my junior year of college.
This was a particularly demoralizing experience considering I felt that I’d finally come in to myself after being virtually unremarkable in high school. I have no other way to explain it other than I simply woke up one morning and everything had changed. Everything I had won in the last few years had been ripped away: the self-worth, the laughter, the openness, the strength to stand up for myself. I was overwhelmed with indecision, with numbness, disinterest and a complete lack of motivation to finish anything.
It was like the universe just Bran Stark-ed my sense of self out of the window. (And while I can attest to living in what felt like an emotionally paralytic state for quite some time, I have regrettably been unable to warg into my cat.) I could still feel the pain of caring, but my mind and my will froze and became an immovable force that prevented me from being the “A” student, the good friend and good-humored daughter that I had been.
By the grace of close friends and the stubborn, pseudo-aggressive sense of entitlement that I developed from being the last-born child, I got angry. I missed myself and the parts of me I had struggled to achieve. When I got angry, I got help. I marched myself over to the school counselor’s office and began my self-care journey.
No two mental health struggles are alike, but I believe that my experience is proof that no matter how broken, confused or marginalized you feel, the beginning sparks of your freedom are within yourself. Your biological will to survive is there, I promise.
I don’t know where you are on your journey; as for me, I’m well on my way with high points and low points, a seasoned soldier in the battle for wellness and wholeness.
I’ll spare you any more far-reaching, slowly deteriorating in the funny “haha” factor Game of Thrones references and leave off with this:
One of my therapists once told me: “We’re going to normalize the crap out of you.”
And so my friends, I think that just about sums up our mission here at Stronger Than Stigma. It’s a mission I’m proud to support. We’re here to let you know you are not alone, you are never alone and that you are strong enough to ask for help- you deserve help and you are worth everything and more.
I wish you happiness, dragons and all the love in the world. Together we’re #startingamovement.