Once upon a time, when I had recently graduated from college and found myself alone in a large city, I felt those first unsettling pangs of depression.
Quiet. So quiet. So very very quiet.
At 22, it was the first time in my life I experienced true solitude.
No parents. No siblings. No roommates.
Just me, and The Great Wide Open.
I felt. . . weird. Apprehensive. Was this how adulthood was supposed to feel?
So one evening, as I perused the internet for some comfort, I found a blog.
Sadly, I have absolutely zero memory of the writer’s name, or what site it was, or how I even stumbled upon it.
But as the writer described his own journey with depression, I do remember, very specifically, his strategy for overcoming it. (Or, I should say, helping to ease it.)*
(She clears her throat before attempting to paraphrase something that has come to mean so very much to her.)
He said something like this:
Whenever I feel down, I pause. I pretend to leave my body and view my actions as if I were a spectator in my own life.
And, my Dear Reader, it works.
Because just maybe, in the cruelest of ironies in this dog-eat-dog world**, we assume other people have their shit together.
We assume their days are scheduled with non-stop Somethings.
We hit The Like Button over and over again, and forget that those people with the never-ending Insta-stories of fun are real.
They’re just like us, yo.
They climb into bed each night, perhaps too tired to floss or even change into PJs.
They have kitty litter to scoop, toenails to trim, and moments when they feel like the only person on Earth without plans.
Fear of Missing Out: It’s all too real.
So dear friends, I urge you to hang in there. Watch yourself. Be your own friend.
Because you are interesting, and wonderful, and worthy.
Because things will get better.
And because whether we’re living in a houseful of people or going it alone, we are in this thing together.
. . .
Dear Reader, what helps you when you’re feeling low?
. . .
SnapDragon is a writer, artist, and avid user of Post-It notes.
. . .
*Always, always listen to medical professionals first and foremost.
**Namely, America, my home.