Monday, November 14, 2011

The Beauty and the Mess

Necklace: Anthro, lengthened by me
Cardigan: Target
Pants: JCPenney
Wedges: Target

Hyperbole and a Half recently waxed eloquently on depression, and I thought I'd throw in my two cents, specifically regarding the end of her illustrative story. I struggled against depression through most of college (I ultimately won the battle, yay me!) but the stress that has landed squarely on my shoulders the last two or three months has stirred emotions that haven't existed inside my mind for a long time.

Allie's story is one that ultimately has a hopeful ending, and I find myself relating with the emotions she describes toward the end of her comic. There's something almost beautiful about the power depression can give a person with little self-esteem or major self-consciousness; the loss of interest and inability to experience pleasure or pain is almost a buff against the world that can subtly and counter-intuitively boost a person's confidence, because suddenly someone feels nothing and he or she feels invincible. Suddenly, not giving a fuck becomes a magical and very powerful thing. Sometimes, as in Allie's case (and hopefully ultimately in mine), it helps. Sometimes it hinders, and this can be a very dangerous strength. When I struggled to eat and sleep in college, the fact that I didn't care at all caused my physical health to suffer nearly as much as my mental health; now, the fact that right now I don't care what others think has facilitated a very serious and honest conversation with myself (not in the talking to myself on the bus way, I swear) about what I want and need in life. And in the end, that's actually a good thing. Depression is a terrible illness I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy--the places it can take a person are worse than the ninth circle of hell--but there is a silver lining to everything, and I hope that those suffering from this illness can find it, as Allie and myself have.

So basically also not caring what other people think has allowed me to wear this cardigan backward. Suck on that, haters.

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