Words To Live By

20110127


"Have no fear of perfection--you'll never reach it." - Salvador Dali

You know what kind of bugs me? Those blogs you read where it seems like the person hardly ever has bad days. I'm not advocating for deeply personal blog posts--obviously the internet is not the place for that, and it's not like this world needs extra negativity. But I think we could all benefit from a little more honesty. A few less blog posts that talk about what an awesome weekend you had, an awesome trip you went on, or an awesome thing you did, and a few more blog posts that are willing to admit, "You know what? Today sucked." I don't think your blog should be your journal, but I do think it should be real.

I'm thinking of this because I read an article in TIME magazine today called "Misery Has More Company Than You Think, Especially on Facebook." It cites a recent study that Stanford researchers conducted on college freshmen. The results?

"The students estimated that 54% their classmates had felt lonely or missed their friends and family back home in the last couple of weeks, though in reality 83% reported feeling that way. And while the freshmen thought that 62% of their peers had recently been to a fabulous party, only 41% had."

Why do we do this to ourselves? I think it's important to realize that bad days are normal, a little anxiety is normal, a little down-in-the-dumpsness is normal. MOODS are normal. You know what? I think I'll just stop beating around the bush and say it.

I got me some Prozac today.

MAN! That feels good to say. Here's why.

I'm not depressed. I'm not bipolar. I don't suffer from body image, self-esteem, or self-worth issues. I just started noticing that I was moodier than I used to be. More than I wanted to be. In high school, I was never one to really have PMS, but all of a sudden I felt like I had it all the time. I couldn't let things just roll off my shoulder like I used to. And the small stuff? I sweated it.

There were so many things (read: excuses) that I attributed this to. First, I just blew it off. "Moods are normal! They're healthy!" I would say. (I still hold to this--we shouldn't be afraid to feel. It's human, and numbing yourself is wrong.) Then I said I just needed a change of pace--that things will get better once we're done with school and leave Provo.

It takes of lot of courage to finally own up to the fact that gasp! You can't conquer all. In fact, you may have something funky going on in your brain. And you may need a small dose of medication to help you with that. But now that I've owned up to it, I feel liberated. I feel like I've opened up a new chapter where I can be honest with myself. Where I can quit trying to be invincible and just be me.

I think the hardest part about this process was swallowing my pride and admitting that I can't get over this weakness alone. As a person who has never broken a bone, has never been to the hospital, never had braces, beats her body to a pulp only to see it recover freakishly fast, and has never taken prescription medicine for anything other than zits, this was quite difficult to come to terms with. That, and getting over the stigma of taking an anti-depressant, when I don't even consider myself anywhere near depressed.

Aside from the fact that I think anti-depressants are way over-prescribed, just the thought of my not being able to overcome something on my own ate at me. Plus, it's Prozac. Isn't that for just for people who sit in bed crying all day? Well, yes. But just because you don't need an intervention doesn't mean you wouldn't benefit from a little help. I take solace in knowing that Prozac isn't addictive. You don't have to take it every day if you feel like you don't need to. (Girls, if you're good at tracking your cycle, you can even pinpoint the ten or so days during your cycle when you're most prone to moodiness and just take it then.) It doesn't numb you like other drugs, it doesn't give you a high. It doesn't make your personality fakey-fake.

It just helps you be yourself.

So I'm ready. I'm ready to start being fair to myself, to my husband, and to you, my readers. Because you know what? I'm an upbeat person, but I certainly have my fair share of bad moods. And if I need some happy pills to help me roll with it? Folks: there ain't nothin' wrong with that. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured. We're blessed to live in an age where there is medicine to facilitate that enjoyment, so why not make use of it if you feel the need?

I would be remiss to not thank my husband in this post. People, I married a saint. I am not exaggerating. His patience, love, and understanding are truly more than I deserve. Brock, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. For standing by me, loving me, and holding me together when I felt like I was coming apart.

If my sharing this made any of you uncomfortable, I'm sorry. I started out by saying that I wasn't advocating for deeply personal blog posts. Oops. This kind of took on a life of its own (initially, I was only going to post the quote and picture). Don't feel like you need to comment, or like you need to validate what I said. I just hope someone out there who reads this will feel compelled to be more honest with themselves. To care for themselves. Because now that I've started that process, my yoke is easier, and my burden lighter.

I share these things because I know I am so not the only person out there with imperfect mental health.

And it's about time somebody got real around here.

5 COMMENTS:

  1. Great post Kristi. Honesty rocks, and is a great hallmark of being happy. Thanks for the great thought!

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  2. love your post, and I agree life is to be enjoyed not endured.. I think we would all be surprised to know how many ppl use or have used "happy pills' to get through a slump.. I have after I had both my girls I was in a bad mood, and the meds made life much easier


    again LOVE your post and honesty:)

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  3. Kristi, you are the bomb. I love that you're so down-to-earth, and not fake! That quote by President Hinckley is one of my favorites! Thanks for sharing that, love you girl!

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  4. You know what makes me depressed? My Class 2 medical clearance for being depressed. Rawr.

    Good post Kristi - men are that they might have joy. So why not take a little something that helps :)

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