“Admitting You Need Help”

I remember feeling numb.

I was sitting in the car with my mom on the way back from grocery shopping, and all I could feel was this numbing sensation, this lack of joy for anything in my life.

So I said to her, mom I think I am going to go see a counselor.

And she looks at me with worry and surprise; I could see her from the corner of my eye, carefully thinking of her words, trying to find out what exactly was going on in my head.

Is there something wrong? Are you okay?

Two simple sentences that I could not answer truthfully.

Yeah of course I’m okay. But I think I need to go see someone, just to clear my head.

Again, a look of worry, but no surprise this time.

I’m here if you need to talk.

To which I reply, I know mom. Thank you for being here.

It’s not easy to admit you need some help. It’s not easy to say that you have anxiety or depression, or both.

It is okay to admit you need some help, that you have anxiety or depression, or anything related to mental health. And sometimes, just saying that out loud is the first step to actually moving forward and feeling okay. At least, it was for me.

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ATTENTION ALL STORYTELLERS!!!

We are working on a published book of submissions entitled “SAFE HAVEN”. As we are accepting new submissions, poetry, photography, and art work, we also want to include and publish work that has been submitted at any point in our blog’s history. That includes anonymous and non-anonymous submissions. If you have shared your story and want to be included, each storyteller will receive one free copy of the book when it comes out. You will also be able to say you are a published writer! If you want to share your story that you have already submitted, please email carolinianpublishing@gmail.com THREE THINGS!

1. Your name and whether you want to be anonymous or not.

2. The link to your story.

3. Permission to edit grammatical and spelling errors.

 

Thank you soooo so much for your constant love and support and we are so excited to have a chance to publish and share your stories. This is a great opportunity to have your story in a physical format for people to easily reflect on and we hope you share yours.

 

If you haven’t yet submitted but want to, please submit on thestorytellerweb.wordpress.com, or email carolinianpublishing@gmail.com with your name, anonymous status, link to your story (or new story!) and then permission to grammatically correct your piece. You will then receive a contract statement and your name will be recorded by Carolinian Publishing to receive a copy (anonymous or not). The deadline for all submissions both old and new is March 1st. We are hoping to have the book distributed to local coffee shops and venues for sale, as well as hold an event where people can read parts of their story, or their favourite stories during an open mic night.

Much love,
The Storyteller 🙂

After School Blues by Jam

School was my haven. I was so happy and so social, though I realize now those go hand in hand. I could catch the next bus to downtown and meet friends at Mahtay until it was time for me to go home or to my next class. I’d always be busy with homework, projects, class, social life, family, and sleeping when there was time. The transition from university to living on my own was and is the hardest thing I continuously go through. I got married right out of university and moved out, adopted my dog, and started a new life. I tried to stay occupied but nothing stimulated me like school. Since being social was not routine, it became a chore. Work bored me. Planning a day, finding the time, and actually physically forcing myself to go out was hard. Even parking downtown or meeting someone gives me bizarre anxiety that I never had before.

I started hating the city, the economy, and the people around me for being mundane, difficult, and not understanding me. I started hating myself as this lazy, unmotivated, sad, ugly, introverted excuse of a human. I married someone who couldn’t relate to my introvert ways or my after school blues, and this did not help in terms of reaching out.

It has been so hard without the mental stress of school, the routine, and the socialization, that everything I do is 100x harder. Driving on a busy road, going through drive thru, meeting new people, interviews, getting groceries, line ups, and going to meet friends…. All of this is so hard that most times I just don’t do it. Most days I feel like an actual void. I have no clue how to cope. My social anxiety is through the roof, and my separation anxiety is so bad I fear doing anything alone. Now living with my partner, when they are not around, I completely shut down. I am overcome with unexplained grief. When my parents have my dog, I am glued to the couch in sadness and darkness. I sound dramatic and crazy, but this is an actual feeling that comes over me and I have no control over it. Since I have nothing else to occupy me, home life becomes routine, and without it in order, I feel as though I cannot function. It sounds confusing and silly and insignificant, but it is real and scary and inhibiting. I call it the “after school blues” but I know it is more complex than that. I want to figure out how to participate in life again. But how do I do that when most times I wake up a basket case? I am unwillingly distant from everything and everyone. I am sure some people just think I hate them or forgot about them. But the only thing I forgot was how to be happy. I did not choose this.

Anonymous Response to #MeToo

Me too

I don’t even know what to say. Those words in that hashtag carry so much weight. To be reminded that so many others feel the same pain that I feel is devastating.

It is not easy for people to talk about, but it is harder for people to experience. It is not easy to read, but it is necessary in order to raise awareness.

I admire all those who are able to share openly about their experiences, and I admire the immense strength it takes to share their stories.

It is okay to skip past the tweets, and not read the Facebook posts. It is okay if you are not ready to be reminded of your pain and traumas.

I was reminded of mine. I was reminded of the pain. I was reminded of when I cried with my psychologist and she cried with me because it was too much for me to bear alone. I am reminded of the sleepless nights. I am reminded of the tears. I am reminded of the flashbacks and of the shame. But I was also reminded that I am not alone, and for that I thank all those who shared. #MeToo

Poetry Submission about Suicide by Catherine

First

Is there a reason you died
While I had to live
Your suffering over
Mine is just to begin

It’s not fair, it’s true
But what is, these days
You fight to survive
Only to crumble
Spend your life working
Towards the end

So do it early, makes sense
But you beat me to it
You selfish prick
Now I’m second
Still have to continue
Can’t leave everyone broken
All at once