7 Tips on Relationships (for the Stressed and Depressed)

BY SARAH WONG

Relationships can be hard, especially if you suffer from anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, or any other mental illness. Don’t worry though, I’ve accumulated a list of tips that I’ve learned during my current relationship in order to help!

anxiety2 1. Look presentable and clean up nicely for the first few dates.

  • Because we all know you’re not gonna have any energy or motivation to even brush your teeth in the future, so at least let them know that you are capable of looking nice sometimes. Also, they’ll have good pictures of you to show their friends despite you feeling (and consequently, looking) like shit most of the time.

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I’m a Chronic Bailer

By Sarah Wong

I bail on people. All the time.

Yep, I’m one of those people that everyone hates when organizing events, and I hate it too, believe me. It’s not like I enjoy being unreliable or getting people’s hopes up. You have no idea how shitty I feel about it considering that one of my biggest fears is disappointing people. Despite that though, I’ve bailed on people more times than I’ve gone through with plans. I’ve lost $50 bailing on friends before…and more importantly, damaged those friendships among many others. And I really hate attributing it to my anxiety but honestly, that’s my only explanation for it.

Whenever people invite me to something, I always say yes because why not, right?

Well let me tell you why not:

IhavetodomyreadingsmymidtermisinlessthantwoweeksohmygodeverychapterisfiftypageshowamIsupposedtorememberallthiswhatisevenimportantIcannevertellittakesmealmostawholedayjusttoreadtwochaptersandIdon’tevenretainmostofitIhavetodowellinthiscoursebecauseIfuckedupfirstyearIhaveasevenhourshiftatworktodayanditendsat1:00amI’msotiredwhenIgethomeI’mgonnawakeupat10amthenextmorningI’llhaveprettymuchalreadywastedthewholedayawayImightaswelljustsleeptherestofthedayI’msotiredallthetimeIdon’tthinkIshouldgoIdon’tknowifIcanrelatetothesepeopleohnoIshouldstudysoIhaveafutureifIdon’tdoitnowI’mnevergonnadoitandthenI’mjustgonnahatemyselfevenmoreIneedtodowellIneedtodowellIneedtodowellohfuckIhavetoschedulemoreparticipantsforthelabIhopenoneofthemchooseatimewhenthetestingroomisalreadybookedbecausethenIhavetoaskthemtorescheduleandthat’sinconvenienttothemIhopetheydon’tgetannoyedatmeohshitIshouldreadthepapersmysupervisorgavemebutthey’resolongandIcan’tevenunderstandhalfofitsometimesgoddamnitwhatifI’mtoostupidforresearchwhatifI’mtoostupidforneurosciencewhatifI’mstupidingeneralwhatifthisiswhereitallgoesdownhillwhatifIhavenofuturegodmyhairissodirtyIneedtowashittoday… Continue reading

The Voice Inside My Head

By Sarah Wong

You know those days when you wake up in the morning and you just immediately feel like shit? Like you have no particular reason to but you just do? Then you try to rationalize it by attributing your mood to things like not getting a good night’s sleep, a problem that bothered you the night before, a mild case of Seasonal Affective Disorder, etc. and you go through all these plausible causes but you can’t really find the reason, so you proceed through the regular tasks of your day with this lingering melancholy that you drag along with you like a ball and chain, debilitating your capability to function? And part of you is saying, “Hey man you have things to do, goals to achieve, and fears to conquer. This is one of those defining moments to prove to yourself that you are better than your disorder and you can fight it!” while another, more existential part of you argues, “But being sad and sleepy and calm is so much easier…why do I have to do all this stuff today? Why do I do any of it at all on any day? What am I even doing with my life?” and you keep trying to do everything you’re supposed to do that day with these conflicting thoughts until at 6 pm, the latter voice wins and you take to your bed in defeat?

No? Well, that’s how most of my days went when I was really far deep in this EPSON MFP imageshithole called Depression. Continue reading

Something More Important Than My Birthday

By Sarah Wong

Around six months ago, on my 18th birthday, I uploaded a video to Facebook. I wish I could say it was a video of me being surprised by friends, or blowing out candles on a cake, or some other typical birthday thing, but no, it wasn’t anything like that at all. It was me sitting on a red couch in one of my residence’s common rooms in my pajamas, trying not to cry as I talked to my computer. Clearly, I’m a badass motherfucker and I live life on the edge.

Well, sometimes I feel like that. Sometimes I feel like a ballin’, adventurous risk-taker who wants to try cool new shit, but most of the time, I don’t. Most of the time, I just feel like plugging my ears up with some This American Life and sleeping the days away.

I had the tiniest smidgen of hope that my birthday of all days would at least be a little brighter, but it really wasn’t. I didn’t celebrate, didn’t get any calls from friends or family, or get any presents except a card and a chocolate bar (from my residence floor’s birthday reps and my don, respectively). And I definitely don’t want to sound unappreciative of the minute, but nevertheless existent, efforts of those who wished me happy birthday on my Facebook wall.

At first, I was totally fine with how the day was turning out, because after all, it was just like any other, but as I sat alone YouTubing in my room that night, I realized how fundamentally sad it really was. I mean, it’s totally okay to be content with not doing anything special on your birthday and just chilling by yourself, but to me, it wasn’t okay, because I chose to close myself off from people. I wanted to ditch my reluctant, paranoid, and depressed high school self. University was supposed to be a fresh start, but I wasn’t changing for the better and I really, really wanted to. So I guess that was the impetus for a miraculous stroke of bravery that led me to decide to make a video about my experiences and how I was feeling.

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