Remember to always take care of yourself, unashamedly

Katie Smith, Editor- in- Chief

Sometimes you will find in the middle of fields or desolate ghost towns, long-abandoned homes with wild oaks and evergreens bursting through the windows or boasting through ceilings.

There is an interesting paradox in this idea – the idea that something influenced and constructed can become so neglected, that from it grows a raw and natural version of it’s previous form.

I am wondering whether I am a neglected home or an evergreen, and it occurs to me I am both.

Depression is a beast so many fight in silence to put to rest out of fear of ignorant judgments.  Yet so many times we hear the words “I’m so OCD” or “I’m going to kill myself” used conversationally through laughter.

Although I am guilty of joking about such a serious matter myself, I believe it does reinforce fears sufferers have  about coming forward with their unhappiness.

As someone who struggles with both depression and obsessive compulsive tendencies, I know that being in a college environment can feel like a daunting and defeating task. 

The competitive atmosphere exaggerates a sense of isolation and tells you everything is meant to be suffered through entirely alone.

Whether or not you suffer from seasonal depression or are engaged in a constant struggle, this time of year can feel particularly challenging.

Just as the winter wears off and temperatures hint at springtime, the change is almost too abrupt after months of sadness.

The process of not feeling and feeling entirely too much is cyclical and exhausting.

For the past month my hands have been stuck in hard fists and my jaw clenched tight. In times my life feels out of control my body responds by physically trying to grab or hold on to something at all times.

But my body and the bodies of those like me are abandoned houses, shedding our exteriors to reveal something honest, natural and above all strong.

In times of faltering optimism, remember that bearing it all makes you vulnerable, yes. But it also presents the opportunity to know yourself; love yourself; take care of yourself.

The more conscious I become of my fists, the more likely I am to feel when the tighten, and the more easily I can learn to let them go.

There is nothing shameful about therapy. There is nothing weak about necessary medication, and there is nothing more liberating than acknowledging your emotions, and furthermore, taking control of them.

Katie Smith is a senior journalism major. She can be reached at [email protected].