just make sure you're not hanging out with a bunch of assholes

This has quickly become my favorite quote ever. For one, because it's down right hilarious and a well placed curse word is just needed sometimes. And secondly, because it rings so scarily true in my life, and I have a feeling, in a lot of other peoples'. I diagnosed myself with depression, low self-esteem, and high anxiety about a year ago. If you're new to the blog, a quick peek into the "relationship" section will reveal exactly why this self-diagnosis took place. This is going of offend some people, and I'm okay with that. I don't want to make one grand sweeping motion and call everyone that was in my life at that time a jerk, I had and have some really fantastic friends, and they know who they are. But when you spend a majority of your time with someone who consistently belittles you, and a group of people who really don't care whether you go or stay, your general demeanor is bound to take a nosedive into depression-land. It all came to a head on The Worst Spring Break Ever, Part II (Part I had taken place a year earlier. Spring Break and I don't really get along).

I can vividly remember a moment sitting in the second room we had rented, which was thankfully empty, as everyone had a grand ole time in the other, curled up in a ball, crying my eyes out. My relationship laid in shambles around me, I was watching the boy I thought would love me forever fall in love with another girl, and I'd never felt more alone in my life. I was depressed, I was anxious, and I hated myself. I was seeing myself and life through this really crappy, warped set of eyes. It was bad, and I was miserable. I'd been living like this for a while, but I'd always had my girlfriends around to hold me up when I fell apart. But because I had opted to go on this trip with all of his friends, I was alone. There have been a couple times in my life where I've cried out to God and instantly heard his voice, and this was one of those times that I really needed to hear him. I cried and I talked. I told God everything I was feeling in that moment (which was a lot), and told him that I was pretty sure I couldn't go on like this much longer. And then I sat and waited. For a while. His answer? "You're not going to have to." 

[Let me make a quick sidebar: My entire life, I've really struggled with definites. I see life as black and white, and always and never are very big parts of my vocabulary. "I'm always going to feel this way", "this is never going to get better". What I've come to find about myself is that this roots in a lack of faith in God. Plain and simple. If I believe that my circumstances are unchangeable, and that my Father doesn't want them to change for the better, then I don't trust him. And all he's ever done is give me reason after reason to trust him. All he's ever done is prove me wrong. So now, when always and never start to creep back into my vocabulary, I have to remember that he's bigger. Sidebar over.]

I'm not going to lie to you, when I heard those words, I thought it meant that my relationship was about to go on the upswing, that my depression was about to go away, and that this group of people that I so desperately needed to want me around, was going to. I was wrong. I returned home to a swift and cold breakup, and wouldn't really talk to that group of people much after the fact. And for a moment, I was floored. I couldn't understand how I felt like God had laid it out for me that everything was going to be okay, when things were so obviously not okay. But I was wrong again. In the days following the end of that part of my life, pieces of myself that I'd lost along the way started to come back. My friends started to comment on how happy I seemed, and they did it often. I started spending time again with the people who had always been there, building me up, loving me, that I had been to immersed in the dark to see. They wanted me around, they encouraged me to start over, and they rejoiced in the return of their friend. And most importantly, they pointed me back to Jesus everyday. J and I started dating not long after my breakup, and he became another part of God's beautifully surprising plan. And little by little, the days weren't so dark. I stopped waking up feeling like I was going to vibrate out of the bed due to the amount of anxiety riddling my body. The words always and never became less and less a fixture in my life. I started being able to see myself as the Creator of the Universe sees me-beautifully and wonderfully made.

I'm not saying that depression and anxiety aren't very real things. I know that they are. It's so easy to start believing that there's no hope And I'm not saying that the people I surrounded myself with were the only reason I ever felt the way I did. That's really not fair. But what I am saying is that maybe you need to look around at who you're surrounding yourself with before you run off and get a Prozac prescription. They can have an amazing impact on who you are and how you feel, if you let them. This is the point I'm trying to make:

 Life your life with people who want to see you happy, who point you back to Jesus when all you can see is dark. People who will sit with you and let you talk even when they think you're ridiculous. Choose life with the people who choose you just as much as you choose them. Who will stay in the apartment and watch Arrested Development all day because you just can't bring yourself to go out.

I don't know. Just make sure you're not hanging out with a bunch of assholes.

{this post is dedicated to my wonderful 2010-2011 roommates who put up with more than they should've, and helped carry me through it all.}


Lauren Smith said...

Girl, I love this. It's so true. Sometimes there are more ass holes in your life than you realize and a lot of depression issues could be solved with that one thing.

I needed this.
Sooo, thanks and stuff.

Carmen Myer said...

I so needed to read this today Blake! Living life with people who want to see you happy and who are uplifting can have more impact on our lives than we understand. Beautifully written, thanks for sharing.

p.s. I love a well placed curse word, and this post had just the right amount! :)

tyler said...

I love all your posts, I really do...they are so honest and real and always make me think and take a step back to examine my life. This post is one of my favorites...i can't put my finger on the exact reason...but it's wonderful & I love it. Xoxo

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