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What I Try to Remind Myself When the News Beats My Mental Health Down

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I can’t seem to go online without being distraught and upset. The world keeps screaming that it’s cruel and I’m trying so hard to believe otherwise. No. It can’t be. I refuse to believe that hate lives louder than love, but that’s what I keep feeling. Maybe that’s what they want me to believe. Maybe I’m too much of a believer. But it’s hard not to be after my biggest doubt in the world — overcoming my eating disorder — came true. It’s hard not to believe in anything and everything else.

But it’s painful. The news makes me want to close up shop. Stop trying. Stop living. Stop breathing. I feel guilty for taking up space and being part of a world that is so filled with injustice. I know everyone keeps saying that we must fight and be part of the change, but the truth is, I am tired. Fighting is hard and exhausting and I don’t know how to help. The state of the United States is much bigger than myself, and it’s not something I can work through on my own or in therapy. It seems a lot of peoples’ distorted thoughts and upbringings are core beliefs, and I can only be responsible for my own.

It requires so many other people and so many obstacles. I want to say I want to fight, but the truth is, I don’t have the energy. I feel like I’m just watching it all happen and just go by. I feel helpless. And a little bit hopeless. I am doubting the place and impact I have in this world. What was the point of me doing all this work on myself? It feels selfish, self-serving and the darker side of me feels like destroying myself before the world further does so.

I thought the real fight was the fight against my thoughts, but now it seems like it’s now just against the world, and I’m not sure I have energy for both.

It’s scary to feel so insignificant, and I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. This is what I try to tell myself and I urge you to tell yourself the same if you’re feeling as thrown and as helpless as I do. 

It may seem like what you have to say or do is so small, that there’s not even a point in trying. But if we didn’t do anything — didn’t converse, fight, debate — nothing would change, even just for the one or two people you helped better understand. But they are important. You are important. I know the world is beating you down, but they need you. The world would be infinitely different if you silenced yourself and we need you. Keep going. 

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “HOME” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

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Thinkstock photo via Creatas Images

Originally published: August 21, 2017
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