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The Song That Impacted the Way I View My Mental Health

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So, I wrote this from the May writing prompt: “Have you ever heard a song lyric that made you feel understood as you go through your health journey? Share the lyrics, and if you can, describe the moment you first heard them. Why do they resonate with you?”

This is my answer.

The song is “Human” by Christina Perri.

“But I’m only human / And I bleed when I fall down / I’m only human / And I crash and I break down / Your words in my head, Knives in my heart / You build me up and then I fall apart / ‘Cause I’m only human.”

This song really resonates with me. The message is of someone who is always putting on a show for others — someone who can “fake a smile and force a laugh” and can “play the part if that’s what you ask.” But then the chorus continues with “I’m only human.”

Oftentimes, when under the burden and stress of my jobs, my family and friends and other responsibilities, I’ve wanted to yell out ‘I’m only human!’ Sometimes, the weight of having to be the “perfect daughter and perfect friend” for everyone in my life really drains me. It’s at times like these my depression and anxiety come out in full force. I feel like a dead weight and just the thought of having to get up and face the world makes me want to bury under my covers for all eternity. It’s even more draining because I’m not allowed to express myself and talk about my depression and anxiety. It’s frowned upon as being “too negative” and from other people’s point of view, I have a good life so why am I like this?

In all honesty, it comes from a myriad of things. My parents’ constant disappointment in me, for one. I wasn’t the best student in school, and even in college, I’m not a straight-A student. My depression stems from that because I could (and still can’t) understand why I’m not good enough for them. In recent years, I’ve had a lot of anxiety over what I’m going to do with my life and what career I’m going to choose… and I’ve finally settled on one. It’s something I’m passionate about and something I love with my whole heart. It’s going to take at least another eight years of school and a lot of money, but I truly love it and I can’t wait to get started on it. However, when I told my parents… let’s just say they weren’t too happy about it.

In this instance, my depression is wondering what I did wrong and if I can fix it. My anxiety is also wondering if I will ever be good enough for them. They seem to be proud of all their other children but it’s a chore for them to be proud of me. I’ve completed one year of college — something I did for me, not for them — but it seems to be the only thing they are proud of because it fits into their original plan for me and for my life. On a side note, I also experience migraines and headaches but because I’ve never gone to the doctor for them, my mom seems to think I don’t really have a problem and they just happen from time to time. It just goes to show how little my parents actually know about me. They believe that if you don’t have the “stereotypical symptoms” of migraines, depression or anxiety, you really don’t have a problem.

I’ve been influenced by this point of view my entire life and, to be honest, it’s much harder to get out of than you’d think. I grew up believing I needed to suppress my emotions and feelings because they just weren’t valid when compared to others. There were so many other people who were worse off than me and so many other people who had very difficult lives… what right did I have to complain? None, I had no right; at least in my parents’ eyes (and even in some friends’ eyes), I didn’t. Even to this day, someone will ask how I am or how my day was and if I’m anything but completely fake with them, I get crap. So, my day mainly consists of “fine” and “I’m doing great,” even if I’m not doing great at all

Sometimes, you don’t realize how much a certain point of view has truly affected you until you try to explain to someone why you don’t have a mental illness or condition. Suddenly, you realize you have been fed the idea of being “perfect” your entire life… and it occurs to me just how much I don’t want to be “perfect.” I just want to be a “normal” person with “normal” problems and to be treated as such.

“But I’m only human / And I bleed when I fall down / I’m only human / And I crash and I break down / Your words in my head, Knives in my heart / You build me up and then I fall apart / ‘Cause I’m only human.”

Image via YouTube.

Originally published: July 22, 2018
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