One of my favorite Jon Bellion songs is “All Time Low.”
“Lie lie lie, I try to hide, but now you know it.”
I think about this lyric a lot. There have been many times where I have tried to hide my not-okay-ness with pretending to be okay. Did people really know it? Most importantly, why did I feel like I had to hide it?
My freshman year was rough. All of my friends had gone away. Different universities, different states, different studies and clubs. My family was in a different state. My dog was 516 miles away. My twin brother, who I had been WOMBMATES with for 18 years, was no longer by my side.
Change sucks. Change is necessary, but it sucks. Change is fruitful and beneficial and life-altering. But sometimes, before the good stuff, we get the really bad stuff. And it sucks (have I mentioned that it sucks?). Sometimes, we go so, so, so far down that it doesn’t seem like we’ll ever even get to the good stuff. We call this rock bottom.
But there’s good news. When you hit rock bottom, the only way to go is up. I’ve been there. I stayed home so much that my dog stopped greeting me when I came to the door. Nowadays, he greets me with an overly-excited wiggle-waggle-snort. Sometimes he happily pees. But back then, whenever I’d come back from the bathroom or delivery counter (I didn’t leave much), he would simply glance up from his pillow and then go back to sleep.
I was majorly depressed. I was absent from school for an entire month, depressed. I was so ~depressy~ and ~stressy~ that my immune system LITERALLY stopped working. Rock Bottom.
But I didn’t tell anyone. How could I tell anyone? Why would I tell anyone? I was ashamed and embarrassed and self-conscious. I was anxious. I was lonely. I was really freaking sad.
Why do we feel like we have to always be perfect and happy? The opposite of feeling sadness is not feeling happiness. It is the feeling of being content. But how can we be content in a world that idolizes perfect little Instagram squares and overachieving varsity student-athletes who are also in 38,147 clubs? When we have our standards set unattainably high, failure is inevitable. It is expected. It isn’t a matter of if, it is a matter of when.
Rock Bottom. What do we do? REACH. OUT.
Pain is NEVER a contest. Never ever never belittle your pain just because someone “has it worse.” Pain is pain is pain. Reach out. Call your mom, text your best friend, email a professor. You can’t help others understand if you don’t help them understand. Nobody is ever truly alone. It’s hard, and it can be awkward and uncomfy, but support is so so necessary. SLU has SO many resources. The internet? SO many resources. Check out some below, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more connections.
1. Title IX: for most students on the St. Louis campus, the appropriate contact is Anna R. Kratky (DuBourg Hall, room 36; email@example.com; 314-977-3886). To view SLU’s sexual misconduct policy, and for resources, please visit the following web addresses: https://www.slu.edu/here4you and https://www.slu.edu/general-counsel.
2. Counseling: if you wish to speak with a confidential source, you may contact the counselors at the University Counseling Center at 314-977-TALK.
3. Disability Services: located in the Student Success Center and available by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 314.977.3484.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Toll Free: 800-273-8255
- Domestic Violence
- Disaster Distress Hotline (SAMHSA)
- National Eating Disorders Center Helpline
Open M-F, 9-9pm
- Planned Parenthood Hotline
(800) 230-PLAN (7526)
- National Institute on Drug Abuse Hotline
- Friendship Line – Depressive, Manic-Depressive Association of St. Louis
Weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Local Phone: (314) 652-6105
- Pathways to Safety International (Pathways to Safety International assists Americans experiencing interpersonal and gender based violence abroad.)
Hotline: 1 (833) 723 – 3833
- Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender National Hotline
Hotline: 1 (888) 843 – 4564
Youth Talkline: 1 (800) 246 – 7743