The death of Tim Bergling (Avicii) has sparked something in me that I previously wanted to not talk about. While I have never personally met Tim Bergling, his death has me reeling. Many people will say “oh he had everything, why did he do that to himself?” but anxiety and depression don’t care if you’re rich or poor. Anxiety and depression can impact anyone. I can’t fully explain why I feel this way, it could be that we were the same age, that I can remember the exact moment I heard his song Levels, or that instead of him it could have been me that’s not here.
I remember the first time I felt anxiety – I was 17. It was after my #MeToo incident. God damn even to this day I have trouble saying it, saying that I was sexually assaulted. I remember feeling that I must be going crazy. Instead of talking to someone, I started drinking. Drinking and partying was a way to cope with everything. No one even knew anything was wrong because I was the life of the damn party. It all came crashing down in graduate school. A man tried to sexually assault me when I was DDing people home from a party. He stole my keys as I was unloading his stuff from the trunk of my car. He ran into his house and told me I couldn’t leave unless I kissed him. I was sober, angry and scared. I was able to get my keys back and I ran out to the car and drove home – crying uncontrollably. After that he told everyone we had slept together… literally everyone. I hadn’t even touched him. I couldn’t cope with this again… so my drinking ramped up. I had almost zero friends. In my anxiety and partying induced haze, I had decided there was only one way to stop feeling this way, I needed to end my life.
If it wasn’t for the persistence of a small, forceful girl, I wouldn’t be here. I am not sure what Hope saw in me. She barely knew me, but she forced me into inviting her over for lunch. She found a note with my intentions on it – she was nosey. She convinced me to talk to a therapist. Her persistence and my newly adopted dog – saved my life. She is now one of my best friends. I still suffer from anxiety but I try now to cope with it in healthier ways. I don’t always succeed but now I know that there are people in my life that will always be there to pull me off the ground and I am thankful for that.
It’s time we change the way we view anxiety and depression. We need to stop attaching such a negative stigma to it. Anyone can deal with anxiety. We all need to be a little kinder and a little more empathetic. Honestly, all it takes is 5 minutes out of your day to be nice to someone… but that 5 minutes of kindness could mean the world to someone suffering from depression or anxiety. It’s time we stop telling boys that they can’t cry. Boys can cry, and they should cry. Boys should be allowed to show feelings without being called wimps or being told that it’s not manly.
It makes me so angry that in 2018 people are still attaching such a negative stigma to mental health issues. You go to the doctor when you have the flu, why wouldn’t you go to the doctor when your brain is feeling off. Could you imagine if we treated people with the flu the same way we treated people with mental health issues? Telling your or male friend to “man up” when dealing with mental health issues is absurd. Let men have feelings and stop calling women “crazy” for being anxious or depressed.
Anyway, this turned into a rant and for that I am sorry. Just leave here knowing that everyone is fighting their own battle, even if they seemingly have everything inside they might be hurting – just be kind. Try every day to make the world a little better than it was the day before. ❤