Hello God, Is It Me, Bethany?

Hello God, yeah, I’d like to know, is this me? Is it the medication? 

Am I just tired? That’d be nice to know. God?

Today was awful. I don’t know why. I just wanted to slam everything and throw everything and because I was feeling this way – everything got messed up which only made my mood worse.

On top of that, I have to go in to work tomorrow and I’m super stressed because I need to get my school work done. I’m a full time student with a full time job (which I don’t need to have, my parent’s just want me to help them out.) I told them that school work comes first and they do not care. All the money goes straight to me and I already have enough saved to pay them back the total amount bit by bit. They pay me the same amount and at the same time as any other employee, so there’s really not much reason for them to need me this badly… they even have someone coming in to work tomorrow.

But no. They want me to work. Full time. While I’m a full time student. Which drives me crazy because I have things to do. I have so much to do. I’m stressed I’m going to fail these classes.

I know I’m overreacting, but I can’t help my mood. Am I tired? Am I just in a bad mood? Am I a brat? Am I doing this because of the new medication?

On that note, for some reason I felt skinny and less bloated today – It’s probably absolutely nothing to do with my medication, but it was a nice feeling for once.

Bethany

The Truth of the Monster

I thought I had found the man, third time’s the charm right?

You looked at me with something in your eyes – something other than lust.

Wanting something more than domination, manipulation, and control.

But you ripped me apart, leaving a bloody mess.

 

I became yours for the taking – I felt dirty.

You never asked for consent and you didn’t stop when I said no.

Only physical force saved me – my physical force.

Once again I was violated by a man who wanted to be a pastor.

 

I blamed myself for every girl after me – every one who you hurt next.

But I wouldn’t let the monster of what you did escape from my lips.

I wouldn’t let the bile rise up – I swallowed it down.

I prayed that the others are fine and that no more will be hurt.

 

I justified what you did to me and to them.

Over and over I justified the things you did.

But then some days my head is clear from your grasp.

And I know – I know that what you did can’t be justified.

 

So one day my mind was crystal clear.

And I made my choice in that clarity.

Phone calls were made and cars were borrowed.

A long night in the police station after hours.

 

So I told – I opened my mouth and the monster came out.

The dark mess came out slowly, then all at once, like bile I couldn’t keep down.

I told the police but I didn’t want charges.

I wanted a record for those after me, for those who might come.

 

But then I went back and I told home – our home – yours and mine.

Because even there I needed there to be a something for those to come after me.

I knew there were some to come – I was the frontrunner.

I was the trailblazer for those hurt by you.

 

I told and the monster came out in our home.

Bile rising up – tears pouring out.

I spoke those words you begged me not to.

The truth burned out – I don’t know if even I could have stopped them.

 

In the end even you – even you admitted it.

No punishments happened to you, not a single one.

And I was the one who received the backlash.

Maybe that was the truth of the monster.

Bethany

Don’t Get Too Close: It’s Dark Inside

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When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide
Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

– Imagine Dragons

So my anger and pain finally caught up to me and I wrote “to” the guy who sexually assaulted me and who I tried to get justice against. I feel like a horrible person. I feel crazy. I feel ridiculous. But this is what’s inside. My pain and my horrid disgusting inability to forgive. My problem with playing victim. My demons. So here they are; no more hiding.

Letters to Carson: Day 1 through Day 40

College, Yik Yak and Twitter

I’m so done with my college. So so done. To start it all of some people at my college started Twitter accounts to post “gossip” (but basically it was all slander and just plain lies.) They accused someone of rape (or it sounds like they accused the accuser of accusing of rape.) Which these girls came forward and said they never accused him of rape (they’re like best friends so why would they lie? And why would they publicly defend him if it was true?)

Then the person running the account posting screenshots of who had been sending them “tips” (information? Gossip? I dunno it seemed like gossip girl to me.)

And wowwie. A friend of mine send it something awful about my roommate and her guy friend, and something horrible about me. Neither of which were TRUE but they had some truth to them..

So basically now everyone knows  some guy tried to get me to kill myself for months…so now I feel like I’m going to viewed like a crazy person.

Oh and the best part of it all? Apparently people think it’s me who started these pages. Like the the heck. It’s going around that it was me? I’m pretty sure the person who hates me on yik yak started it and now it’s gotten out of control. Like do people not realize what these rumors can do to people? Even baseless accusations can ruin my standing at this college… I’m sick of people talking badly about me. I’m sick of rumors I can’t do anything to stop.

Gotta love college..Right.

Bethany

My Disagreement with McEntyre

On page 13 of Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies McEntyre says that it is an abuse of language to use war language for healing.  One of McEntyre’s examples of such an abuse was the phrase “battling depression.”  To her this is a highly questionable way to use the word “battle.” To my belief McEntyre’s opinion in Caring for Words in a Culture Full of Lies is wrong. The phrase “battling depression” is not an abuse of language. Perhaps using war language for other circumstances is an abuse. However, when in context to depression there’s no doubt in my mind that war language is appropriate, because depression really and truly is a battle.

For anyone who has dealt with depression personally, they know that depression is a battle. Some might suggest that the word “struggle” would be more appropriate than “battle.” To use a word such as “struggle” in place of “battle” I feel would completely take away the from the severity that is depression. It’s not as simple as a small infection where antibiotics are taken for ten days and then they’re better. It’s not as simple as getting over a stomach bug. It’s not as simple as getting over the average cold. These things are more like struggles, small to medium hindrances in a person’s daily life. “Struggle” does not effectively portray depression.

Depression is far more than a small hindrance because it not only affects a person’s everyday life, but it affects their life every day. I personally have been battling with depression since I was 11, meaning I can confirm that depression isn’t as simple as being sad. Depression is being so sad that you can’t function. It’s going through weeks where you are numb to anything, so any kind of feeling is welcome, even if it’s negative. Depression is books, once beloved, now lying forgotten, with the loss of a will to even turn a page. People make your fists clench in irritation or your muscles tense from apprehension. Eating disgusts you. Bright colors make you dizzy and irritable. It’s losing the will to live-to exist.

While the battle with depression is not physical, does it really have to be physical to be called a battle? While a person battling depression doesn’t use weapons in the traditional sense, they still use what will be effective against depression. A common phrase from mental health counselors is “what can you put in your toolbox?” What this means is phrases, thoughts, activities, people, and bible verses can you pack away so that you make sure you’re prepared the next time you start slipping into depression. A recurring instance for me is that an overwhelming feeling of worthlessness seems to seep into my thoughts and being. Now I could let this take hold of me, or I could use the “weapons” I’ve gathered in the past seven years. Sometimes I might need to go running, sometimes I talk to friends, sometimes I remember times I did a good job, and sometimes the only thing I can do is repeat a bible verse over and over in my head. I still consider this fighting though, and without fighting and battling my depression, I cannot say for sure that I’d be here today.

Yes, it’s war language to describe healing, and it’s hard to discern exactly what McEntyre has a problem with while talking about this “abuse.” It’s possible that McEntyre sees war and healing as polar opposites. That is not the case. In some cases something negative can bring about a positive aspect. Sometimes a forest needs to burn down so that it can grow again and be healthier. Branches sometimes need to be pruned off so the plant as whole can do better.  When we battle depression we are fighting against the negative things, so that we as a whole can do better. We are not fighting the healing. Saying that we battle depression also doesn’t mean that we think good will always come from a battle. But forcing down one area will allow us to grow in another.

It’s also possible that McEntyre fears that the phrase “battling depression” is an abuse of language in the sense that it might take away from the severity of actual war. However, if this is what she thinks, then once again I believe she is wrong. Why? Because of the biggest cause of death in the military. Many would think that the main cause of death in the military would be the obvious answer of war. Upon further research I found out that is not the case. Starting at 2011 and onward the leading cause of death in the military is suicide. (Zoroya) For the years 2012 and 2013 a study was done which showed a different result than what people might have originally suspected. “For those last two years, suicide outranked war, cancer, heart disease, homicide, transportation accidents and other causes as the leading killer, accounting for about three in 10 military deaths each of those two years.” (Zoroya)

None of this is to say that war is not a serious issue because I wholeheartedly believe it is. This is to say that depression is a serious issue as well. Depression can take deaths just like war can. At times in history, depression can take even more deaths than war or other major killers did. If McEntyre is afraid of normalizing war language she’s failing to realize that depression is a war as well. Depression is just one more thing we need to fight in order to stay alive.

Maybe McEntyre doesn’t see the severity of depression in our world and that could be why she doesn’t think “battling depression” is appropriate. However in The Noonday Demon the author Solomon shows the true brutality of depression in America. There are many startling facts that seem to further disprove McEntyre’s statement. For example, one of these startling statistics in The Noonday Demon is on depression. “More Americans kill themselves with guns than are murdered with them every year in the United States.” (Solomon) Suicide, according to the World Health Organization in 1998, was the cause of 2 percent of deaths worldwide, putting suicide ahead of both war and homicide. Every seventeen minutes someone in the U.S. commits suicide. (Solomon) While not every single suicide or suicide attempt is because of depression, seventy-five percent of those who commit suicide are clinically depressed. (10 Misconceptions) So if McEntyre doesn’t believe depression is severe enough for the word battle, then I believe she is completely incorrect. These statistics show what a major problem suicide is. In addition to this not all the deaths or attempts were reported so even these statistics aren’t completely accurate. There are far more people who are depressed or who have tried to commit suicide than could ever be fully recorded. Not every person who has tried to commit suicide will be willing to come forward because it is such a personal and honestly embarrassing memory. Either way, with or without every person coming forward the facts are there, so if McEntyre does in fact believe depression isn’t severe enough for the word battle, then she would be wrong.

Now maybe because of McEntyre’s love for words she doesn’t disagree with the severity of depression, but simply that the word “battle” is not a proper fit, or that it’s only a proper fit because of how our recent culture has shaped the word and usage of it. However if looked back at the etymology of the word “battle” it would be realized that this is still not the case. The word meant in the 1300’s in Old French “inner turmoil; harsh circumstances” so it’s not something new that this word has been used for. In addition to this the earliest meaning of the word was from Latin, at it meant “to beat.” (Harper) So how could this be a misuse of the word if this is pretty much what the word was originally meant for? Also, it can be used as a metaphor to effectively portray what those who have depression are going through.

While we don’t truly know McEntyre’s reasoning for being against the phrase “battling depression” without talking to her, because her book Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies doesn’t spend a lot of time on the matter, I still believe it is plain and simple. “Battling depression” is not an abuse of language because anyone who has dealt with depression personally or had a loved one who dealt with it, will understand. They will understand that depression is not simple or easy. Depression is a force to be reckoned with and fought against. People can have depression, people might struggle with depression, but to defeat depression I believe you have to battle it.

Bethany

“10 Misconceptions About Suicide.” California State University Northridge. Web. 17 Sept. 2015.

Harper, Douglas. “Battle.” Online Etymology Dictionary. Web. 17 Sept. 2015.

McEntyre, Marilyn Chandler. Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies. Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Pub., 2009. 13. Print.

Solomon, Andrew. “VII Suicide.” The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression. New York: Scribner, 2001. 248 and 255. Print.

Zoroya, Gregg. “Suicide Surpassed War as the Military’s Leading Cause of Death.” USA Today. Gannett, 31 Oct. 2014. Web. 17 Sept. 2015.

College and Anxiety

Colleges and their professors on a basis, are not inclusive or highly aware of students who struggle with either or both, depression and anxiety. However to allow students to get the most out of their college experience

  • In 2011 30% of students surveyed said that they felt “so depressed it was too difficult to function” in the past year at least once.
  • In 2011 6% of students seriously considered suicide.
  • In 2011 1% of students attempted suicide
  • Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in ages 15-24.
  • Anxiety is the top concern among students (41.6%) followed closely by depression (36.4%) and relationship problems (35.8%)
  • Panic disorder is the top reason women drop out of college.
  • Anxiety rates have risen to epidemic proportions in the past couple years among students.

So what? Is anxiety and depression actually an issue that should be addressed? Why yes of course! As shown by the survey done in 2011, sometimes depression can make it impossible for students to even get out of bed and function correctly.

Those with depression may experience:

  • Loss of interest in hobbies
  • Lack of energy
  • Problems with concentrating
  • Memory loss
  • Problems with decision making
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Staying asleep for too long
  • Loss of appetite or eating more than usual
  • Aches, cramps, headaches, and persistent digestive problems
  • Thoughts or attempts of suicide

Those with anxiety may experience:

  • Feelings of apprehension or dread
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Feeling tense and jumpy
  • Anticipating the worst
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Watching for signs of danger
  • Feeling like your mind’s gone blank
  • Pounding heart
  • Sweating
  • Stomach upset or dizziness
  • Frequent urination or diarrhea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tremors and twitches
  • Muscle tension
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia

Those having an anxiety/panic attack might experience:

  • Surge of overwhelming panic
  • Feeling of losing control or going crazy
  • Heart palpitations or chest pain
  • Feeling like you’re going to pass out
  • Trouble breathing or choking sensation
  • Hyperventilation
  • Hot flashes or chills
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Nausea or stomach cramps
  • Feeling detached or unreal
  • Feeling unreal or detached from your surroundings
  • Sweating
  • Feeling dizzy, lightheaded, or faint
  • Fear of dying, losing control, or going crazy
  • Numbness or tingling sensations

As seen, it would be extremely hard for a student to function in class or even make it to class while having anxiety. Many students end up failing classes or having to drop out because panic attacks might make it so they can’t go to class. There are things professors can do to that will allow students to have an easier time in class.

These things include:

  • Being predictable
  • Format of class up front
  • Allow for some student control
  • Being flexible
  • Understand they can’t always be there
  • Set up fallbacks in case they miss class
  • Be trusting; they aren’t lying about anxiety

There’s so many reasons why I believe professors need to become more educated on the effects of anxiety and depression. For me especially this is important because this year I had several professors who yelled at me for missing class, when I informed them upfront I have extreme social anxiety and that this might happen. I have had college professors who actually helped me through my anxiety and got me into the counseling center. However, this semester I had two professors who told me that the only option was to drop out, grow up, get over it, or take online classes. It’s extremely difficult to get excused absences for anxiety attacks. Most colleges don’t recognize it as an actual medical hindrance. This means college professors need to take the initiative to help their students through college. It’s not just about stress, it’s an actual problem that needs to be helped.

Bethany

Anxiety: No Fight, only Flight

Palms sweaty, arms shaking. Brain blank and tunnel vision beginning. Heart racing, breath quickening. Limbs freezing and stomach feeling naseous. 

This is what it’s like to be me every day. Every day I always get an anxiety attack, and almost alway shave a panic attack. There’s no reasoning behind them; no trigger and nothing I can do.

The fight and fire leave me. I’m strong and passionate. I don’t have fear. Until this that is, then there’s no fight. All I can do. I’m falling deeper and deeper.

It’s not a question between fight or flight; there’s only one choice: flight.

Bethany