In honor of Suidice Prevention Day yesterday:

me

These pictures were taken end of August in Hyde Park of Southside Chicago by my friend, Chris.

[Friday, September 11, 2015; 8:00 pm]

Several years ago, I had someone tell me “You’re worth it.” To which I responded, “No one’s ever told me that before.” That someone was my therapist. And at the time, I didn’t understand to the full extent what she meant. It wasn’t until fairly recently that I fully grasped what she was trying to say. Looking back, these words saved me in a way.

A couple of years ago, I suffered from an eating disorder and depression that almost prevented me from finishing my last semester at college. I went to therapy (again) and was also put on SSRIs. SSRIs are Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors and for those who don’t know, serotonin is basically the chemical in your body that tells you to be happy. Sometimes people are sad because of a tragic event that happened in their lives and sometimes people are just sad because they have a chemical imbalance.

I recently opened up to an old friend about how I was feeling and she said, “I had no idea! All your posts made it seem like you are so happy and enjoying life.” And that’s the problem. That you put out there what you want others to see. It’s all a facade.

Growing up in a traditional Asian household, we were not allowed to show emotion. I remember many nights of crying, self-mutilation, and contemplating suicide. But I of course walked out of my room, wiped my tears, and put on a smile to join dinner with my family. Everyone in that household was none the wiser. To this day, I’m sure my parents and brothers are still completely oblivious to what I went through. And because I grew up in that environment, it’s how I learned to carry my life– to not let people see me suffer.

We’ve all suffered and been through some hardships at one point in our lives. But because of the stigma around mental disorders, people are too scared to open up about what’s really going on. I read somewhere that “explaining a mental disorder to someone who doesn’t have one is like explaining colors to a blind person.” It doesn’t help when you’re trying to explain your pain to another individual who just tells you to “get over it” or that “it’s not that serious.”

The point of all of this is that it’s ok to be sad and that it’s ok to talk about it because there are others out there going through some kind of turmoil. And not one person’s problems are more significant than another.

I’m not on medication anymore and I also stopped going to therapy once I moved to Chicago. But today, I took the first step to set up an appointment to see a therapist again.

For those who are going through any sort of battle, keep fighting. Because you too, are worth it.

Sincerely,
Villie

P.S. Thank you to those who read this, like really read this. Thank you for letting me share my story. And for those who didn’t know, now you do. And for those very few who did and have stuck by me all these years, thank you.

//EDIT: PART TWO:

I posted this about 24 hours ago and I did not expect any of this. Though, I’m not really sure what I was expecting. But I genuinely appreciate everyone who took time out to read this and am overwhelmed by all of the support and positive feedback. I had people who I just met and people I haven’t spoken to since high school (2007, mind you) reach out to me to thank me and share their own stories. People were saying that I was an inspiration, but no, you are all an inspiration to me.

Truth is, we’re all a little fucked up (sorry for the profanity). And that’s ok. It’s ok to not be ok. Just know that you don’t have to struggle in silence. I read an article a few months back about a girl who committed suicide, but portrayed the perfect life on social media. Star athlete, popular, pretty, etc. And when she took her own life, everyone was shocked to find out that there was anything wrong with her. And when I read that, I thought “how unfair.” How unfair that she was suffering and that no one knew about it or knew how to help her.

Someone who hasn’t had to experience depression and trying to imagine what it feels like is like someone who suffers from depression trying to imagine life without it. It just doesn’t seem real. Why does the struggle to be happy have to be… well, a struggle? And I don’t even think the problem is being happy, it’s staying happy.

Our thoughts, feelings, and perceptions are all valid and important. Don’t let anyone take that away from you. Again, I cannot thank everyone enough for their support. I love you all ❤

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4 thoughts on “In honor of Suidice Prevention Day yesterday:

  1. Sean says:

    Dearest Villie,
    You may not remember me from Serra or even de portal of that is where you went. If this was happening during school I had no idea because you did a good job of hiding it. I hate to sound cliche or like your friend, as I was oblivious to the circumstances. I truly happy that you have found something in your life that makes you happy! I really could write so much to you but as you said, we have all battled our own demons and to be where I am; consider this message to be a sign of victory. I hope the rest of your life is filled with adventure, love and joy! The Villie I knew seemed happy and joyous! I hope you always stay same! I apologize if I don’t make much sense, for I am drunk beyond belief. I would like to say that drinking brings it the true individual as many say but I struggle to be myself unless I am drunk 🙂 take care of yourself over here on the east coast. If you find yourself in North Carolina let me know I’ll be here for another 6-8 months.

    Sean mills

    • reallyvillie says:

      Holy shit, Sean. I love this. I love this SO MUCH. You’re so silly, of course I remember you! We used to hang out all the time in high school. And yes, I did go to de Portola too. I’m happy to hear that you were able to battle your own demons and by us talking right now, it’s definitely a victory for the both of us. I’m happy to always hear that I always seemed happy and joyous because sure, I was. Just battling something deep down inside. And you ever let me know if you’ll be in Chicago. I’ll be here for… well who knows how long haha.

      Take care ❤

  2. Justin B. says:

    Thank you for sharing this, because it’s certainly not easy to talk about. I think you’re a great person and I’m sorry that you grew up in an environment where you felt so alone in your struggle with depression..

    I have also struggled with depression and there has been more than one occasion that I was on the brink of suicide.. Ultimately what always stopped me from carrying it out was the thought of how much it would crush the people who care about me.

    I agree that there is a bad stigma about depression. People can belittle it as attention seeking behavior and don’t really take it seriously, like it’s an act we’re putting on, or something we can simply decide to snap out of, like turning on a light switch.

    I wish the best for you, Villie! I always smile when I remember the time you brought me an iced chai latte on that day that I was working hard at pizza hut next door 🙂 that was sweet!

  3. Norka says:

    Sweet Villie, for all I remember you ever being to me was insanely sweet. I just wanted to reply to you because I needed to let you know how much respect I give you for this. I can say the same as the people above me who have posted. I would have never guessed what you were going through back in high school because you were always the girl with the biggest smile on her face who glew up the room. I commend you for opening up such a deep and personal part of your life. Many people will never have the courage that you do and so I just wanted to let you know how much I love you (even more) for being so true to yourself and such an amazing example of courage to others.

    Its been a while since we were in high school dancing in your room to kid Cudi (chuckles), but time has allowed me to also get real in touch with my most fragile bits and therefore coming to be a more confident being as a whole in the shitty, not so great, and even better bits of me that make me, me. Spreading that self love has been an amazing teacher in itself for me.. and now I see it in you.

    Know you are loved and f****** amazing.

    Keeping shining that light my dear friend, mad mad respect.

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