When I was little I used to find such comfort in being under the covers. My mom would tuck me in and turn off the lights and I knew that as long as I stayed under the covers the monster that lived under my bed could not grab me and I would be safe. Crazy to think that, at 20 years old, my covers bring me the same comfort as when I was a child, but this time it’s not because I am scared of any monster. The world seems to freeze when I am in my bed and all my responsibilities fade. As my body sinks into the mattress and my comforter falls perfectly around me, the warmth of it draws me into slumber. You can’t stress over anything when you are asleep right?
Looking back to last semester, my bed and I barely knew each other. I spent so much of my time running around doing things, from school to work, to hanging with friends; I was always trying to stay entertained, and was bored whenever I was by myself. I would not end up creeping into bed every night until around 2 in the morning and classes willed me to wake up early, so I was rarely in my bedroom.
Nowadays. I lay in bed until the last possible second I have to. I sleep in and I nap everyday. I have to mentally prepare myself to tear apart from my sheets, often asking myself if I really have to get up, often wondering how important my current responsibilities are. I recognize the problem with me laying in bed all day. I know that it is not doing me any good, and yet I can’t seem to stop myself from wanting to collapse into it any chance I get. I am so mentally exhausted all the time and only feel truly relaxed when I am alone and away from the world. My bedroom is my sanctuary. The one place I feel truly numb end extremely emotional at the same time. I don’t just go into my room when I get tired and need to sleep, I go when I get tired from over-thinking, feeling, and just living. It is where I take a break from the world around me.
I think about mental illness, more specifically about depression, and often ponder if I am experiencing it myself. Things that I once found important, no longer interest me in the same way, they are small things, nothing too central to who I am, but they now seem irrelevant. I look at the world as a really uncertain, scary place now, and I feel like whatever I am experiencing, if it is depression, is because I have finally lost my last shred of innocence (See Melissa’s post of the about losing one of her closest friends.). Then I compare myself to my peers around me and realize that a lot of my friends are lot farther behind me in how they view the world. They will gossip about things that are not important and have no relevance once we leave college, yet they invest so much of their emotions and time into stressing about these things. Sometime I want to shake them and say, “Care about this, not that!”
But I can’t because everyone has to go through experiences on their own.
I think one of the most important things a person can do is understand the things that happen to them. When you look at interactions and experiences that you have been through, you are able to grow as a person by analyzing and understanding them. You gain knowledge about yourself and this self-knowledge grows over time, constantly in flux. The flow of information I constantly learn about myself continues to surprise me. The number of times I have felt like I was at my absolute breaking point, overcoming it and learning just how much I can take has made me stronger each time. The harder I fall and the more I get up, the harder the hit I can take the next time.
There are things you can control in life and things you cannot, and one of the things you can control is how you react to things. How you look at a situation and decide to proceed is something only your mind can control and the more you learn about yourself, the better you understand your mind and all it’s inner workings. This is why psychology intrigues me so much, because the mind is just so powerful. How you perceive the world, how you understand actions, thoughts, behaviors, moods, and attitudes of yourself and others – how you make sense of anything, is all because of the mind. And everyone’s mind is different, which is something that took me too long to realize.
As a person who overthinks everything, I used to wonder if there was something wrong with me. Why am I the only one who thinks the way I do? Are other people over analyzing things too? Does anyone understand crippling anxiety the way I do? Am I mentally sick? Do I need help? All these questions make me scared of myself. Truthfully, the more I learn about human cognition and the mind, I realize that there is not one person who processes the world the same way, but I also realize that there are people who experience similar things as me. I’m not alone but I am an individual. In the future, I want to really work on embracing this instead of hiding away in bed from it. I am strong and I am going to get through this tough time in my life. It’s time to be an adult and for me to realize that I cannot escape the world I can only embrace it, even though my view of it is always changing with the more information I receive. It is time for me to get out of bed and take back my life.