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Health

I’m Not Glamorizing Depression, I’m Staying Alive: Advice from So Sad Today

by So Sad Today
Mar 20 2015, 11:23am

Illustrations by Joel Benjamin

Why would you take advice from someone who doesn't have all her shit together? I don't know, but people email me a lot for advice.

Maybe it's because a person who doesn't have all her shit together seems safer than a perfect person (whoever that is). Maybe it's because a person who is honest about her shortcomings is more likely to give honest advice. Maybe people are just lonely. I'm lonely.

Nobody knows what happens after we die. Nobody knows why we came here. But here is some correspondence about surviving what comes in between.

Questions have been edited for clarity.

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Dear So Sad Today,

Do you know how one can date girls without ever having to talk with them, look them in the eyes, or stand in the same room for more than ten seconds?

Is it OK to stalk them on social media and crave their attention like a homeless dog?

Is it OK to only fall in love (I mean obsess) with very very pretty and successful girls who don't give a shit about me? I'm not sure I would be able to love someone who also loves me. (I had a girlfriend once and when she started liking me I had to break up with her. It was really weird and pathetic—why would you fall in love with me??) Does that come from low self-esteem and validation-craving?

As a girl, would you date a pile of trash like me? I wear black clothes and I hate life and stuff so I guess I'm a bit cool if that helps. Also I wear women's clothes cause I think the skinny heroinman look is fancier than big muscles and ugly sports clothes.

Thanks,

Person

Dear Person,

I obsess about boys the most when they ignore me. So your inability to talk to girls, look them in the eye, or stand in the same room as them could bring you success.

It's not OK to internet stalk, but of course I do it. But, like, I would not recommend actively stalking. If someone says stop contacting me, stop contacting them immediately. Instead I recommend passively lurking (like a homeless cat rather than a homeless dog). This is not to rule out homeless dog entirely. Homeless dog can have its appeal. I once fell in love with a boy who initiated by liking, faving, rt'ing and commenting on all my shit. We had sex three times.

Ultimately, I think that if it's the right person there are no rules. Like, if it's truly the right person (meaning, you have sex more than three times) then games are irrelevant.

Yes, the inability to love someone who loves you comes from low-self esteem and validation craving (and other stuff too). It's the reason why something called sexual and emotional anorexia exists, and why it is the flipside of the same coin as sex and love addiction. You aren't in love with the person. You are obsessed with the idea of the person. Once the person becomes real to you, the fantasy is dead. But you know this.

Black clothes and hating life are perfect. They are indicative of the omega male persona. I've always been drawn to omega males who hate society, rather than alpha males (dominant, muscle bros), because I want to have a magic pussy/be magic and I feel like if I can make a person who hates everything love me, then I am even more special. And I'm not the only woman like this.

xo,

sst

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Dear So Sad Today,

Is it possible to drown in a bathtub not filled with water but your own emotions? I feel that fear and sadness are the most common emotions in my life, which is unfortunate. The feeling of both together actually makes me feel as though I'm drowning and there's a weight that won't ever be lifted. I've been feeling these two a lot for the past few months.

Thanks,

Bathtub

Dear Bathtub,

My heart says: definitely. I am definitely going to drown in my emotions. Like, I still believe my emotions will kill me every time I feel one.

But of your emotions, I say: no. I promise you they won't kill you. I know this from looking at my past experiences and the fact that my emotions haven't killed me yet. While these past experiences are somehow not enough to convince me that I won't die from my emotions, they convince me that you won't die from yours.

So I think my final assessment is: we can kill ourselves trying to escape our emotions. But our actual emotions can't kill us, even when we feel like they can.

I believe in you.

xo

sst

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Dear So Sad Today,

Aren't you just glamorizing depression and anxiety?

Sincerely,

A Loser

Dear Loser,

I'm not glamorizing depression and anxiety, I'm staying alive.

Here's how I see it: They're my depression and anxiety. So I get to do what I want with them.

Also, can you imagine if I did manage to glamorize depression and anxiety? That would be amazing. I would love for people with mental illnesses to feel like they have something that everyone wants, rather than feeling ashamed. I would love for us to be the cool kids. If glamorizing depression and anxiety means a few normcore sheep pretend they have it too; or, like, Abercrombie makes a perfume called Neurotransmitter, I think it's worth it. Anxiety for president.

xo

sst

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Dear So Sad Today,

Are granola bars goth? Please help me before I leave for this road trip.

Sadly urs,

Raisins

Dear Raisins,

OK. It depends on the brand and flavor.

Here is a quick rundown:

- Any granola bars that you get at Whole Foods are not goth. They are not even health goth. I hate to say this. I'm really sorry. They are healthcore.

- Shitty junk food 'granola bars' are goth, but they have to be the ones with chocolate, peanut butter and/or caramel in them and you have to eat more than two in one sitting. Otherwise, not goth.

- Health Valley granola bars are not goth.

I hope this is helpful.

xo

sst

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Dear So Sad Today,

I had two questions I guess. They're not really important but in a way I guess they are to me.

What are your opinions on the planets? Do they differ in opinion to you or are they all the same?

Also, how do I change completely in order to make friends. I'm tired of hearing "be yourself," because that's exactly what's preventing me from making and keeping friends. No one wants to mope around with a chronically depressed 17-year-old existentialist.

I want to die on Neptune tbh. I'd like to be friends with you.

Best,

NASA

Dear NASA,

I think the planets are probably all different. It's funny that you ask, because I've been listening to the sounds of the planets a lot lately on YouTube and they are very diverse. Jupiter is different than Mercury and Mercury is different than Uranus. People in the comments are fighting over whether there is actually sound in space. It seems like there is no sound in space. But these sounds are radio waves that are translated into noises we can hear, so they are an accurate representation and lead me to believe that each planet is doing its own thing.

As for making friends, I recommend animals. When I am feeling at my most estranged from the human race, my pet loves me and I love him. Another thing that has helped me is volunteering at a dog rescue organization. The simplicity of the act feels so good. The people I meet are really nice. It gets me out of myself. Maybe focus less on trying to change you and more on let me do something nice for someone else. I know it sounds like a punishment. Like, fuck, I am already suffering and now I have to go volunteer? But honestly, it's a really nice way to meet people and you start with this common bond of the thing you are working to accomplish so you kind of don't have to worry about your own bullshit. That's what I like best about doing service. Not thinking about my own bullshit!

Good luck to you and let me know what happens.

xo

sst

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Dear So Sad Today,

Do you have high IQ ?

I was diagnosed when I was really young and never thought too much about it but I saw a therapist last week (mainly for depression and anxiety) and for him it's obvious it's related.

After reading everything I could find on the topic, it seems like it comes very often with hyper emotivity and anxiety disorders and very low self-esteem (=me), so I started looking back at my childhood and what led me to depression from this point of view and it kind of makes sense.

I actually feel really relieved, because it means it's not my fault and maybe it was meant to happen. Therefore I don't have to try to feel good and I can just take pleasure in being sad and weird and misunderstood and forever lay down in my bed and expect people to save me because I don't see why I'd do it myself.

Yours,

Bed

Dear Bed,

I have a really high verbal IQ. But I think another part of my IQ is normcore or maybe even low? There is a weird gap. Like one part of me came out of the womb too smart and one part was like huh?

There has always been a correlation between genius and madness, or at least that's what I believed in my drug-taking days. When I was on drugs I felt super creative. Unfortunately, the next day I would look at what I had made and be like what the fuck is this shit? So I would have to take more drugs to make it seem good to me. That's not to say some people don't make good art on drugs. Some people make great art on drugs. I think it depends on the person (and the drugs).

I'm glad you feel relieved. No one should ever be pressured to be a person or get out of bed. That being said, in my times of need (every day) I've had to be the one to rescue myself. Or at least, I've had to rescue myself enough to get the right help. It sucks, because I want nothing more than to be rescued, particularly by someone hot. But it hasn't happened yet.

xo

sst

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Dear So Sad Today,

I read the pieces you wrote for VICE (I hate VICE though), and I felt really... I identified with it. I always use the internet as a method to escape when I'm in public, especially by listening to music with my headphones—because I feel super nervous about people irl, like I'm not enough for them, even the people who I appreciate and love.

Does it get better someday? Or at least will I come to terms with my goth-ness?

Thanks,

VICE-hater

Dear VICE-hater,

I can only speak from my own experience and say it's not necessarily that it gets better, but I've maybe learned how to better ride the waves? Like, you go through enough hard times with mental health and it's like: OK, I don't know how I'm going to get through this one, but I've always pulled through before so I probably will this time too. Like it gets better, then worse, then better...

Also, it def sucks being a teen and having so little control of your own life. As an adult you have more control over your time and choices (unless you get sucked into a job and marriage and kids) so that is wayyy better.

I'm scared a lot of the time. But I can still make myself and other people laugh.

Wishing you luck on your journey.

xo

sst

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Dear So Sad Today,

Why are you so sad?

Best,

Emojiface

Dear Emojiface,

Look around.

xo,

sst

If you're struggling or just need someone to talk to, the Samaritans offer 24-hour support.

So Sad Today is a never-ending existential crisis played out in 140 characters or less. Its anonymous author has struggled with consciousness since long before the creation of the Twitter feed in 2012, and has finally decided the time has come to project her anxieties on a larger screen, in the form of a biweekly column on this website.

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depression
anxiety
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