I’d talk, but… I fell in to the habit of not saying what I really felt, somewhere along the way. And then, I started believing that there wasn’t anything that I really wanted to tell anyone. But then I met you. You wouldn’t talk, but… you do have so many things you want to convey. And I started to realize that maybe there were many things I wanted to tell someone and I wanted to talk about.
– Sakagami Takumi
I’d be lying if I said my recent circumstances didn’t inspire me to be a lot more chatty. If the question were to be, “At what moment did you decide that being quiet was bad for you?”, I wouldn’t have a great answer. Because at this moment, I still don’t necessarily believe that being so quiet for the majority of my life ended up to my detriment. But right now, and with what I do know now, I get the feeling that it should be true. I said something to that effect the last time I wrote about The Anthem of the Heart, and how watching it ended up helping me cope with where life has taken me at the time. Past me would definitely cringe at whatever weird pushy dumbo he’s turned into these past few months. I wouldn’t disparage him for doing it, either, because I’m still kind of in disbelief at how much I’ve opened myself up, at least compared to the mute that I tried to hard to emulate for all these years.
Within the previous three months alone, I’ve gotten myself into a study group for accounting, reconnected with my high school speech and debate team, played LoL with friends more often, and at that point I was still uncomfortable with sharing the fact that I dropped out of university. Well, sure, it didn’t take much to actually say it out loud, but it was still quite the sore spot. I’d imagine, even, that no one really would consider dropping out of college to be all that nice to talk about. But it happened, and now I’m in junior college trying to transfer into higher education because of it. That’s something I just can’t comfortably lie about anymore.
And that was all before I had my seizure mid-October. Did you know I had a seizure? I’m still behaving as though I don’t, even though I totally did. Fun fact: I was livetweeting about me having a seizure on the ambulance as we were going to the emergency room. While you can rationalize the decision to do so as mainly a coping mechanism, since I had absolutely no memory of reportedly collapsing and twitching and pissing myself for ten minutes, I think I was also tired of something that was a long time coming.
I was of a rather pompous mindset at the time. I’ve never broken a bone before. I took pride in that fact, sort of as a shield against all the bad things that happen to other people but not me for some reason. Having a broken bone meant having a cast, or a crutch. People could see that. They would comment on it. It was very simple, easy to convey that you had a problem. That was how I viewed “having a problem” in general. If I can’t see it, then you don’t have a problem. Simple as that. It would take me years and years of slowly consuming media focused on mental illness and depression to finally realize that no, actually, it’s not that simple. I have issues. It may not look like it, but they definitely exist. Depression is a thing that happens. Grand mal seizures are also things that happen. But it would never occur to me that they had actually happened to me, well, until hours after I had it happen. In that emergency room. Tweeting about it like it was a bump on the head.
That’s when I decided that rationalizing myself as some stupid normal boring person was the biggest mistake I had ever made in my life. I’m depressed. I had a fucking full-blown seizure and am in an emergency room by myself and my parents are hours away in another city. I cried for the first time when watching a movie, got kicked out of my dad’s house because I failed college and oh, I failed college and successfully lied about it for a year. And the first thing I decide to do these days is publish those facts on the internet, of all places.
This isn’t normal. I’m not normal anymore, and I am an idiot for getting the idea that I’m normal in the first place.
Normal isn’t inherently bad. Normal is comfortable. Safe. But remaining safe does you no favors, just as staying quiet and reserved for the entirety of my youth has left me with little social contact outside from a tight-knit group of friends and a laptop that I basically plug into for 15 hours per day because I can’t think of anything better to do with my life other than to study for the next exam.
As for why this connects to The Anthem of the Heart, well, it’s a movie all about saying the things you’ve always been meaning to say, but rationalize yourself into thinking it isn’t worthwhile. When the movie came out on bluray this year, I had my reservations because I had a rose-colored perception of what the movie was back when I watched a screening in LA last year. But now, with a more sensible mindset and a more open attitude towards my own condition, I can pinpoint exactly where this film spoke to me, and perhaps quite a few people in the audience going through similar issues of their own, and it’s the quote that I’ve taken above. Even with a more reasoned, critical eye, the movie is good. I suggest you watch it and take its message to heart.
So that’s that. I have depression. I’ve had a seizure. I’m 23 years old and I’m still in junior college working towards transferring to a university, presumably for something in accounting. I still live at home. All of my classmates and acquaintances that I meet in person are younger than me.I’m still in contact with people in my high school class who have already moved on into the world of jobs and grad school. This makes me feel sad about myself sometimes. And while it would be an overreaction to say that admitting my own situation would put me in a lesser light for my peers, it would be stupid to suggest that it wouldn’t change my relationships in any way. Change is weird, and scary. Change will do me some good in my life, however. Perhaps some good, for once. Let’s see what happens in another year.