I figure I should introduce myself. My name is Alexis, and while many people in my life view me as an optimistic, hardworking person, down inside I'm pretty worn out. I don't want anyone to take me writing this as a call for help, or anything of the sort, rather I just want to speak my mind to people in a community of people that I don't know, and who don't know me. As of late, I have come to realize I have this super fun and exciting thing that many may call "high functioning depression." What it is is pretty self explanatory—I can go to work, or school, or deal with any other mandatory daily things just fine, but once I get home I just feel lost. It's as though a vampire sucked all the soul and willpower out of me. I tell myself, "Alright Alexis, you should probably brush your teeth, maybe clean your room or make dinner." But at this point I hardly see any point to besides the fact that everyone else does. I live in such a constant state of "why bother" that it's simply beginning to fog my mind. I had a panic attack at work that got so intense and hard to control that I had to be sent to the hospital for it. I'll feel completely drained of all energy simply by making my bed in the morning. Now, I know what some of you may be thinking: "they're such simple tasks, just do them and you'll be fine." Yeah, sure, because it's that easy. For many people with mental illnesses, these seemingly simple tasks become super daunting and don't become so simple anymore but rather take every ounce of your being to do so. It even begins to go beyond that.
Now, here's a little more about me: I'm 18 years old, I graduated from high school about four months ago. All around me I see all of my friends and classmates going off to college and moving away and chasing their dreams. I can't. Not because I can't afford it (well, I can't, but that's not the main obstacle) or because I don't want to go (I do, I just don't know what I want to do), but because I simply cannot pull myself to fill out the FASFA, or to finish applications, or apply for scholarships. I can't. Even thinking about it makes me go into a state of panic. I see everyone around me excelling and doing great, and that's great for them, but I can't help but compare myself to them and how I'll never be as good as them, or how I'll never be successful like them. I'll forever be an example of what could've been. I'll forever be a person working at a fast food place, bumming around in my parents' house, hogging their internet and cable and food. It's odd, because I didn't do too terrible in school; I took honors and AP classes, yes, but it's not like I got straight A's or anything. It sort of evened out to me being average. But what sucks about it all is that I hold myself to these high expectations, because I was consistently in classes with people with these outrageously high GPAs, people going to some of the most advanced colleges in the state/nation, and I always was stuck in the mindset of "I'll never be good enough, I'll never be like them. I'll always be an example of what could've, would've, should've been." And I know, I can amount to so much more, but could I ever actually pull myself to go down to a college, give them my transcripts, sign up for my classes? No. If I haven't done it in the four months I've been out of high school, what makes anyone think that I can do it now?
Here's a bit more about me: my parents, more specifically my dad, holds me to the same standards as I do. They want me to exceed my classmates. They want me to be the first person on either side of my family to go to college, and actually complete it. It's great that they push me to be better. But there always comes a point where enough is enough. And not in the sense that I don't want them to push me to be a better person, but rather when they shove it down your throat so much that you start to feel like a disappointment and like you're worthless, it starts to get to you.
I don't think I'll ever be the person my parents always wanted me to be. I'm not gonna be a doctor. I'm not gonna be the future president of the united states. I'm not gonna be a lawyer. I'm not gonna be some sort of engineer or a scientist. Not because I'm not smart enough, or because I don't want to, but I simply can't pull myself to do it. It's wasted potential. And here's another super fun, added bonus: they want me moved out in the next month or so. But living in Tampa, it's not like I can just save a few paychecks and be on my way. No, rent is basically my whole paycheck, never mind any deposits or furniture. I'll essentially be in a seemingly cheap studio with a mattress that I found on the side of the road in the middle of the floor, with a game of Uno and a shitload of rice, because that's all I'm going to be able to afford. I don't drive, either, it gives me far too much anxiety, so that's another obstacle that I don't know when I'll be able to conquer, so moving out of the area would be a challenge. Really, all of it's a challenge.
So what exactly is my point in all of this? Honestly, I don't know. I don't know why I'm typing this, I'm not looking to get paid or anything by any means. Rather, I just want someone to hear me out and tell me, "it'll be fine. Your future is bright and full of potential. You're only 18, you can't expect yourself to have everything figured out when you're not even a quarter of the way through your life." Though I tell myself this everyday, no one around me (more specifically, my parents) seems to grasp it. It's like time is moving too fast, but I'm only 18. I have time. I just need to breathe is all. But it's all so hard when life comes at you like an airplane crash. As I said before, I just know I'll forever be an example of what could've been, the epitome of wasted potential. The knowledge I actually retained from school won't matter because chances are, I'm probably not going to college anytime soon. The hard work I do at my job won't matter, because it's not like I'll be promoted or anything. I'm not good enough for that.
I probably sound like I'm being really mean to myself. I probably am. That's fine. But you know what the kids say: "It be like that sometimes." I really do.
Well, whoever is reading this still (probably no one, honestly), thanks for listening. It means a lot to be heard even when I don't know anyone in this community. Hope everyone has a bright and hopeful future.