Depression Meds & Best Friends
Autobiographical writing is pain.
Think about it. What’s the one thing all autobiographies have in common?
The writer is cut open, allowing the reader full reign to rummage through their insides and pick apart their disorders, mishaps, and idiosyncrasies. The reader tries on the writer’s broken heart for size, donning it into the quaint little coffee shop, showing it off to their friends and discussing its strange rhythms and off-putting sounds.
We read autobiographies so that we can revel in our hero’s broken childhoods, lost loves, and mental disorders. Most autobiographies contain success, but not before a painstakingly difficult trial period, where the writer is pulled apart, stripped down by the universe, and then reassembled to be something stronger and sometimes sadder.
(Lately, I’ve been reading autobiographical writing where it is clear the writer has tried to create their own pain, and then they wonder why they are not more effective leaders. Their time will come, as it does for everyone, but it may not be here quite yet, and so they find themselves, without even realizing it, in this odd place of desiring to have their strength tested.)
In a world full of glossy Instagram posts and happy-go-lucky travel bloggers, autobiographies remind us of something real. They remind us that suffering is experienced by all and therefore connects us all.
Autobiographies are pain, but they keep us from being lonely.
For example, I remember being dropped off at my junior year of college and promptly curling into a terrified little ball on my new bedroom floor. I remember feeling utterly lost and alone, as I was struck with the sudden realization that not only did I not know my three roommates, I didn’t really know me either.
I heard laughter upstairs and checked my phone for the eighteenth time that hour to once again find zero text messages or calls. I saw all my old friends together in an Instagram post, and I wondered why they gave absolutely zero shits that I was alone on my bedroom floor with tears running down my face.
I remember the embarrassment I felt when I told my roommates that I had been crying because I’d let the same man shove me down in front of a crowd of people who did nothing. I remember feeling ashamed when I told them I was considering dropping out of school to move back in with my parents, but that I would figure out a way to ensure they still got their rent money.
My dad took me home that day, making a pitstop at the doctor’s office, where I was prescribed medication for depression. I told my dad I couldn’t get comfortable- my chest constantly hurt and I felt crippled by my pain.
I also remember those roommates buying me a cake and flowers when I returned. I remember them becoming some of my best friends, because I didn’t drop out of school (and they were honestly the best).
I remember changing my major and being completely thrilled at the thought of my first Economics class.
I remember kissing my fiance goodbye this morning, as he left for work from the home we’ve made together.
I remember hundreds of absolutely lovely moments. I am reminded, through the pain that is autobiographical writing, how much I have to be thankful for.
But in order for you, reader, to understand the weight of these lovely moments, you must understand the harsh moments first.
You must see my suffering and my tears before you can learn from my victories.
Autobiographical writing is pain.
Autobiographical writing is real.
Autobiographical writing is ultimately a means to a victory.
As always, thank you for reading ❤
Feel free to give this a clap or two if you enjoyed it. I haven’t published anything on this site since April; however, the goal is for this to change. In the upcoming weeks, be looking for more autobiographical, honest writing.