by Ryan Conner
If you are reading this then it is one of three things: 1) You want to confirm an opinion you already have of me, 2) Heather is making you do it, or 3) You are generally interested. Whatever your reason, I hope it brings to you what you are hoping to find.
When I agreed to do this senior blog series, I was in a state of mania, in which, I would have agreed to do anything. It is not the first time. I have made the habit of agreeing to do tasks for only a wave of depression to hit like a roundhouse kick to the jaw. Therefore, you will have to forgive me if some of these blog posts seem to never end and repeat themselves over and over again and seem to never end and repeat themselves over and over again and seem to never end. Or, if they are short. Furthermore, I apologize for any mistakes in grammar, but frankly....
All that being said, I would like to welcome you to my blog series “Netflix and Chill.” Much like the act itself, this blog will focus on the nitty gritty instead of the background noise that supposedly brought us together. Enjoy.
Lost in Space: Mental Health
Lost in Space was a sci-fi coming of age story for the modern family, named the Robinson(s), that aired in the late 60s. A crash course of the show’s premise is “super smart family makes constantly dumb decisions and a cool robot saves them repeatedly.” Not much really changed in the Netflix adaptation. We are not here for a full rundown just the concept, so go watch it yourself.
One reason the Robinsons were in constant danger was due to Dr. Smith. He/she was a snake in the grass that only worried about him/herself and pretended to be an expert in a field they had never studied. I am not saying everyone around you is a snake in the grass; however, I am stating no one is an expert of you except for YOU. Furthermore, your friend that has taken a couple psychology classes cannot diagnose your mental condition. This all brings us to this blog’s topic: mental health.
Mental health awareness is a subject which has become very close to my heart over this past year, since I have been diagnosed as Bipolar 2 and schizophrenic. I am finally telling all of this because for so long I was Lost in Space. I am just beginning to find a map that leads me out of this darkness. There were moments of helplessness. There are still moments of helplessness. Because, it does not really matter your major, your age, or your home life. Everyone experiences moments of helplessness. The important factor is how you learn to deal with those moments of helplessness. For the longest time, I would hear everyone tell me how I just needed to power through the moments, or I would hear someone say to me: “Ryan, someone has it worse than you,” and “Ryan, why are you acting this way? Your major isn’t as hard as mine.” I would blindly follow their advice.
I was trusting my Dr. Smith about how I was feeling. It would make me wonder why I was not strong enough to be like everyone else? Why was I not happy? Why was I so hyper? Why would small things make me so angry? Why was I simply not strong enough? Why? The more I would listen, the more I would hate myself and express that anger outwards. I lost many potential lifelong friends and lovers from these actions. The more time that passed, the lonelier I became.
Eventually, I had secluded myself from nearly everyone in my life. The few that were left, did not know the real me. I was a caricature. I would wake up everyday and act human everyday in the hope that I would eventually fool myself into being a real boy. It was not until a I finally caved and went into therapy that everything began to change. After a couple sessions of therapy, it became clear to me that something was “wrong” on my end. That I was broken. Over the next couple months, we came to the diagnoses. Honestly, it sucks. Sucks a lot less than what I was dealing with before though.
Life can really get you down at times. The strongest people in this world learn how to work through those moments and keep joy in their hearts. More importantly, the strongest people know how to ask for help when they need it. The strongest people know how to express themselves! Crying does not make you weak! Being angry about something does not make you uncontrollable! Responding to everything with sarcasm, and drinking do not make you strong; honestly, it just makes you kind of an asshole. The only things at the bottom of the bottle are risky texts to an ex and the shits.
Regardless, I am not saying every one of you that is reading this blog has some form on mental disease. All I am saying is we all need to begin to reexamine how we deal with our emotions. We need to have a healthy idea of expressing emotions. We need to be better friends and not judge those expressing themselves. Someone in this world has felt what you are currently feeling. You are never alone. You are never Lost in Space because you always have a Robinson next to you. I am one of those Robinsons. I still have suicidal thoughts, I am only 20 days sober, and I am still learning to trust my emotions.
In these challenging times of college, it is easy to put mental health to the wayside, but do not forget to put your mental and physical health first! Your GPA is not worth a mental breakdown, a relationship is not worth losing your self-worth, and coffee is not a meal. Also, drugs are bad . . . Mmmmkay.
Lastly, if you ever have any concerns about your mental health, I would hope you pursue talking to someone. Heck, you can contact me! I can understand how going to an expert can be beyond scary. The first step is taking off your mask to one person. Never forget, you are the only expert of how YOU feel and what YOU want. Do not get weighed down with how others believe you feel, because that will just have you end up Lost in Space.