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Hillary Tapley


Pit of Despair

Self-pity is easily the most destructive of non-pharmaceutical narcotics. It is addictive, gives momentarily pleasure and separates the victim from reality.”- John W. Gardner

As someone who suffers from a mental illness—I can tell you right now how easy it is to fall into the slippery slope of self-pity. It becomes almost second nature to compare your own brain function to how you perceive everyone else’s to be. You begin to make excuses for yourself, followed by self-loathing due to the realization that “other people have it worse,” or “at least you don’t have to face ____ issue.”

At least you don’t have to face the issue of the Syrian Crisis.

At least you don’t have cancer.

At least you don’t have financial complications.

At least you don’t have a poor relationship with your family.

At least you don’t have to face the darkness of unemployment.

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A True Paradox

I will never stop fighting to show those around me, just how important it is.

It’s winter over in the states, and while I do live in Atlanta, it still gets cold. It still snows here. Laugh all you want, but it is currently 24 degrees Fahrenheit, and I have come close to Googling “When will it be warm again?” In America, we celebrate and nearly worship a very odd holiday that we call Groundhog’s Day. And this year, the Groundhog predicted an early spring. (So where in the Sam Hill is this early spring??)

I digress.

So, along with winter comes a glamourous assortment of flus, colds, upper respiratory infections, and sinus infections. All around just a really fun time. But oh, don’t worry. American citizens make it a serious point to get their annual flu shots, flu mist, physicals, designer brands of this season’s new drugstore cold meds, and vaporizers. We beg and plead the doctor for antibiotics, even after being told that “Ma’am, what you have is a virus. For the 5th time, antibiotics do nothing for a virus. Now please put your Taser down and I am going to have to have you escorted out of the pharmacy.” As you can see, we make a pretty big deal of steering clear of the cold and flu. (And rightfully so.)

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My Road To Recovery

It’s a mental illness, and a nasty one. It will take your loved ones, your success, your hopes and your dreams. But only if you allow it to.

I think it’s best for me to describe my bumpy road to recovery to you by painting you a picture. Imagine a tall, thin and incredibly awkward girl. She is shy at first, and enjoys all of the things that society deems to be “normal.” In elementary school she enjoyed Barbies and Arthur, High School it was bashfully flirting with a new interest: boys, and not to mention, learning how to operate a vehicle (and trying not to cause her dad to rip his hair out in the process…). In college, she enjoyed the campus life, music, and that guy she had been selfishly stringing along…but that’s a totally different blog post. Yes, she is a girl. So she can have the snarky, cat-like moments that just about any westernized girl is capable of having (especially when she gets hungry…). However, she has never truly done something with the intentions of hurting, belittling, or betraying them.

Sounds “normal” right? Yes, yes. I know. The word “normal” is a relative term and doesn’t really have a definition. I know. But let’s just be a bit Freudian here for a second, and agree that the picture I just painted is not abstract. It’s simple, slightly ordinary, a bit boring, and…normal.

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