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  • Lotus Magazine MC

yours truly, megan

My understanding of my own mental health has always been relative.


When I was in high school, I didn’t understand that what I was feeling was particularly bad. Sure, it was frustrating that I couldn’t seem to force myself to clean my room, or keep a sleep schedule or do my homework. But I had nothing to compare it to. For a long time, I was even hesitant to address these problems, because I was afraid that if I interrogated them deeply enough, I would have to face the inconvenient truth that I was simply a lazy person.


Today, I recognize that wasn’t the case. Over the last two semesters, I’ve found myself capable of keeping a (mostly) tidy living space, getting (around) eight hours of sleep and doing (the majority of) my homework. I never had a moment where I suddenly realized the value of a solid work ethic. I just started feeling better. I can’t pinpoint any moment in particular, I just know that around the beginning of this 2021, I started to feel capable, a feeling I never realized I lost until I got it back.


I didn’t realize that what I was going through was bad until I started to feel good again. Staying up until 5am to do a pretty simple assignment doesn’t feel inevitable the way it once did, and I wonder what made it feel that way in the first place. I don’t want to feel that way again. I have a fear that somehow I’ll devolve back into the place I was a year ago, only this time I’ll know everything I’m missing out on—the way my face looks when I’m not tired, the underrated ease of walking into class comfortable that I turned in everything that was due that day—and that knowledge would make it all feel so much worse.


While I never figured out how I escaped those negative feelings in the first place, these days I’m focused on creating habits that will keep them at bay. I like writing papers earlier in the day and saving any reading for before I go to bed. I’ve found that I’m more likely to fold my laundry while I’m watching Friends, and clean my room while I’m listening to my favorite podcast. I set my alarm for the same time every morning. Little things, but things that I’ve learned to be helpful. I think the positive aspect of my relative understanding of mental health is that I’ve analyzed it enough that I’ve been able to learn from it.


I’ll probably always have more to learn, but hey, nobody’s perfect. And if you’re working on learning these things too, well, we’re on this journey together.


Yours truly,

Megan

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