Journal Entry No. 14
By Katheryn Penquite
March 05, 2019
Until just a few years ago, I never saw myself as someone who could have depression: I’m outgoing, I’m social, I have lots of friends. My idea of what depression looked like was narrow; little did I know, it comes in all shapes and sizes.
I’ve always struggled with feeling like I don’t deserve love as I am right now. I think about when I’m thinner or when I’m successful or when I have my s*** together. That’s when I’ll be worth it. For me, not believing that I deserved love led to a lot of doubt in all areas of my life. I felt like I couldn’t make choices. I was paralyzed by fear and anxiety. I started using alcohol and sex to distract me from confronting my demons. I spent time with people who didn’t care for or have respect for me. This was one of the darkest periods in my life. I didn’t want to see my lack of self worth, my depression or my dissatisfaction with my life. I am lucky and thankful that I had a friend who stood by me and helped pull me out of it. I don’t know where I would be now if she wasn’t there for me.
As I’ve started to confront my feelings, it’s been really hard to not just try to numb everything. Looking at yourself and admitting that you’ve made a lot of mistakes and that you’re never going to be perfect really sucks, but I’ve tried to remember that it’s ok not to be ok.
Throughout my life I’ve looked at my body as a project instead of a tool. It’s taken up so much mental space, space that I can’t afford. The frustration and anxiety has held me back in so many areas and kept me from being able to make decisions. I’ve felt directionless and afraid of even thinking about my future, so busy worrying about what I looked like or what people thought of me that I was never thinking about who I wanted to be.
In the last few months, I’ve been striving to be more patient and compassionate with myself. Despite my complete and utter fear of making big changes, I recently left Los Angeles to live with my parents and go back to school. I quit a great-paying job with awesome benefits—but also tons of stress—for a field worker job in a vineyard. I moved from a city of millions to a town of thousands. And beyond my fear of the unknown, I feel really happy. I feel like I’m finally going in a direction and doing things that feel good instead of going through the motions.
When it comes down to it, we’re all just doing the best we can with what we have. My greatest lesson thus far has been realizing that I’m not alone and that we have to be kind to ourselves.
I want to end with a quote that I always come back to when I catch myself worrying about the things I know don’t serve me.
‘If you feel your value lies in being merely decorative, I fear that someday you might find yourself believing that’s all that you really are. Time erodes all such beauty. But what it cannot diminish is the wonderful workings of your mind: your humor, your kindness, and your moral courage. These are the things I cherish so in you.’
– Marmee March from Little Women