It’s rare that I manage to read an entire article. I usually get bored long before the end. This one, posted on ESPN, was different.
Maddison Holleran was a 19 year old track star at Penn and seemingly perfect life. She jumped over the balcony on the 9th floor.
The article really speaks to the use of social media, Instagram specifically, and how it’s common to make your life appear much better than it is. Somehow we tend to forget that’s what everyone is doing. The amazing filtered lives we watch on our feed aren’t any closer to the whole story than our own.
To quote ESPN, “Madison seemed to see a version of herself in Amelia, in the perfectly crafted veneer that never felt like an honest reflection of her interior life. As though she could never find validation for her struggle because how could someone so beautiful, so seemingly put together, be unhappy? This is illogical, of course. Like thinking a computer’s hard drive can’t malfunction simply because the screen hasn’t a scratch.” Put so brilliantly. Sometimes depression is completely a brain chemistry thing. Your life doesn’t have to look like it sucks to be miserable. You can’t just snap out of it.
It sounds cliche to say mental illness is a real illness, but I can’t think of better words to use at the moment. It’s not something to be ashamed of. I tell my clients all the time, there is your brain and your mind. We need to help your brain and body work better with exercise, nutrition, and meditation and strengthen your mind to override and resist acting destructively on horrible feelings that make things worse (i.e. drinking or drugs).
It’s not your fault you are the way you are. But it is your responsibility to do everything you can to try to heal.