subject line: what's your status?


pittsburgh, pennsylvania

Every single day, we’re asked about our “status”. Twitter asks me “what’s happening?” and Facebook asks me “what’s on my mind?”—Instagram doesn’t ask me a specific question upon login, but I imagine the underlying question is “what does your life look like?”. I respond with some sarcastic, witty life observation on Twitter, and I watch the notifications flash on my phone—letting me know that someone favorited this, someone favorites me, someone approves of me. I share a video of an animal doing something silly, a little kid on Ellen making the world cry, an article from some site telling everyone the List of Reasons Something Means Something. I post a picture of myself laughing, making memories, doing something important with friends.

According to the internet, I’m happy; I’m content. I’m living the ideal life of a girl in college. I’m having the time of my life, these are the days I’ll remember for years to come. I don’t even have time to think about being sad. That’s what the internet tells me.

If I was being honest, my status would be: constantly on the verge of tears. Awaiting the next anxiety attack. Crying over nothing or everything. Forgetting to eat meals because sadness takes the place of food. Needing sleep, sleep, and more sleep. Lacking the motivation to do simple tasks. Living days that blur into weeks into months. Unable to escape a depression that I thought I beat. Feeling nothing, nothing, nothing.

But this life makes it so easy to hide behind profile pictures capturing a carefree me, laughing at something a friend said, looking off to the side of the frame at a memory being made. It’s so easy to be the girl everyone says I’m supposed to be: she’s funny, she loves you, she doesn’t complain, she’s living her goals, she has her life together, she graduates in 6 months, she’s trying to save the world when she can’t save herself.

She’s everything I want to be, she’s who I am, she’s who I’m not. How can I be that girl during the day, but still find myself wrapped in blankets to hold back the sobs once the door is closed? How do I stop feeling like I’m on the verge of crumbling to pieces? How do I feel again?

What’s happening, what’s on your mind, what does your life look like, what’s your status? It’s so easy to answer those questions when the only time you’re asked is through a screen. It’s so easy to be who you’re supposed to be when no one is asking the important questions.

It’s so easy. But “easy” isn’t going to stop this depression.