Are you Okay?: Feelings of Hopelessness, Sadness, and Loneliness

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From hearing other’s stories, I know I am not the only person in the world, or even on campus to feel this way. It’s hard to go through hopelessness, sadness, and loneliness alone; it’s even harder when the people you love most, and feel you are closest to, can’t recognize these symptoms.

One day I wake up and I’m full of energy, ready to take on the world. My senses are stronger: I can see everything more clearly, scents are sharper, and I can taste every ingredient in my avocado toast that I had for breakfast.

My mind is free of cluttering and negative thoughts helping me to think more clearly. I’m motivated to do all of my course readings, every assignment, and attend all of my lectures. Being an introvert comes with a lack of interpersonal skills, but when I’m at this peak my communication skills are so much better, allowing me to interact with others and have smooth conversations.

My smile is wider, and my chin is up with every step I take. I feel like I could conquer anything.

Next thing I know, I find my self crashing, falling into a rut. I can no longer concentrate on the task at hand. All of my actions become robotic: wake up, attend classes, go home, study, and sleep. I try to cheer myself up whether through music, interacting with others, or engaging in activities that I enjoy, but nothing seems to work. I’m just lifeless.
My mind becomes clouded by negativity, and I try to chase them away, but they just keep coming back.

Why do I feel guilty for telling someone I can’t get out of bed because my body and mind aren’t allowing me to? Why do I feel uncomfortable responding to someone’s, “How are you?” by telling them the truth and saying “I feel awful”? Why is there a stigma surrounded telling people how we really feel? Wearing a mask to cover how we really feel shouldn’t be a requirement to function in society.

Photos by Theresa Shim.

I have seen efforts around the world and on campus that support mental health, and I believe it’s a step in the right direction. Being able to express how we feel, and get help right away should be a socially acceptable method to dealing with our problems instead of hiding them.

Next time you see a friend that isn’t acting as they usually do, or seems a bit “off,” ask them if they’re OK because sometimes that small act could save a life.

Campus resources: Counselling Services, Needles Hall 2nd Floor, Phone: 519-888-4567 ext. 32655. Walk-in’s Wednesday – Thursday 11:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

– Jasmine Geranium, 2B,Arts and Business

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