Saturday, August 14, 2010

An Uncensored Blog

Hey there! So.....I don't really know where to start this blog.

Let's start with the title. I am going to be really honest today, and that is what I mean by "uncensored". See, I feel that I view the world very differently from most people. I don't react to situations the way most people do. I don't normally get upset about things that most 'normal' people get upset about.

I feel that the way I view the world and the way that I react to certain situations might make other people feel offended or awkward, so most of the time, I hide my true feelings. For instance, in the time that I have been making youtube videos, I've wanted to make so many more vlogs than I actually have, but I guess I'm afraid of people not accepting me. This isn't the same as being insecure though. Really, I'm afraid that my views will offend people and that will lead to them not wanting to associate with me. I'm afraid that people will think that I am insensitive, but I don't mean to be.

I feel like I'm not making much sense.

I'm writing this blog about this topic today, because, just a few weeks ago, my aunt passed away. The thing is, I'm not looking for your condolences. I'm not sad. I'm a very practical person, and in my world view, people die. It happens. It is a fact of life. Right now, I am more sad for my family members who are still hurting. I'm sad to see them being depressed.

I feel that I should mention that I am a Christian. So yes, I believe in an afterlife. I believe that when people die, they go to Heaven, or Hell. The thing is, I actually believe it. So, I don't see any point in wasting my time being sad. If my aunt is in Heaven, then why should I be sad? This is where I think I might offend people. I'm afraid that people will view my seemingly indifferent attitude as disrespect for my aunts life, or that I somehow have missed out on the preciousness of life and connection with other people. I guess some people might view a time of grieving as a sign of respect for the deceased. If you have that view, I suppose that's fine, but I don't see it that way. I think grief is something experienced by those of us "left behind" and I don't think it matters one way or another to the dearly departed if we spend one minute grieving or five months.

Let me interject on myself for just a minute. I think it is a very different thing if you spend time being upset about being separated from someone you love by distance. That person is still alive and part of this world. I just think it is ridiculous to be depressed about someone who has left this world. At some point or another, you have to get on with your life. Why waste time? You only get so much and that is my point.

I've been through severe depression before. I have. I don't want anyone to think that I don't know what it is like to be depressed. I do know. I wish I could bring myself to tell you about the horrible life I was living that lead to my most severe depression, but I guess I'm still too embarrassed about it to just tell everyone. The thing is though, I didn't want to be depressed. I wanted to live life and be happy. I felt that I had a choice. I could choose to sit in my room alone and wallow and give in to my depression. Or I could choose to overcome my depression, which is what I did. Some of you may know that I have a tattoo on my wrist that says "Hope". I got this tattoo as part of my desperate attempt to escape depression. I wanted something that would remind me everyday that I didn't have to be depressed. I have always been a Christian, but during my darkest days, I barely knew if God was real. I "hoped" that he was. I "hoped" that everything I had ever been told about God was true. I "hoped" that all the promises in the Bible were real. I put my hope in God. I got my tattoo as a visual reminder of my prayer and of everything that I was "hoping" for. Slowly, over the course of months and months of forcing myself to get out of the house instead of staying at home alone, and hundreds of hours spent praying and reading the Bible and other books, trying to learn who God really is, eventually, I found that I wasn't depressed anymore.

I said I was going to be really honest today, so I guess I really should be. If you know me at all, then you know that I have often said that there was a time that I went out to "shows" by myself, all the time. Well, that was during the time that I was trying to overcome depression. I forced myself to go to those shows so that I was surrounded by people. It gave me a chance to make new friends, and ultimately, it worked. I made many friends by going to all of those shows in 2008, but my most lasting friendship has been with Bill Martin, who introduced me to Nerdfighteria and the youtube community.

Everything about my life now, is a result of how I chose to live my life in 2008. You may not believe in God, but I do. Sure, I chose to go out to shows, and that made it easier to meet people. But, I wouldn't have had the strength to go if I didn't have my faith in God. I would read God's promises written throughout the Bible, and I took them to heart. I chose to believe them completely, and that gave me the strength to keep looking for a better life. To keep believing that life doesn't have to hurt all of the time. And now I am here. I have met so many wonderful people in the past two years and I have been a part of so many amazing moments. Life is so much more rewarding now than it was before 2008.

My point in all of this is that, the life I live now resulted from a choice I made. I chose to not give in to depression. I chose to find another way to live life and I never gave up looking. So, forgive me if I offend you with my next statement, but based on my own experiences, I feel that depression is a choice. It is, admittedly, a feeling that can come at you with no warning, but I think we have a choice to allow that feeling to control our lives, or to tell it to go away.

I choose to not be depressed. I choose to not be sad, as much as I can. So my aunt passed away, and that is sad, but I still have a life to live. Giving in to depression right now is not going to make my life any better, so I choose not to let myself be depressed about it. This attitude is making it very hard for me to be around my family right now. They are all very sad and I am afraid of offending them, so I stay in my room a lot right now.

The only thing I have to offer my family is this video I made of the memorial we held for my aunt after she passed away.

I loved my aunt, and I love my family. I just can't bring myself to want to spend time being sad. There is so much to do in this life, so many people to meet and connect with, so much life to plan and look forward to and to LIVE, but we don't have an infinite amount of time to do all that there is to do. I just don't ever want to miss out on the good things in life due to the fact that I was sitting in my room being depressed. I re-read that last sentence, and I hope it doesn't come out sounding selfish. I just realize that life is short, and I don't want to miss out on it.

Since I am a Christian, I believe in an eternal afterlife. If you are part of my Christian family, then I will see you again in Heaven, please don't expect me to mourn for you very long if you leave this world before me. If I mourn at all during this life, I mourn for those people that I love who are not Christians, because I will not see them again after this life. Those are the people I want to spend more time with, because, if they do not go to Heaven, then this lifetime is all we have. That thought is the one thing that really makes me sad, and that is what really drives me to not want to waste the time that I have, being away from people that I love.

Okay, this blog turned out way longer than I planned, so I'll stop here. I hope I haven't scared anyone away. :-)


  1. Wow Heather this was fantastic, I completely agree with what you have said, I very much view life in a similar manor, I fully believe that mourning something that we can't change will never make us feel any better, it will infact only encourage us to feel worse longer! Well said miss!!! I really enjoyed reading this. Honesty is always the best policy no matter what someone else might think.

  2. Heather thanks for talking so candidly. I agree with you for the most part about both depression and mourning being about choice. I'm glad you choose not to be depressed any longer and forced yourself to go to shows. It's such a wonderful thing that both our lives have crossed. But it's also very curious. It appears from some other people I have talked with 2008 was a very important year in terms of finding and participating in the YouTube/Nerdfighter community and that, that community brought us out of a dark place. I have to investigate further but this only serves to tie us to other people even more deeply than before.

  3. Hi Heather. Thanks for sharing candidly. It's interesting what Michael said about 2008.... That year was also a VERY tough year for me.

    I feel like 2008/2009, I dipped my foot in the waters of the nerdfighter community, but here in 2010, I'm finally starting to get more involved in conversations and making videos and trying to foster friendships. It's amazing how much it helps to get involved in something.

    I also had an aunt who passed away just a couple of months ago, and I can relate to your statement "I'm a very practical person, and in my world view, people die." Actually I was more sad during her painful battle with Leukemia than I was upon her death.

    However, her husband, who is alone for the first time after 39 years of marriage, is having a really tough time with the grieving process.
    I think it can be different depending on how close you were to the person, and the extent to which their death affects you personally. For my uncle, his day-to-day life revolved around taking care of her in these last few years when she battled cancer. And suddenly the house is so empty. So I can understand why grieving is going to a process for him that might take a while and shouldn't be rushed.

    I guess I'm just thinking out loud here and saying that I see both sides of that coin.

    I appreciate your honesty, and it has kind of made me feel better about the fact that I wasn't more sad about my aunt. If that makes sense

  4. Well done on this Heather. As James said, honesty is the best policy!