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Relationships. A word I both dislike and have no experience with – which is probably why I dislike them. I wake up on February 14 to see all of the statuses, tweets, and tumblr posts about love and significant others. Instantly, I am in a bad mood.
If I could, I would just go back to bed. Usually, I end up babysitting on Valentine’s Day and fall into a cloud of hate, depression, and apathy. Call me a cynic – it’s true. In terms of my depression, Valentine’s Day is probably my worst day of the year. I fall into a deep cycle of thinking I am not good enough and that I am worthless.
I blame my all-around bad mood on the media, explosion of materialism, and the overall insincerity of the day. Why should a day be dedicated to pressure to spoil your significant other? Why should Valentine’s Day come with such heavy expectations?
I completely disagree with the seemingly inevitable result of the holiday – people adopt extremely unrealistic expectations for their significant other, often causing more harm than help. A recent poll found that one in ten young adults admitted to feeling lonely, insecure, depressed, or unwanted on Valentine’s Day. See? Unrealistic expectations. It’s a holiday based upon feeling in love and celebrating that, so why has 10% of the young adult population admitted to negative feelings surrounding it?
I deal with my unhappiness by blaming it on everything but myself. It’s not my fault that I’m constantly bombarded by star-crossed lovers and people with their tongues lolling out of their mouths, drool falling in a slow but constant drip, drip on Valentine’s Day. Right?
In reality, the only person responsible for my happiness is myself. I can choose to hate this holiday, or I can choose instead to be happy for the people who have found their significant other – and be happy that I haven’t just settled. I can also choose not to go to Starbucks, and the mall, and all of the other places that will trigger my depression.
There are many possible ways that I could go about improving my Valentine’s Day. I can choose to pay for someone’s meal at a restaurant, or treat my parents to dinner. Lately I have realized that I feel elated, almost euphoric, when I do something good for another person. Instead of constantly focusing on myself, my situation, my lack of a girlfriend – me, me, me, I can focus on showing my love for the people around me.
When I stop having a “woe is me” mentality, I know that I will begin to come out of that annual February 14 depression. And I will definitely try to do that this year. I am tired of dwelling on my hate for a holiday when I could use the opportunity to help others. I’m tired of drowning in a narcissistic ocean of “I don’t have _______.”
If you hate Valentine’s Day as much as I do, then maybe changing your perspective will drastically improve how you feel about it. Since the big day hasn’t come, I can’t tell you for sure if that is true, but I can tell you that I’m now looking forward to February 14 and showing my love for others in an unconventional way.
Mark is currently in high school and hopes to study International Law in the future. He struggled with depression for four years until finally winning the battle. Upon first hearing about Libero, he made the decision to bring his story about depression and how he has dealt with it in hopes to spread awareness and bring support to those going through depression. With still being in high school, he will offer a teenagerʼs perspective on depression and relationships through sharing the many challenges and victories he has faced with both. Mark hopes that through his writing he can help others understand that brokenness can lead to wholeness.
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