By Rhiannon Giles of rhiyaya.com
I know better than to believe everything I read on the internet; unless it is shared on Facebook by that opinionated mom who always seems to end up at every mom-and-tot class with me. You know the one: her kids are named Kale and Chard and she is very serious about high-fructose corn syrup and artificial food coloring. She’s thinks she is always right, which is how I know she would never share anything that had not been vetted by peer review.
So when her most recent blast declared exercise to be the best antidepressant, I was intrigued. Featuring a trim and fit woman doing a headstand in front of a beautiful sunrise, it seemed completely legitimate to take counseling advice from a meme created by @BigPharmaSucks. After all, they have more than 100 page followers.
Until that moment I had assumed my actual antidepressants were the best antidepressants, but who was I to argue with someone who took the time to steal a photo and add such a helpful sentiment in 20-point Comic Sans?
I thought I could add a healthy amount of exercise into my current routine of medication and therapy, but a quick Google image search revealed even more life-altering graphic representations of the ways I was being kept weak by “the man” and ruining my aura by buddying up with the shills who invented medications. I discovered the truth: mental illness is only in my head. That means it’s not real, even if Dumbledore said otherwise.
I resolved then and there to quit “Big Pharma” cold turkey and take up jogging at a moderate pace. After all, the only way to beat mental illness is to outrun it.
My therapist and psychiatrist both discouraged my plan, saying it was “irresponsible” and “reckless.” I had to ask myself, “Who do I trust? These doctors who have known me for years? Or someone with access to a meme generator?” My mental health providers may have fancy degrees, but this random internet person has bold font.
I poured the tiny blue-and-white tablets down the drain, watching them swirl like the thoughts in my head.
It is my sincere hope that, by flushing the medication, they will help oceanic wildlife depressed by global warming. As I am now an outdoor enthusiast, I like to do my part for the environment. Fish can’t read–probably because of the high levels of lead in the water–so they have no way to learn that exercise is all they need for lifelong happiness. Donating unused SSRIs to local lakes and tributaries is the least I can do to give back.
After spending half a paycheck on a new pair of running shoes, I laced them up and remembered that I absolutely hate running.
My new outlook on life means I find silver linings, so I logged into Instagram to post a photo of my new shoes, letting everyone know I am someone who owns expensive things. While I was scrolling through exciting photos of fancy food, another idyllic image informed me that nature is better than therapy. I immediately contacted my therapist to cancel all upcoming appointments and offered to forward my sources in case she wants to reevaluate her life plans.
Now when I have a bad day–like the morning I used poison ivy as toilet paper–I ask a local anti-establishment shaman for help. He has offered me a strict regimen of herbal supplements, special teas, and one perineal salve, along with the advice to “be the change.” He suggested a long hike to recenter myself and gave me a useful rhyme to identify plants that I might want to avoid.
Everything went well, at first. Sure, I mistook two squirrels chasing each other for a serial killer and spent three days hiding in a cave. I may be anxious, but at least I am anxious in nature!
I wish Kale and Chard’s mom could see me now. In fact, I wish anyone could see me now, but they can’t; I have truly lost myself in the woods. For a while I was having panic attacks about dying and having animals eat me, but I have slowly spiraled into depression and now I just don’t care.
The important takeaway is that my prolonged starvation and ultimate death will cure my mental illness, and in that way I have been successful. I always knew I could do anything I set my mind to.
To whomever finds my body: Please bury me in a coffin filled with Zoloft and Ativan. I don’t want to take any chances that God may also follow Twitter user @BigPharmaSucks.
About the Author
Rhiannon Giles is an overwhelmed mother who only occasionally considers giving her children to the circus. She has a sarcasm problem and writes regularly at rhiyaya.com. To keep up with new posts and see some of her favorites, join her on Facebook and Twitter.