Manatee
On Depression, School, and Pushing Through.

Hi Manatee. I love your blog! I’m Kate, and I have depression. Last week, I almost committed suicide. I wanted to die so badly, and it scared the pudding out of me. I started counseling and antidepressants today. I’m a Freshman in college and I’m dealing with missing class and having to postpone getting work done, and it’s adding to the stress and anxiety I already have. I don’t know what to do. I want to keep pushing through my schoolwork, but right now all I want to do is cry.

Hello Kate. I love you and your blog too!

First off, let me tell you how happy I am that you did not succeed, sweetheart. I am so happy that you are here, that I get to speak to you. It has made my day.

What you are going through is probably one of the hardest things people ever have to do, and I admire you for getting this far. I hope you realise how huge it is that you are here, with me, now, when things have been so hard for you. You are so strong, even when it doesn’t feel like it. No one knows how strong they are, until they have no choice but being strong, like you are now.

I think it would be a good idea for us to come up with an action plan for you. Have you spoken to your teachers yet about what is going on with you? Many teachers understand and have protocols in place for students with an illness, and I am sure they discuss options with you. Send an email to them, and give yourself a great big pat on the back for being such a champion.

Secondly, I am so proud of you for getting counseling and antidepressants. It is such a hard step to take, and things can only get better from here. Work closely with your doctor to make sure your medication is doing good, and don’t be afraid to change if things aren’t getting better. You deserve the best.

I know it is a bit of a hard push right now, but you’re doing everything right. You are seeking treatment, and pushing on. You are doing amazing. I wish I could give you a big glass of juice and a gold star and a big hug because I am so proud of you.

I wish I had something better to offer you in terms of the crying, but I don’t. Tell some people close to you what you are going through, if you can, and keep going. Keep your fluids up, and know that this too will pass.

I am so happy to know you, Kate. You are beautiful and smart and strong, and the world is better for having you in it.

I love you lots. May all your days be as wonderful as you are.

xox Manatee

[Image description: A West Indian manatee in open water, holding and chewing through a mass of sea grass. TEXT: “I know things are hard for you right now. But it will not be like this forever. It will get easier. Things will be easier for you one day. I promise.”]

(Image credit to Doug Perrine and Arkive.org)

[Image description: A West Indian manatee in open water, holding and chewing through a mass of sea grass. TEXT: “I know things are hard for you right now. But it will not be like this forever. It will get easier. Things will be easier for you one day. I promise.”]

(Image credit to Doug Perrine and Arkive.org)

What are good places to find plushie versions of you so that I can hug you when I feel sad?

Hello lovely! You look very cute today.

I am a little biased, but I think the best place to buy a plushie version of me would be at Save the Manatee! They have a few different kinds of toys, and buying them helps support conservation and keeping my family safe, so I would appreciate you buying something from there!

And if you’re interested, there is Adopt-a-Manatee and they will give you a toy, in addition to adopting one of my relatives and keeping them in skittles and lettuce. Have a look!

I hope you find what you are looking for, and more importantly, I hope you are not sad too often. I am always here for a hug when you need it.

xox Manatee

[IMAGE DESCRIPTION: A photograph of a manatee’s face, front on. TEXT: “You are your own harshest critic. Please don’t be so hard on yourself. You are wonderful.”](Image credit to Paul Nicklen via HowStuffWorks.)

[IMAGE DESCRIPTION: A photograph of a manatee’s face, front on. TEXT: “You are your own harshest critic. Please don’t be so hard on yourself. You are wonderful.”]

(Image credit to Paul Nicklen via HowStuffWorks.)

How do I make manatees love me

Hello Mary! You look nice!

We already love you, so you don’t have to do anything!

But to be safe, maybe encourage lettuce farmers to keep doing what they do and don’t take motor boats into shallow water.

Love you lots,

xox Manatee

[Image description: A photograph of a manatee in open ocean, playing with the boundary that marks their home. TEXT: “Winning and being the best isn’t all that important, really. All that matters is that you try, and that you do your best. It isn’t about who wins or loses. It is about who gives up last. It is about who perseveres. You are doing great.”](Image credit the U.S. Geological Survey.)

[Image description: A photograph of a manatee in open ocean, playing with the boundary that marks their home. TEXT: “Winning and being the best isn’t all that important, really. All that matters is that you try, and that you do your best. It isn’t about who wins or loses. It is about who gives up last. It is about who perseveres. You are doing great.”]

(Image credit the U.S. Geological Survey.)

[Image description: A photograph of a manatee, with their flippers and head out of the water. TEXT: “It is important to make mistakes. Making mistakes is kinda like practice. You learn something new, and you never really stop learning.”](Image source)(Also, a link to this Wikipedia article about this particular manatee.)

[Image description: A photograph of a manatee, with their flippers and head out of the water. TEXT: “It is important to make mistakes. Making mistakes is kinda like practice. You learn something new, and you never really stop learning.”]

(Image source)

(Also, a link to this Wikipedia article about this particular manatee.)

savannahhorrocks:

Used the mermaid prompt on sketch dailies as an excuse to do a nice thing of one of my manatee mermaids. And a manatee! X3 Mixed media on toned grey paper!

Aw, look at this lovely piece by Savannah! 

savannahhorrocks:

Used the mermaid prompt on sketch dailies as an excuse to do a nice thing of one of my manatee mermaids. And a manatee! X3 Mixed media on toned grey paper!

Aw, look at this lovely piece by Savannah! 

I stumbled on your blog and its nice to see such a happy blog. I haven’t been happy lately; making bad decisions and allowing my depression to get worse. I see a psychologist but I’ve not been getting better, how do manatees cope with sadness? - rach
Hello Rachael. That sounds really tough, and I’m really proud of you for coming and talking to me about it. It can be hard to admit things aren’t going well.

I’m sorry to hear that things haven’t been doing well. Please don’t be so hard on yourself though - everyone makes bad decisions sometimes. It’s not your fault that things aren’t going well. Depression, at the core, is an illness and sometimes people get sick with no input from them at all.

Can I ask how long you have been seeing your psychologist for? These things can take time to see progress, and illnesses like depression sometimes have fluctuations. Some days or weeks will be better and worse than others. Things will get better, even if it feels awful right now. I’m proud of you for seeing a psychologist and working through this.
Stick with it for now, and maybe set a date to re-evaluate if things are working for you. Maybe in a few months?

As for what manatees do when we are sad, well, there is a few things. First we check if maybe something else is going on that’s making us sad - like being hungry or sleepy or uncomfortable. Once we have ruled that out, we think about what we want from life at this moment. Maybe a nap? Maybe a hug? Maybe eating a lot? Maybe playing a game? And then we do that thing.
But most of all, we always tell ourselves that it is okay to be sad, and that being sad passes, and that being sad doesn’t mean there aren’t good things or that we don’t like the good things, it just means that now-times are sad-times, and it’s always okay to feel what you are feeling. Sometimes it’s good to distract yourself, sometimes it’s good to just be sad for a while. Whatever you need.

I hope things get better for you soon, Rach. Take care of yourself, and let me know how you go.
xox Manatee
Manatee, I just lost my engagement ring down an elevator shaft and I don’t know how to break it to my fiancee. I mean, I know it was an accident but I feel so awful and I can’t stop thinking about how I screwed up and I’m so worried that if I tell zhir, zhe’ll be disappointed in me and I’m just really anxious about this and I don’t know how to sort this out.
Oh no! That is awful! I am so sorry that happened.
I know it can be hard to be honest with people, especially when they might be upset. But your fiancee loves you, and while they might be upset that the engagement ring is lost, they shouldn’t be disappointed in you for something that wasn’t your fault.

All you can do is tell zhir. They are going to find out either way, so you might as well tell zhir as soon as possible, get it out of the way. I know it isn’t easy, but this is a person who loves you and this was an accident. These things happen to everyone, and feeling awful doesn’t bring the ring back.
It is going to be okay. Everything is going to be fine.

xox Manatee

(I recommend calling building maintenance or the manager of the building if you haven’t already. People lose things down elevator shafts all the time (mostly keys) and they have these things called a “drop key” they can use to fish stuff out. You can also get them to call a technician, but you might have to pay them out of your own pocket. Good luck!  - HT)