Monday, September 10, 2012
“Please stop talking about this. I don’t want to hear about it…” I have heard this in relation to both my battles with depression and my battles with looking for work in a world that isn’t fair or responsive to my applications. I kind of wonder if these people really know what they’re saying or asking? So, what could this be interpreted as? To a mind plagued by the muddle of depression and anxious, self doubting thoughts, they might perceive that their words are not worth being mentioned or heard, that people really don’t want to hear about it, lest they feel some sort of responsibility to help. Thinking along these lines, they may eventually stop talking about it altogether, for fear of constant negative comments to be thrown back at them. These comments are not helpful, and can sometimes cause deeper wounds than the person intends. For most people, their intention is not to harm, it is to present an aspect of the world that those in dark places cannot access, however harsh those words can appear. At what point though is this helping, instead of mere bullying someone into thinking the ‘right’ way instead of accepting that people need a place to vent, a place to express the light and dark that they feel plagued by. What happens when people stop talking about the darkness within them? Nothing. You think that they’re better, that they must be getting help, but it is nothing of the sort. They’re still dealing with it, away from your negative influence, still trying to prove that they have something offer to the world, but they’re still falling apart on the inside on a regular basis because they have to do it alone, believing that to ask for help is considered ‘wrong’ and it’s asking other people to ‘support’ them in ways they’re not prepared to. Even if your intention is to help, it can be the wrong thing to do to make this big presentation of what you think people should be doing to ‘get better’. You can’t possibly know the true depths of that person’s suffering, or of where they have been or the path that they may already been on, and your words might just be that extra push down the wrong way. It’s fair enough to say that I’m not good at asking for help with my mental health issues. I still have low self esteem, a self worth that, were it counted by numbers would be almost zero, and a history of self destructive thinking. And yet, despite all that, I still try. I try to make my life better. Yes, I still get frustrated when things don’t work out the way I had hoped they would. I make comments about it on social media, only to suffer a negative backlash and accusations of not trying hard enough, but these people only know a quarter of the story. They are looking through lenses at only part of the picture. The total solution isn’t as easy as they believe it is. They do not live the life that I have, they do not deal with harsh realities in the same way because they choose not to. They don’t know the true impact of their words because I don’t share it with them. I don’t talk about the true darkness that I go through because, simply put, I don’t want to burden people with it. I don’t want them to pity me because aspects of my life kind of sucks. This post was written in relation to Write Love On Your Arm day on September 1O. On this day, people across the world will write the word ‘love’ on their arms as an acknowledgement of the pain of the sufferers of mental health issues such as self harm and suicidal thoughts and to raise awareness of this ongoing issue.