A few days ago, someone asked me ‘What was the thing that I liked most about myself?’ and after thinking for a while, ultimately, the answer was nothing.
But, if I did have to choose I guess the answer would be, my ability to keep going. Even when things get tough- and they do, and they have. Over and over.
Since I was around 14, I have been in and out of hospital and theatre with on-going medical problems and there has been countless times when the pain has been too much, both in the literal and the hypothetical sense, that I have just wanted to give it all up. With physical pain, comes mental- and vice versa. A vicious circle, that never ends.
Never in this period of time, have I ever labelled myself as being depressed. I don’t know if its because I never thought I could possibly be, or that I was never strong enough to admit that I could actually be.
With depression, comes labels- comes pity, comes judgement.
To this day, I can’t tell you if what I have ever suffered with, and still are has been depression, and I’m not sure I ever want it to be known as that, because what it is, is my life. I understand that I will get a lot of hate for this following comment, but this post is all about honesty. Sometimes when I see other people tweeting or publically conversing about their depression or MH it makes me angry. How dare they shove their intimate details onto other, unsuspecting people. But the truth is, I’m probably just jealous that they are able to be comfortable enough to do so. When I am the complete opposite.
People are suffering. More than we know, and more often than we would want to think possible, and for a whole range of different reasons, more than just 13.
If you don’t get that reference, than you haven’t been watching The Netflix Original 13 Reasons Why.
The show that not only talks about taboo subjects like depression, loneliness, sexual violence and rape but shows the real life effects of what actually happens day in and day out, behind and in-front of closed doors.
I’m not one that likes to talk in depth about my feelings, or my illnesses online or in person and the reasons why I feel low, and sad at times. But after watching 13RW, and ultimately deep down, I know we should. Because I’m lucky, each time I have neared rock bottom, I have been saved. Through simple things, like having someone to talk too or something to look forward too. To not feel like a problem, or a burden. We live in a world where we are consumed by our online world and our smart technology that we have become a dumb society that isolates our real selves in favour of being liked on a screen. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat; are not real people. They are the filtered, cleverly edited, re-shot and right angled versions of ourselves that we want people to see and that our generation and the ones that follow now aspire to be.
It’s hard to talk about feelings of anxiety or self-deprecation I know. Irony being that I normally, at all costs, shy away from it.
But if we take anything away from 13RW- is that it needs to be spoken about.
Mental health is not all black and white; it’s not all initial suicidal thoughts, and slitting wrists and hate. It’s a spectrum of emotions that are misunderstood, that over time can cause irreversible damage.
It may just be another few words written on a screen, following a television programme that are never read/ watched or have even the slightest bit of impact on anyone other than myself. But it gave me a reason why. A reason why it is okay, and a reason why it is possible to keep that one thing I like most about myself- to keep going.
And to even have just helped one person, is reason why enough.