For a while, I have been debating whether or not posting this or even writing this was a half-decent idea, as I myself have dealt with this in the past. However, after a couple of recent episodes, I feel that this isn’t something that I can hold back anymore. Therefore, I have put the following into writing not only to work through my feelings, but, also, to hopefully reach out to a soul who might need this. Critiques are welcome, but please keep them civil.
Having one or both of these sucks. It’s not something to brag about or to make light of under any circumstance. Anyone who has this can tell you what it’s like to feel a sense of calm one minute, going about their day in a carefree manner until they encounter something or their mind drifts off to something that triggers an inner mechanism–and then, all of a sudden, a descent into a fatalistic worry ensues, and the world may as well be ending in the eye of the victim. Or one may find themselves drowning in a sea of their own feelings of worthlessness and apathy–they see themselves as a blight on the Mona Lisa, so to speak, and feel that they don’t belong among their family or peers. Or anger that they feel will manifest itself in a pent-up, volatile outburst at seemingly nothing. Some moments you feel like you’re on top of the world and ready to let yourself shine, and others make you want to fade into the canvas so that life can go on without hesitation. And no one could even tell from a Facebook or Instagram photo that your mind was drifting into dark terrain in the days leading up to the taken photo or the days since.
Many are afraid of coming forward with their personal issues and illnesses because of the backlash that they fear they will receive: you’re sweating the small stuff, quit feeling sorry for yourself, other people have it worse than you so quit whining, or it’s not the end of the world. The list goes on, but these are examples of the kinds of things those that suffer fear to hear, as if it’s a confirmation that they aren’t allowed to feel the sinister things that haunt them regularly. As everyone is a unique individual in one way or another, so also do those that live with anxiety or depression receive a different effect of the mental illness(es) as well as respond to it in a unique way or form. Studies and findings about the most common signs of anxiety and depression are abundant all over the world wide web, yet many still respond to these things as if it were the same thing as a person who chronically complains about a frivolous matter of work or a person who throws a temper tantrum if they’re accused of stealing something from another.
Anxiety and depression aren’t easy to live with, and it isn’t always an easy task to get out of bed everyday and put on a happy mask to entertain the masses. Heck, sometimes it can be hard to find the willpower to leave the room, whether it is out of fear or despair. We as individuals need to make more time to understand the individual and why they feel the way that they do, and at least be there to listen without making an excuse for judgment if not have a solution to the problem altogether. The less likely those struggling will encounter the stigma, the more comfortable they’ll feel about opening up or coming out of the “mental illness” closet, as some would argue, and thus making greater the road to help and possible treatment. There are people who are already willing to help the stricken crowd (and some may be suffering themselves), so we need to show that we are willing to listen and nurture the mind and spirit in the best way we can.
To those who are suffering from these illnesses or something akin to it, know this: you are not alone in your suffering. You are loved more than you realize. You are worth more than you realize. Whatever plagues you does not define you. Reach out to others for help, especially those who love and care for you–or reach out to those who are also under the same cloud, so that they can work through their emotions easier. Face the day knowing that the sun will still rise. Much love to you all.