Depression is a real thing, and as we continue to lose people to the emptiness they can’t fill, I hope we can be compassionate. How can someone begin to explain? It’s a lot easier to self medicate or over medicate with illegal or legal drugs to try to dull the pain. The relief that you feel is nothing short of bliss, even if you know it’s temporary – even if you know it isn’t real.
When the mask crumbles and you’re forced to deal with the anchor of pain that you can’t even justify in words that make sense to anyone but yourself…its a humbling and scary thing.
Most of the folks that (I know, who) suffer from mental health issues are constantly afraid, not only of their depression but how it will manifest itself next: the racing thoughts, the over thinking, the surety that your life has no meaning and love will never find you in the darkness. Your mind becomes your own worst enemy, replaying your failures. your doubts and your insecurities.
Sometimes its a flash of knowing, other times its lingers like an old hateful friend that’s overstayed their welcome on purpose to rob you of happiness.
Speaking for myself: I’m fully aware of the stigma around mental health and mental health care. While there are more folks talking about it, Mental Health Illness is regarded as preventable or only at opposite sides of the spectrum; you’re either cutting and suicidal or you’re the goth girl in the movie who has an attitude and is later exposed as being mentally ill. The portrayal is ridiculous, the conversation is generally unhealthy after all of the jokes are made.
How do you reconcile this as someone who suffers from Mental Illness? I was there for all the Whitney and Bobby Kris jokes on Social Media and now, am I supposed to believe everyone had a sudden change of heart and is willing to be understanding and compassionate now that Bobby Kris is fighting for her life? I don’t want to find compassion as I’m playing chess with Death. We often reverse the care we give those who suffer the most – while alive we assist their road to infamy so we can more access and more information with which to pretend we know someone – while dead we extol their many virtues.
I would love a world where Mental Illness is treated as what it is; sickness and for myself, I would like a world where I’m not afraid to be myself…which does mean that am depressed from time to time…and be accepted as a whole instead of as a broken person.
You may never know the ways in which someone is struggling but the one thing we all have in common is that we have experienced pain or loss. I urge you to be gentler, kinder and more compassionate toward those who really are begging for a chance to walk with you in the light and to be understanding of those who simply can’t reconcile a decision to stay and suffer – there are some who need the escape more than they need the pain and we must respect that.
Only the phoenix arises and does not descend. And everything changes. And nothing is truly lost. – Sandman #74 – Neil Gaiman