A Candid Conversation About Mental HealthNovember 15, 2018, Comments Off on A Candid Conversation About Mental Health
Shockingly, it has been well over a year since I last wrote a post; let alone a blog specifically about mental health. I have been almost a mute writer for the past 12 months, filled with a plethora of things to say but unfortunately not feeling like I have a voice to speak on such matters, due in all honesty to a lack of mental strength. I have been afraid, discouraged, disheartened and to be quite frank, disengaged not only from life itself but also expressing how you feel from the heart.
The ongoing battle with depression and sadness is at times all-consuming and relentless in its efforts to snare one’s precious mental health. Day after day, month after month and year after year, the human mind becomes enthralled in this constant struggle to be ‘well’. A broken individual spending every waking moment just trying to be ‘okay’ and that in its very essence is the most daunting part about the fight itself.
What triggered my sudden inspiration was a damming statistic that haunts me every time I think about it. An astonishing 84 men take their own lives every week in the UK. It was then it dawned on me, that while there are endless reasons a man could take his own life, isolation plays a huge part in making such a massive decision to end it all.
In 2018, depression has in some way become a sort of trend, rather than a heavy chain that needs to be broken. Our beloved meme culture has meant that jest surely does reside when speaking candidly about anxiety, darkness and even suicide, and while many may use such methods as a coping mechanism (including me), the seriousness of how depression is affecting countless men and women has become almost deaf amongst all the viral noise. However, this is but a small fish in a rather large pond. The conversation regarding mental has certainly taken place in more spaces and forums; which is positive without a doubt, but we fall in danger of the subject being more of a gimmick and less of a pandemic that needs to be addressed with action rather than just good speech for the purpose of social media and beyond. Depression in its very basic form isn’t fun, for most it doesn’t feel good, it takes every ounce of your being to not let it destroy you and I must admit, the battle is one at times I just don’t want to continue anymore.
“But in the end one needs more courage to live than to kill himself.”
One moment in 2018 that affecting more than I thought it would was the death of Mac Miller. Years ago, the death of any human being would be a tragic moment in history, in this day and age (and I say this not to sound like some sort of Grinch) it seems that things such as death and suicide have become almost numb to most, to the point where one would rather use a dead man’s addictions and relationship issues as leverage in an effort to gain ‘clout’. The day he passed I put myself in his shoes and it genuinely brought me to tears, because he was like many of us, struggling with depression and using addiction as a means to either numb or possibly erase a pain that just would not go away. And herein lies my point, while I know you may not have known Mac Miller personally, he was still a human being who was struggling, yes, he was rich, famous and probably to you had everything he could have ever needed and yet still he battled demons. Just think for a moment, if that had been someone close to you and their death had become nothing more than a springboard for comedy, you would be heartbroken. This is what has become of such serious issues and it has a damming effect on those who are in need of real help. Whether you would like to admit it or not.
If I can speak candidly, not wanting to be here is a very real feeling that I have to face every single day. Sadly, I’ve seen countless individuals describe suicide as “selfish” which couldn’t be further from the truth. To pinpoint the reason for such sorrow would be an endless task, but that is beside the point, the dark cloud resides here and has been present for a rather long time which makes it difficult at times to fully articulate how you feel in your current state. Suicide, isn’t for the majority, you trying to punish someone or because you don’t care who you will leave behind, in fact that is what make it worse, thinking about such a tragic getaway while knowing others may depend on you can absolutely destroy a person soul. It is real pain, one that you even feel guilty for entertaining in the first place, but it doesn’t just disappear because someone tweeted about how it could hurt others if you commit to such a thing. Contrary to popular belief you don’t all of a sudden stop feeling like taking your own life because everything is going so great, it goes far beyond that. Unless you’ve felt such a pain, I would implore you to stop and consider what you would say to someone in that state, sometimes your fancy words do far more damage to an individual who is contemplating ending it all. Now isn’t the time to sound deep for the sake of a couple RTs, there are lives at stake and your words play a big part.
So why did I write this? What was my purpose? This is simply an outlet. It’s better to be open and honest about where you are and not hide behind smiles that are simply for show. A question I’m constantly asked is “why am I sad”, because looking from the outside in, I don’t illuminate a life that breeds despair, that beloved is the point itself, depression doesn’t have a consistent form of appearance, it can ensnare the strongest and demolish the weakest. Describing sadness at times is a task itself because it’s never based on one particularly point, but I assure you it’s evident and as years have passed, it has only gotten more comfortable.
The truth is I’ve been struggling for a while, my eating habits are a mess, I battle to get out of bed at least twice a week, strangely I sleep more and less at the very same time and every night I lay my head to rest, it is in the hope that I will either feel better when I wake up or not wake at all. I don’t write this for sympathy, it’s not even necessarily a cry for help (I have therapy for that) but rather an open yet personal space for me and I guess comfort for anyone else who might have felt like they were the only one who struggled with such things.
I will say this, you are not alone, you never have been alone and you never will, although I have no doubt that you will feel like this journey is a lonesome one, but be reassured this fight doesn’t have to be a solo walk, every single day I am grateful for my close friends and family who don’t grow weary in hearing me speak on things that go on inside my mind, I struggle to say everything because it can be quite dark, but it’s a win if you can at least be honest, regardless of how much that is. It might not feel like it but someone, somewhere out there wants you to know you’re loved and that depression doesn’t have to be the end of you.
You may not ever completely rid yourself of sadness, but you can at least learn to navigate it and not let It define who you are and the person you are becoming.
Words by, Daniel (db Captures)