The Misery Within – Mind Wars
The Misery as a design is to do with the mind. It depicts an out of control rollercoaster ride plummeting through your skull, smashing into everything as it passes through. It is a reflection of an insidious decline into darkness which is brought on by the arrival of mental health disorders.
It doesn’t matter who you are, it matters not if you are rich and famous or poor and destitute, for it matters not. It strikes who it wants and when it wants and how it wants. It shows no discrimination nor does it favour any particularity – it feeds like death itself on life.
Society doesn’t like these taboos, it ostracises and shames and drapes sufferers in stigma making them feel guilty. It pushes the topic deep into the corner of the room and will gladly walk around it all day but not openly discuss its presence. In fact equally as much as my autism, mental health disorders are seen to be similar to the elephant in the room – they are not to be discussed and are best brushed under the carpet!
Long before l received my diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome – 2008 – l had been at the mercy of the medical profession. Since a very young age l had known inner torment, l had walked hand in hand with stress, anxiety and depression. I had been treated for ‘probable’ schizophrenia, informed l was bipolar, and was threatened with sectioning by people l thought cared about me.
My friends and family many a time never wanted to talk about ‘it’ and forbade me to discuss any of my emotions. Comments of ‘chin up’, it will pass, snap out of it, grow the fuck up, stop acting like a child’ and worse was a barrage of insultive behaviour l had to put up with for many years prior to learning the truth about my own disorder.
I am a survivor from my own failures to exit this world but also a scarred demon hunter who relished in the sinful pleasures of self-harm! Tis pride l boast, not for my actions, but for getting through despite the misery l had to endure daily for many years. My last mental breakdown lasted for eleven years, it struck me when l was thirty-one and left me in the winter of 2006. I would not be lying to you if l said it didn’t change me – it did.
Every single day of those years l battled the nastiest foulest demons my mind could conjure up in its attempts to destroy me. Not one day passed when l didn’t wrestle with thoughts of suicide and self-harm – l lost to the blade but lived to see the next day. Whilst that was a horrendous time, the breakdowns beforehand which started for me when l was around ten were equally as disturbing.
I have known the pressures of a society that cares not for the victims who suffer from their hidden enemies! Depression crippled my mind, anxiety weakened my resolve and the misery continually screamed within my skull!
Our society shrinks away from discussing these issues, because of fear – a fear that those ‘infected’ will transmit the poison of the misery to them and ‘ruin’ their day. Astonishingly despite the fact that every year millions of people suffer from the likes of mental health problems – society still insists on not openly discussing these topics preferring to ignore the suffering.
It has become such an ‘elephant’ that people genuinely believe that those who suffer from the perils are ‘damaged goods’ and that the disorders actually physically shape them and characterise who they are for evermore!
Strangely though despite treating it like the plague, people still believe it to be a small time affair that is being exaggerated whilst they prefer to over simplify it and add insult by romanticising it with comments of ‘I know what you mean, l too have had a very stressful day, so l can relate to your tension!”
Employers view the stigma as paralysing to the career path also, and whilst urging potential employees to stipulate with honesty every gap in their resume do not wish nor desire to hear of mental problems! This leads to sufferers from the likes of anxiety and depression hiding the truth and masking up – which in turn causes more problems!
People are urged to ‘talk about their problems’ in one breath and yet should they confide in another the truth – they can be disgraced and abandoned by this fear syndrome! We live in a world that says it cares, and yet this isn’t true – people don’t care, they care only for themselves.
Our world doesn’t want to know about what scares them, they don’t want to think about what may be around the next corner – they simply want to think that everything is alright and if it doesn’t affect them personally then it is of no concern to them. That people who suffer these things are weak people, that they are not strong, that they brought this on themselves and they should not burden others with their own errors! They don’t see mental illnesses as real problems – because they cannot actually see them. A broken bone can be fixed – so why not the mind??
That those who have these ‘little problems’ bring them on themselves; they are guilty of nothing more than deliberately wasting another’s time! That if they were ‘so’ ill, then why aren’t they in hospital and they should realise that it’s all in their heads! “It’s a state of mind, all you need to do is be positive and it will go away, everyone has off days!”
My diagnosis helped enormously with my recovery, l was finally able to positively identify with who l was but it didn’t mean that the misery stopped – it just meant l could control it more through an understanding of my limits and my boundaries. I would be lying if l said l don’t have to stave off depression – l do – sometimes daily – l have no wish to slip down into the darkness again. But at least l no longer have an overwhelming craving to slice into my flesh like candy or simply cease to exist. That is true progression and only those who have suffered from the Misery will understand that.
I am a survivor and proud of that, l made it, l battled the ugliest demons of them all, and got through. It isn’t easy, it’s tough, but it is worth it. I am alive.
Society NEEDS to TALK ABOUT IT, and learn to understand that the STIGMAS they create hinders recovery, that Mental Health issues are not TABOO! Our people are your people too, they are the people of your society as well and they shouldn’t have to feel discriminated against because of your fear.
Recently l posed a question via a poll in social media 2018
Does Our Society Have A Healthy Attitude And Outlook With Regards Mental Health Illnesses?
We only had 158 responses, which is quite low but it still showed a clear 92% response with the answer NO. 2% suggested YES, and 6% responded with UNSURE, this says it all l think. Don’t you?