Not Ok Is Ok

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NOT OK IS OK

Some days, 24 hours is too much to stay put in, so I take the day hour by hour, moment by moment. I break the task, the challenge, the fear into small, bite-size pieces. I can handle a piece of fear, depression, anger, pain, sadness, loneliness, illness. I actually put my hands up to my face, one next to each eye, like blinders on a horse.
Regina Brett

Let’s cut to the chase shall we?

Depression is still viewed as a behind the doors, brushed up under the rug, not to be discussed enormous elephant, surrounded and steeped in controversy by an unforgiving society who willingly judges, chastises and shames sufferers like they are guilty criminals!

In many ways, the stigma attached to the taboo of mental health disorders always makes me think of society’s fighting between themselves, of warring states similar to a utopian/dystopian arena. One seeks an idealistic series or moments of perfection whilst the other a more pragmatic approach to reality.

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Society doesn’t want to deal with the harsh truth of the undesirables – the irregularities of the oiled machine – and will gladly distort the naked actuality with hands outstretched, noses upturned and eyes wide shut. Their preference is not for the fragility of fellow man, but the falsehoods, fabrications, cover-ups and impolite lip servicing that an ostracising people award the distorted fakery of modern living.

Long before the knowledge of the spectrum was laid at my doorstep, l trod the path of darkened tunnels, the rollercoaster rides into hell and had to accept the misinterpretations of my mental health by the so called ‘professional elitists!’ Those in the ‘know’ of knowing of everything unstable!

There are those who only think they comprehend the insides of your mental health and then there are those who begrudgingly through personal experiences do sadly understand the inner working of your mind wars! The conflicts that you have to face daily just to exist, the battles that you fight to get from dawn to dusk in one piece in order to achieve peace.

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Society has no real wish to empathise with you – it doesn’t want to see you or hear of your anguish, it matters not how you personally arrived at that destination, it had to be because of your weakness, you are thin instead of thickly skinned, over sensitive rather than impervious, prone to the frailty of life. IT HAD TO BE your fault! You are to blame for this, not us, not society who has to tolerate your emotional instability!

“Get on with it, pull yourself together, everybody gets stress, what makes you any different? Eh? I am talking to you!”

We live in a society that expects us to be open, and honest and forthright and yet in the same breath they don’t! They don’t wish to be reminded of just how delicate the inner balance really is, of just how easy it could be to place the wrong step forward and become so dreadfully unbalanced that a falling down occurs!

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Vulnerability is NOT an in-discussion topic; it’s not trendy or even remotely ‘faddish’ to talk about over a coffee morning – so it is best swept away out of sight out of mind. So too are all the derivatives of the susceptible, the sensitive, exposed or helpless – they are talked about or to by others – the professionals, not by the ‘It will never happen to me’ crowds!

No one wants to Fall into the abyss, to hold or become the wearer of the thousand – yard stare and feel like they are the subject of the in-crowd hostility and so in turn become the outsider looking in! They want to continue to pretend that the hidden nasties of the likes of depression and mental health disorders don’t affect them and won’t affect them if they stop thinking about it.

IT WILL GO AWAY!!

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Insiders to the desolation, the emptiness, the seemingly unending despair otherwise known as the mind gone wrong, strive to recover, but due to a society that is intolerant and unsympathetic – sometimes the recuperation can take much longer, and more damning. The light at the end of the journey is sometimes, many a time is not switched on, so stumbling around in the corridors of mental angst and pain fast becomes a daily nightmare!

It’s been eleven years since l emerged from my own personal decade long cocoon of misery, when suicide attempts, morbid emotions filled with ideation and fantasy of death were my daily companions, with a host of the most repulsive inner demons that my mind could conjure up, when self-harm and injurious blood-letting was the most gratification l could glean from my own fear and madness and when l was at my lowest possible ebb in the chasm of psychosis!

These days l must work hard to not fall victim to the darkness again – it would be all too easy to just let my mind slide again, and so l stave off the thoughts that accompany depression, stress and anxiety. Of course l could say that my Aspergers allows me to walk hand in hand with stress so that is forgivable! But l refuse to make myself a victim from a label, having been there once before.

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I have no desire to plunge back into the mental degradation of my own creation, so l work hard to keep myself afloat. BUT, l understand only too well, how some may not be able to perform this task by themselves and that they need support and understanding from those who know that it’s okay, to not be okay!

We need to learn to accept mental health problems into our lives, not sufferers, they already know what it is like to go to sleep and awaken the next day and have the same misery afloat – but society. Society needs to stop victimising mental health problems, they need to cease with the creation of taboos for issues it wishes to pretend don’t exist. Society needs to stop stigmatising what it doesn’t understand.

I got through, it is possible, but it wasn’t easy. My journey faced many obstacles, l had no support, lost friends or link buddies because they failed to at least try and understand what l was experiencing and this is NOT saying that carers have to be inside your head, but it is saying that people need to take time out to care, to show an empathy to those who need it when they need it the most.

It took me too long to get out from the hell  because no one wanted to talk about it, so l had to face the problems head on, by myself. Years of misunderstanding, misdiagnosis and a never ending darkness. Our society is a modern society, or it purports itself to be and if this is the case, then the time to talk freely about debunking taboos and slamming stigmas is now, not tomorrow or the next day, but now!

No one desires to be of the shield ‘It’s Ok to not be ok’, but society shouldn’t shame those who are … it’s not a choice folks, it’s sadly a way of the life we live in.

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25 thoughts on “Not Ok Is Ok

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    1. Thanks Penny – genuinely appreciate the comments.

      That’s my daily goal, to stay out of the dark.

      I used to say ‘sometimes you speak to the dark and that’s ok and you have nothing to fear, you only have to fear it when it speaks back.’

      You will understand that all too well l feel 🙂

      Thanks again 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Sensational post of mental health awareness, and the ongoing stigma that surrounds it. I was really moved when reading this and almost felt guilty because of the dilemma I face with my roommate that is going through something. We both have a mental illness, and I have been dealing with boundary issues (Maybe you read that), and we both need to be respectful towards one another’s mental illness and absence of boundaries. It’s a fine line for two people who suffer from social anxiety, amongst other disorders to become brave enough to discuss certain issues with the other person’s feelings getting hurt, or resentful.
    I find myself rambling, and I just really wanted to say… I feel like I learned quite a bit here by reading your post. Great work!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You have made me smile Beckie. One of my daily goals is to make someone think, another smile, and yet another laugh. We are all in this together 🙂 It’s the only way we will get through 🙂

        Have a great day 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I have to agree with Penny, this is an excellent piece. What you say about not being a victim is true but we live in a society who wants to brand people with mental health disorders as ‘playing the victim.’ This is not fair and I know all about it. Kudos for tackling this subject with such boldness.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. There is incredible power in your words because of your experiences. The “experts” and others can talk all they want. But until they have walked your life, they can never fully understand. You are bringing understanding in this honest and insightful piece. Thank you for sharing, for enlightening, for making a difference.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your words of kind – means a lot.

      No one likes to talk about this subject, l vowed l would – l wouldn’t shy away from it – it needs to be discussed more openly.

      When l was going through it all, l didn’t have anyone to bounce off. So by writing about it, even now though it makes me feel uneasy and occasionally a memory will cast a tear to my eyes. It needs to be done.

      Yes, some of posts will be brutal, hard hitting, but the broken need to know they are not alone, that there are others who have walked this path and that as corny as the term is, the light is at the end.

      Thankfully, there are more bodies around now that can offer help. But sufferers need to write about their experiences more, not hide behind the walls society builds – toegether and only together can we knock down these walls.

      Thank you once again, for commenting 🙂

      Like

  4. Fantastic post Rory! You’re an inspiration to others that we can learn to manage mental illness.
    I’ve had a diagnosis for years but didn’t ever know what it meant or the effects. After being backed into a corner I’ve really started asking questions so gaining more insight. I just always thought I was a unit because i’d need whole weeks off work, but not sick in the way I needed to be for a dr’s certificate. too scared to meet friends out, all that stuff. Coming up with excuses is exhausting!! But sadly necessary in a lot of areas of our lives because of stigma and judgement.
    Thank you for sharing your experioences and advocating for MH awareness. #KeepTalking MH

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You humble me Kat, as you know l never take compliments well. I hope that what l write as indeed what others write when they open up to readerships about mental health that it does help someone.

      I am lucky l don’t suffer from loneliness – very lucky, but l do know alone. I know alone when in the company of others. I know alone when l don’t want to be an active part of others, but need the company of human noise – just to remind myself that l am like them … human.

      All of us together, singing from the same hymn sheet even if the tunes are different, need to be a strong chorus.

      It’s better these days than before, BUT it still has a long way to go, before ‘active awareness’ simply equates to acceptance 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I have a true appreciation of your writing, and you’ve said all I believe, and said it so well. Yes, I do agree that there’s a long way to go before creating awareness equals acceptance, sadly. But with every post we’re connecting with someone in the world, even without ever knowing it. Going by how I feel when I read something I relate to, that is huge in itself 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I agree that some people simply don’t care or even try to understand depression. It is not always easy for someone who doesn’t suffer depression to understand those that do even when they try. My sister suffers chronic depression and I don’t. I find it difficult to understand sometimes how we can view exactly the same thing so differently. I really do try though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Morning Robbie 🙂

      Depression is hard to understand, because whilst in one breath it is a universal emotion that many go through, the biggest problem or obstacle if you wish is that everyone is individual in their suffering. no one mind is specific to the next – so whilst universally many can understand the problem, they are equally in many cases oft unable to assist personally – the fact that you try with your Sister is significant though – because you try.

      That in my books is a win win, even if at times those receiving the help don’t look they are appreciative – they are – but everything is a series of baby steps.

      Thank you for both commenting and following – have a lovely day 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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