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.
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.
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.
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!
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!!
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.
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.