Many a time over the years people ask me how l can write so openly about my depression, stress and anxiety? That perhaps my brutal honesty was too much, too personal, too private and too open. That potentially thousands of eyes could alight upon my writing and both absorb and digest what l had to say and was saying? There is as always only one answer l can award …
Why should l not? If someone, anyone can glean something of use from my words then that is one more person that knows they are no longer alone in their struggle against the darkness.
It seems a fair deal to me – having spent many years constantly worrying about whether l would see the next day or not and truly and deeply wondering whether l was completely and utterly alone – which let’s be truthful, when many of us are at the bottom of the well – it is hard to see over the top. If l can make one person smile, or laugh and just nod, then that is my task acquired for the day.
Once Broken Never!
These days, and equally as much as previous years’ people have commented on my use of inspirational banter, slogans and more recently ‘motivational memes and in many cases accused me of a carefree almost frivolous misuse of them. Whilst most jokingly taunt me over being so enthusiastic, others mock and chastise me.
“It’s all crap, bollocks and bullshit, no one believes in them, waste of time, space and energy!” Some have been known to spit almost vehemently at me. “People don’t care about it all, work is work, life is life, and it all sucks!” “Surely you, an intelligent guy doesn’t bow down to this kind of nonsense?!”
I can see where they are coming from at times – with all the greyness and dismal drudgery that is our world, why should anyone believe in anything? People mostly work not out of enjoyment these days, but an obligated necessity to pay bills, keep a roof overhead and feed their stomachs to remain alive – never mind paying for all the subsidiaries that we have to pay. Why should anyone look upon any of that negativity in a positive enthusiastic light?
But l answer, because people like to receive compliments, they like to be enthused, motivated and even the cynics amongst us want to believe in something – and what not better to believe in if not you, yourself? I use these inspirations and motivations to NOT just enthuse others, but to remind me of the battles l have faced and won , usually at a deeply personal cost to still be where l am today.
During my years of being an ambitious career chasing professional l was employed to act as a trainer, motivator and a leader and l can tell you with hand upon heart, that despite what people tell you – they wish to be led, motivated, enthused and directed in order to feel safe, secure and needed. People do respond to these motivationals equally as much as people respond to laughter, a smile and kindness. People DO like them. People want to have some hope!
It’s hard to remain positive in our world, in the hustle bustle cacophony of everyday life … we live in an unforgiving world, a world that moves forever forwards in a fast pace, an environment filled with a people, peoples, society and societies that don’t have the time to slow down, that fears slowing down, that doesn’t not care, but fears caring too much. There is no courtesy or politeness anymore, it takes up too much time, that same time that is getting faster and faster, more progressive, more adventurously adventurous, more technologically advancing than it was the previous day, week, month, year – time moves fast very fast indeed!
People don’t care anymore, they do, but they don’t, but they don’t have the time to – do care – so they show the world that they do – don’t care. It’s a tremendously fast world made up of monotony and fear, fear of monotony, fear of the same old same old sameness. They fear conformity, but fear uniformity more, but they fear not being the same, they must fit into the fitting in world. They are pieces that must fit in, all pieces of a life puzzle that MUST be together as one, but and yet oh how they fear the dismal drudgery of same old same old sameness! They do care, but don’t care to do care, but only do don’t care, because of the fear of not fitting in, they must fit into each other because that is what is expected of society!
Everyone wants to be different, but to be different in today’s world, our society obligations of expectations means that different is not the same as sameness and if you are not fitting into the society sameness then you are quite possibly different, or flawed or broken!
Society doesn’t do broken, because our world, our society is fast paced, advancement, consumerism, disposable cares – we don’t do BROKEN! We don’t do human broken, we most assuredly don’t do human frailty or broken, if its broken get rid, get rid, don’t keep broken! Human broken is fragility, we don’t do fragility!
And if we are to do fragility, frailty and broken then we got to fix them, because everything is fixable right? But if it is not fixable then it’s broken, and if we can’t get rid or dispose of it, let’s forget it! If we can’t forget it instantly, then let’s shun it, ostracize it, elephantine it, brush it under the carpet!!
If it’s broken, and not instantly fixable, and we can’t talk about it because it’s different but not just quirky different which is sort of okay, but non uniform different as in not conformist to society acceptable then we must make it taboo and not talk about it. If it’s taboo, then let’s stigmatize it as a warning to others to not talk about it either – because it’s not just different, but it’s broken differently to normal broken!
We live in a world that is not just a far, far cry from that of yesteryear but from yesterday and tomorrow! Today our cosmos is filled to the brim with a fearful, dispassionate, apathetic, selfish, impolite, discourteous, unforgiving and stigmatising people. You see that is our world today, a world that is going way too fast for its inhabitants!
As human beings we simply are not designed to travel at the same pace that society expects us to – our bodies cannot cope with that kind of pressure. Some can – but only for short bursts – otherwise they burn out! The more society assumes we can the more problems that same society discovers about its members. We are not artificial intelligences, we are organic, and we are natural and because of this ‘flaw’ the integrity starts to weaken and so do we. Our resolves become damaged.
The more unnatural strain we take on board, the more damage we incur which in turn weakens our resolve and slowly but surely the very threads of our inner core start to fray away. By simply trying to cope with the demands, expectations and assumptions of society we are already walking the path of the ‘Flawed ones’. When this starts to happen, it usually isn’t long before we derail!
I am often baffled as to how progression has managed to squeeze more time into time itself and when we realise that one given hour is still only sixty minutes of our life so in essence no different to those very same sixty minutes of ten years ago, how is it that our society expects us to still give them more? If time isn’t actually speeding up, and we still only have sixty minutes to one given hour why is it that we are viewed by expectation to deliver more?
People, the peoples of society’s society have got to cope with this increased demand and pressured expectation of delivering more of an optimum performance as far as life is concerned. We have to make every single second, of every single hour, of every single day, week, month and year count, as if that very second was worth five. So what is wanted now is the equivalent of five hours to every one hour we provide!
No fucking wonder people burn out, no fucking wonder they mentally collapse – we cannot cope with the expectations thrust into our lives! And yet, despite this increased pressure, society is unforgiving of those that do break. Worse than that, instead of helping them recover as they once were, the pressures are further increased on a lack of quality recovery time. Very little support is offered.
It is expected for the mind to recover at no different a pace to that of a broken leg, and to function at exactly the same speed and efficiency if not better than it did before the breakage! Should the mind not recover at a set time frame, then that person is forever viewed as ‘Broken’. Our society doesn’t do or like broken human beings, we are flawed
Recovery from mental health issues is hindered because of society’s reluctance to freely talk and discuss about these matters. Despite the acknowledgement that our lives are now filled to the brim with stresses, strains, burdens, taxations, vexations and overall downright shittiness if anyone actually suffers a weakening, they are viewed instantly almost like the unwashed masses!
Our unforgiving society doesn’t like imperfection, or flaw or faulty goods! Our society wants to continue pretending that everyone is exactly the same as the next person, they care not if they are suffering or having to wear masks to cope, just that they don’t behave in any other way except – normal!
Our society of societies is not prepared for any glitches; they are trying desperately to become almost robotic in their demeanours. They are trying too hard to conduct themselves in a non-human manner in order to cope!
Despite living in a world where upon they recognise that everything is mostly beyond instant repair from being humanly broken – it is still a belief albeit profoundly that the broken pieces must come back as they once were – but l can assure you sadly that not all broken pieces fit the same way again!
If society wishes for the broken ones to again re-join the race then society must start to understand that NOT everyone is the same as the next person, that each person has limits to what they can and cannot take. But more importantly that ‘It is OK to not be OK’ and that it should be ok to freely discuss mental health issues without it being viewed as taboo or suffering at the hands of stigmatisation! It must learn to accept that some people will never be the same as they once were, but the fact that they have survived means something, that they are fighters. They are their own heroes for they have returned from an internal conflict sometimes far greater than many might imagine.
Society has got to stop meting out retribution to those who do break, to stop treating them as if they are forever broken. It must learn that to become truly caring, it must cultivate healthier people through support instead of continually exploiting and neglecting them.
But more importantly it must remember that broken human beings are people too.