I have to say, not using Facebook at the moment is very nice. This is my third day and I only opened Facebook today because one of my German friends wanted to skype with me and we were communicating through Facebook to set up a time. Just those few Facebook moments were enough to stress me out again, and so I was glad that I was able to leave. I really don’t want to deal with all that fakeness, drama and bad news right now. It’s depressing, and so no wonder I am enjoying this break. The one thing I am missing is the contact I have with some of my friends. I miss seeing their posts and updates, but right now I need to focus on my health and finding my balance again.
It’s amazing what difference it makes when you ban as many stressful things as you can and just try to keep yourself calm and contend. I never thought it would be such hard work to get anxiety under control again, but I am learning too.
One thing that stunned me this week is the fact that there are still so many people out there who don’t understand what it means to have depression, anxiety or any other mental illness. I really had thought we were moving forward, and society was at least trying to understand, but we are still long ways away from that.
I was talking to someone the other day and he actually made a really good point. He said that just like mental illness, addiction is not accepted at all either and people don’t understand that you can’t just snap out of it or you just need to pray harder or that you need more faith. Yes praying and faith definitely is part of dealing with it, but those things don’t just go away. It is a constant battle and comes and goes however it pleases. I think if people truly knew how horrible the feeling of complete sadness, hopelessness and numbness feels, they would definitely think twice before they say something that is not helpful at all. (And again that goes for addiction too.)
The above comment is so true. I mean nobody would choose to feel the way they do, especially not when they know what it means. I wish I could help those around me to understand that the silly advice they like to give just makes the sick person feel worse… it is definitely not helping. I wonder if we ever get to a point when people, even though they are not effected by it or have someone in their family that is going through it, will at least accept it. If they could just respect the other person enough to know they are not making this up, and there is something to it, I think that would make a huge difference already. Mental illness is something you wouldn’t wish on anyone and yet it is the only way to truly understand it. Even when you have a loved one struggling with it already, you can empathize with them and understand it to a point, but you won’t understand it completely until you are going through it yourself. I grew up with a mom struggling with depression, and I felt bad for her when she was going through a depression, but now that I know what it feels like, I can definitely relate more.
I do believe though that those who don’t understand the illness need to become more compassionate and accept the other person the way they are. Advice really isn’t needed because usually the people effected are already in medical care, therapy or on medication, depending on what they need. All we need is compassion and kindness.
When you don’t get anywhere by trying to explain, you can always go back to humor and sarcasm. 😉 When I found the following picture quote I had to laugh because I had used the exact same words before (minus the kidney part). It’s so silly to even say that (if you think about it) and yet there are some who will say exactly that.
I think we all speak before we think sometimes. 😉 It reminds me of situations when someone tells us what they did or experienced and we ask: “Really?” It’s so dumb because why would that person tell us something that is made up? (Unless it is a politician of course. :P) The “really” thing is something I am still working on too though. As I said sometimes our mouth is faster than our brain.
Anyways, but back to my original topic, mental illness is real whether people like, understand, or accept that or not. It won’t go away, if anything it gets worse. Kindness, compassion and reaching out in a loving way is the key to help those who struggle with mental illness. I mean think about it, if you were sick with an illness wouldn’t you rather receive kindness and compassion instead of lectures and advice that doesn’t even change anything? Steve Maraboli said it best: “A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.”