I just wanna let you guys know that I fulfilled a big fat dream I’ve had since I was about 14. That’s an almost 10 year old dream that I’ve FINALLY fulfilled.
I saw Poets of the Fall.
Yeah. Anyway, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, did I tell you I finally saw Poets of the Fall?
Let’s begin. P.S I’m like a giddy little girl who finally saw her favourite band ever. (Yeah, don’t talk about HIM unless you want me to cry).
So world mental health day was the other day, and I’m always a bit iffy when it comes to the ‘narrative’ on mental health. Said narrative nowadays is always surrounding the ‘destigmatisation’ of mental illness, and I don’t agree with it. I’ve spoken about this time and time again, I’m always thinking about it, I wrote my dissertation on it; destigmatising mental illness is a bad thing. I think it’s a horrible, dangerous, erasing thing. Destigmatising mental illness essentially means to make it “normal”, and mental illness is anything BUT normal. The idea is good – make it easier to talk about. But it’s all gone in the wrong direction; making it ‘normal’, making it something that everyone and anyone has, makes it harder for people who are actually suffering to speak up. There is nothing normal about a mental illness, the same way there’s nothing normal about tuberculosis or gangrene.
Social media sites make it even worse. I get that we’re a generation of self depreciating folk. I get it. Teenagers are depressed and this economy makes them want to kill themselves; we’re all anxious and we’re all a mess. But the schizophrenic kid reading all these memes about depression isn’t going to feel comfortable getting help, because even in a world where everyone is mentally ill, they’re still psycho.
I guess I’ve always had this thing about psychotic illnesses being left out of every single narrative on mental health, and therefore the narrative cannot be complete. You can’t just romanticise the mental illnesses that are easier to have and deal with. Don’t fucking romanticise any at all. Anxiety isn’t cute, depression isn’t edgy, bipolar disorder isn’t something you can switch on and off whenever you feel like it. Not in reality, anyway.
So yeah, I once again have a few not-so-little things to say about Mental Health and here they are.
Sadness is secret ’cause boys don’t cry
Looking at the statistics of suicide and depression is heartbreaking. I feel like we’ve been so focused on twitter feminism and ‘all men’, that we’re not really focusing on anything else. Suicide is the leading cause of death for men aged under 35 in the UK, and 75% of suicides last year were of men. There’s a source for this, I’ll find it later.
You’ve seen it. A man will cry or show any sort of emotion and suddenly a herd of men with flames and pitchforks will come marching saying ‘that’s gay, man up, are you a woman????’. Apparently emotions belong solely to women, and, according to homophobic and misogynistic men, being a woman is the worst thing possible. They can’t process through their tiny brains that men might feel things apart from rage and arousal and might not be attracted to women, and if they do, they’re not real men. Imagine being part of a toxic gender that doesn’t let you reach out for help when you need it?
Emotions are a thing. They don’t solely belong to women, they’re literally a part of our make up. Straight men think that women don’t find them attractive when they’re in touch with their emotions but boy do I have news for you. Be true to your goddamn self. Men CAN cry, so they should. Men can feel whatever they want without being ‘weak’, unless that feeling is something weird and illegal. Men aren’t taught that they need to safeguard their hearts because they’re told instead, from when they’re just little boys, that they’re tough and strong and macho; only girls are prepared for heartbreak and sadness. Girls are prepared, from a young age, to have their heart broken, to have their feelings hurt, which is why men are more likely to suffer in silence. That’s the harsh reality. Fuck toxic masculinity.
Destigmatising mental illness is erasing mental illness
Yeah, we all have anxiety, we all have depression. The weather is bipolar and your girlfriend is acting schizo. Except none of that is true, fuck that. We don’t all HAVE anxiety, we get anxious. We don’t all HAVE depression, we feel depressed sometimes. Your girlfriend isn’t schizo, she’s just tired of your bullshit. Look at this Piers Morgan tweet. I know he spends his life chatting shit, but look at this.
It’s bullshit is what it is.
Mental health is just health. It can be good, it can be not so good. We should absolutely NOT start using the phrase ‘mental strength’ because, first of all, that sounds stupid, and second of all, ‘health’ and ‘strength’ are not interchangeable words. It might sound like his intentions are good, but all he’s doing, like a lot of ignorant people do, is enforcing the idea that victims of mental illness, that victims of suicide are weak. It is OKAY to not be okay. There’s nothing weak about that; I personally think that it’s weak to succumb to the idea that you’ve gotta look strong all the time. Hey ho.
Everyone has their own coping mechanisms
You know, I used to be the person that would talk about homeless people spending their money on drugs and alcohol and say I’d buy them food instead. But so fucking what if they spend their money on drugs and alcohol. You spend your money on drugs and alcohol too. What are they supposed to do, put your £1.37 towards rent? If drugs and alcohol are their coping mechanisms, so be it. We all have our coping mechanisms. If you take anti-depressants, fine! If yoga and eating healthy works for you, great! If you need to take 3 naps a day, then that’s also fine because girl I’ve been there. I’ve seen a lot of people dismiss the ‘eat healthy and exercise’ thing as being unhelpful, but it works for some people. I saw a dumb guy laughing about women who cut their hair off or dye it a new colour when they’re going through a rough patch, but that’s a good coping mechanism and it doesn’t hurt anyone. Some of us take to ranting on our shitty blog. Mind your business.
People don’t care
I know we’re always told to be positive, to know that people are there to help, but unfortunately a lot of people are insensitive or just don’t give a shit. You confide in someone, you tell them what makes your skin crawl, you tell them your fears, you tell them what broke you. You tell him you’re single because you’ve been cheated on and it fucked your life up, he’ll say ‘me too’ and proceed to spend every minute he has with you making you feel insecure and jealous about other women. You tell her about your anxiety and she’ll say she understands , but then she’ll get pissed at you for ‘overreacting’, for needing reassurance, for jumping to conclusions; she’ll laugh at you for asking her to walk up to the busy counter and talk to someone for you.
People don’t care, and listening is an act of charity.
Regardless of all of this though, the only thing I know is that it’s ALWAYS going to be better. Even if the rough patch feels like it’s never ending, one day you’ll wake up and be like ‘what the fuck? How long have I been okay for?’ And then you’ll laugh at yourself for ever thinking it’d never happen.
Now Playing: Standstill – Poets of the Fall