it’s been almost two weeks since i last wrote a post for this blog, which is honestly so typically me. i find it so hard to commit to things for one simple reason – i am depressed.
i know it sounds so cliche, especially with the arrival of thirteen reasons why appearing on netflix, the romanticism of mental health is real. mental health issues have recently become “cool” to have, just like bulimia had a surge in popularity after cassie from skins made it look glamorous.
the idea that suicide has a simple cause and effect is ridiculous, but shows such as thirteen reasons why make it look like being bullied and a bit sad is a legitimate cause of suicide. plot twist: it’s not.
there are two times in my life i have attempted suicide. shockingly, they were unsuccessful, much to my dismay at the time. i did not want to die because i was feeling a bit sad, or i’d lost all my friends. i wanted to die because i didn’t want to wake up in the morning, i couldn’t sleep, i couldn’t eat, i didn’t want to leave my bed, let alone the house.
i’m aware that death isn’t the right answer to life’s problems, but for most it’s the only answer they can see. it happened to me a couple of weeks ago, i spent time planning my own death, and i cried, and i was ready to stop living. i had panic attack after panic attack, and the worst part is – it was over something as stupid as me not having the money to pay rent. money that all i had to do was ask for, and i did, and suddenly the feeling went away. but i was so ready to die over something so arbitrary that will not matter in 5 years time.
i find that my depression can often stay well hidden, so much so that even my parents forgot it was ever a thing. i was diagnosed around 4 years ago (maybe, i have no concept of time), with severe depression, and bipolar disorder. i’m not particularly sensitive, i can handle jokes about it, because it doesn’t bother me. i am not ashamed to be depressed, nor have i ever been. in fact, it was almost the opposite. i’m not proud, but i am happy to know that there is a reason for how i feel, and that i am not alone in it.
personally, i stay on one level, somewhere between happiness and sadness, and my life can often to compared to a part of a poem by neil hilborn:
it’s like this purgatory of feeling and not feeling simultaneously. i no longer smoke because i enjoy it, but more because it helps me numb a pain, it soothes me and it’s a time in which i can think. but then, smoking is just another form of suicide, just slower and more painful.
mental health and the media have a complex relationship, the stigma can be so damaging to those suffering. they are branded as “weird” and “abnormal”, when in reality, mental health issues are far more common than one would think. everyone you meet at some point in life, will have been impacted by an illness such as depression, it’s a cancer of the mental kind. it can spread like a tumour, starting from nothing, to debilitating your whole life. some people can barely leave the house, due to their anxiety and depression, and yet this is something that can still be mocked everyday.
if your friend is suffering from a mental health issue, and you’re not BEST FRIENDS, don’t mock it. unless they have explicitly stated they are okay with this, you don’t know how much that could impact both them AND your friendship. they may not want to turn to you again for fear of being mocked, or judged. and yet, people think that because they are “friends”, they are entitled to a free pass to mock, or insult, jokingly or otherwise. this is not the case. mocking mental health can be so damaging for the person affected, and nobody deserves to be mocked for something they can’t help, i mean, you probably wouldn’t mock someone with cancer. unless you’re a douchebag.
my depression also comes with a wonderful lack of being able to give a shit. i have maybe 3 essays due in at university in a week, and i have yet to start work on any, let alone begin to care about them. i tend to stop caring about things before i even start, as a defense mechanism. if i don’t care about it, i won’t care about the grade. same goes for people. aside from my close family, there are two people i feel like i can be myself with, my best friends liz and matthew, but even then – it is never my real self. not because i don’t want them to know, but because i can’t always articulate why i feel so shit. in actuality, i don’t need to tell them, not really, because they make me feel better without ever knowing i need cheering up.
thing is, there’s no one universal way to help depressive episodes, especially when no two are the same, at least for me. sometimes i want to stay in bed and watch the golden girls, or grace and frankie; and then sometimes, i want to tidy my room and dye my hair. this is also a dangerous time for my bank account, depressive episodes for me also come with frivolous spending, especially on things like make-up/beauty products, or useless drag merch.
the thing is, no matter how poor you feel, you will never, ever be alone in it. your level of sadness, or depression is not comparable to anyone else’s, and that is important. just because something in someone’s life seems easier than what is happening in yours, they may not be handling it in such a way. pain in subjective.
however, if any of you ever want to talk – i’m always here