Some days I feel like the colours outside are a little more dull than bright. On those days my coffee usually tastes really bland and I don't really have an appetite for breakfast. This usually brings forward drag your feet movements as if I'm stalling getting to my destination and the never escaping feeling of running and hiding under the covers in my bed. I would love to tell you that this passes and I eventually snap out of this zombie like state - but that would mean that I have this all figured out which to both of our luck I do not.
Who am I? Well that is the question. I am the girl sitting across from you on the city bus, I am the guy dressed in a suit you saw standing at a traffic light, I am the person you see every day at work, I am the lady who answers the phone, I am the homeless man standing outside the coffee shop asking for spare change. You see depression will rip you into one million tiny pieces but it does not discriminate on who it chooses to do so with.
Unless you are the living version of a perfect human with a perfect life, I am sure you have had terrible or even maybe horrible days once in your life. Can you remember that feeling? Some days, I feel like this all the time. I feel like this so much I can't be around people I care about for fear that they too will catch this feeling like a deadly disease. If I don't see the fun in anything maybe it's because I am sucking the fun out of it.
Some days, I feel strong enough to reach out for help. Call a friend, make an appointment with the doctor, go for a walk, all the wonderful things people that don't feel this way like to advise. It goes in a regular circle that keeps spinning, happy pills do work but you know you stumble and fall and there you are right back at the beginning all over again.
Numbness. It comes and goes. Sometimes for the better because the beating of the sadness in your chest some days feels impossible to get through. Some days the feeling of sadness in your chest is so heavy it actually feels like an object. A giant rock placed on your chest makes you completely immobile for the day. The kind of immobile where nobody but yourself really understands so the rest of the world assumes your lazy.
The world. That's you. You are very good and quick at judgments and assumptions. I scream to you for help in many different ways.
I'm addicted to the numbness you know? I can't go another day with that big sad rock on my chest. I just can't. So I pop a few pills. Down a couple drinks. Shoot up my veins with poison. I do this daily to cope. You world. You are very good at diagnosing people. You've diagnosed me with being a junkie that doesn't want any help. You claim I'm a hopeless cause.
I'm struggling not only with this sadness but also with every day life. I'm a teenager and I can't see life past high school. The struggle of school, friends, that never reachable goal of pleasing your parents. It is all too much. I reach out for help. You world. Again, here you are with a label to place on my shirt. Hello, my name is: attention seeking teen. You help with half of your efforts; whispering under your breath that I should just grow up.
I'm an adult. I have a good job, good friends, stable family life. I have no reason to feel this sad all of the time. My friends keep saying cheer up! I feel guilty when I can't find the strength to get up and go to work. I have to call in sick, for the tenth time this year. I feel guilty all the time - people out in the world have it way worse than I do. You world. Well, you've nicknamed me no-show Jim at work. You've deemed me lazy and unreliable. You constantly remind me how awful I am for feeling this way.
People claim that I can just ask for help whenever and I will receive the help I need. I won't feel hopeless, guilty, numb, sad, and irritated all of the time. I will stop having thoughts about how I shouldn't exist, or I don't deserve to exist. The world makes it so much harder to do so. The world has such a stigma on mental health that asking for help almost seems more difficult than just trying to cope and get by or even worse ending your life.
Look at me. I am your neighbour, your friend, a sister, a brother, a mother, a father, a grandmother, a grandfather, your uncle, your aunt, your husband, a wife - I am the world around you. I am you. I am writing to you. Asking for your help. Asking you to take my hand. Don't label me crazy, shrug me away because I'm attention seeking, or talk down to me as if I'm less human than you.
I just need to be heard world. I need to be heard and loved and understood. I need to not be defined by my mental illness. I don’t have any more worth than the next person or any less worth than someone with a broken arm. My wounds are not visible but they can heal.
Stop the stigma on mental health. I am you. I have a mental illness. I am human. I need your help. Make me feel safe to ask for help. Make it okay to feel this way. I love you world, please love me back.
Are these enough words to paint you a picture?