The many masks we wear and the ones we choose to share span the entire emotional spectrum. As humans we all hold the struggle and the joy; darkness and light; weakness and strength. It’s a hell of a lot easier to show these opposites in something like sport. Much more difficult to allow the darkness to be exposed in life. Real life. So here you go, friends, the very human side of me to balance out the myriad images of the smile I’ve shared time and again. We are all human. Vulnerable. Afraid. Sad. Alone. And we are also resilient. Brave. Happy. Loved. Let yourself be human. Let yourself do at least one good and positive thing for yourself each day. Force yourself to when you feel you can’t. Even if it’s getting out of bed or washing your hair. Or letting yourself share your beautiful tears to this world. I and we are not alone in the struggle of being human. The deepest level we connect is through great struggle. Don’t ever forget this. Especially in this time that is so difficult for so many. Including me.
I wrote this on a whim last week in the midst of a really, really bad day. The reality is that my bad days are joyous celebrations compared to others struggles. The very difficult thing to comprehend in a mental health struggle is that there is no scale of depth of struggle. If it’s real to you it’s REAL. It is not ‘oh, not that bad…what do I have to feel sad about…etc’ which I hear from so many people. Which I say to myself. And then I find myself in tears, in rage, out of control of every emotion except sadness and anger that I perpetuate by doing things to others, not doing things for myself, and turning inward instead of outward to the help that is there.
Which only makes me feel worse when I am in the state of mind I am right now that has been building not just for weeks or months but actually years. When I felt so strong that I thought I had this ‘all under control’ as if it’s that simple.
It makes me feel worse because I know clearly there are many, many people out there with no support. This is the reality that needs to change. So often those that struggle the most are the ones with so much to give, to support, to help and heal. For others. So often it does not come back to that person who needs it most.
And then the ‘holidays’….how many people out there have the deep-rooted trauma of fucked up ‘holidays’ of times past. You? You? Oh, and you too?? Well we are in the same club of feeling annoyed, bombarded and ultimately saddened by myriad triggers this time of the year. Like peanut allergies on planes there should be ‘no xmas zones’ for those of us who revert back to times of pain and struggle and hurt and harm this time of the year. Leave us alone, xmas!! LEAVE US ALONE!!!
So for those out there who feel the same, I send you love, I send you caring and I shout to you PLEASE KNOW YOU ARE LOVED YOU MATTER THIS TIME WILL PASS DON’T THINK YOU CAN GET THROUGH THIS ALONE AND KNOW THERE IS SOMETHING, SOMEONE, OUT THERE WHO CARES DEEPLY!!!
Let’s make a deal to do three things each day to keep these heads above water. Simple things. Wash dishes. Write a sentence. Sit for five minutes and breath. Breath one deep breath in and out. Find out if there is a support group where you live where others can help you support yourself. Find out if your local YMCA has any programs for mental wellness you can tap into. Write a letter. Write it to YOU and tell yourself you are worth this life and that your place matters on planet earth. Read a page of a book. Listen to a song that makes you smile even if you are crying at the same time. Let your tears fall down and drop onto the ground so that they water this human condition that connects us all. Write these things down each day for yourself so you can see that you DID SOMETHING. It all adds up. It really does.
Know that I love you.