Sometimes it’s hard to remember that not everyone ‘gets’ it.
And that is totally fine; difficult I will admit, but fine. What is not fine is pure ignorance and disregard for someones feelings. Whether this be entirely intentional or not. Whether this be for a ‘joke’ or not.
Those who know me know I’m not easily offended; a happy, jokey ‘banter-filled’ environment is something that reduces my anxiety greatly. But on the rare occasion that something has hit a nerve, it can knock me off kilter more than I can sometimes predict.
This time last year was a very difficult time for me. Ben took over my life totally. I was his puppet and he sure as hell took full advantage of the free reign over my mind. Over the last two weeks this significant event has been at the forefront of my mind; I have been remembering those feelings and thoughts that consumed me and trying to make positive comparisons with my present mental health.
And there are so many improvements; so much progress and importantly: freedom.
The baby steps I have been taking have amounted to new cognitive pathways being made, helping eliminate old and damaging behaviours and thoughts. This hasn’t been easy and is a work in progress (story of my life) but the place I am in mentally, majority of the time, is a far cry from 12 months ago. Even 6 months ago.
12 months ago I was on meds 3x a day, everyday. I was visiting my doctor multiple times in a week, A&E once and dialling NHS direct almost every night.
Today I’m using meds 1-2x a week, only when I really really need them. Been signed off from hypnotherapy and learning to drive. My Doctors probably forgotten what I look like.
Yet this week, one comment from someone has greatly affected me. Maybe I am extra sensitive right now due to the time of year. Maybe they didn’t mean it. Either way, it hurt. And it’s reminded me that not everyone will understand. How a split second snapshot does not portray a persons day; emotions or thoughts. It is literally just that: a split second snapshot into their life at that exact moment.
Just because someone is smiling for one second doesn’t mean they weren’t crying for the other 59.
Just because you think they ‘look’ happy, doesn’t mean they aren’t holding back a lump in their throat.
Just because someone is doing something doesn’t mean they are ‘well’ or coping. They could be one second away from breaking down. I have close people in my life who struggle day in, day out yet they persevere and put the mask on to make it through.
I’ve done it. I do it.
A mental health condition is hard enough without judgement; stigma and ignorance.
Please get that.