Wow I am so grateful for the overwhelming support and kindness I received on my last post. Thank you to everyone who took time to share their experiences, empathy or advice. I honestly feel so much lighter.
HOWEVER, some of the comments were not so kind or helpful and highlighted to me a continued lack of understanding in the wider community around mental health.
A common thread amongst the criticism was, “there are real problems in the world such as murder/starvation/poverty”. Here I was thinking that as a society we had moved past the days where you had to ‘drink a cup of cement and toughen up’ when it came to our mental wellbeing. I thought we had learned from the past that belittling or discouraging someone from expressing their feelings actually does MORE damage. I thought people had learned from #areyouokday and #itaintweaktospeak that it is ok to not be ok (no matter what burdens you) and that it is healthy to talk about it. Clearly I was wrong, we still have so far to go.
I thought that we were teaching our children that someones pain and hurt should not (and cannot) be measured, there isn’t a scale to determine how someone should feel in response to an event. What is hurtful and triggering for one person, may be insignificant to someone else, but that doesn’t diminish its significance for the person who is feeling it. Just because you may not agree with or understand someone elses feelings, does not make them any less real or less relevant.
Suicide rates continue to rise and a large reason is because we do not nurture and encourage the expression of ALL feelings (not just the mushy happy ones that prevail on Instagram). I continue to fight for vulnerability, authenticity and realness but I can understand why people are afraid to do this given some of the inconsiderate responses I had on my last post. Life is messy, its not always pretty, and yet social media continues to reward the fake and superficial. When I post about a happy moment in life I never have comments telling me I should feel more happy and yet when I post about something that has upset me, people feel it is appropriate to tell me I should feel less upset. #mentalhealthmatters