[TW mental health, self harm, suicide, pretty much everything]
It’s been a while. And this post has been swirling around my head for a while. Given the events of last week, and that this week is Mental Health Week, it seems more appropriate than ever.
This is not a cry for help, I do not want a whole bunch of messages about how people are there should I need to talk to them. That will trigger my anxiety and make it worse, so please don’t.
Last week was my birthday. And because people I know are lovely, I got lots of messages wishing me a happy birthday, and hopes that I would have a good day. Which I did, but I also spend a good bit of it being really sad because my imposter syndrome kicked in and told me that people were only being nice out of pity, that half of them only realised they still had me as facebook friends because the birthday message had popped up, and that really everyone hates me.
Self harm urges aren’t a one and done deal. But you’re not supposed to talk about how you know several ways to hurt yourself with every day household items, because that scares people. You’re not supposed to talk about how you know ways to hurt yourself that don’t leave any visible marks, because that really scares people.
You’re not supposed to talk about suicide ideation at all, because that scares people. And most people believe it is a very occasional, you’ve hit the bottom of the barrel deal, that you are only suicidal when you’re at your very lowest.
I am suicidal every day.
Most days I can fight down the urges and move on, but it takes a lot of energy and head space. Which is why I am so tired all the time. Sometimes it gets too much, and I do and say things to people that I don’t know how to adequately apologise for afterwards.
Mental health isn’t clean cut. Just because someone has a diagnosis doesn’t mean they are going to cleanly follow the criteria and only experience the symptoms in a neatly ascending scale. And it is scary as fuck.
If someone comes to you and tells you they’re having mental health problems, please take it seriously, but know that you do not have to know all the answers. You don’t have to ‘cure’ them, sometimes just admitting the feeling to someone else is enough. It is ok to be scared by the things your friend is saying, it is ok to not be able to handle what they’re going through, and it is ok to admit that. Just as it is ok for them to be perfectly irrational because they can’t handle what they’re going through.
There are things we’re not supposed to talk about because they scare people, and it needs to stop. Too many people are lost because those around them are scared to talk about the serious stuff. Please don’t be one of those.