Taboo #1 – Mental Illness

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Well with still having so much to say about it, I was going to revisit an already discussed topic, but after hearing something on the tv last night – that pretty much flew out the window.

Oh and I can tell you now that there will never be a rhyme or reason of how I write this blog as my ‘Madness in the Method’ mind likes to work in quite a spontaneous way 😜

It is guaranteed that there will ALWAYS be madness in my methods of doing things, but I’m cool with that as it’s just who I am πŸ˜‰

Anyways, after what I’d heard I knew exactly what the next blog post was going to be about, so my mind jumped straight into overdrive and got busy busy busy!

After doing some quick research this morning, the stats still seem to be sitting at >

Now even though the statistics are heartbreaking, what I’m not understanding is why, in this day and age, is depression or any other kind of mental illness still a taboo subject?

Holy shit peoples, let’s get with the fucking times already πŸ™„

The stone cold truth (aka: the reality) is it’s a ‘normal’ part of life for a gazillion people out there so the last thing they need to be dealing with is narrow-minded and bullshit judgments, on top of what their already unwell mind is doing to them!!!

Geez it’s like deja vu & swinging back to G.E.F.S I was talking about in Black Sheep & Families

So blasting back to the good ‘ol 90’s now, when hypercolour t-shirts were the latest craze, I unexpectedly became mentally ill with PRE-natal depression, anxiety and OCD – which then manifested into an eating disorder (anorexia/bulimia) not long after I’d birthed my child.

Now did I ask for it to happen? Of course not, but it snuck up on me from nowhere and was completely out of my control. The chemicals in my brain had decided to unbalance themselves, and throw my life as I knew it into a massive cluster-fuck crisis.

Oh and it also didn’t help when 98% of my friends abandoned me, or when my family tried to hide it from everyone because of the embarrassment, shame and fear of being judged.

Fun times – not! πŸ˜‰

Instead of bonding and enjoying precious moments that comes along with having a brand new baby, I’d become trapped in a place of darkness and couldn’t find my way back out.

After nearly 8 years of multiple hospital admissions and very intense therapy, I was finally back on the road of “normality” and can even (proudly) say that I haven’t looked back since – well apart from having to see a therapist to help me deal with the EDS diagnosis 😁

With that being said though, I want to share something from that time of my life (some food for thought) that has stayed with me as a valuable lesson for all of these years.

❣

One of my so-called friends who, instead of being supportive, decided it would be a better idea to bitch about me behind my back, and make fun of depression and anxiety. Now not only did she tear me down at every opportunity, she also mocked the daily struggles I was dealing with – even though they were out of my control.

Now I don’t need to point out that this is the very last thing that someone needs to be dealing with when trying to cope with mental illness – that they didn’t even ask for in the first place!

Anyways, about a year and half later when everything ‘mental illness’ related in my life was well and truly over, she turned up whilst I was visiting a mutual friend and was gob-smacked me with what she had to say to me.

She had recently been diagnosed with depression/anxiety and was on medication/having therapy to help cope with her day-to-day life, and even though she was still trying to figure out why it was happening (?) she now knew what it was like to be on the other side.

WoW! 😳

Apparently she’d wanted to get in contact to apologise for how she’d treated me through my ‘mental health’ years, but she couldn’t find the guts to be able to do it and kept chickening out.

Now I can’t remember exactly how many times she apologised to me whilst I stood there listening, but let me tell ya – it was a lot!

As I listened though, I hardly spoke a word as to be totally honest, I just didn’t have anything to say to her. Once she had finished I wished her all the very best and grabbed my things and left.

Should I have been more sympathetic ? yeah maybe ? but let me tell you this >

When someone is struggling with mental illness, regardless of what type, the last thing they need to be coping with is a friend, family member, work colleague, partner or ANYONE adding to the emotional hell, just because they’re an ignorant & small-minded arsehole of a person!

Wishing her the very best that day did come from a genuine place in my heart because not only did I understand what she was now going through herself, I’d already moved passed it long before I saw her, and was at peace with what she had done to me.

Yes I could of been a real bitch to her based on what she’d done to me, but I knew and understood the daily struggles she was going through – that I wouldn’t wish upon anyone – and I’m also not the type of person who will kick someone when they’re already down.

As far as I was concerned the past was in the past so for me it was only about focusing on moving forwards with my life, and leaving the negative shit behind.

🌸🌸🌸

To not have an understanding of something > either from lack of knowledge, lack of personal experience, or just from being misinformed – is not a good enough reason to keep holding a stigma, and/or discrimination, against anybody who has a mental illness.

It’s really sad that I’m still hearing about other people’s experiences where it’s happened to them, or is currently happening, and I just don’t frign get how people can still be so cruel about it?

Yes having a mental illness in 2019 is much more acceptable from when I had mine in the 90’s, or when Joe Blogs had his in a time where a lobotomy/getting straight jacketed and tossed in an asylum was the solution, but there’s still a stigma attached to mental illness like shit on a shoe, and it just shouldn’t be happening in today’s society!

Surely someone doesn’t need to experience mental health first-hand before they become a little more empathetic to someone else’s struggles?

To any of those so-called human beings out there who still discriminates and/or hates on people with mental illness, let me ask you this >

A shoutout to A.L for this great artwork! 🀩

Do you think that someone just wakes up one day and thinks ahh fuck it, I’m going to have a mental illness just for shits & giggles?

Do you think that someone decides to get mentally ill just so they can create emotional conflict & turmoil with everybody they know?

Do you think that someone struggling with mental illness, who is trapped in the darkest pits of despair, is only doing it for attention?

Do you think that someone living with mental illness, by NO choice of their own, deserves to be humiliated, and insulted, with your hateful judgments just because you’re too unkind to consider their feelings?

Now based on the stories I’ve been told by other people, I could actually go on for days with these kind of questions, but I think I’ve made enough of a point already of what I’m trying to say.

It’s already bad enough with the vile and gutless trolls that lurk on the internet, preying on people’s weaknesses for their own sick and twisted enjoyment to make themselves feel better, but it doesn’t mean that you have to be an arsehole as well.

And yes I’m well aware that SOME mental illnesses can be ‘somewhat’ self-inflicted from drug and/or alcohol abuse (I’m not that bloody naΓ―ve) as I’ve crossed paths with people throughout the years that were diagnosed with mental illness, such as bi-polar or schizophrenia predominately because of the abuse, BUT …

… and let me make this crystal clear! I do not condone ANY kind of drug and alcohol abuse! but without knowing the reasons of why they turned to drugs/alcohol in the first place makes it pretty unfair to make assumptions, or get all self-righteous and judgy.

Am I justifying drug and alcohol abuse? NO, but the people I crossed paths with had only done so because of the terrible mental, physical and sexual abuse they suffered as a child, and because the weight of the trauma became much too heavy for them to drag around anymore.

(FYI: I’ll be talking about (at least) one of these people in the next taboo subject – suicide)

So I’m going to finish off now with saying that I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask people to try and educate themselves first before having a close-minded opinion, or even better still – to step into someone’s ‘mental health’ shoes for a moment and imagine what it would be like.

It would be wonderful if people could become more open-minded with their reactions to mental illness, but I’m saying this with a heavy heart as I know it’s not going to happen anytime soon 😞

There are still too many people out there who are firmly set in their self-righteous and asshole ways and nothing I, or anybody else says, is ever going to make the slightest bit of difference.

Very sad, but very true!

To anyone out there who may be reading this (?) who is unfortunately having to live with mental illness > ❀ ONE STEP AT A TIME ❀ and please, PLEASE don’t let those negative and judgmental parts of society EVER stop you from reaching out and getting the help that you not only need, but also truly deserve.

(NB: The services listed are for within Australia only)

The BIGGEST of hugs to anybody out there living with the daily struggles of mental health, and from the bottom of my heart ❀ I sincerely wish you nothing but the very best, and may your light at the end of the tunnel be just around the corner πŸ€—

Hugs / Peace Out! Essie ❣