If you’re like me and have to live with mental illness it’s unfairly easy to hate that part of you. Sometimes it’s just too easy to hate every part of yourself. I’ve been there too and it sucks. The worst part is that when you’re sucked into the mental hell that is depression most of us feel as though we need to hide it.
Because at some point every person who has any form of depression or anxiety has undoubtedly dealt with an insensitive asshole who loves to tell you, “stop wallowing and just buck up already! We’ve all had bad days!” *insert eye roll here*
That right there is possibly one of the most hated sentences and it makes you want to punch that person in the throat; an action I feel is definitely justifiable and probably medicinal. Let’s just get one thing straight – there is a distinct difference between wallowing and trying to make it through a time when it feels like your brain is out to kill you. The difference is that the one’s struggling usually can’t talk about their depression or anxiety because – honestly – everyone has problems and nobody wants to hear how broken you are. So what do you do? You suffer silently, you hide your cracks and cover it up with smiles that never reach your eyes and that hatred you have for that cracked part of you grows more and more. Rinse and repeat. *deep breathe*
It’s such an ugly, pointless cycle that many of us keep going round and round in. What makes it worse is that we’re constantly told to fix that part of us. God, I hate the word fix. It’s definitively negative, isn’t it? It’s just one more way of reminding you that you’re broken; that you don’t work the same way as everyone else. Here’s the thing though – I don’t think I’m broken. Not anymore at least. It took me a really long time to get here and there are days when I still have doubts, but who doesn’t?
#1 New York Times bestseller Jenny Lawson (AKA The Bloggess) started a brilliant campaign on her blog years ago with a profoundly open and honest post about her own struggles with coping with mental illness. Lawson calls it the silver ribbon campaign. The campaign serves to remind all of us that we are not broken, depression lies and you are worth so much more than what your mind says. It serves as a healthy reminder that you will be okay again – your brain is just being an asshole right now.
I think Lawson said what we all needed to hear when she stated “I hope to one day see a sea of people all wearing silver ribbons as a sign that they understand the secret battle and that they celebrate the victories made each day as we individually pull ourselves up out of our foxholes… I hope one day to be better and I’m pretty sure I will be. I hope one day I live in a world where the personal fight for mental stability is viewed with pride and public cheers instead of shame. I hope it for you too.”
You might not be the perfect, smooth masterpiece of normality that other people are. You might have a giant crack running down the middle of you, but you’re still pretty awesome. We all are!