There is something that has been making its rounds on social media and I’ve read it a few times, and thought that is a bit harsh, but I’m going to share it anyway:
Telling someone with
Anxiety to “just stop worrying”
Depression to “just be happy”
Insomnia to “just go to sleep”
Anorexia to “just eat”
Bulimia to “just keep it in”
Self Harm issues to “just stop cutting”
Problems to “just get over it”
is like stabbing yourself in the stomach with a massive knife and saying “just stop bleeding” and then immediately feeling better.
I have a problem with the “stabbing yourself in the stomach” analogy because it is a bit ( more like very) violent but it is really true for people who battle with any mental illness (yes, that is what it is).
Whether it is family, friends or work colleagues, there are going to be people who really don’t understand what you are going through.
So we come to a dilemma:
How hard do we try to teach these people to understand what you really feel like?
There are people who are going to have no empathy at all – and those are often the people who would actually understand what you are going through if they were brave enough to face themselves and realise that they have problems too. It is easier for those people to point fingers and to judge you than to look at themselves in the mirror.
I would rather you concentrate your energy on working on yourself and getting better than trying to prove something to someone who doesn’t actually want anything proved to them except that they are right.
Yes, you deserve better.
Yes, you deserve to have people who understand you.
But you need to be your own superhero.
Stand up for your right not to be OK, educate people around you, share your feelings and experiences with them but also humbly admit that some people are just not going to understand. And that is OK too.