“We need never to be ashamed of our tears” – Charles Dickens (Yes I did just quote great expectations).
Shame. Anger. Guilt. Three emotions that can kill. If you broke your leg, would you feel them? No. Then why do so many people living with mental health problems feel them on such an intense level all the time?
I genuinely believe it’s the “quantification” of mental illnesses that can really contribute to these emotions. When someone says the words incredibly, very, severely when talking about mental illness my inner nutcase comes out kicking and screaming. No mental illness is not severe. Anyone struggling with depression is living with a torturous mind whether they’re unable to move through fear or continuing a “normal” (worst word in the world) life. Eating disorders will render you to shreds whether you’re a BMI of 25 or 11. Addiction will control every waking moment whether you’re “functioning” or “non-functioning”.
I’ve spoken to too many people who have told me they’re fine (second worst word in the world) when they’re not. The sentence “it could be worse” plagues my conversations. Yes, it could be worse. Yes, there will always be someone out there who is worse off. This does not mean that you should ever feel shame, anger or guilt about struggling. You should never let these emotions stop you asking for help.
Someone I love told me they look back on a period haunted by addiction with shame and regret. SHAME. No one would ever look back at physical illness with shame. Never. I look back at the time when this person was at their lowest and never once did I feel like they should feel ashamed or embarrassed. It’s only the sufferer that feels it and when you’re living with the harassing, excruciating, agonizing demon that is your own mind emotions such a shame, guilt and anger are simply not needed.
C.S Lewis once said “don’t you think the things people are most ashamed of are things they can’t help?” No one deserves to suffer.
Over and out.