Inside my mind at 17.
Friday December 1, 2006
My mind is finished. It hates me more than Satan hates Jesus. It wants to destroy me in any possible way. I am so down…All this anger firing from me at people who don’t deserve it. No smile on my face even though I have no reason to [smile]. No feeling at all except emptiness. The shell of me. It really is like the depression sucks you out of your body, it takes your soul, leaves the outside behind. Depression is really a waste of life. The depression makes you feel that everything around you is a waste of life but it’s not, it’s the depression. Take the depression out and everything it told you was a waste of life suddenly isn’t. I’m so down and wanting to get back up but not being able to. All I can do is just wallow. I’m left with no energy to try and help myself. Maybe this is why people with depression need help from others? Others with the energy, with the drive, with their soul.
I was taking the subway to work yesterday and I happened to look up at the advertisements that ran along the top of the car I was in. An ad for the Sick Kinds Foundation “Do The Happy” Campaign caught my eye.
If the O’s as faces is confusing it reads: “If you sing out loud this month nobody will think you’re crazy.”
Sick Kids is not just a foundation it’s a HOSPITAL! It is The Hospital for Sick Children in downtown Toronto!
IT’S A HOSPITAL!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHH
So, what can we say about this advertisement that is supposed to encourage people to spread awareness and donate to children’s health?
- People who sing out loud are crazy.
- People who sing out loud should be considered crazy.
- You should be worried about being perceived as crazy.
- If you are already crazy you should feel shame about your behaviours.
- If you are already crazy we’ll “excuse” you for this month.
I cannot as the slogan says “Do the Happy”. I am very unhappy! I’m very disappointed! Sick Kids does in fact have a psychiatry department so they are not oblivious to the fact that they will interact with individuals, especially children, who are experiencing mental health issues!
This isn’t just a case of “It’s crazy we’re not doing more for children’s health.” This is Sick Kids drawing a blatant line between sanity and insanity! A HOSPITAL!!!!!??????
As a little girl I was taught that hospitals and doctors were safe places where you go to get better when you’re sick or hurt. It pains me now to see as an adult that this is not the case! Individual healthcare professionals and what’s more devastating is whole organizations can contribute to the oppression of those with mental health issues and create a further gap between “normal” and “abnormal”!
I’m going to send The Sick Kids Foundation an email explaining to them how I feel. I’m so outraged!
I remember hearing from my Dad (I love my Daddy, he does everything for us and everyone else!) after I was diagnosed, “Kristen, don’t use depression as an excuse.” I would respond with, “It’s not an excuse, it’s the reason.” I understand what he was saying but even know I’m unsure how to separate an excuse and a reason when it comes to a mental illness.
A diagnosis can be a relieving thing to receive. I remember I was very excited to be able to tell people that I was sad all the time, cutting, binge drinking and being reckless because I was sick. Unfortunately it didn’t make things better for me.
Am I using depression as an excuse why I need an extra day to finish an assignment for school?
Am I using depression as an excuse when I don’t go to school for a few days because I can’t get out of bed?
Am I using depression as an excuse when I get angry with others and lash out negatively?
Or is depression the reason why these things happen too me?
This may have contributed into my current attitude of not letting my emotional states stop me. I don’t want to use them as an excuse as to why I can’t do anything. This does not mean that it always works out. Those same emotions that can be seen as an “excuse” are usually the reason why I can’t do something, why I need to do something differently or why I need help from others to complete the task.
I have experienced both ends of the spectrum. I have met people who think I’m all excuses and people who think I’m all reason. Oddly enough there is damage done when people believe our mental health issue is the reason you say, do and think everything.
This is when you begin to feel invalid.
I once had a “friend” explain to me that she knew I had a mental health issue so she was going to take that into consideration as to why I was mad at her. Ummmm thanks but NO! Why I was mad at her had NOTHING to do with a mental health issue but EVERYTHING to do with the fact that she had betrayed my trust!
To have everything about you blamed on a mental health issue leads you and everyone else to question who you are as a person.
Am I really angry?
Am I really sad?
Am I the one ruining my relationships?
You lose your agency. You lose you ability to react and be in a way that you want to be because there is always second guessing as to if it is you or if it is your illness.
There needs to be a middle. I’m not even sure how that middle would work but there needs to be a level of understanding that someone can have a mental health issue but still think, feel and behave for themselves. There is a “dictation” so to speak of emotion and behaviour, something that feel out of our control, and that needs to be understood and coping methods need to be taught so we can feel more in control in our out of control moments.
I’m still figuring out how to do this. I am currently in a situation of where I need to be understanding but don’t want to be. It is difficult but not impossible.