I was actually very anxious about making the decision to share my blog. Ok, I’m known for not pulling any punches on Facebook, and I’m always the loudest voice in the group, but somehow this feels more intimate and perhaps I do care more about what others think. Perhaps I am not infallible in terms of social expectations.
Over the last few weeks I have dipped a toe in verbalising my battles with my depression, anxiety and PTSD. In person, over Facebook, in text. To strangers, friends, family, etc.
There is one very important lesson I can share, with 100% confidence. It doesn’t matter whether you have known a person for one week or all your life, it doesn’t matter what socioeconomic group they are from, how they vote, whether they have children or not, their sex, their relationship with their parents, their occupation and their life experience – you will absolutely NOT be able to predict their response to your situation.
I am estranged from my parents.
I have lost friends.
Very close friends that I thought I knew have only recently confided their own battles with mental health.
I have been thanked, applauded, and acknowledged by people that I thought didn’t actually care at all very much about me.
I have been comforted in my darkest hour by people that I just simply wouldn’t have anticipated. I have been able to chat openly to people that a few months ago it was the more basics of conversations.
There is dialogue.
In my world, there is shame. I’ve been brought up taught not to show emotion, not to show fear, to hold back tears, stiff upper lip. Brush things under the carpet. Move on, don’t dwell. I have been taught that I am the blame, I am the cause. No matter what happens to me, I am fault.
All of my life this is what I have come to believe. I live shrouded in shame. I am ashamed that I am depressed. I am ashamed that I am different. When I want to grieve, to cry and wanted answers my parents turned away. I officially severed ties with them last year. I have given myself permission to really let go. To change my fundamental self beliefs.
Everyone’s journey is different. But no one should be alone.