The picture might be crueler than I intend, but there are times when I feel that way. So, I’ve been down a lot over the summer because of the stress. Being exhausted means my thoughts get the best of me and then I post about it because this is an outlet. On these posts, I see a few people show up and try to cheer me up (I think) with flowery, positive language. Some appear on all my posts, but others only on the downers. Thank you for the attention, but a strange thought hit my mind when it comes to this action. Where are these types of people when things are going well?
I’m reminded of when I read about Tzedakah, which is Jewish charity. As kids, we have a Tzedakah box where we put loose change. In my Hebrew School, there was a poster about it and I decided to read it one day while I was left waiting for someone. There’s a hierarchy and the top is to provide help to prevent a person from falling on hard times. You aren’t overbearing, but you give help when it is needed to keep this person away from the brink of disaster. So, why don’t people do this with mental health?
I know it’s harder to tell when depression and anxiety are going on within another person’s mind. Social media has made it even more difficult with people using the words interchangeably with sadness and nervousness. You also have those who claim mental illness for attention or as a way to get out of criticism. Can’t tell you how many people I’ve run into who say ‘That’s just my OCD’ when they’re really just trying to get their way with something. I’m sorry, but wanting pepperoni on all of the pizza instead of half when you need to share isn’t cool, especially when you were fine with it last weekend. All of this brings up a challenge where it’s simply easier to heal the wound after the fact than prevent the injury from happening in the first place.
Still, I find it odd how people can see signs of a person suffering, but ignore it until it’s a full on issue. I don’t hide when I’m down and some people are silent here, but they’ll appear when I’m downright shattered. Not only online too. For most of my life, the majority of people around me have chalked up my comments about being tired or my anxious ramblings to me being annoying. Yet, I don’t only mean physical exhaustion with the fatigue, so telling me that you’re tired too or I should sleep more isn’t helping. My anxiety rants seem to get worse when I’m told to be quiet or that I’m being ridiculous. It’s not helping when I’m already in the throes of a bad moment and I hear words that come off as minimizing what I’m going through.
I think I’m getting off topic here, but it’s a tough one. Some people genuinely miss the signs, which I understand. Those that talk to me are trying to help, which I get and appreciate. Still, I do wonder why humans wait until it’s really too late to throw their positivity into the ring. That can come off as patronizing and even insulting since many attacks come with a side of paranoia. You’re in this state partially because you think nobody understands you, so this fuels that belief. How dare someone tell you that this will pass when you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel? If you don’t understand how a person can think that question then you need to consider what they are going through. A happy song might work for sadness or mild worrying, but it won’t make a dent in true depression and anxiety.
Just a few thoughts.