You Never Know Who Is Suffering

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There is a constant scream
It is in silence
Though there are signs
Awkward movements
Eyes of others
Hold daggers of poison
Itches and coughs
Heartbeat rushing
Even when at rest
Tears welling up
But only flowing in solitude
Cracks are forming
Both on the shell
And at the core
As the pressure grows
Horrors stack
Agonies breed
Why can nobody else see
That my reality is on fire
And my only sensation
Is
Pain


Okay.  This poem got darker than expected and I’m sure some people will see this as a cry for help.  Maybe it is?  I do have days when I feel like I was born solely to suffer on an emotional and mental level.  I’d rather physical pain than the internal stuff.  Yet, I also know that there are people who have it worse than I do.  That doesn’t make me feel better or worse.  It’s just how it is.  Most wouldn’t dare to write something like this on a public forum too, but I’m feeling that I should bring attention to mental illness.  My platform isn’t that big, but it’s something.

It does confuse and hurt me that society pushes for us to hide our internal struggles.  We are practically raised to keep the pain inside and eventually turn away others who are unable to keep their happy mask on.  People get tired of the ones who are always depressed or eternally nervous.  Schizophrenia and dissociative disorders are even more difficult to understand from the outside.  Humans tend to be caught up in their own journeys and trials too, so to put effort onto wrapping your head around the suffering of another person care be a challenge.  Though, I think it would be fine if you’re simply there for them to talk to and let them know that they’re not alone.  It’s complicated and differs from person to person, so we can’t really get into that.  All I know is that we tend to be told to hide our internal scars because:

  • They will cost you friends.
  • They will prevent you from getting a job.
  • They will make you ‘weird’.
  • They will prevent you from having a boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse.
  • They will go away eventually.
  • They aren’t real anyway.

Ouch.  I got panicky just writing all of the ones that I’ve heard.  Those phrases come off as so callous and cruel too.  Ignore your pain and let it fester because you don’t want it to cause trouble?  Imagine if we said that about physical injuries.  Don’t worry about that shattered arm because it could cost you a job.  Got a horrible gash?  Leave it alone and hide it to avoid losing friends.  I’m sure neither of those will get worse if you give it the same level of attention that we give mental illness.  (That was sarcasm for anyone who didn’t get that.)

Why am I writing this?  Because it’s been that kind of year.  2020 has been brutal on most people.  It’s certainly given the ‘gift’ of mental illness to many and has made those already in the pool struggle to stay afloat.  This goes for all ages, races, genders, economic classes, locations, occupations, and whatever category you can think of.  The emotional and mental brutalization that 2020 has done to people is horrific.  Makes it hard to imagine 2021 will be any better because we have a long road of recovery ahead of us.

So . . . Give a thought to those who are suffering in silence.  Maybe reach out to someone you know is lonely and starting to draw away from people.  The holiday season is depressing enough for many, but now you have the 2020 terrors added onto the usual junk.  So, just think about others and how they could be screaming at the top of their psychic lungs right in front of you.

Now, for the song that I keep going back to:

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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16 Responses to You Never Know Who Is Suffering

  1. V.M.Sang says:

    A powerful message, Charles. I have a nephew who is bipolar and is finding it difficult. He has supportive friends, and goes to the pub and gym, normally, but at present cant do that. It’s definitely having a detrimental effect on him as he lives in Wales where there has been more severe lockdowna

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  2. Hard year all around. Your message is a good one. I’m beginning to like the video.

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  3. Great message. You would hope that a small taste of this might spread empathy to those who don’t usually feel this way.

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  4. A very courageous message on mental illness. Wishing you and your loved ones all the best. ❤

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  5. KS says:

    In 2018 I was diagnosed with clinical depression. I saw a counselor, but after a few visits I felt like she wasn’t listening to me, so I stopped seeing her. Last year, starting in January, was my year from hell. My husband medically retired, and every single day he’d cry and talk about killing himself to our daughters and me. He told us not to tell anyone. He’d go into rages. Finally I told him he needed to get treatment, I couldn’t handle it emotionally anymore. He was gone for a month so we had some respite. When he returned my heart rate started going out of control high. I couldn’t sleep, I was so anxious. I felt crazy. Any time I wasn’t busy I’d have suicidal thoughts, I even researched the best ways to do it. I felt miserable. I looked for counselors, I cried out for help, but it was a joke. No one would help. I got on antidepressants. If I hadn’t I know I wouldn’t be here today; I couldn’t make the thoughts stop on my own and I lived with my stressor. In the spring of this year, when things opened up, I reached out to my counselor I had in 2018, told her why I quit before. After 7 months with her I’m finally feeling like me. I despaired of ever being healthy. It is important to tell our stories, and it’s more than sad that even the medical community treats us as less than human. I apologize for the length, but I wanted to let you know you’re in good company.

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    • No problem with the length. It’s an important story to tell because others might be in a similar position while thinking they’re all alone. It is difficult living with your stressors, especially if they’re fighting issues of their own. That was, and still is, a problem that I face since I can’t really get away from those that hurt me. Not without sacrificing more than I can bare. It’s great to hear that you reached out to the counselor again too. Getting that kind of help seems to be one of the hardest steps to take.

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  6. It is truly said that we never know what other people are going through. So we should sincerely try not to judge people we perceive as doing something “wrong.”

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    • It’s tough too. We see the world through only our eyes, experiences, and senses. It’s a challenge to alter them enough to feel the pain of others, especially when you’re hurting as well. Empathy is possibly one of the most agonizing parts of the human condition, but a necessary one.

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