To the girl who told me I was beautiful, so what do I have to be depressed about?
I remember one time that I shared a personal story about depression on my Facebook page. This was one girl’s comment on the story:
“Please don’t share such things on Facebook. You are beautiful and talented, so do you need to share these stories?”
My answer was, “this isn’t my story. I have already shared my story. This is about someone who’s going through hell and we need to understand that.”
“But there are personal blogs you could do this at.”
I said, “I’m not ashamed of my mental illnesses, so why should I cover myself in shame and guilt?”
The next day her comments were gone. She even deleted me from her profile. Isn’t that the new trend nowadays? You delete someone whose opinions don’t match yours?
It was a small incident, but it stuck with me. Why would anyone think that mental illnesses exclude the beautiful?
I’m honestly not beautiful, nor am I talented enough to take over the world. In fact, I am jobless because of my mental illness. I haven’t been able to hold a job since I was twenty. Three months, five months, six months – that was it for me. I’m unemployed with no prospects because I cannot get out of bed in the mornings, cannot make myself take a shower, cannot even make a cup of coffee to make myself feel better.
I’m a 32-year-old unemployed woman. I hate myself. In fact, I’m quite sure my mother would be disappointed with me if she were around. My husband says it’s okay, but in my mind, deep down, I feel that it is not. I see all of these independent women and cringe at the sight of myself in the mirror.
When I do go out, I see people walking their way to work, busy on their cellphones, talking business, and I think, how many people in this crowd are depressed? How many people had to take their “happy pills” in the morning just to get through the day? How many people go to the bathroom in their office and cry their eyes out in the middle of the day?
Why aren’t they happy? They are beautiful, independent, with great hopes and expectations for the future.
When I go to the psychiatrist’s office, I observe all of the people in suits and expensive clothes, sitting for their turn to see the doctor. And I question, why? Why do they even need a doctor? Where do they go and hide themselves in the light of day? Why hide at all?
So that no one judges them. They think to themselves, you are beautiful, talented, with a great future ahead of you. You cannot possibly have something as taboo as a mental illness. They drown themselves in Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, updating how hilarious their days are, how amazing their lives are. They drown in alcohol on TGIF, just to forget how messed up their minds are. They go places I’ll never get to go, they go for runs, have perfect families.
They have to make their lives appear so perfect, to show the world that they are so beautiful – that nothing rotten like mental illness is crumbling down their perfect brains.
I wonder if these people were real with themselves, how much better our world would be; if all of us fighting mental illness were open, unashamed of our misery. How nice it would be if we could talk to each other about our despair.
The world would be an open space with truly beautiful people sharing, caring, and understanding each other’s mental illnesses, the illnesses that don’t discriminate between good or bad, ugly or beautiful, rich or poor, anyone or anything.
It would be a beautiful world for people with or without mental health problems in all likelihood.
Read more of Tannika’s writing at her Hope is Good page, and read her other posts for IBPF here.