I’ve been trying to write this post for days and I don’t know how without addressing something first.
Mental Health is such a buzzword these days isn’t it? It’s a hot topic people want to talk about, me included.
I worry though that I’ve gotten caught up in the buzz, having the right pens, notebooks, and picturesque cafes to write picturesque things and tie up my mental illness in a nice little bow and deliver it to the world on a silver platter. I worry I’m not being real enough with you, hell, not real enough with me either.
There is nothing glamorous about sleepless nights.
Nothing pretty about mornings spent shaking from all the drugs and alcohol I pumped into my body the night before to escape the empty.
Nothing picturesque about tear stained, blood stained pages. Blank because I can’t put the thoughts of my vacant mind into words.
I cannot put that on a silver platter and tie a bow around it. I just can’t.
We talk about talking about it.
We talk about needing to talk about it.
So let’s talk about it.
Almost one million people die each year from suicide. For every one person who dies this way at least 20 have attempted. It is estimated that by 2030 depression will be the leading cause of death, not cancer, not heart disease, not homicide, depression.
Why are we not talking about this?
It is not easy to talk about suicide. Its awkward and uncomfortable trust me I know, but isn’t that exactly why we need to be talking about it.
Did you notice how I said died from suicide? I read an article a while back where a mother had lost her son to suicide and she refused to say he committed suicide or he killed himself because it was not a choice he made; it was his illness that took over – he died from suicide.
I’ve attempted three times. Each time I got the same question. Why? What would possess you to do something like that? Why would you ever do that? What made you decide to do this? Not just from my peers, but from doctors, nurses, even psychiatrists.
Honestly, I can’t tell you why.
I can’t tell you why my brain thinks the way it does. I can’t tell you why I am so often paralyzed by sadness. I can’t tell you why one hour I am empty, and in the next I feel everything all at once. I don’t know why. “I’m sick” is the only answer I can give you.
Would you ask me why I have cancer?
Sounds kind of silly right?
Nobody chooses cancer.
Nobody chooses mental illness.
Let’s Fight This
We’re scared of the unknown, the unfamiliar. I know that, I get that, I’m scared too.
So let’s talk about it together.
If we talk about it, maybe we’ll begin to understand it, maybe not. I don’t know. But I think we’ll begin to feel less scared because instead of feeling isolated, weird, messed up, we will feel heard, loved, accepted.
I started writing because paper didn’t judge, or question it just let me be me.
What if we let our people just feel what they feel, no judgment, no shame.
I will probably always love nice pens and paper with an Americano and cute café; those things make me feel good. But I promise that I will do my very best to not get caught up in the sugar coating or the buzz and just be real with you.
Lastly I want to stress that the dark parts can be light again. The sun always rises right? I’ve linked some resources and places that can help, and as always you are loved, you are valued, and you are heard.
Let’s fight this.
About Chelsea Moore
My name is Chelsea! I am in my third year of university studying Anthropology and Sociology. I started self harming when I was 15, had my first suicide attempt when I was 16, and that is when I was diagnosed with Depression. Since then my life has been about recovery, and throughout this journey writing has been my safe place. Throughout my journey I've learned that everyone has a story, and hurting together feels a lot better than hurting behind closed doors.I am passionate about bringing awareness to mental illness, and couldn't be more excited about this opportunity to write for Healthy Minds Canada!