I sometimes go through my Facebook memories in hopes of getting some glimpse of a joyous memory.
Recently, a rather painful Facebook memory has reminded me of something very important. I have been reminded of who I was 3 years ago, how I have struggled since then, and who I have become today.
Clinically, I was depressed.
Like most things “clinical,” this diagnosis was an excuse for a deeper issue. The truth is that I was, and still am sometimes, a deeply tormented soul seeking attention, comfort, love and acceptance. I am realizing that these things can only truly be had for myself by myself.
However it brings up an interesting thought…
Why do we criticize, ostracize, and otherwise put down depressed and suicidal people by saying things like, “They’re just doing it for attention”?
If all they need is attention, why can’t we accept that fact and give it to them. To each other.
If all we want is love, why can’t we just accept that’s what a person needs and give them love?
Often, depressed and anxious people can find the root of their problems if given a non-judgemental ear to listen while they sort their own head out. Unfortunately, their own head is the most judgemental place for them to be so it is most helpful when this listening ear is not their own. Not to mention, most of the time when we’re in our darkest place, we can’t reach out for a hand, let alone an ear.
Remember, if a person is treating you horribly, that’s how they are treating themselves in their own head–constantly. They’re suffering.
Rather than understand, we tell them what an awful thing it is, how hard it is on everyone else that they can’t stand living in their own body–in their own head.
Have you lived in their head though?
We send them little articles about things they can do different in their everyday life to be happier. We compare their actions to those of happy people and say, “see, you just have to [enter formula for the status quo]”.
We are not the status quo.
Depression, for me, was a response to having been shut down for years. Being told I wasn’t good enough and believing it. Doing the things, taking the actions of a happy person has not brought me any solace or comfort. Rather, accepting myself has given me the motivation to want to do those things which happy people do.
Rejecting the dark parts of me just made me deny who I was. I am not all light and love–and I don’t have to be. The moon is still whole when it is New– even if we can’t see it. In accepting myself, dark and light moments alike, I bring love to the darkest, most scared, childish part of my soul. Those parts of me seek nurturing and acceptance. Acceptance is love. Love is light. By accepting my darkness, it will eventually be light.
I am perfect. I always have been. I’ve never been in a place I didn’t need to be. I love and accept myself just as I am. That is helping me more than any Pharma drugs, elite daily articles, or any other bullshit, though likely well-intended, suggestion by those who are not living in my head.
When someone is in pain and their actions are acing out for love and attention, we should give that person what they need. What is the harm in giving? At the very least, we can listen. Listen without judgement, without comment. Give someone validation of their feelings. All we need, all the time, is to know that we are real and we are here. When someone acts out, seeks an ear, or even ignores you, they are showing you a part of themselves. They’re sharing themselves with us, even if it’s a part of them that makes us uncomfortable (possibly with those parts of ourselves which we are denying). Accepting them means it wouldn’t be so hard for those of us who aren’t the “status quo” to survive in this fucked up world of impossible expectations.
After all, I’ve never really ever met a “normal” person.