This morning I wrote a status on my personal Facebook profile. It was a fairly depressing few sentences summing up my emotions on what has been a very low day for me.
Sometimes I share the positives, but sometimes I share the darker side to living with a mental health problem. I will write a status or a tweet that many probably consider attention seeking.
These posts generally don’t get a response, and I end up feeling even worse than before I shared it. Why, you may ask, do I still share these types of posts if they get ignored?
Well, for a start, I share them because my life isn’t one whole long party. Yes, we just got married on a beautiful Greek island, and yes my daughter started school and looked blooming adorable in her little school uniform, but I don’t think it’s healthy to ignore the parts in between these moments.
The times I’ve sat and cried to myself, paranoid that nobody likes me, only to go on social media and have this reaffirmed by the lack of response from those who ‘follow’ me. There are the moments I’ve sat and questioned why anybody wants to be around me, and the days I’ve felt like not getting up and out of bed because facing the day ahead just seemed like too much of a struggle.
Another reason I share my low points is that I truly feel that awareness of mental health is important in stopping the stigma. I try and talk openly about how my anxiety makes me feel, in the hope that it may make it easier for others to talk to me about it, and for those who suffer to find the courage to speak up too.
When I was talking to my mum about the status I’d written, and I said that nobody ever really commented when I shared similar posts, she said people probably didn’t know what to say, and this is most likely true. What do you say to somebody when they are feeling down?
It’s much easier to respond to positivity, and tempting to scroll on past anything else, but maybe that person who wrote that negative status is really hurting. Maybe having just one person ask if they are ok might make all the difference to them.
Yes, perhaps these types of statuses are attention seeking, but when did that become a bad thing? Why is our knee jerk reaction to ignore those who have cried out for help? Why do we have such a negative view of those who reach out? Why don’t we listen? Surely not saying something and suffering in silence is worse than being seen as an attention seeker?
I will continue to share the lows as well as the highs, because life isn’t all positives. I have a print up in our house with the quote “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass… it’s learning to dance in the rain” and I try and remember this when things get a bit too much.
If you see a status that you deem attention seeking, consider asking that person if they’re ok? Because maybe they are attention seeking, and maybe giving them the attention they are asking for isn’t such a bad thing after all…