Empathy

I wrote this when I wasn’t in the best of places, not long after the passing of Anthony Bourdain and although I feel more positive now, it’s still a sentiment that is important and should be understood.

Not another blogger with a mental health problem. Well fucking hell, we need another blogger with a mental health problem. That’s exactly what we need because if you can’t relate, you need to learn how to empathise. I truly believe that we all have mental health problems, that is is a spectrum and we can all be affected directly or indirectly.

Plus, if we all have experiences and as I said, I believe we will all have some form of experience, why shouldn’t we talk, film, or blog about it?

I’m not into celebrity culture so much but I was devastated by the news this week that a celebrity I’m fond of took their own life. He had the pleasure, the luxury of traveling to all over the globe, listening to people’s stories and eating their food. He left behind a young daughter and a girlfriend as well as the rest of his family. Money, love, fame. It doesn’t mean shit. So imagine how us ‘normal folk’ feel.

These illnesses, these afflictions. They do not discriminate. Almost every day, I am surrounded by strong, courageous and hardworking people, yet I often feel alone, I feel nervous, I feel sad, no one is immune.

I sometimes trip over my words, or think up a scenario that may never happen to worry about. Sometimes these aches and pains in our minds also manifest physically. Sometimes I can’t spend more than 20 minutes away from the toilet from fear of shitting my pants, literally.

The worst part is often the commentary from the outside world. Especially when it’s taken time to build the courage to confide in someone.

“What have you got to be sad about?”
“At least you’ve got a job and a roof over your head”

That’s when the guilt starts to perpetuate. You know you’ve got nothing to be sad about, but you are but you are sad about it.

So please, learn to empathise. If you want to support someone close to you, an empty “I’m here for you” is nothing without action. Even if it’s you sending your Netflix password over so they can enjoy some escapism. Or you texting them reminding them to take their medication or prompting to go and eat something. No grand gesture is required, no flowers or chocolates (for me anyway, I’d only feel bad about me killing them or smashing a box of Milk Tray) but make sure I know that you are definitely there when you say you are.

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