Lonely Rant From a Lonely Scared Girl

Soooo…. I’m fucked up. Yeah, nice way to greet you all after such a long time. I have several post in the middle of writing, but left them. Probably finish them soon, because they are very real and accurate. But right now, it’s this.

I’m… anxious, depressed, scared, angry, there are lot of emotions in my head running wild, I’ve been fighting exhausting anxiety attack whole day. Right now, I’m drowning it in alcohol, good old alcohol. Very mature and very adult, I know. Like I’m either of those things anyway.

So what got me in such a “great” mood? I  have a job, an actual fultime job, not in my field, but earning money anyway. And I’m already screwing up. Or at least my mind is. Or my body. I can’t really tell anymore. I’m ok with the job, it’s not the best one, but I earn at least some money and not be burden for my parents. I’m not excited about the job, but I’m ok with it. But my health is getting worse. I’m trying to convince myself that it will get better that I will get used to all of that, getting up early, being with people all the time, with all their noise and emotions and all that. I’m sick and anxious every day. My hands shake, I get nauseous, light-headed, tired… it’s just… too much? And it’s scary, more than I say. Because what if I can’t work at a normal job, even if I more or less like it? I don’t want to depend on my parents. Or my husband. I want to work, why can’t I work?!

I’m scared. And angry. I didn’t choose to be like this. My bullies made me this way. They damaged me, broke me… Why do I have to pay for what they did? Why my life has to be so hard, when they are just ok? Why I have to fight for everything, when it’s not my fault that I’m like this?! It’s… scary. And exhausting. I want to work. I want to contribute to society, whatever that means. I don’t want to be a burden. But I’m damaged goods, I guess. I feel like it. I broke down today, I cried… three times? Then I took my anxiety pill. And now I’m trying to not think about it.

And it comes back, the thought asking “Why I can’t just be normal?”. Like other people, functioning adult. I…wish I was pregnant. Than my life would have direction and meaning. But my husband doesn’t want kids just yet. He wants kids, but the thought of me being pregnant right now scares him. And I thought he was the one who couldn’t wait to have a child. I’m afraid that when I get pregnant, his family will be all in our lives, controlling it and all that, they’re all so close…

What do I do? I tried to be normal, to fit in those stupid boxes, to have a normal job, work, be normal. But I’m not and what if I never am.

The Price of Sanity

I’ve made really not very pleasant discovery last week and that is what it costs to have long-term therapy.

I was seeing therapist for almost a year in my university town and it was great, it helped me a lot and the therapist was amazing. And it was covered by my insurance, which was also great help. Unfortunately, everything ends and so did my therapy, because in June I moved back to my home. So I went to see my psychiatrist here and asked for recommendation of new therapist, because the last one advised me to continue with the sessions. And I learned that I could get insurance payed one, but only short-term, which means about ten sessions and that’s it. If I want long term, I have to pay for it myself and it’s not small amount.

Personally, I think I could afford at least two sessions per month, that’s not the problem. I have the money, so I’m ok. But it got me thinking about the whole big picture. Imagine someone is having really bad depression and/or anxiety and it prevents them from having a regular job and supporting themselves. They are short of money and they are told that they get only ten sessions covered by insurance and if they want or need long-term therapy, they have to pay for it full. Which they can’t, because they can’t have a full-time job, so they don’t have the money to pay for the therapy that could help the get full-time job and get money and so on.

I guess other insurance companies might have better options, but honestly, I don’t believe it much. The one in my college town was probably only covered because it was in a support center for children and young adults. And I don’t know what is the solution, what is the way to get the help and support mentally ill people need. I just know it makes me sad and angry…

The Unsettling Thoughts

I always wonder what have to happen to people to get suddenly really hateful. I was going through my facebook feed and saw a friend posting a news article about a man sentenced to jail for rape. The crime is terrible and it’s scary, but what was also scary for me was the discussion that my friend and other people had under the post.

You see, the man was schizophrenic and whenever a mentally ill person is involved in a crime, I’m really worried about the comments. I’m no expert on this particular illness, but I know at least something and I know it’s really complicated. And that it’s the one illness that scares people the most, because schizophrenics are mostly presented as dangerous insane criminals. So this person was called “schizophrenic idiot”, one person said they doen’t believe that the rapist didn’t know what was doing and that people like this should be shot, because they are no asset to society…

It’s not the first time I have seen this, what people don’t undestand, they shame and hate. I was really surprised by that outburst, not only for what this man did, but also for his illness. I don’t want to appologize him, what he did was wrong. But what I find interesting is that he was tried before, for different things, but it was stopped for he was found insane. Why nobody helped him? Shouldn’t he have gone to hospital and be treated? Instead, he was probably just released and he harmed young girls and he’s sentenced and everybody is blaming him and he’s the dangerous schizophrenic. But where was the system?

I always feel kind of scared, when people start this hating for mental illness, because for some reason, what happened to us is our fault.

This really has no big point, I just always feel unsettled when I see things like this comments, and I needed to clear my head.

Don’t Look In the Future…Or Look Too Much

I guess these days I mostly live in a denial, I refuse to look to future, I refuse to talk about it, refuse to think about it. I do talk, when asked, otherwise… I don’t, I can’t, because when I can’t stop and my heads starts spinning from fear.

I have to finish my diploma thesis in two months, I haven’t written much so far, because I was working all summer and didn’t have time. I’m so stressed that I have problems concentrating, I have anxiety attacks pretty much every day and the rest of the time I’m depressed, tired, feeling like it doesn’t matter anyway and remembering everyday chores and responsibilities is getting more and more difficult. I would sleep pretty much all the time, which doesn’t help either. All the time I think I need to work, faster and faster, to finish it in time and it scares me even more. Several times this last week I felt very close to breakdown, like I can’t take the pressure anymore, I don’t care what happens and I just want to sleep and let the rest of the world be. And I worry it will get worse, last time I was finishing school I was cutting severely, I was absolutelly down and I have no idea how I actually managed to do it, because I was in a mist, exhausted, empty, just going through the motion hoping I would make it somehow. Now the pressure is here again, hightened by the fact that I pay for every semester quite a lot of money now. Well, my parents do, which is why the pressure is even worse, I can’t disappoint them and I can’t make them pay one more semester because I’m not able to finish in time.

After finishing the school I have to move back to my home-town… I haven’t lived there for five years, it’s much smaller city than the one I live in now, I don’t have many friends there, not many job opportunities for me… Me and my boyfriend decided to move back there, because it was the practical decision. Well, for me anyway. We can live in the flat his parents own, which would mean saving money on the rent, our families are there to help and all, but I’m still not sure I want it. Or to be precise, I do want it and I don’t. Moving back after several years to smaller town scares me. I like the city, but I also like the one where I’m now. I like that in the big city I have lived for several years, everything is near. And opened till late hours, plenty of shops to choose from when I need something. And my friends are here, or at least most of the ones I have left now. My home-town is… quiet in comparison. And I’m so used to the current place that moving back is scary, everything will change, my life, I won’t be a student, I will be an adult and I’m not sure I know how to be an adult. From what I see, it means lot of stress, unhappiness, exhaustion, worries and not much of anything else. And just thinking about it I feel the rush of anxiety coming in… It doesn’t help much that at some point I’ll have to tell my parents that I won’t live with them before me and my boyfriend move in together. I just can’t, I love them, but I seriously can’t imagine living back at home for several months before he finishes his studies, even few days can be too much sometimes. And also… at times I feel like I wasn’t given a chance to really decide where I want to live, moving back was practical and smart and important for my partner, so I just went with it. And I know it’s good and I’ll probably like it, but at times I feel that my life is not in my hands, that I live in cage where I have to do what’s right, what’s expected of me, what’s appropriate without any room for me to do what I want. And I guess most of my dislike for moving back comes from this feeling, it was the right thing, the smart thing, the thing that everyone expected us to do, the thing I knew my partner wanted and I couldn’t face the pressure I felt.

And I’m getting married next summer, we need to plan it and I’m terrified I’ll somehow screw it up. I’ll be too anxious, too depressed, as fat as I am and looking terrible and disgusting in my dress, my family will have an argument… Or my mum will talk too much to the preparations that I will just give up arguing with her and she’ll make me feel terrible and selfish… She has already said that she should have a voice in any decisions, sice they’ll pay for it. And that If I invited her brother, she wouldn’t come. And she is master of making me feel guilty and ungrateful, although to be fair, my oversized sense of guilt helps her a lot.

And job… what if I don’t find any or am not able to stay in it. So far I got depressed and crushed in any job I’ve had. According to my parents, I’m too demanding, because I actually want a job that gives me some meaning, because I want to be happy and satisfied with what I do. I can work for myself, but that takes time and I don’t want my partner to take care of me while I’m finding myself or something. I don’t want to be his burden.

And then children… pills and pregnancy? Nothing better than withdrawal, depressions together with general hormonal storm of expecting a baby.

And what if we won’t have money, what if we screw up our relationship, what if what if what if what if what if what if what if what if what if what if what if what if what if what if what if what if what if what if what ifwhat if what ifwhat if what ifwhat if what ifwhat if what ifwhat if what ifwhat if what ifwhat if what ifwhat if what ifwhat if what ifwhat if what ifwhat if what ifwhat if what ifwhat if what if what if what if what if what if what if what if whatifwhatifwhatifwhatifwhatifwhatifwhatifwhatifwhat ifwhatifwhatifwhatifwhatif………

And just like that my head starts spinning, the fears I keep at bay most of the time just come from everywhere, screaming, making me want to curl up, hide or just disappear, because what is the point of stressful unhappy life. And doesn’t matter that it’s ridiculous and unrealistic and overreacting, that only makes me feel worse, like I’m just a weak coward that cannot just live life like everybody else, because other people are obviousy able to live without problems… The worst part it keeping the fears at bay, ignoring them, because once I let them in, I break. And I can’t afford that, I need to keep going, keep moving, because I have to finish my thesis in time and…here we go again, it’s like a hamster in a wheel…

Anxiety Level: High

I am at home after almost two months and let’s just say that it is demanding. Not that my family is to be blamed for that, really. I was having anxiety problems since Thursday and no way to deal with it in healthy way, like crying or trying to solve the problems that trigger me. I was at work on Thursday, eleven hours dealing with customers in bookshop, no privacy, just smiles and helpful welcoming attitude. And it got worse yesterday, I faced some mistakes I made, in various areas, I got depressed and anxious, but couldnt deal with it, because I came home and my mum wanted to see me and talk to me…

Don’t get me wrong, my mum has been great these days. She huggs me, makes me feel welcome and loved, she was interested in the wedding rings I liked, my work, how I feel, if I’m ok or my problems got worse… Really, she has been loving so much that I’m almost ashamed for feeling this way. I don’t know what triggered me, I guess many things just appeared, but I just feel ready to explode, full of fear that I’m trying to keep at bay. It didn’t help that one of my facebook friends tried to explain to me, that we are in the third world war and Europe is just blind to see it and that there are some prophecies about doom or what… That was the last thing I need it to get over the line, because after that I needed to medicate myself to gain control again. I still feel afraid and anxious, but at least it’s not so overwhelming.

I need to write a short paper to school and note down some points for my diploma thesis, so that my supervisor can go through it and decide if I can continue in that direction. Because I work almost full time and I still need to finish my studies in autumn, which does not scare me at all, really, absolutely not, why would you think I’m terrified of that…

So that’s my vent for today, I hope it will easy some of the tension in me. I have some other things I want to write about, but I lack energy and ability to concentrate. I thought I would do so much work today, but I guess not.

Marinashutup: What They Don’t Tell You About Depression (and my commentary)

Today I’m going to share two videos made by a youtuber Marinashutup, where she talks about her experience with depression. I agree almost completely with her and I will comment more down after the videos.

The first video is true in the sense that after starting taking antidepressants, you can experience a lot of energy and positive feelings, because your brain is on fire, metaphorically speaking. I know this, because I experienced it too, after taking the pills several weeks, I felt like I was bathing in sunshine and positive feelings every single second. It was great, but it didn’t last forever. Back then my psychiatrist told me that this is normal experience, way to kill my buzz… It is kind of naive, but I like the numbers she mentions, about the number of people affected and treated. It’s scary and sad.

I agree a lot with Marina with what she says in the second video. It is hard to admit to yourself, that you’re not ok. Getting diagnosed and treated is not easy, there is a lot of stigma. I mentioned in my previous post that I waited too long because I was afraid of the label “mentally ill”. And also, because I read about this, of course, but I had never thought it could happen to me. What she calls a relapse in the video, it’s what I call a roller-coaster in my blog. I go up and I go down and it can be really exhausting. In my case, the relapse can take from several hours to several days or weeks. Usually I can spot it, I get too tired, too emotional, too restless and anxious, sad and feel really bad… Really, after years with this disorder, I usually get the message. I can even spot it in my blog, the very bad and sad posts I put here, those are the moments when I relapse. It’s not permanent, I get back eventually, but it is exhausting.

I also like that she stresses the problem of disbelieve. Mental problems tend to be dismissed, especially in teenagers. I wrote a post, which you can find here, when I was really sad and emotional after reading a discussion on a page dealing with mental disorders. I admit, when I read about people dealing with similar issues, I get teary a lot. It hurts me that so many people go through this, nobody deserves this! And saying to them they just made it up? That’s the worst, don’t do that. Somehow, some people think I need to flaunt my disorder to feel special, yeah… It feels really special to know my brain is not working as it should, I feel like a totally  special person.

I think Marina makes good points and I admire her courage to share her experience.

Wearing a Mask

What does it feel to live with depression? Mostly, it feels like wearing a mask. I have worn it most of my life and only recently put it down, occasionally. I have learnt to act very well, for the sake of the people I love.

For me, it speaks volume what my mum said when I told her about my problems a year ago. She was surprised, she never suspected anything. Why should she, I made the effort not to let her know. On surface, I was normal girl, I wasn’t super popular, but I had some friends, I was a good student and daughter, there was nothing wrong with me, right? Well, there was, a lot. I don’t remeber how many times I have hid my feelings, how much strenght did it take not to show anything. I learnt to cry silently, not to wake up my sister or anyone, I learnt to take a few deep breaths before entering home, to calm down and look happy. When I didn’t understand what was going on with me, I didn’t know how to express it and when I knew, I didn’t want to hurt anyone, especially my parents.

I felt… guilty. Guilty of being unhappy when I had almost everything. My parents are not rich, but they have always done a lot for me and my sister. They let me go on pretty much every foreign trip with school, they even let me go to London on my own and I was barely eighteen! Yes, my sister studied there, but I spent all they on my own, travelling through the big city, I have been to England about five or six times so far, I have been to Spain and to Netherlands also. Yes, my parents say it’s because they supported my sister in London, so they had felt guilty of not allowing me something similar, but still… I really had nothing to complain about, yet I wasn’t happy. Most of my teen years my sister was in London, so crying in bed was possible, since nobody could hear me. I hurt, badly, I felt lost and ashamed of myself. I couldn’t tell my parents, I was afraid of hurting them and I didn’t want to hurt them, at any cost. At since I paid the cost, it was ok, right? I felt that I deserved it, I was ungrateful person, so I deserved the pain.

I still wear the mask, very often. I don’t want to be a nuisance. I know people have their own lives and they don’t need me to add to their problems. The only problem is that it turns againt me sometimes. Recently, my partner told me he has felt like I don’t let him be close, I don’t let him help me with anything. Sadly, that is true, my quest for not being a burden has taking interesting twist with me rather doing everything than to ask for help. So after being together for almost five years, my boyfriend still feels that I don’t let him close to me and I don’t let us be a team. The things is, I don’t know how to do this. I’m afraid, that if I let him close, he finds me too difficult to live with and leaves me. Pathetic, right?

I honestly don’t know how to get from this circle, sometimes I wish to be literally invisible not to stand in anyone’s way and I would appologize for asking even something important. I don’t speak about worries or wishes, I would do anything to make people happy. Because most of all, I’m afraid to let people see me, because I’m convinced, that they would leave me. So I wear a mask and I’m really good at it.

Suicide and Homicide, the Role Models for Mentally Ill

One of the inspirations for this entry was an article from another blogger living with schizophrenia. I recommend you to read it: This Has Been Heavily Edited to Suit All Audiences.

 

Role models. Those are people who inspire us in some way, we want to achieve what they did, look like they do or something like that. We try to imitate them, behave like them, dress like them, talk like them, so we can have something they have. It might be a successful person in bussiness, it might be our parents, it might be a fictional character and so on. The “fun” starts, when you have some mental illness. Oh yes, looking for someone to inspire you is…well, bitter to say the least.

I tried to think about some famous people in my country with mental illness. I came up with few, one died of heart attack at pretty early age, one combined alcohol and pills and the combination was lethal, one died in mental hospital, because his illness got worse, the other two comitted suicide… When it comes to famous people abroad, some singer, actor, politician, just someone, I can’t come up with anyone. Well, I can, but Robin Williams also comitted suicide, so…

And that’s the “fun”! Think about representation of mental illnesses in media. How many fictional characters can you come up with that are mentally ill, but have normal happy life? How many of these stories are in news? Honestly, I can’t think of even one… But how many fictional villains are mentally ill? They are depressed, schizofrenic, just twisted personalities… Yeah, maaany… And news representation? Oh yes, stories of a mentally ill murderers are common, just think about the last one, which inspired me to write this blog.

The German pilot crashed a plane in Alps and killed 149 people and himself. That itself is terrible, but at least for a week media was full of him being depressed as the reason for this act. I stopped reading articles about this right after this discovery, it was too much. Unfortunatelly, I wasn’t spared the “depressed people are crazy” sort of comment and it actually came from my partner… He read some article and then said something like “it turns out that the pilot was crazy, he was depressed”. I don’t remember the exact words, but I remember the feeling. He sat with his back to me, so he couldn’t see my face, but I felt like I froze in place. And then I got really angry, thinking if this is what people think about me behind my back, that I’m crazy. Then I got bitter, wondering if I can actually be angry about that, considering what is the media representation of mentally ill people. And then I just got really tired of this situation…

We are portrayed as crazy people who cannot control themselves, who are just incapable of living normal life. Which is harmful in so many ways. First of all, think about the people who just realized they might have some mental problems, but are afraid to see a doctor and get treatment, because they are afraid of being labeled as “crazy”. Second, think of the people who are living with some mental problems, what are the messages they get, there are no role models for us, who would give us hope that we can live pretty normal life despite our problems. Yeah, our self-esteem might get really low because of this at times… Third, think about our families and friends, how are they to cope with our problems, when the messages they get are again that we are crazy, unable to control ourselves, our lives are doomed. Fourth, what about the strangers we meet, for example when we apply for a job, should we tell them, will it influence their opinion about us, will they think us uncapable of performing the job? And so on…

As I was looking up some mentally ill famous people, I made a mistake and read some comments under the articles about their deaths. And there is was, some people writing that people just need to work more, that they make this up to feel important or different, that they are just weak, because nobody strong would ever fall for such a nonsense. Oh and one saying that living with such a person (meaning mentally ill person) is something nobody could ever stand for more than few days. It felt really “great”, but it didn’t really surprised me…

It makes me frustrated and tired. I would really love to see someone out there, who I can relate to, who has mental problems and is happy and living normal life. May be even famous and successful. I’m tired of media emphasizing the fact that some murderer was mentally ill in a way to say “you see, normal person would never do that, this is just a crazy person”. Or in the case of the pilot, it is “you don’t have to be afraid of flying, this is just an isolated case of crazy person, nobody normal would ever do such a thing”. Which feels very “supportive”. I’m tired of questions popping up in my head, wondering if I actually have a chance for normal happy life, wondering if this is not exactly the reality that awaits me, ending up as another one commiting suicide, because they can’t take it anymore. I’m just tired of all this. And fed up of dealing with this everyday.

Just Hide All Sharp Objects

I just wish for this day to be over. I need to go to sleep, I’m tired, exhausted, but just getting to bed seems like to much work. I’m being crushed by the whole world, cold. I know I’m not good enough, never was and never will be. My anxiety is on super high level and so is my depression. As always, my head is split in two parts. One knows what is going on, I’m depressed and I should take my meds, go to sleep and get some rest. The other is clouded, foggy and cold, telling me “you know you’re ill, just take a grip and get over it, you’re just pathetic, weak and I hate being part of you”. For several days I’m figting my need to punish myself, avoind sharp objects especially, although I know it would bring me peace. I despise myself, it’s not hatred, more despising, because I’m weak, terrible, not good enough. I hear this in my head all the time “you’re not enough”. I don’t even know what “enough”, I just know I’m the worst person there is. My mind brings me the need to punish myself, to find release and I’m trying to fight, even though it’s just crushing me. I can’t breathe, hiding in my bubble, pretending emotions, going through my day. It gets exhausting, thinking this is my life, this roller-coaster ride up and down and spinning, hiding, running from myself, fighting, feeling lost and cold. Sometimes I’m not sure I’m able to stand this, I don’t know if I’m strong enough, feeling like I might break any second. Why can’t I just be good enough? For myself, good enough girlfriend, friend, student, person. I try harder and harder, but it’s never enough and I don’t know what to do. I’m exhausted always trying, always fighting, pushing boundaries to just endure more days, make through this day and the next and the next… Even if I think I’m ok, I don’t know, because I just don’t know what is normal, I’ve never been normal. It’s crushing me, I can’t breathe, can’t think, yet I have to, have to study, go to work, put on my normal face, pretending that no, I’m falling apart, I’m not walking on a wall risking painful fall all the time. Will it ever end?

At times, my sanity comes back, telling me I’m ok, it will be ok, it will pass. It feels like suddenly seing clearly, breathing freely, being alive… I wish for it to last.

2011-10-13-a bad day

Soft Grunge: Mental Illness Is Not a Style

This article was originally published on Everyday Feminism and I use it here with their permission.

 

Millennials have long been accused of being self-absorbed.

The rise of social media enables us to share our thoughts and opinions across multiple platforms within seconds. As we enter adolescence and young adulthood, we experience the typical turbulence associated with coming of age, amplified and echoed through smart phones, tweets, and reblogs.

More than ever, our generation has eagerly embraced what I like to call the “sad chic” mentality to reclaim their alienation.

Just look at popular works like The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Skins, Warm Bodies, and Twilight, to name very few.

Everyone worships existentialism as long as it has shiny packaging, with pretty people saying poetic things while a single tear runs down their cheek.

Out of all of the social media sites, Tumblr has capitalized the most on this phenomenon, almost single-handedly spawning the soft grunge trend.

Tumblr can be an excellent resource on many topics – it can change your entire perspective on gender and sexuality in a few weeks! – but I would argue that soft grunge is an unpleasant byproduct.

What is Soft Grunge?

Like the professional I am, I tried to use Urban Dictionary to come up with an exact definition of soft grunge, but all of the explanations were too heavy on sarcasm to make sense.

Coincidentally, they all also referenced Tumblr users, which leads me to believe that Tumblr might actually be the birthplace of soft grunge – or at least its breeding ground.

An example of a soft grunge blog would be a blog that features black and white images of people looking serious or melancholy, usually captioned with masochistic quotes, as well as depictions of pain and harm (like blood and bruises) that are meant to be beautiful in their tragedy.

The quotes that are used, which are often ironically unrelated to the images, promote isolation or negative feelings. Topics of choice include love, being inadequate, or wanting to die.

Soft grunge basically transforms taboo emotions like self-doubt into an aesthetic.

Feelings of worthlessness or disillusionment become synonymous with and indicative of true tortured beauty, as well as intelligence and particularly psychological depth.

Need some examples? Here you go. That’s the #softgrunge tag on Tumblr.

Soft Grunge is Okay, But the Consequences Might Not Be

As a disclaimer, I don’t mean to say that all people who enjoy soft grunge are inherently vapid or willfully scheming to hurt others. I admittedly enjoy the occasional artsy black and white photo!

Whether you’re struggling with a diagnosis or just simply trying to process through a bad day, emotional support and understanding is unfortunately hard to come by, and that camaraderie should be cherished.

Finding community can be a great thing, and I wouldn’t want to tarnish that for anyone. I’m not here to police participation.

Instead, I’m arguing for a consciousness of impact. Someone who is actively involved in any community should be aware of the potentially negative consequences of its ideology.

Certain members of the soft grunge community are propagating the style in extremely problematic ways. It’s that niche that this article is directed towards. My observations are meant to be a wake-up call for some, not a universal condemnation.

Soft Grunge and ‘Performing’ Mental Illness

People mock those who try to imitate the soft grunge lifestyle for their appropriation of music and culture without context, but the appropriation of mental illness is far more troubling.

This is where the commodification and idolization of soft grunge becomes a problem.

It’s okay to feel sad or angry or confused and express those emotions.

It’s not okay to glorify these emotions and perpetuate the idea that constantly feeling negative is somehow glamorous.

Misery doesn’t automatically equate to individuality. Being happy or even ambivalent about life does not make you boring.

You don’t have to be depressed to be beautiful or worthy of someone else’s attention. Hell, you don’t have to be beautiful, period. Beauty should not dictate your social value.

You should never publicize potentially triggering lifestyles simply as a means of self-promotion.

In fairness, you may be one of the bloggers that genuinely has a mental illness. This is directed at the kids who throw around the terms “depression” and “anxiety” every week as shiny new personality add-ons.

If you can selectively channel an emotion at will, it’s not mental illness.

You’re consciously performing a feeling for a deliberately chosen audience to make a desired impression. Genuine mental illness does not work that way.

Think of it like this: You wake up every morning and decide to put clothes on. You choose what you want – hoodie if you want to be cozy, dress and/or tie if you want to be fancy, and whatever shoes are practical or pleasing. At the end of the day, you take them off. That’s a mood, a feeling.

Now imagine that you’re forced to wear an undershirt against your will, as though it’s fused to your skin. On bad days, you despise it, and on good days, you find it annoying at best, but you can never take it off because it’s a part of you.

It doesn’t matter whether or not you want to wear it or what your environment is like or who’s around you.

Regardless of how you or anyone else feels, that fucking undershirt is there to stay, and you have to learn to live with it, even if no one else understands why it’s there. Even if you don’t want to admit that it’s there.

That’s mental illness.

How Soft Grunge Leads to Mental Illness Erasure

This is where the distinction between the soft grunge aesthetic and mental illness community becomes so crucial – because you’re marginalizing the voices and perspectives of people who really do suffer from mental illness.

Worse still, you’re arbitrarily naming yourself their poster child and advertising a candy-coated placebo as their “authentic” experience.

That so-called social anxiety that makes you so dorky and cute and lovable? There’s another person who’s locked themselves in the bathroom because the mere thought of human interaction makes them physically ill.

That picture of a beautiful actress insisting that she has no reason to live? There’s someone debating whether or not it’s worth it to wake up tomorrow.

It also doesn’t help that only impossibly gorgeous people are validated in their sadness.

We need to stop sending the message that you have to be special to be unhappy or unhappy to be special. The belief that chronic emotional instability makes you sexier or more charismatic is ridiculous.

Why would you purposely surround yourself with people who intentionally fixate on cynicism and a culture that thrives on preaching absolute worthlessness?

I’m all for critiquing society and raging against the machine, but not if it involves the asinine adolescent notion that our sense of purpose should go down the toilet if our crush doesn’t like us back.

‘Sad Chic’ Brings Others Down

When you inflame universal insecurities and turn misery into propaganda, it takes on a greater meaning beyond finding a creative outlet for your personal worries.

In effect, you are encouraging unregulated and unhealthy psychological responses because you present emotions as a pendulum and thereby trivialize moderate emotional responses as insignificant.

Soft grunge ideology makes you feel shitty about not feeling shitty enough.

You can’t be sad; you have to be depressed. You can’t be angry; you have to be on the verge of mental collapse. You can’t be bored; you have to be questioning why you exist.

Of course, everything conveniently circles back to fueling more self-doubt and hopelessness.

And you know what? That’s a really fucking terrible mentality.

Sure, growing up sucks. Responsibilities are stressful, the job market is abysmal, and your crush probably isn’t plotting to throw rocks at your window and profess their undying love. The world doesn’t have an answer to our every want and need.

We’re all human.

Things are going to make us upset and piss us off on a daily basis, but that doesn’t mean every tiny event has to cause a seismic shift in our outlook.

You feel emotions, and you move on.

I cried last week.

Why?

Because I was saddened by something that won’t matter next year, next month, or even next week. I don’t have to declare myself a lost cause forever to justify gradually processing through a feeling.

Everyone needs to allow themselves a certain flexibility of emotion to properly function in daily life.

Self-doubt and sadness are normal in small doses.

Let go of your fear of being mundane.

You can’t expect each disappointment to serve as a poetic metaphor for your psychological complexity.

Be Critical of Trends

Dealing with your moods in a healthy way might mean admitting to yourself that you’re not the next Marilyn Monroe or Kurt Cobain.

Trust me, I think we all know that those are coping mechanisms no one should strive to emulate.

Sometimes it is possible to separate style from dogma. Dye your hair pink, wear your Nirvana T-shirts and your Doc Martens, whatever. You do you.

But understand one thing: Mental illness is not a style.

Recognize the damage that trends can do to marginalized communities.

People with mental illness have a difficult enough time being heard without you claiming that you’re speaking for them.

Have a little empathy for others that isn’t driven by a personal marketing campaign. Soft grunge needs to get a little softer around the edges.