I ran into a couple of friends over the course of this year, both suffering from a silent illness. An illness no one wants to face or even talk about. One that is obviously recognizable to me having worked in the field of mental health; but stubbornly hidden from the world around us. I've been contemplating on a humane way to approach them and let them know I understand their struggle, but the meagreness of my approach I've practised in my head is leaving me foiled. "Just move past it," only adds to the negative attitude they are already internalizing which ends up leading to more fear and frustration. Deep sorrow doesn't even scratch the surface of some of their hidden feelings and bottomless raw emotions. Some may visualize death to be more peaceful compared to their existing struggle, their wrenching aches and severed worth.
They have not lost themselves, yet. We may perceive them to be broken because we are uneducated in this field. We try and understand and we want to understand but in truth, we become hardened to their cries. Their random howl of distress becomes background noise to the hustle of life. The world violates their every thought, every move…every breathe. Raw emotion and internalized pain reaches deep within their inner core, past all human barriers and through every fibre of their being. A piece of their soul has been chipped away, slowly dissipating with time and disappointment. A unified essence so perfect from birth from whose substance derived from love. It becomes ironic that love can be so carnivorous, slowly eating away at your unpolished life.
Although disappointment and failure are all acts we never wish to endure, it takes time to climb back out of the deep dark hole of displeasure. Like a thief, emotions can get hijacked and sends you down an unfamiliar road. It's easy to get lost, losing bits and pieces of yourself along the way. It's hard to lift your heavy heals in hopes to find the roadmap back home. And while this is a painful and daunting task to undergo, most of earth's creatures will witness this journey. Some unsuspecting populous come to surface unscathed while others are left to live with the scars.
Sadness is an expression that needs to escape. It's inside all of us whether we want to admit it or not. There are no fast and hard rules to how we deal with this internal grief. There are no appropriate moments in time to experience an explosion of feelings. No one ever signs up for the lead role of depression featuring the good, the bad and the ugly.
Nowadays, of course, people do not have to suffer alone. The stigma barriers are coming down. The help lines are open. If you know anyone suffering from a mental health crisis, please reach out to them and office some solace and a listening ear. Sometimes a small act of kindness makes the biggest difference in someone's day. There are resources available, please take a look at the link(s) below.