If someone would ask me to describe mental health, I would most likely use the following words: sickness, vulnerability, exhaustion, sadness, pain. But recently I’ve discovered another word that I’ve never really associated with mental health before: bullying. And I am not talking about bullying other people, or that someone else is bullying you – that’s a topic for another post – but I think we bully ourselves often to the state we cannot take it anymore. We became so fixed into thinking that our way is the correct way that somewhere during this process, we forgot that we might, in fact, become our own enemies.
Having a strong opinion and self-belief is one thing, and believing in everything your head is telling you is another. So where bullying fits in here? When you start telling yourself you cannot do something, that you aren’t good enough, you are less pretty than someone else, or less slim, smart or you think of yourself as a ‘weirdo’ is the moment where you slowly becoming a victim of your own thoughts. Being experienced as a victim to bullying as a young girl, this is something that I won’t accept in any form, and I will always stand up to this, but thinking about my own mental health made me realize I am actually the bully and sadly, I bully myself a lot. I can’t figure out why I keep doing this to myself though. It’s not right to bully someone else, so it shouldn’t be right to bully my own head either, right? Yet somehow I just beat myself for no reason. I wonder if this is an addiction? You know what I mean like you feel so confident in your own bubble of dark thoughts that you just can’t and don’t want to stop being there? And it’s not like you feel good about them either, cause you don’t. A person who is depressed or anxious will never say to you that it feels great to be sad or miserable, but the idea of thinking differently is often so overwhelming and frightening, that they just prefer to stay in this dark place because it’s comfortable to them. We feel good in that state of thoughts, not because it’s a fun place to be, so we want to hang out there longer, but because we have learned how to be sad and we think we won’t survive outside that place. So technically, re-occurring negative thoughts are an addiction.
I know depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues are treated with different forms of therapies, but I wonder if they have been ever considered as an addiction to feeling low? I will speak from my experience here – it’s not like I love feeling like shit, because I really don’t, but I see my depression as a tree, that it’s rooted in my head. It’s completely cut out now, and I do a hell of a work to keep it cut every day, I don’t let any of it grow, but because roots are still there, I do have days where I am being reminded of their existence. So on low days, I am more prone to fall into their trap again, and it only takes a few negative thoughts to create a snowball of depressing ideas. It usually starts with ‘I look so bad today’, and ends up with a fear to go out of the house. You might think it’s nothing really that dangerous, everyone is having those moments, right? But once I add more to it over the next few hours/days, I then find myself surrounded by feelings of failure/disappointment and hatred towards myself. And to me, that’s bullying. I wonder though what is it that people are so easily manipulated by their own minds? We should be the ones who love and look after ourselves, no matter what. Our mental health state should always be on top of our priority list, making it the safest place to be in, correct? So why do we keep telling ourselves that we aren’t good enough to achieve our goals, or that we cannot survive problems?
What’s the worst that can happen? My psychologist used to ask me that question and you know, even though I can provide myself with a rational explanation of my irrational behavior, I often feel like it isn’t enough. I am the queen of emotional drama and for me, the worst-case scenarios are the only scenarios. It’s funny to think that if I wouldn’t think of myself as a failure, I would live a pretty peaceful life. When I think of it from this site, I am actually amazed at how my own brain fucks me up. I know what to do, I have learned how to manage it all, yet I do the complete opposite. And the worst in all of this, I believe that this is all true, whatever my head is telling me, I trust it’s God’s honest truth. But then, how could I possibly know it is if I don’t share my struggles with anyone else? I don’t have any perspective or a different point of view. And I feel like we all often do that, we believe in everything that our head is telling us, no matter if it’s a good thing or a bad one, and until we understand or get the idea of things to be done in a different way, we are falling into our own traps.
I think someone who is depressed or going through mental health struggles often feels lonely and doesn’t necessarily trust other’s opinions, but what we have to be more open about is that we are all going through problems in life, but there isn’t anything that we cannot deal with. I said it before and I will repeat it again, our mind is a powerful tool, if we allow it to break us, it eventually will. Having an open mind and courage to ask others for help, won’t make us a failure or an embarrassment. It can save our lives.
Stop bullying. Be kind to yourself and others.