Yesterday was a World Mental Health Day.
Every year, on October 10th we talk about mental health and how important it is. We post wonderful, motivational quotes on social media to show we care and support those who suffer in silence. We remember everyone who lost their lives and we can’t help but to reflect. Is there anything I could have done to prevent it? Perhaps if I knew they were suffering…I could help, maybe things would be different.
The reality is, we should reflect first on ourselves. In my eyes, a World Mental Health Day should not exist at all. People don’t realise that, a mental health is part of us EVERY DAY. We don’t choose a day when we feel high or low. We don’t wake up thinking: oh, today I am going to feel like a shit. You just don’t decide these things. And you certainly, in so many cases, cannot control the way you think or feel.
Don’t get me wrong, I get the idea of this day, and it’s great that it’s being ‘celebrated’ and talked about all over the world on October 10th, BUT, it’s somehow hypocritical to think it’s enough. We hear all year round of people abusing others online or in person. We see newspapers headlines of teenagers commiting suicides because of bullying. We read about adults jumping in front of the trains, because they struggle financially and can’t see any other way out. And the most scary thing in all of this? It can happen to us too. Yet we judge, comment, laugh and don’t understand what others are going through until we experience the same.
Every single day we do things without realising the effect it has on others. Every day we make the decision to speak, write, behave in a certain way. But only on 10th October we make the statement of how important is to be kind to each other. How can this be so pathetic and unreal? If your father is an alcoholic and abusive all year round, would you celebrate World Sober Day with him pretending he is a great dad? You wouldn’t. You know what I mean? The way we speak, things we do on a daily basis – this is what matters. We might say something out of jealousy, and this can be a nail in the coffin for someone who is already at their breaking point, because we just don’t know if they have been bullied over the last year or so, or is this a new thing for them, but they are going through a rough day, and so the effect of that comment will be twice as loud. We might type a negative comment on someone’s instagram, because ‘others are doing it, so it’s ok’, but we don’t think that this comment, on top of hundreds of others, can be the main reason someone has killed themselves. It’s almost like giving someone an extra baggage to carry. You give one, they can handle it. Two – fine. Three – ok. Four – hmm, it’s getting heavy & uncomfortable, but I can manage. Five – oh, it’s a bit too much. Six – please don’t give me anymore. Seven – please, stop. Eight – I am struggling, can’t walk. Nine – I fell on the floor, the weight is impossible to lift. Ten – I can’t get up, there is no way up… And so on… And then on October 10th we ask: oh hey, how is it going, is everything ok with you? I am checking because you know, it’s a World Mental Health day, so I should check. How wrong is that?
People don’t realise every day matters. And every life matter. Why can’t be all just nice to each other every single day? Why can’t people stop being jealous and judgmental? Why can’t we focus on ourselves and be happy for one another? Does it really bother you that much that someone has a better car or has more followers on social media? Is it really that embarrassing that you shop at cheapest markets for food? Why would you be upset that someone has more money? Why would you judge a lesbian, gay, or childless couple? Because you don’t think it’s right? EVERYONE is allowed to live the life they want and NOBODY has a right to judge or force their own opinions onto others. This is what is wrong with this world and this is exactly what affects people. Expectations.
We wouldn’t feel so pressured to ‘live they way we should’ if we didn’t have people who judge us. Simple as that. More pressure we have, more damaging it is for our mental health. More negative we are, more people suffer because of us. That’s why, who we are and what we do every day, should have a common thought: how this will affect others around me? Will this hurt them or make them grow?
And if you don’t like something, or has a different opinion that is hurtful and nasty – leave it for yourself. Don’t make others go through mental health problems because of you. don’t be this extra baggage someone has to carry. This world and current times are difficult as they are, everyone is suffering for different reasons, and everyone has a completely different path to you. But in order to live peacefully, we must first change the way we think and what we do. And first step to do this is to make sure that World Mental Health Day is EVERYDAY.