Trigger warnings: suicide, depression, mental illness
They say talking about love is like dancing about architecture.
That’s either a solid quote from somebody-somewhere or ripped from the very underrated all-star whammy, “Playing By Heart.”
Talking about mental health is different, just a different kind of different. A damn near impossible kind of different. Talking about mental health is like ramming your head repeatedly into a brick wall because you know what you want to say and you don’t know how to say it kind of different. Different like sometimes it’s physically ramming your head repeatedly into a brick wall, to try to make it stop kind of different.
Sinead O’Connor posted an emotional, trauma-stricken 12-minute video to her Facebook a few nights ago. I’d prefer not to rehash it. According to sources, help reached out and she’s in the best place she can be. She was brave to talk about her mental illnesses, to show that the place that she was in wasn’t a good one. Admitting it to herself is honestly huge.
I’ve had intense depressive episodes before. I struggle with chronic depression. Currently medicated but honestly, miss one or two doses and the Serotonin plummets until I’m the wreck on the train with the notebook, sniffling into their cuff. I don’t like to always openly talk about it, but I struggle with it and have for fifteen years.
Probably longer, thinking about my youth and its unkempt dormancy. But let’s go with fifteen.
My story isn’t rare. I’m not the only one who’s turned to substances to block the pain or landed in the hospital when they honestly didn’t mean to. I’ll never be the only person to have punched a hole through my door or fumbled my way through somebody else’s music set hitting the right chords and the wrong notes. I read somewhere once that humans are all vulnerable to addiction. I mean I read it somewhere or I made it up when my chest hurt and I couldn’t breathe through the sadness.
I was worried Sinead O’Connor would get a bad rap for uploading her video. I was worried about the comments she might receive over different media outlets and I hoped to God that if there were any negative ones, she wouldn’t have seen them.
Comment sections can be a disease.
Sinead O’Connor was brave to open up about her suffering, as a call for help and a call to help others.
Not a single soul finds it easy to admit to their pain, their loneliness, their sorrow.
I haven’t just been in some form of that place, I’ve witnessed it from the outside more than once. It’s trying to be around somebody with a mental illness. I was and am a nightmare when I’m at my worst. Feeling poorly about yourself is a one-way ticket to stripping hope from those who love you, and sometimes, it gets too much.
All the same, those of us who have mental illnesses are not beyond hope.
We feel unlovable when we’re not.
Hopeless when we’re not.
Empty when we’re not,
Because why would we feel?
There are days when your life is hanging by a thread; days when you wish you were dead. For me, it was wishing I could wish I was dead. Then if I was, I wouldn’t have seen the sunrise from the top of Montmartre or have the chance to throw my voice out there into the world to write.
Sinead O’Connor was brave, and she was right: there are millions and millions of us who suffer from mental illness. We shouldn’t be quiet about it.
Being balls-to-the-wall open about it is the first step to not feeling entirely alone, so I’m gonna be brave alongside her.