Apr 6, 2017
This content contains explicit and sensitive information that may not be suitable for all ages.
Hey there again, it’s been far too long. How are you? I hope you’re all doing okay. I know some days are going to be better than others, but at least you’re here with me (again) and the rest of the team. I’m glad for that. SickNotWeak has taken off! From #BellLetsTalk to an entire website and movement dedicated to providing the information, support, and public face for those of us that struggle with mental illness.
We all can acknowledge that some days are going to be garbage, and some days are going to be gourmet, but what do you do when during those garbage days the people that you’re supposed to be able to lean on for support, especially professionally? What do you do when your leadership fails to support you in an empathetic and compassionate way?
Some days are going to be garbage
Well in my mind you have a couple options. Leave the situation. That’s the easy way out, and frankly might be best depending on the situation That might not really help you in the present or them in the future. I know you might be saying, “They don’t understand, fuck them.” That’s legit and honest.
What’s harder is to fight for the process of education. Ignorance and hate can only be combated with education. Stand for yourself and others like you when it’s the hardest. When your voice is a whisper is when it has the most power because of the simple fact it takes the most then to speak.
My therapist reminds me that I cannot expect people that have demonstrated an unwillingness and inability to behave professionally in the past to change and do so in the future. This is true. That doesn’t mean YOU get to stop doing your best and proving every last one of them that ill does not mean weak, and that you are in fact Sick, Not Weak. That you will stand for yourself.
So I am stuck in this situation; where I wake up and the thought of engaging with these people triggers my Fight/Flight/Freeze response and anxiety. I spend the workday in a toxic environment ready to fight. The people around me I do trust have helped me see that the way I fight is to be the best “me” I can be. The best, authentic, positive, me that I can possibly be in that moment; whatever that entails.
Some days are going to be gourmet
Hard as fuck, on an hourly let alone daily basis.
I get so angry and hurt that my only physical response is to shake and sob uncontrollably. I feel so betrayed that people I trusted would use my vulnerability against me. The days when I sit in my car in gridlock traffic turn off the radio and just cry to myself are many. These feelings are usually accompanied by thoughts of suicide or self-injury.
That’s when I know they have won though. When I hurt myself. I’m better than that, most days. I spent some of the Christmas holidays in the hospital. I was convinced I wasn’t worth it anymore, and that the fight just wasn’t worth persisting. I believed not only the lies that I was telling myself, but also the hateful and spiteful lies others were telling me. I was wrong. They were wrong. (Thanks Shane, I don’t like pork chops either).
I will not stop fighting. I deserve better, and so do you. So as long as I have a voice, I will use it. I will use it to stand with you, and to shout when you cannot. We cannot let the ignorance of the uneducated define us. We are beholden to no one but ourselves.