It is no secret that when I was growing up, I had a really sad, inner self -pity, depressed mentality from the ages of 14 to 18. Of course, not continuous but like swings and round-a-bouts it came and went through the life situations that arose during my teenage years. One thing I didn’t notice at the time of my deepest, lowest headspace but often referred back to was my hatred for other people that were ‘visibly’ happy when I was not.
People laughing in the street, humans showing affection to eachother, someone smiling at me. I hated them all. When I wasn’t happy, I hated people even more for being it. I personally thought that they were making me feel worse and victimising me for not being happy, positive like them. For a while it made me worse about myself because the irrational hatred for others being happy didn’t change myself or make me feel better. If anything it made me mentally sicker and became a more spiteful person. All emotions associated for the outside world were envy, anger and frustration. Everyones else successes felt like my failures.
My constant internal dialogue of ‘why are they so happy?’, ‘what have they got to be smiling about’, ‘they must be faking it’, ‘they are rubbing it in my face’. To think it was my duty to be able to control the public and make them as sad and depressed I was, I can’t believe I thought I could be that controlling of others and the angry Martha I once was.
Of course, the emotion of jealously played the undertone part. I was upset that everyone around me was projecting an emotion I thought I would never have. Happiness, love, compassion and enjoyment. Because they all seemed to visibly have this, it made it feel so much more obvious that I did not. I wanted people to suffer with me, I wanted to be able to share my emotions with others that felt the same. But no one ‘looked’ like me. I felt I hadn’t ‘deserved’ this emotion, so why should others have it all when I had none?
My illness was speaking for me.
Nevertheless, it still felt real and everything my illness said for me seemed to be something I agreed with.
The message from this is. I wanted to see people who were suffering with me, not because I wanted them to feel sadness but I wanted someone who I felt was in a similar place mentally to me. But I didn’t see that. What I will never know is how many other those people I did see, were actually feeling the way they looked? Mental health- positive or negative isn’t a straightforward image. If I had a line-up and was asked how many were mentally healthy thestatistic would be 3 in 4. It is funny, if my 15 year old self and my present self were in the same room together I don't think we would get one. 19 year old me would have compassion and empathy, 15 year old self would have envy, jealously and probably would think that because I am happy now that I will never be like 15 year old me was.
Mental health is also about maintaining as well as growing and progressing.
Do not assume everyone is happy. Even if everything seems normal. One day someone could seem like the happiest person, the next it could be a different mind, but same person.
Smiling helps me hide for a while.
Simply Martha x