hard truths — mental health, stigma and the transitionary nature of life

“have you ever stopped to consider how many people didn’t screw up for you to be sitting here tonight?”

mental health is a topic that is much more comfortable to avoid. it is a hard truth. as down as one may feel, i fully believe that the nature of the universe is an on/off system. everything is constantly in transition. even us. especially us. but yet, this is a topic we don’t want to address, and i get that to an extent. where i come from, we don’t talk about this. we are emotionally repressed. traditionally it has been more one-sided, with 8 out of 10 suicides in Ireland being men. recently however women have caught up in this tragic race to the end. Ireland now ranks among the highest rates of female suicide in the EU.

so in honour of Womens’ Day, i would like to express this: the tide is turning. somehow, we are becoming more repressed and unable to deal with the struggles of life. i love the bones of every single one of you. i am blessed to have you in my life. not everyone has this — as Terence says, there is only one true problem — “we are inappropriate to ourselves. we are ill with ego. we have a narcissism that we can’t put down. the thing that makes you happy eventually makes you unhappy. nothing lasts.” to all my brothers and sisters out there, please realise the transitional nature of life. our state can change very quickly, but never, ever lose faith. practice gratitude and appreciate what you do have, for we are truly lucky to be in the situation we’re in… looking at the bigger picture.

please don’t be ashamed or afraid to speak. there is no shame in feeling down and out. isolation can never be the answer. there’s already been too many promising young lives ended prematurely, for reasons that many of us will never be able to comprehend. please, know that you are appreciated, and know that you are loved, and the one thing we all have in common is that we suffer. suffering is relative so don’t compare yours to others — as Roosevelt said, “comparison is the thief of joy”, and this is a two way street. do what you need to do but please, don’t give up. you are valued and you are loved. stay strong. x

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