author: annie trussler | op-ed editor
Your friends need you more than you think. You need rest more than you need work.
Well, here we are again: January 31, better known as Bell Let’s Talk day. Today is the day that all of us depressos crawl out from our caverns to cry onto our keyboards. We receive a thimble full of sympathy from Facebook friends, only then to crawl back into said caverns and ignore our basic human needs.
Now, I don’t really blame anyone for offering the easiest form of support they can – mental illness is hard to deal with, and people without mental illness can’t begin to understand how crushing the weight can be. While I understand, it won’t be excused anymore. At least, I have promised myself that I will privilege my mental wellness before the scrutiny of others.
I cancel a lot of plans. Close friends attribute my flakiness to being a Libra (which is fair), or people assume I overbook myself (which is also fair), but I figured now was the time I tell you all why: I’m really depressed. I book myself a million things to do, but by the time I get there, I’m so emotionally and socially exhausted that the prospect of seeing anyone terrifies me. I can only take so many hours concerned about how people perceive me.
For as long as I’ve been socially active, I have been suffocated under the weight of what people think of me. I wonder all the time if I am pacing my words properly, making enough eye contact, listening enough to seem kind, but talking enough to seem interesting. If I feel as if I said something out of place, I will work to repent for the following days, even weeks.
It’s a rough ride.
I know my parents and friends will read this article, and yes, I’m fine – 2018 has actually been relatively chill, all things considered. There have already been a number of international tragedies, and I’m certain there will be many more, but I’m trying not to let that dampen my spirit too much.
I know that when the 30th rolls around, I will write a long, semi-dramatic Facebook status that will likely garner a healthy amount of comments from dearly beloved friends. To those friends: thank you, I love you, and I will continue being better for you. To those of those friends who have never experienced life with a mental illness: stand by your promises.
If I back out last minute for a party or gathering, I am really preventing myself from having an embarrassing Twitter breakdown. I need you to understand that the guilt I feel for my lack of social prowess bombards almost daily. The more you condemn me for this, the worse I feel; however, if I get flaky in a damaging way, call me.
By the time this piece is released, Let’s Talk Day will bebehind us, and many people will have forgotten how to help their suffering friends. There is always room for compassion in a world so devoid of it. Your friends need you more than you think. You need rest more than you need work.
This piece isn’t about me – well, it is and it isn’t. This article is a means for me to exercise a little guilt, but also so that I can remind those reading that we all suffer our minds.
We are infinitely creative and tremendously fragile. We are nothing more than human beings; and by God, we are human beings. We are the most incredible, terrified, hollow, and tremendous creatures on planet earth, and we need each other. Everyone needs someone, and everyone needs help.