Wednesday, 20 June 2018
It's OK to be sad and not doing well - it's part of being human (video)
Long times readers here will know that this is something I've taken on from the very start of this blog. This is me venting, crying, unhappy or happy, warts and all (not talking anal warts there BTW). People have been surprised over the years at how direct I am. Well that's me as an Australian/Kiwi, we're direct people. No beating about the bush, just straight to the point.
I think it's why some northern hemisphere-ians find us a bit much to take online. If we think something is BS we'll just come out and say so; "That's fuckin bullshit!". Or if we think the US president is a fuckwit, we'll also say so: "Trump is a complete fuckwit of even a buffoon!".
But yet we still, if someone asks us through the day, how are you? the automatic response in daily life is I'm good or some such thing. I think it's a social norm to say so in general conversation. For me though when I'm at home or with a friend, I'll be honest about how I'm feeling. David is the same. Either of us might get up from bed saying bad dreams, woke up depressed, bla.
I've learned in dealing with severe depression, post traumatic stress and suicidal ideation lasting years, that you simply have to be honest about how you feel. On a daily basis, even if it's just with yourself if there's no one to speak to immediately about it. And to feel not the slightest guilt or remorse for the way you feel, recognising that feelings and emotions are all just a part of being human. It's just as human to feel sadness, grief, loneliness, as it is to feel happiness, elation, and companionship. There's nothing good or bad, right or wrong, about any of those. They're simply human feelings.
Yet we have this societal pressure on us to succeed. In western capitalism that's often about being successful financially or with your profession. But what about success in other ways? Like with love, or contribution to society unrecognised by capitalism? There's so much pressure to perform in the capitalist world that when failure inevitably happens we tend to say "I'm good", even to our closest friends and family, when inside we could be planning our suicide.
We need to get past the shallow world view we often have of success. As far as I go on the regular success scales I'd be a complete failure. My working career (if you could even call it that) has ended prematurely, I've fallen into a number of permanent illness's, and at 56 I'm a bankrupt pensioner getting by on a pittance.
Yes that can be depressing, and of course I've got help and medical treatment for that. Personally though I don't look at success in the way a lot of society does. I actually don't mind being poor as long as it's do-able. I consider success in other ways; like surviving the illness's and adversity that life throws. Like finding love twice in one lifetime when many others don't even find once, despite their apparent "success". Like being able to contribute to society in a way that doesn't register on the main stream scale of "success".
Like feeling OK with feeling terrible.... to me that's success.....