It's just not good for your mental health and it can be the most isolating experience to go through alone.
Sometimes you need to write a letter to toxic people in your life to trick yourself into expressing things that you didn't realise you were feeling. Well, this is no different. I'm hoping that there will be more to this letter than just me complaining. Even if there isn't, it will still be productive because we all need to get talking about mental health more. It isn't enough to work to merely de-stigmatise it. We need to normalise it. In fact, more than that, we need to actively engage with it. It's not enough to just blink and look both ways politely when someone is suffering from an anxiety attack.
But keeping your distance isn't always the way to go, particularly when a person is spiralling and just needs confirmation that they're still on this mortal coil. It can seem like your life is drifting out of control or slipping away down a drainpipe. That's when you need people most, and that's when they can really let you down by being MIA. Maybe they have their own needs, issues, and personal boundaries. That's okay.
But you do need to be aware of your own needs.
You aren't a burden, and even if you are asking something of someone, you are within your rights to do so. If you are in a relationship or friendship or they are close family, as long as you are reciprocating prioritising the relationship, you deserve the proper attention. This isn't something to be meek and mild about, truly. You owe it to yourself to ensure you are surrounded by the right people who are educated and know you well enough to look after you.
It's not just mental, emotional, or psychological, either. It manifests physically in a big way. Twisted stomach, indigestion, vomiting, and all manner of bladder-related complications. These are things that we learn to live with as part of life – we never stop to think of them as symptoms that manifest as part of anxiety – something that might be treatable. Something that the everyday person doesn't even have to think about – it can consume us. As with all forms of mental health, it deteriorates, often without reason or cause, and that can be the most frustrating. When you look around yourself and on paper, life is good. You have a job, a partner, a selection of hobbies that you're pretty sure satisfies you. And yet.
And there will always be an 'and yet' in the distance.
Constantly threatened. Always at risk.
I'm going to level with you, guys. Being sad is hard. Like, super-duper lemon difficult. Did that make sense? It didn't need to. It rivals the likes of heartbreak and grief in terms of the way that it seems inescapable and suffocating. Like you're at sea and can't even get your lungs clear of water long enough to cry for help. You can see the waves coming and coming and breaking and crashing down on you, but you're never beached or released and deposited to the sandy beaches. Go figure.
But real talk. Sadness. It creeps and lurches and mottles and an all manner of other unsightly adjectives. We don't love it. We even fear that we can't love. Yeah, it gets dark, we know.
It sneaks up on you, that's the troubling part.
You can be minding your own business, thinking you were fairly content in your life situation, and suddenly you have an off day at work and stub your toe on the door and you're crying in the bathroom stalls at the gym. How did we get here? Why do we continue to get in this position every Friday night?
The problem with overthinking is that we often pursue the opposite – not thinking at all, as if that will be a cure. Or balance out. It doesn't. It just leads to us getting drunk or eventually feeling nothing at all and ending up in the above situation. We don't love that for us.
A quick and easily googleable statistic for you guys: there are approximately 7.7 billion people in the world. Depending on which way you swing, your geographical location, and sexual orientation, you've got a few billion at your disposal. Yes, you can't see all of them or know or even conceive of such a huge number, but it's good news. When we feel alone, unloved, or unloveable, we would do well to remember that in a batting average out of that many people. All of whom are looking for love just like we are.
We're bound to hit a few home runs.
You probably have a few stadiums worth of people that would love to get to know you. We are just taught from day one that unless you look like 90s Jennifer Aniston, it's a no go. Well, my friends, most of us don't look like 2019 Jen, and there's nothing wrong with that. But yet, people still find love. People open their hearts to being vulnerable and emotionally available and essentially, are willing to fall flat on their face and get hurt because they know it's worth it.
We also decimate our own self worth in the way we dismiss our talents – the very talents that everyone around us can see, clear as day. We forget that not everyone can write as well as we can, or that people can't memorise facts just at the drop of a hat. Indeed, all of the skills in the humanities or arts seem to be ignored as just basic skills, or things that we all should have anyway.
Moreover, in areas where we may be less talented or capable, it's viewed as a flaw or as though we are unintelligent. In reality, different people offer different things, but certain scientific or mathematical skills are just valued more highly than others.
But note that everyone wants different things.
Therefore, it stands to reason that, even though you may express your emotions or affection in a certain way, other people might be sending you signals of interest right back but you just don't recognise them for what they are. As such, we are blinded by our own perceptions. But the perception that we aren't valid isn't our perception at all. It's one foisted upon us. Leave that behind, friends.
Let me put the matter to bed, once and for all.
You are worthy of being loved, and you will be. Period.