Protect the Blob- The Wasted Time Project
If you’ve bought a newspaper, turned on the radio/tv or flicked through social media, one word has dominated the headlines. A word that I wish didn’t exist and that is becoming to frequent the news far too often. Suicide.
Kate Spade Credit:Monica Schipper/WireImage
Earlier this year we lost Avicii, a vibrant, young DJ who had taken the charts by storm and had the rest of his life at his feet. In the last week it was announced that Kate Spade, the renowned fashion designer, had tragically taken her own life at the age of 55. Just three days later, celebrity chef; Anthony Bourdain had also made the heart-breaking decision to end his life at the age of 61.
They were all successful. They all appeared to be fine. But that is why all three terrible events prove the point that:
I’ve noticed when these terrible events are announced, the words ‘unexpected’, ‘shock’ and the phrase ‘we/I didn’t know’ are so often used by the ones left behind. The song Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles has the line that sums up why this is the case.
‘Wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door.’
This song was released in 1966- that’s over half a century ago- and STILL we have an issue with people feeling they have to hide any struggles and put on a face for other people that is ‘normal’. Why? We are surrounded by negativity and judgement. I constantly read comments on social media and even hear people aloud dismissing mental illness, victim-blaming and telling people whom they don’t know and have no clue what their circumstances are to ‘get a grip’. It’s even worse for those in the spotlight. With all their riches and fame, what do they have to be depressed about? Depression and mental illness don’t care how may numbers show up on your bank account. Yachts and expensive shoes don’t balance out feelings of negativity and worthlessness.
Ironically, when an unfortunate event or in this case, several unfortunate events occur, society crawls out of the woodwork in sympathy, praise and support- IT’S TOO LATE! The damage is done.
I think (I would hope anyway), as a society, we would never tell someone with cancer they are not trying hard enough to get better. We would never blame a condition like epilepsy on the person who has it. We would never accuse someone with an amputated limb that they are just seeking attention. So why on earth is it ok to say these things to people who have a mental ILLNESS?
Oh it’s not a real illness. Illnesses affect your body. Mental illness is just emotions right?
NO. NOPE. NON. NADA. WRONG.
Mental means anything ‘relating to the mind’. There are all sorts of chemicals floating about in there that do a job and if there is an imbalance or they’re not working properly or there isn’t enough of some- hey presto, that’s an illness!
Still not convinced? Let’s go back to school and have a look at the dictionary shall we?
The Oxford English Dictionary defines an illness as:
Yep, just because it happens to be in your mind, doesn’t make it any less of an illness! Don’t just take the UK dictionary’s word for it. According to America’s number one trusted dictionary- Merriam-Webster, illness is defined as:
Even the medical dictionary goes as far as to say illness can be:
If this does not validate the realness of mental health, I don’t know what will. We are not a collection of body parts that just walk around. That pink blob in your skull is really, blummin’ important. It’s like the centre console of the Tardis- it controls everything. If our mental processes or emotions or spirit is being negatively affected, that pink blob has a hard time doing things it needs to do like, you know, EVERYTHING. Contrary to popular belief mental illnesses can also cause physical factors such as shaking, lethargy, headaches, sleep deprivation and even stomach pains, which can all add up to make life a lot harder to accomplish. Tie that in with feelings of worthlessness and endless guilt, you can see that this is an all around illness- emotions are only one factor.
We have to face the facts that, sadly, we do have a rising suicide rate at the moment both in the UK and America and in many other parts of the world, which should ring alarm bells. We, rightly, try to do as much as we can in terms of prevention and treatment of terminal illnesses such as cancer and heart disease, but with the way things are going, depression and other mental illnesses are fast becoming terminal illnesses for those who don’t receive the right support. It can be a ticking time bomb and we need to do something about it.
If somebody told you that you were worthless, your life means nothing or even to end your journey, that pink blob can and should make the decision to ignore them or deal with the scumbag accordingly. However what do you do when it’s the pink blob that is telling you you’re worthless or your life means nothing? My advice: You go to someone who also possesses a pink blob- which is any living human- but more importantly, the possessor of this pink blob needs to be someone you trust, a friend, a family member, health professional. It doesn’t matter who, as long as you trust them and can be completely honest with them.
There may be times when you and your pink blob may feel that there is no one on the planet who cares. The reason why those close to you look like they don’t care is because they don’t know. You paint this beautiful smile on your face and it’s so realistic that they believe you and believe that you are fine, when you’re not.
So this is what I am asking of you. Check your friends, check your family, check your colleagues. Even if you think somebody is fine- ask, ask, ask. When people say that they are fine, they may just be a brilliant painter, look past the smile and make sure it’s real. If somebody tells you they’re struggling, please be patient, please be helpful and please be understanding of the fact that they didn’t choose this and value that they’re telling you because they trust you.
To those who are struggling, if somebody asks if you’re ok, please tell them the truth. You and everything you hold in that pink blob- your talents, your personality, your creativity- is too precious and too rare to throw away.
Please, please, please, if you’re reading this and you don’t know where to turn, PLEASE confide in someone. We all have text messaging and inboxes on social media- mine are linked below so feel free! If you don’t feel comfortable on the phone or face to face, please text or message somebody.
If you’re afraid to talk to someone you know I will also link helplines that can help you.
You are valuable.
Be positive (especially towards those who find positivity challenging). Be you and protect the blob!
Childline – for children and young people under 19 Call 0800 1111 – the number won’t show up on your phone bill
The Silver Line – for older people Call 0800 4 70 80 90
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