This week (18th-22nd April) is Depression Awareness Week, and the wonderful lot at The Blurt Foundation are running a social media campaign titled #WhatYouDontSee. The idea is to give a little insight into how hard people with depression are fighting every day to live with their illness, and the response on Twitter alone has been amazing.
Even though my diagnosis is BPD, I was originally diagnosed with depression at age 13 and even to this day depression is one of the worst parts of my condition. To be honest, I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t depressed, even as a child. Despite depression becoming more recognised as people open up about their struggles, there is still a huge amount of stigma attached to the condition. There seems to be an idea that you have to have a good enough reason to be depressed, and yet there really isn’t. Depression can hit anyone, from any background, in any job, they can be popular with hundreds of friends with loads of hobbies and could be the life and soul of every party – it doesn’t matter because depression doesn’t discriminate.
If someone has the flu, or if they’ve broken a bone, they’re expected to take time away from work and other commitments to rest and recover. But it is still incredibly hard to tell your employer that you’re suffering from depression and can’t continue at work until you’re a bit stronger. “It’s all in your head!” I’ve been told many times before.
Well, no shit! Where else is it going to be, in my foot?
This week is about telling the world that you’re trying as hard as you can, fighting an invisible battle behind your eyes and all you want is a bit of understanding and kindness. It’s not too much to ask, surely?
Please share your stories on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook with the hashtag #WhatYouDontSee – if you’re not ready to share then that’s okay! There’s plenty to retweet and share, and lots of people out there who can relate to what’s being said. You’re not alone.
Just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone for the love for my last posts! I had people at Nick Helm’s show on Thursday coming up to me to say they loved what I’d written – including the man himself! I had a fantastic time in London with two amazing ladies Rachel and Selina (thank you both so much for looking after me!) and got to meet some more friends I’d made on Twitter. Plus Nick rocked his socks (and the rest of his clothes) off, he was fucking awesome.
Also, an even bigger thank you to everyone who messaged me after my anniversary post. It does take a lot to wear your scars without shame or anxiety, it took me over ten years to finally say ‘fuck it!’ and stop covering up. When I was 13, I would go the whole summer wearing long sleeve shirts because I felt ashamed – never again. I am not prepared to sweat and simmer in the brief bit of summer we get, purely because other people don’t want to look.
You don’t have to look at my scars! Instead, look at the very expensive lipstick I’m wearing because that’s actually worth looking at. Seriously, I don’t wear MAC for it to be ignored.
Whenever I have days where I feel like I should’ve given up all those years ago, I will try to remind myself that if I had indeed given up then I wouldn’t have been able to wander down a London street past 11pm with two equally nutty rock chicks as they carried giant inflatable cocks whilst hailing a taxi.
Life can be awesome, strange and hilarious all at the same time.