Just over two years ago I made a post on facebook sharing a tattoo I got inspired by the Semicolon Project... today it was brought to my attention and I saw for the first time a comment by Sane that suggested that I share it here as it may help someone else x As I've only just seen it my comments are 2 years old but I still feel the same x
Here goes x
I am sharing this, by my own choice, because I want you to know, not for sympathy, not for a pity party, purely because I have learned a lot. If you intend to read this..... don't do like most people and read to reply, or to judge, read to understand, if this is not your wish, then please leave this post alone. If you have nothing nice to say, please say nothing at all. I do not wish to be judged, ridiculed, shamed or scolded. It is what it is!!
It goes without saying for most that mental health matters, awareness and understanding are very near and dear to my heart. Many of you know what brought on my breakdown. Many of you do not. Either way each and every person on this planet is fighting a battle you cannot see. So when you think the world is against you, you think you are caught under a cloud of doom, you feel like you can't win no matter what you do or how hard you try. When you feel that you have taken all you can and you just can't take anymore. When you feel that something is incredibly painful and life is not fair. Remember this!! YOU are not alone!!! Everyone is fighting a battle YOU know nothing about! So common sense dictates that if you know nothing about others battles, they know nothing about YOURS.
Kindness, compassion, and understanding are all things the world is and has been lacking for a number of years! The only way to change this is to be the change YOU want to see in the world. This is what I do. Believe me when I say I help others because I do not know how to help myself! I help people, I put others before myself and normally I do all of this with a smile. Sometimes I'm tired, overwhelmed, and feel like I just can't take anymore, by taking the focus off of myself it gives me a break, it lets me clear my head, it keeps me busy so I can look with fresh perspective! I do things for others because it makes my heart happy, it helps me for one minute to have an idea of what that persons battles are. It is always a great reminder that everyone is struggling and that even though you are overwhelmed with your own life, doesn't mean you can't spare a few minutes for those in need. When you do this for yourself it doesn't matter what you are doing or who that you are doing it for. No matter what YOU are doing... YOU are blessing others! When we bless others, we cannot help but be blessed ourselves.
What most people don't understand is I too am fighting a battle. I a there because they need help and I need blessings. Simply because there is a smile on my face and for that time I have put my worries aside to focus on the doesn't mean that my battle is any more/less than anyone else's it merely means that I need a break, the opportunity has arisen and I have seized the day!! If I didn't want to be there, I wouldn't be! If I could do more, I would! I do not judge you and your ability or lack there of to practice self reliance, so please to not judge my ability to exercise self preservation! We are all given individual lives and as such we are all given individual trials, perhaps sometimes I have more while you have less or vice versa!
From my point of view, I have come to learn that we do not have to understand each others personal journey or trials to show compassion. I have learned that compassion that compassion is free. I have learned that the decision to extend compassion is personal and as a result your own thoughts and feelings should be the only thing to effect your decision. What other people think doesn't matter! I have learned that what actually happened is by far less important than what the person believes happened because that is what they are holding on to and that is what they are battling to survive. It is never worth second guessing someone, if you believe in the person you believe there is something holding the back. Compassion costs nothing and can be spread quite thickly wherever we go and to absolutely anyone. Its truly not a difficult concept. Practice compassion, not only will you be able to look back and be grateful you took the time and learned from that person's experience, you can also be proud of yourself for being selfless!!!
I used to want people to understand why I couldn't do the thing's I can't, why I struggle the way I do, why life is soooo difficult at times. I have learned however, I hope YOU NEVER understand what it is like to wake up in the morning wishing you hadn't. Wishing that somehow miraculously you had died in your sleep and your suffering is over. I hope you NEVER understand what it is like to feel lonely in a room full of people because people have judged you so much and so harshly that you think everyone is doing the same. I hope YOU NEVER understand what it is like to be at the lowest and darkest moments of your life and have no one to call, no one to run to, no where to go because no one understands. I hope YOU NEVER understand the reason you feel like you are losing your mind is because you have lived through a lot, and not only lived through it but never shared it or worked it out in your head because no one understands. You have to carry each event with you until they pile up and you have so much stacked against that you can no longer breathe. I hope YOU NEVER understand what it feels like to wake up in the middle of the night reliving past events, feeling like you have been pinned down even though there is nothing holding you down and you are years away from said event! I hope YOU NEVER understand what it is like to be somewhere you have been a million times only to freak out because you truly have no idea where you are and you just want to go home. I hope YOU NEVER understand what it is like to live through your life wondering what your children would have been like after they die, silently hating seeing other families happy together because that will never be the case for you! I hope YOU NEVER understand what it feels like to hold someone when they are dying. I hope YOU NEVER understand what it feels like to be burned by a lit cigarette by someone on purpose! I hope YOU NEVER have to understand what it feels like to be held hostage, and attacked by others for hours on end! I could go on for hours..... the truth is... I DON'T want YOU to understand, I DO NOT want your sympathy, Nor do I wish to be treated like a freak of nature because people don't understand! What I DO HOPE YOU understand is that bad things happen to both good and bad people! I HOPE YOU DO understand that YOU are not in control of YOUR life just because YOU can make choices, YOU never get to choose the consequences or blessings of that decision! I hope YOU DO understand what it is like to be loved, safe and respected! I HOPE YOU DO understand what it is like to be a mother, to love someone so much purely because they are the only person who will ever hear your heartbeat fro the inside! I HOPE YOU DO understand that life is not a dress rehearsal, YOU cannot do it over again just because you are not happy with the choices you made! I thoroughly believe in 2nd chances but that is NOT the same as wishing you could relive an experience! I HOPE YOU DO understand that no one is perfect, that we all have to learn from our experiences, and there is a lesson in each trial you face. Finally I hope YOU DO understand that if you do not take care of yourself, do not face things as they come, they WILL haunt YOU!!! Life is NOT easy! No one ever said it was and if they did.... they lied! Life is NOT fair, it never has been and it never will be!!! Just because someone else gets something doesn't mean YOU will because YOU have not done the things they have done that earn them that opportunity! Make the most of what YOU have!!!
There will be times in life when you just cannot understand someone or something!! This is not a curse.... look at the reasons why you cannot. Please remember that just because you cannot relate to a persons experiences doesn't mean you can not extend a little compassion rather than running way from them! We are all human! We are all in some stage of our journey! The truth is.... we are all in this together! Be kind! Kind to one another, kind to yourself! Sometimes the most important person you can be kind to is YOURSELF! Forgive and forget as often as possible! Look for the lesson in your experiences and remember that YOU are not the only person who is struggling! There are many diseases, many disorders, many many challenges people have in life. Remember how you felt when you needed a friend and treat others how you would like to be treated!! Let go of your expectations because expectations are the one thing in life that will frequently let you down. Just because you treat others like you wish to be treated doesn't mean that everyone wishes to be treated the same! Stop judging! YOU will not like long enough to experience everything life has to offer, good or bad! Embrace your circumstances, embrace your trials and Seize the DAY!!!
I personally struggle with mental illness, depression doesn't mean you are sad all the time. Anxiety rears its ugly head in many forms such as unpredictable bouts of anger, rage or irritability. These are some of the things I struggle with and some of the symptoms I have of these issues. Can we all quit judging one another. Having a mental illness doesn't mean we will snap and kill people anymore than anyone else. Matter of fact statistically it is the opposite! Don't guess, educate yourself! Knowledge is power!!!
For quite a while I have wanted to do something to bring attention to mental health issues, I love the work of organizations such as Mind, Time to Change, SANE Mental Health Charity, Rethink Mental Illness, Mental Health Foundation, Together-UK, Mental Healthy, HealthyPlace and so many more! There is loads of wonderful resources available should you require information to learn or to understand . This is how I have decided to bring attention to mental health issues. Yes it is a tattoo, yes it is mine, No you are not allowed to judge! Knowledge brings peace to those who are scared of things they don't understand, and Knowledge is definitely power! #mentalhealthawareness #theSemiColonProject #Sane