this is me.
it always starts with, ‘are you okay?’ well what do you think? we are forced, well, more eloquently put, feel forced, to put on this face. that face. we all know that face. having to hide our true feelings, until we can retreat back to our safe place. that place where we know we’ll be alone. that place where we can let it all out. we try our best to compose ourselves, and then try to rejoin whatever social situation that we have found ourselves in.
for me, this is especially difficult when it comes to family gatherings. naturally when a parent/s or guardian knows (or at least think they know) what’s going on with you, it somehow ‘mysteriously’ ends up being public knowledge amongst the extended family. they don’t directly come out and ask you about it, but they say it with their face. that ‘you poor thing’ face. regardless of your age, and have somewhat of an extended family, you know that face.
uncomfortable, and quite frankly, invasive questions start coming your way from all directions. this is when i try to retreat back to that safe place. in an attempt to wait it out. wait for them to turn their attention elsewhere. but as the alcohol flows (or just time progresses), they become increasingly less subtle, and seem to know the cure to all my problems.
so i’m back in the ‘ever so pleasant’ family gathering. i try to put on that smile. that smile that you have perfected, after realising that this (me) isn’t something that i can turn to certain people about. because sometimes, if you don’t live it, you truly just do not know the full extent of it.
so here i am. with this smile, indulging them with their useless smalltalk and ‘advice’ on how i can just ‘snap out of it.’ and i just sit there. all these people. all their opinions. all their attempts to get involved. their assumption that i’m doing better, because of that ever-so perfected smile. yet when they look at me. they never see the tracks of my tears. those remnants from when i snuck off to my safe place.
this is why i created this website.
i was low. really low. so low, that i was willing to do something that i never do. well at least stopped doing after a few trials and error. i called a helpline. before i could even get a word in. “hi, who are you?”, “where do you live?”, “what is it that you would like to get out of this conversation?”, “are you in danger?”.
i just wanted to talk. they made it sound like me calling them was such an inconvenience. ‘why am i calling? how dare i call if i don’t need anything’. i tried not to get discouraged. i was in such a bad place. i needed someone, anyone, but i had no one that i could be brutally honest with and talk to. i tried another helpline. one that was through an online chat, with an ‘agent’ from the helpline. pretty much the same story there. a million and one questions, and not a moment available for me to express myself before getting a, “if you’re feeling really bad, we suggest that you go seek help at the nearest hospital. end. of. conversation.
after this. i started to get deeper and deeper into my long-standing depression. i took to the interwebz, tried to move on to forums for people like me. people like you. people like all of us. ALL of us, regardless of the mental disorder that we are plagued with.
i googled and googled. in search of a website that looked at least remotely legit. tears running down my face. barely able to see the laptop screen. i found a website that seemed to be just what i needed, at that moment in time, and this is where it gets utterly disappointing. ‘you need to create an account to chat’. ‘you need to wait to have your account verified’. frickin’ 24 to 48 hours is how long this would take, well, according to their fine-print anyway. furthermore, asking all of these personal details that i didn’t necessarily want to reveal, especially seeing as i couldn’t actually see how the chats/forums worked beforehand, and if they would be helpful to ME in any significant way. I JUST WANTED TO TALK! right then and there! my eyes were starting to swell up from all of the uncontrollable crying. i was reaching my end, but i decided to try one more time. if anything, so that if i were to eventually do something drastic, in the end i could tell myself, “at least i tried, i really tried”.
so then i moved on to other, less serious looking forums, you know, those that kind of look like they were created before the days of WordPress and all the other website building, user-friendly options. like they were straight out of the 90s, and never updated since.
well, these websites, you enter this group chat (the one positive thing is that you didn’t have to sign up, or give your real name, or any other info).
‘what are you doing?’, ‘how did that go?’, ‘lol that is ridiculous @xxxxxxx’. this ‘group’ forum was impossible to follow. it seemed to be a select few users that were basically having a conversation amongst themselves. the rest of us were basically just bystanders, observers, if you will.
then, alas, a ‘hi @xx-annonymous, how are you?’ i wiped my tears. finally, someone to talk to. someone that would understand what i’m going through. i responded, “i’m not doing so great right now @xyxyxyxy”. i never got a response after that, but of course, that general conversation amongst those select few users continued on. and on. and on. simply reverting right back to ignoring all the new users that were entering the chatroom. and you’re just there, glaring at their meaningless conversation about fuck-all.
this isn’t what i was expecting. this isn’t what i needed. during my endless search for forums to enter and talk, there was always one recurring theme that was evident. talk of suicide is unacceptable. suicide. a word that isn’t even predictable on a smartphone, at least not on my, quite popular, brand of phone. though a completely insignificant word like ‘DiCaprio’, is easily predicted on said phone.
i fully frickin’ understand that we shouldn’t be giving each other advice on how to go about it. suicide. but for shits sake. this is why, at least i, seek out these forums. to prevent myself from doing exactly that. committing suicide. isn’t that exactly where some of us may be headed? but if it’s off limits, again i find myself in a position where i’m forced to censor myself. naturally, not every case/scenario is like mine, sometimes one just needs to get shit off their chest, and that’s more than enough to get through another day and night.
no judgment. no guilt. no repercussions of how you felt at one particular moment when you needed to talk about it, haunting you with close friends, family, doctors, that never let it go. because we all have those moments. well, i can only speak for myself, i don’t want to be presumptuous about anything or anyone, but that dark cloud that is ever-present above my head, just chucks a thunderstorm my way once in a while. uncontrollable. windy. stormy. top level hurricane status. this isn’t always an everyday occurrence for me. but during those moments, it just helps to have someone to let it out to, someone listening, not because i’m particularly looking for a response, but to just say it to another person, another human being, that truly would truly would have, at least some sort of semblance, to what i’m going through, and talking about.
if you just want to talk. we are here to listen. you can just let it all out. and just leave. sometimes just uttering (well, typing) the feelings down, knowing that someone else can, and will, acknowledge your feelings, is more than enough sometimes.
we don’t judge. we WON’T judge. we don’t force anything upon you. we WON’T force anything upon you.
we should be here to be free. to be honest. to feel safe. with zero concern about the consequences of your complete honesty. the innate act of censoring oneself should (and won’t) be of concern. what we speak, stays between us. no saved chat logs. no invasion of privacy.
we are here to be us. because i am you, and you are me.
what i hope to accomplish with this website.
we don’t want to reveal our inner thoughts, especially those inner dark thoughts and feelings, out loud in a circle full of strangers looking at you. this is one approach that is considered ‘helpful’. i’m not knocking it,. i’m sure that it works wonders for certain individuals.
but for me. something like this would just produce a shit-load of unnecessary anxiety (i have enough anxiety already).
preparing to go there. going there. being there. the subsequent small-talk. and finally the “i’ll see you next week”, knowing very well that you’re not intending on coming back.
it’s hard to reveal it all so publicly, granted, we all may have similar problems, but blubbering like a baby, and having a semi anxiety attack, while having to ‘tell my story’.. it would do more worse than good.
having exhausted all avenues that i can think of for ‘getting help’, i tried to end it, end me, but i couldn’t even do that right. so here i am. having to put my entire life on hold in order to (hopefully) get better. i don’t mean to come across cynical. but after so many years, it’s hard to get out this defeated state of mind that i’m in.
i still find myself needing that support, and not from someone who’s ‘studied’ about people with mental disorders, but people who know first-hand what it’s like, how it feels, what we need and most importantly, what we want. i’m sure there are very good professionals out there that are very well-versed in mental disorders, but you’ve got to live it, in order to truly know it. right? because.. well just because really.
so what i want to accomplish with this, hopefully decent (work forever in progress, thoughts would be great if you have any, because this is for us, not just me) website is, firstly, the ability to just start chatting in the chat box that automatically appears when the website loads, and it just stays on every page that you subsequently move onto. or you can just fullscreen the chat in a separate tab/window. no need to read through all of my stuff to get to chatting. the chat is mobile friendly. iOS and android. because sometimes all i (you), just want is to chat. just chat. just talk. just feel like we’re not the only ones in the world suffering, and truly, at times, not really knowing why.
to start with, i’d like to leave this as an open group chat called ‘this is us.’. get a feel for how that works. from there, i can add video calls, private chats, voice calls. whatever you want. whatever we want. this isn’t my website. this OUR website.
no more phone calls/chats with individuals that are trained in how to deal with people with our various mental disorders. don’t get me wrong, they are probably great at what they do, but they can never really really know, unless they perhaps have experienced it for themselves. if there are any mental health professionals that are trained in it, as well as, experienced it, i/we want you in our lives. PLEASE.
but the main thing with this website, is no more phone calls, being bombarded with all these irrelevant questions, having to justify why you called, only wanting to talk, but end up basically being interviewed. it’s ridiculous that they insist on starting with that. i’m sure they have their ’strategically planned’ reasons for this. but it’s not helping the situation. at least for me, it’s a deterrent.
no need to sign up (not even an option really, but creating a username that you want, you can of course do that, instead of being guestxxxx, my thought behind that, is so we can somewhat know who we spoke to previously (that is if the individual chooses to use the same username again). complete anonymity, that’s what this is all about. no verification process. no signing up. no waiting to be accepted by admins/or whatever other bullshit there is).
this space is for us. a space where we can 100% express ourselves freely, about life, death, and all that is in between.
a space to expose what is only yours to expose. the anxiety. the sadness. the loneliness, and the good times too, with the assurance that no matter what you say, nobody is going to send the fire brigade over to yours for an ‘intervention/hospital stay’ (i know i said fire brigade, but it sounded more, i don’t know, dramatic, than saying paramedics/police etc.).
this is essentially a space to be as truthful as we want, about the good, and/or the very bad, without worrying about the chance of people finding out about things that you’d rather not have them know. not because you perhaps don’t want help, but simply to avoid ‘that look’. that look that only we can truly spot and feel.
this is what this is, what this is all about. no hidden agenda. just this. something i have always wanted, but never found.
there is one section that i added called ‘about me.’, which is not intended to be a blog. though it may look like one. i’ve just truly never, EVER, had anyone to be completely honest with. where there is no holding back. i just really need to say it. just get it out of my head. maybe be able to let it go in the process. i feel like if it’s not just this inner battle in my head, maybe, just maybe, it could help.
you can read it if you want, but don’t feel you have to. i’ll be writing it bit by bit. because my life of.. well bullshit, is truly a long one.
i really do want someone to talk to though. so if you do happen to find your way onto this website. the chat is always open. and i’m forever here.
xx – anonymous