Shake it off

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I always seem to open these things with “it’s been a while”. But, it’s been a while. I’ve been a little reluctant to write anything as the last time I posted I received a fair bit of disapproval which irritatingly got under my skin and upset me. Bit silly really as we all know posting anything online comes with the inevitability of someone not agreeing, taking offence or getting the wrong end of the stick or in this case a small dose of character assassination.

Now I’ve had time to think about it, it’s quite funny and I’ve shrugged it off. Having someone make judgments about you, your life, your values, your relationships and everything in between because they have read your blog and seen your posts on Instagram isn’t worth losing any sleep over. You’d hope anyone with an ounce of common sense would realise that what anyone puts on online, whether that be on social media or via a blog (even if its the confessional sort) is only a portion of what their life is – it’s a highlights reel.

The notion that you can really know someone, their nuances and their innermost thoughts via a few hundred words every few months is ludicrous. I mean I know there are some writers who can convey it all and be a wholly truthful 3 dimensional version of themselves but I’m definitely not that skilled. So, for anyone to make judgmental comments on someone’s illness, their recovery, their beliefs or their motivations is not only futile but irresponsible and mean (especially so when said individual is supposedly a healthcare professional).

Without wanting to go in to all the details; someone repeatedly contacted me with uncomfortable emails and messages, sent unsolicited gifts to my workplace and then turned nasty because I chose to ask them to cease contacting me. It started off being kind (I felt it was coming from a good place despite being disproportionate to the fact I had never spoken to them or had any contact) but because I didn’t respond it quickly turned in to the ramblings of a bitter scorned ex lover berating me and painting me as a selfish fraudulent bitch. Sound familiar?

The fact I am female and have spoken about being lonely made me easy prey. You’ll have to forgive me for saying that because I really don’t like playing the “it’s because I’m a girl” card and bringing it down to gender but I don’t think this would have happened had I been a man. There was a constant notion in his communications that I didn’t know what was good for me, that I needed saving and that he was sacrificing things for me and I should be grateful – because you know every single female should fall at the feet of any man who pays her any attention when she’s lonely.

I don’t need someone to tell me why I have depression or why I have anxiety and how easy it is to get rid of if only I do this or I do that and how I’m being selfish not getting better. I don’t feel I need to justify anything about my mental health to anyone least of all someone I don’t know and someone I have never spoken to. But just to clarify; I haven’t spent the last 10 years “suffering” and not trying to help myself, I’ve been through various forms of therapy, I take medication and I talk to people. I have managed to hold down a full time job and live a relatively “normal” life which let me tell you is no mean feat when you just feel like giving up. I try to be a good daughter, sister, aunt and friend and give something back but I’m not going to list every good thing I have ever done to vindicate myself after someone’s vile comments.

Of course I’m no saint and nor do I claim to be but you my friend do not have the right to have a go because I didn’t want your advice on how to “cure” my depression or your gifts. Nor do you have the right to make assumptions about what anyone needs or wants from me. Up until this point I have had nothing but positive feedback and support on my blogs and that’s what I’m going to choose to focus on.

Yes I am a hopeless mess at times but why I would I want to hide that? Mental health problems far too often go undetected because people feel too ashamed or embarrassed to divulge how they are really feeling. And here’s an idea, if you don’t like what I write, you could always just, I dunno, how do you say it…….fuck off?

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