Dear Mental Health…
I would like to begin this open letter by telling you how much I sincerely mean it when I say – fuck you! You have had a heavy influence on my life for over a decade now, but for two years I am beginning to believe that I am nearly rid of you, for good.
I was never taught about you while I was growing up, so I never expected you. In fact, I didn’t even know what or who you were for a very long time. I will be honest and say I was pretty intimidated by you at first, but not anymore. When someone is backed into a corner they only have two options: they could stand still and have you domineering their every choice or move in life. Or they can push back as much as they could and get themselves out. You affected me to the point where you meddled with my life and my everyday choices. Like when deep down I knew college or academia was not for me I still spent four years of my life trying to avoid that feeling as I was preoccupied with you.
Before I am forever done with you, I just want to tell you a few reasons as to why I would never like to be within your company for the foreseeable future. Prior to your unwanted entry into my life, I had been very confident. Throughout my life, even when faced with the hardships of growing up and even being bullied at a young age, I still took them on and in my mind I was victorious! You introduced complete self-doubt into my life, without my permission. With the introduction of this unwanted trait, I was able to appear confident in myself and all my decisions without actually feeling it. I had absolutely no control over a lot of things and situations faced in my life, but more importantly I wasn’t able to be the old me who I fondly remembered. I could appear completely content and happy, while on the inside I was very sad and worried about basically everything in the world. The complexity of the situation meant that it was very hard to share what I really thought about myself to anyone, my family or close friends who I thought would only be worried if they only knew. In addition to my own fears or anxiety I grew fearful of worrying anybody who was close to me and extremely anxious when it came to discussing the topic of my everyday struggle when it all came to light.
I knew from day one that you wouldn’t be of the end of my existence.
This didn’t necessarily mean that dark ideas did not cross my head. In my lowest hour and during my ever grey and negative thoughts or doubts about myself, I would occasionally wonder was I just a nuisance to the world and those who loved me. I am both extremely angry and worried about the people who may feel so low there is no end to the dark thoughts and the problems you bring upon them and you convince them to take their own lives – lives which appeared unfixable but could very well be fixed to everyone on the outside of these thoughts. It’s beginning to seem that you haven’t just invaded my life, as a lot of other people are beginning to speak out about all the terrible things you are capable of and rightly so. You deserve it! You have intimidated almost every person in this country to the point where it is not discussed and where ignoring it seems to be the accepted way to deal with it. You have taken hope away. We live in a world where even our own politicians never think of invading and combatting everything you stand for as their prime policy when preparing for an election. Though perhaps you have invaded and affected their lives to the point of ignoring you too, that is what we are taught after all.
I count myself very lucky. As I write this letter I can once again hear that ever present helicopter which appears to be permanently hovering above the river.
I swear from this moment until I take my last gasp of air in this world I will do anything I can help tackle your presence in society, and uncover what is constantly being ignored and never addressed. You see, there was a time where you had me thinking that I had no future, that I was destined for nothing. But now, I have a great job in which I succeed daily, as well as a loving family and girlfriend who like and respect me for who I truly am. No matter how many times you have tried to take away my confidence and self-belief, you won’t be able anymore.
On the other hand, I would also like to thank you for helping me realise who I was and how strong I really am. Here is to knowing I will never let you invade my life for the rest of my time on this planet. There will always be negative thoughts that try to take over you’re every move. But I have realised that by hitting back with positive thoughts, as hard as they may be to do, it succeeds.
Words – Peter Guckian
Image – TarmoTulit