Article #3: Why is mental health so misunderstood?

5.9.17 | 6.9.17

Mental health is an interesting topic. I find that its so hard for the person going through their own mental health journey to talk about their mental health. If I’m being honest, it’s partly society, kin and few other factors. I want to personally tell you what happens when someone you deeply care about doesn’t understand your mental health, and how I reacted to connotations along the lines of ungrateful.

Before I get into the article I would like to properly introduce myself, as always.
My name is Fatma, I am a 22 year old woc who has had clinical depression for 2 years or so now, and like most with mental health I took my time denying it as I researched what being depressed meant in every way shape and/or form. This means what it looked and felt like, but honestly mostly anything that would explain how I was feeling internally at such a mass intensity. I sat with the intensity for years before getting professional help. I am also an INFJ-P, daughter, friend, sister, self-care, mental health creative writer and possibly other sub headings that I can’t think of at the moment.

A couple of days or a week ago I told a friend of 8+ years about getting an interview for David Jones that I had applied for months ago. I told her that I won’t be going to the interview because we both know what happened when I worked in the sales industry not so long ago prier to this email, and it has now become a trigger I told her. I was expecting for her as my friend to see where I’m trying to come from with my situation.

To my confusion she was so shocked, and said that I’m acting along the lines of ungrateful and I looked her dead in the eyes and said

“what’s the point of me going to an interview that triggers me mentally. I don’t think its about being ungrateful. I’m trying to take care of my mental health and myself.”

And immediately she said “..I mean it’s up to you.” like I had a choice. I’m not trying to talk ill of her nor the situation, but after this conversation I started really thinking about what it is about depression that is so hard to understand. Also because I don’t talk about it with anyone other than my psych,  I’ve learnt to not expect others to understand depression. So to be fair I don’t blame her.

I didn’t know this then, but when she said that my mind almost tucked away what she had said and it was like what she had said was still being properly processed in my mind so that I could think about it clearly in my own time. In the moment although I was immediately internally irritated for a split second but not angry, because lord knows being an INFJ-P type it takes me time to react properly to situations most every time. I wanted to properly understand why she would say something like that to me knowing very well my situation and that she is a very close friend of mine. So before I could even react emotionally my body and my mind were unconsciously protecting me from my emotions knowing very well this was not usually how I would react.

From that day on I had started to get really depressed and each day it just got worse. I was frustratingly trying to unpack why on my own for an exhausting month. Then with my psychologist, we unpacked how I was feeling piecing together what was going on inside my head to figure out the trigger was mentioned by a friend, and my mental health was still reacting to the words said. In that moment, I was so shocked I couldn’t help but break down and everything I held back just overflowed out of me.

Even though I said I was done crying from others words, understanding that this is not what they really mean because to others, they don’t know how mental health functions in the body so for them its usually not that they really mean it, but rather they don’t understand its intensity and manifestation of their choice of words while talking to someone who is ageing through mental health.

What I would really want to challenge is why is it that we aren’t actively talking about mental health.

What are we so scared of?

We as a race don’t understand how it completely works, and for the person who is going through this internal battle all they do is everything they can to help themselves.

I strongly believe talking about mental health is so important. It may be uncomfortable for some however, this is only because as a society we get to decide what is of importance and mental health is without a doubt one of those justices.

Think about it like this. When we are in pain what’s the first thing as human beings we do as the kin, we listen, want to comfort and we want to help. So, why is it that when someone is going through mental health the same thing isn’t practiced? We all want to do what we can to make the people we love and care about around us feel accepted and trusted, mental health is no different.

 

Thank You.
Fatma Hussein

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Poetry: Melody of Being Animate

4.8.17
from dusk to dawn

I just wanna be with you right now, when I move this slow I can see the stars come through my room, its like a flame not a light, nothing too soft something like burn like desire like you’re my desire, like so quick, like can you see how fast this feeling catches on to things, people, like things and people, like, since when did people become possession , like who is your possession , no one, this feeling has flamed out and sparked a different kind of light, its not always that bright this clear to see, in the night sky, the night sky, I tell myself its going to be okay, there have been days where I have watched the sun disappear into the abyss of the night forgetting to eat, I have to remind myself to eat, my body doesn’t want to understand this heightened sense of sensitivity, doesn’t like that being this unstable to anxiety is leaving this body wasted into nothing, looking at opportunities has become a burden, unsure of how long this kind of illness can exist, cease to been felt this much, how you smile at kin when they ask if you’re okay, when they ask about that job, one shift, 4 hours no sleep, what happened, and you tell them, you don’t like the way human beings have learnt to bury their belief of you in them, how tight it is to breathe such an invisible noose, under these stresses, mass anxiety is a build up of a house on fire, your body is lit up from all the judge, only to blow smoke in their face you don’t remember thinking yourself so much worth, don’t remember giving yourself in their safe keeping in their palms closed, four corners with no exit what else did they expect when you watch the words judge, you, others leave their mouth is when you watch their body deflate and swear you could almost make out the words rested in the creases of their face you didn’t ask for this, you didn’t see this kind of opportunity coming, you didn’t know how else to break down but you were not going to allow all this hard work around so much love for an illness that is not ready for this world how he, was so careless to pain that can not be seen, don’t know the intensity of words protested, this world is not ready to aid this kind of illness, still learning about its malaise and all you can do is smile and take care of this body learn, it to heal even when they see you as weak, as give up, you’re a silenced savior to your own body, this kind of hero would be too much for them, they are not ready for you yet.

Poetry: Melody of Being Animate

7.6.17
Hurting.

What do you do when you can physically feel your body ashing its bones from the inside, you know this feeling too often always uninvited and doesn’t leave until it has made sure you have tried dying at least once, when you have this illness, that likes to eat your body from the deepest parts of its pain and you don’t understand where it found the courage to find it without letting you know first, this illness, likes to keep secrets and never tell this body how to fix its accidents, leaves the body feeling like it is ready to die from its own failure of not being able to locate its demise, how do you sit with something that is trying to kill you slowly, when you’re suffering on your own you are almost forced to witness a death right before your eyes without love knowing you were even there, without family knowing how much it hurts because this kind of pain doesn’t just come with broken bones crunched to dust taken by the empty in this shell of a beautiful body, its so much harder to breathe when you’re not sure if the air you’re breathing is worth living, I was 10 when I first wanted to take my own breath, not long after attempting to see what it would look like to show my mother what it feels like to bleed her words, I imagined flooding this room with all my pain to maybe understand how this body was feeling, to feel better, to stop the pain, I just wanted it all to stop, I didn’t understand why it was coming for me in this kind of cold and loving way, I was 20 when I realized that the words I wrote down were a ransom from this illness, this body is being held hostage, and the heart is barley fighting to stay alive, how to rescue yourself internally when you can’t even save yourself in your living reality, what kind of jaded mood stays for this long, I was 21 when I asked for help, wanted someone to come help me because I didn’t know how to do it first, I was so confused about how this illness attacks this body the way the word enemy comes to the tip of my tongue telling this body words that aren’t true, weakening the heart to confuse abuse for love, you are no hero when this illness comes to surface and claws at every single part of this good body, this bleeding heart, the ache, of numbing the body in a whole is to forget you’re even existing, that you’re alive, this illness likes to drag my body to its absolute and watch it scramble to get back up, and all the heart can do is tighten at the bodies attempt, scared this illness will come for it next, the souls are no where to be found, I am left to save this body alone, just me, who can save this body but me, I am the only one vacant every breath you’re not here when the body has whispered how many times it has given up, and how the heart weeps a flood of pain, you can’t feel this feeling to this intensity don’t sit there and tell me you understand help me, tell me you can help me, that its all going to be okay, that it doesn’t have to be like this, tell me I will get better, that I don’t have to live with this illness bruising this body enough to call them part of this body, I don’t want these wounds, you hear people talk about selflove and how they have not found it, people like me, have not found self love they talk about it like its so close, like its almost in their hands, where, help me find it, I need to find it, Im so scared that one day my body will have enough the heart will be silenced and mute to its own pain and this illness will convince the body to go to sleep forever, a solution, maybe, how do you fix yourself from the inside with an illness bearing teeth at each attempt you can not win this way, help me

Poetry: Melody of Being Animate

17.04.17

Innocence: “..not weak, submissive shy, kind n gentle, all this, n much more, I miss the days where I could hear carefree whispered into the winter breeze, when spring bloomed with hope, sharing all our secrets to mother earth n, choosing to indulge ourselves in her beauty, I missed this, I missed being able to not give so much thought to dreams, enough to give it pardon free it’s possibilities n, not be scared of its what if’s wanted to be, the one who proves that dreams are worth never letting go that, when you feel defeated by it’s impossible alure this is, why its important to illustrate why you dream in the first place, being a dreamer n having a dream are two different innocences, dreamers are forever mesmerized by reason, for reaching the sky n, asking why the stars they see shine so bright, it’s finding answers when you have been told impossible, dream is, as simple as what you want it to be, I miss the days we talked about how fast we could glimce innocence in truth, rather bind to its opposite trait, not enough innocence, there’s, too much malice that fumbles without our own optimism, it blinding, catch this meditation, n…”

Poetry: Melody of Being Animate

16.04.17 | 17.04.17

Struggling with reality: “..being forced to come to terms with being grown has a lot of constraints to its noose, they aren’t always the black jacks that fill your conciouness with clarity, with truth, being forced to realise that even though you yourself as a being have to choose some demise in order to grow, in order to change, back home, you’re selflove, you can only realise what reality you have as you watch it disappear before you desperately reach out your hands fast enough to catch its pace n allow it, watch it shatter into micro shooting stars, the way commanding wish to a content struggling reality, is it a combination of your worst fears, emotions, rainbows to fill in this mood, this grow, how do you grow without struggling in reality, pain manefests n changes people more than we would like to admit, it resonates penetrating so deep into our stream of consciousness until it awakes, until we’re comfortable with change, until…”

Poetry: Melody of Being Animate

26.03.17 | 30.03.17
Black girls..(beautiful enough..)

“The truth about spring, it is a false delusion, a what you want to see photosynthesis what they, might tell you, that the sky cries too often into our bodies, that too much of its mood fixated to our feelings, understands the potential growth of each flower, rose, lotus, beauty, how it will double rainbow your extraordinary, give mother earth our time, in twin show our love, as more than, what if’s, but it could be, they don’t, tell you the truth about spring, that each season is a cycle of emotion, unsure about its casting, however, shares common traits of compatibility, wisdom, that your story is a forever told, forever being written, there is no end to its day dream, this is a, what you see what you feel educated, kind of hemisphere, rotation is a must, self love is a super power, the truth about spring is that, it is a false disillusioned dreamer, that you can be as you please, they don’t tell you that you’re beautiful enough, black girl, you’re..”

Poetry: Melody of Being Animate

12.03.17
Depression, is an illness, not a weakness

Forgive me, sometimes Im not sure where to begin when it comes to understanding the way this works, I have given you so much of myself yet it doesn’t seem enough, is it really that hard to understand something that has been with you for this long, do you remember the feeling of how it felt when these souls left the body, are we on the same weakness forgive me, illness, this isn’t a cry for help, its an affirmation of this n so much more, its a resolution to this demise, at ease of this body, care to explain where this is all coming from, not understating the melody to its tunes, the lyrics to its song, but do you remember the beats, a meditation that is as distracting as this weakness, sorry, forgive me, illness sometimes I get the two confused, see, when you have been this weak, sorry, ill its hard to separate these two words from their conjoined sympathy, breathe, trigger words sound a lot like self care when it comes to the beat of this heart, the rhythm of this body to this mind the two souls its song been sang long before they knew its demise, memorize its lyrics to the right kind of melody, this song sings its anthem like it was the last calling for its demise, demise is another word for interchangeable, easily consumed, digest its ugly n regurgitate back its unwanted, this is self care in its purest form, pretty has always seen this ugly to allow this pretty, they won’t understand your narrative, if they they knew what ills, how it ills this mind this long, this whole time, they’ll call you mad, mental, won’t understand the way it has formed you into this beauty, catastrophically beautiful, the ones you can’t see just from looking, depression has this horrible way of teaching this body about its self in the most gut wrenching behavior, will never tell you what it is up to, likes surprises more than it can ever care to admit, n you have to choose to sit with its disrespectful beautiful until you fully become capable of what each miner unpleasant meant, comprehend its emotion, rearrange its narrative so there are no clear bias’s, n once again sit, n sit, with its uncomfortable until it passes, depression has a beautiful way of teaching this body about self, it manipulates the bad to be your shield n the good to be your conscious decision to always choose its demise, depression is an illness, it is never a weakness

Poetry: Melody of Being Animate

17/4/16 – 18/4/16
A letter to my younger self
I don’t even know where to start, which wound to apologize for, will never forgot the tears that up to this day will never stop, if there was one thing I had to apologize for first, it would be for up to this day about the way you feel about yourself, that even when you were younger told nobody about your scars, that I was always there with you, for you, I told you I would never leave you, even that day when you fought with her again n you went downstairs feeling so much, you couldn’t tell which emotion came first, you took the biggest table knife you could find in the kitchen drawer, put your arm out, made sure your eyes were ready, took the knife helping it find its way over your bare skin, you were only 12, this is what you wanted her to understand, even though it didn’t make sense to anybody but yourself, you tried to make her look as you cried for all you insecurities, your broken body, the pain, the emotion that you didn’t understand, you tried to make her feel what you felt but she didn’t understand even when that knife scrapped your bare skin several times, she never looked back, she never tried to look back, it was at that moment you felt that she didn’t care, that it wouldn’t matter, that you wouldn’t care if your blood found its way to the floor, a puddle of emotion, when I think about how when you were little you tried to make sense of so many things, but nothing was working, nothing felt the way it suppose to, there so many things to apologize for n I’m sorry about them, I’m sorry that even up to this day you still cry every single night, I’m sorry that even though you smile its not enough to fix the emotional anxiety, anxiety, something you can’t stop doing, I’m sorry that there’s nothing to really be appreciative of, all I can say is that at least now, I’m getting help, I’m trying so hard to be better for you, I made a promise to myself to be happy, to try n be positive, its all so hard even now, but I’m thankful I’m here today, I just want to make us happy, make these feelings stop, I want us to move forward, to be happy, so I’m getting help for the both of us

Poetry: Melody of Being Animate

13/4/16
Don’t disrespect beauty

I read the most disrespectful statement about my sisters, I just wanna let you black men who forgot your place, don’t know that a black body spilled herself for you, least you forgot the skin you wearing, disrespecting what god took time to perfect, how dare you forgot your place, how dare you disrespect like you don’t know that ain’t nobody but this black skin will always have your back, acting like black man n black woman ain’t the same blessed, ain’t the same sweet menlanin we praise, they praise, don’t you forgot your roots boy, don’t forget who brought you on this earth, don’t you forgot the colour god blessed upon your disrespectful self, talking like you worthy of so much she ain’t gave you, capable of carrying all this that society has given women with melanin bright enough, brave enough, strong enough, beautiful enough for you to act like you own, like you have the right to, how dare you, don’t you know disrespect when it assaults your narrative, never forget it is this skin that you are here, so best you know, before you disrespect yourself

Poetry: Melody of Being Animate

4/3/16 – 5/3/16
M.B.A: Whats left

You struck a cord, turn me into love game, turn this jagged into self pity, look at what you’ve done

You play this game too often, I should’ve known it could never be this easy

Its moments like these, that teach girls that this is what they are capable of and it all stops right there, as they hand you themselves, you hand them blood thirsty, teeth, scars, wounds, trailing holes into themselves leaving emotional damage of where their trust in boys, men will mutate

Can’t  you see what you’ve done, taking broken and giving it a chance, her taking unworthy giving it a chance, look at this cult of broken hearts, pretty words with empty sounds

You’ll never comprehend, this is where and why us girls learn that our bodies are like diamonds, precious, before we even learn the meaning of our emotional worth

It is why they say do not trust, treat your body like you’re beautiful, you are beautiful, be self less, be blunt dager, be so much conversation, but never forget you are worth every worship, never forget it is them who suffer most when a good thing is gone