This was me yesterday afternoon. Sobbing in my back garden, feeling anxious, lonely and depressed. There, I said it. The D word that gets thrown about carelessly by people that don’t really understand, and the word that people who do understand try to refrain from using, due to the stigma that it holds. Depression is something that I cope with everyday, and some days are better than others. Yesterday was a bad day.
You wouldn’t know that though. I uploaded a cute picture onto my Instagram from a few weeks ago, my Snapchat showed me colouring in the garden and out to dinner with a friend, whom I had actually met with because we both had had bad days and needed some support. I was ashamed of my pain, I was desperate to hide that I was hurting. Without even realising, I’d created a false narrative online.
As someone that enjoy’s social media, I’m tired of the facade that me and the rest of the world are creating. This false reality that everything is perfect and we’re drinking green smoothies and wandering through art galleries everyday. Sometimes I am doing those things, for which I am grateful, but there are downs as well as ups, why are we airbrushing them from our lives?
Social media is another shield that we put up, to present to the world what we think is the best version of ourselves and editing out all our “flaws.” We all have flaws, we all have struggles, and I am sick of being made to feel like my life is wrong because it doesn’t look like some other girls on Instagram.
I try to be honest offline and I will try to be more honest online. We are setting each other unattainable goals, of a lifestyle that isn’t real, without even realising it. We are fueling feelings of inadequacy and resentment, when we should be opening up about our vulnerabilities and lifting each other up.
I felt like I needed that armour of pretence because the way people speak about mental health is damning and unwelcoming. It made me feel alone.
I am no longer going to wear my armour, it’s too heavy for me now. I cry in my garden sometimes, deal with it.
What I want to know is, when are we going to stop pretending that everything’s perfect?
Samaritans UK, in case you need someone to talk to. 116 123