Topic Project Semi Colon: Lush Style
29 Sep 2016 20:17
This is a bit of a book so be warned XD
Although a bit late to the scene, I have been following this thread for a while. I think it's great that such a project such as project semi colon has occurred. One of the things I really like about it, and what stands out for me, is the fact that it’s a symbol, and one that can be seen in public, is noticeable. Lots of us out there have difficulty talking, expressing ourselves, and because of it, often, it’s very easy for us to see ourselves as alone in the world. But with this, even if you're not talking, or expressing what you've gone through, the shit you're dealing with, if you pass by someone and catch that tattoo, a symbol of so much, it’s a reminder, you're not alone in the world, and perhaps, since this person has been through a lot, you might have the courage, feel comfortable enough to talk with them. I know, that’s true for myself. if I know someone’s gone through shit, like me, I feel more safe, secure to talk of my own struggles, difficulties. The other important thing about it, is but by looking down, seeing that symbol it’s a direct link to the thought of pushing on. It works on a neurological level, many things have this effect like seeing a yellow smiley face and feeling happy, even if ever so slight, but this is the first ever one I've seen in relation to suicide. It’s truly so simple, but so amazing and exceptional.
Now, expanding from there, I guess, I’ll speak a little more, on the good and the bad, and a little of myself, how it all relates to me. Not on this particular project, but people’s mental struggles in general, and what’s going on within society in general; though I can only speak from my experience, perspective, form my city, my state, my country; Australia.
As I said, I can only applaud project semi colon, everything thing it does, but it is only one project, only reaches one fraction of the people who need things like it. It’s a project from the roots; from the bottom up, however there needs to be more, going along the same metaphor, it needs to come from the canopy too, both working together.
In my experience, the most difficult thing is talking. There seems to be this perception that if you talk, reveal what lies behind the veneer of perfection that is expected to be put on you will be prosecuted by society. I generally tend to believe that its true. I think this comes from the notion of the “hard, rough, rugged, strong Aussie battler.” Although Australia supposedly has a good public health system that supports those who otherwise couldn’t in society, most of the homeless I see are there because of mental illness. They can’t find work, or are given an opportunity because they’re fragile or unstable. I myself would be in that boat, luckily my boss is a family friend (well, friends of the people who I call family, and are more family to me than anyone else) and supports me, nourishes me, gives me time of when I need it, hasn’t fired me because he listens, understands. Like I said, this notion of talking… admission of pain, struggles, an inability to cope is considered inherently wrong. So people just don’t. They keep it all within until they explode. Even admitting you have a psychologist effects your chances of success greatly. This is just oh so wrong. However, things are changing, albeit ever so slow. Although I still hear things along the lines of “you shouldn’t speak of such things” or “just toughen up, put on a smile, pretend you’re happy” progress has been made. Just last year, a prominent figure in society, a sporting star, came out, and not only admitted his depression, but the sporting team he played for supported him. He didn’t lose his job, now recovered, he still plays. This is a good start, the first time I’ve ever seen it happen, from the top down so to say. This alongside projects like semi colon, or even opportunities like this forum here, created by Sprite, to talk on such matters, have a safe place to express are also oh so important. So thank you Sprite, for initiating this, having the courage to speak a little on your own difficulties.
Now the other problem I see, and one that goes hand in hand with the first, is once you start speaking, a lot of things are revealed, and you yourself can kind of diminish your problem. Think it’s nothing compared to what others are going through. This sounds really true to me. Often I’ve been brushed of when I’ve tried to speak, express, I’ve heard things like “you’re just emotional…Weak” and been told to “just get over it.” After hearing it so often, from so many people as well as knowing the things others have gone through, I can’t help but to begin to believe it’s true. After all, others have dealt with so much, and they seem to be coping fine. Whereas me..me…I’ve never been raped, or physically abused, yet….yet at times I can’t even get out of bed, or need to self-medicate with things such as e or oxy just to numb the pain. I constantly fall in and out of depression, are so insecure, anxious in crowds, around people that I have very few friends. But why should I? after all, my issues pale compared to others. All that’s happened to me was being exiled from all of my family, due to my mother’s opinion of me, my personality…sexuality, got cheated on by a guy who I loved with all of my heart, every fibre of my being, his reason being; if you were prettier, I wouldn’t of had to and finally, after becoming another’s world, their sole dependence in life, being told by them that this is their final goodbye, that they can't...couldn’t anymore, and I unable to do anything about it, not even get a response…to find out hours later that she had killed herself. So yeah, idk, I still feel so stupid, and weak for not being able to cope, deal, and that’s a product of society, or me myself. Anyways, the point of all that is that, even when talking happens, there needs to be a fundamental understanding that the struggles that one is going through is as real to them as anything else. Not that one thing is more than another, because our perception is our perception, it isn’t either or, it just is.
Brining this to a close, thanks Rachel, for starting something such as this forum on Lush. My heart goes out to you, and I admire any and all who try to make a difference, be it an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on, brining things to light, starting a project, or attempting to change the perception of society. Everything big and small makes a difference.