I had a few rough emotional days earlier this week - rougher in part due to it being frustratingly unclear what the trigger was - which then necessitated a certain amount of writing-energy-expenditure that’s left me a bit unmotivated for writing an actual Satanism-related entry this month. I’m therefore going to deviate from this blog’s established format of “issues I’m grappling with, framed in connection with Satanism,” and say a few things on a purely personal note.
It seems apt to do this on the basis of some mental-illness-awareness-raising stuff I’ve seen going around the last couple days, the idea being that what I say here might stand as a contribution to that sort of effort. What follows is thus a more detailed meditation upon my descent into mental illness in the mid twenty-tens, prior to this descent being thankfully curtailed by that infamous Uada incident that regular readers of this blog will already know about.
The nature of this situation is such that it’s impossible for me to share my story without getting into personal details whose revelation is liable to cause social friction. To be clear, everything I say here about that pertains to my perception of the situation, with awareness that I myself was not in a good state of mental health at the time. Nothing here thus pretends to be an “objective” or “fair” portrayal of any other persons involved.
The story, as a whole, is not about someone “being a bad friend,” but rather, about how, as the far-left itself so likes to repeat, “intent isn’t magic” - i.e. you can have the best of intentions to be a supportive friend, and the best of intentions to be a good person as far as making the world a better place, and unfortunately have the latter manifest in a way that undermines all semblance of the former. I don’t tell this story to put guilt-trip on that person or anyone else. The point, rather, is education, with the message being, this shit happens, and if we’re going to go around talking as if we care about peoples’ mental health, maybe we need to think about the dynamics that cases like this reveal.
I also feel this story is important to tell because truth be told, I’ve been through years of isolating cynicism now re: mental-health-awareness-raising-exercises, i.e. seeing them and feeling, because of the particularities of my situation, that it’s a case of, “they say they want to hear everyone’s story, and to save everyone from sinking into depression to the point of drowning, but that doesn’t really mean you. If you spoke, they’d surely reply with things like ‘that’s just privileged bullshit, not a real mental health issue,’ and ‘stop taking up space meant for discussing actual problems,’ and ‘you’re actually the kind of person that we hope will just drown...’”
Do you find it disturbing that amid an ever-growing societal aspiration to take mental health seriously, this is how someone has nonetheless wound up feeling - regardless of the exact way it came about? Personally, I think anyone at all humane should be disturbed by it.
I also think that I should be able to say this and have it understood in the context of a sincere desire to do something positive about mental health, rather than it being taken purely negatively in terms of “she is just taking attention from X, Y and Z other-good-and-important-causes.” The sheer fact that I instead fret about perceptions on this front - i.e. here I am, a biracial bisexual woman, who lectures on feminism-related topics and has a drag persona, afraid of being dismissed as some right-wing loser trying to weaponize self-pity if I actually speak my mind bluntly about my own life experiences - strikes me as illustrative of the extent to which toxicity surrounding certain political matters is, indeed, highly detrimental to mental health in general.
I do not foresee silence about this issue standing any chance of improving the matter. Hence, the account that follows (i.e. all links in this sentence go to entry sub-sections), of how in my own case, years of immersion in a Twitter echo chamber, together with a difficult relationship with a friend, together produced the kind of despair that came to the verge of destroying me back in 2018.
I emphasize that I have since gotten much better, i.e. I do not want anyone becoming alarmed as to my current mental state on account of frank discussion of these things. Nonetheless, they do still trouble my mind from time to time, sometimes in an intrusive way - as per bad sleep a few days earlier this week - and I’d thus like to see if talking about them point-blank helps at all, both re: less ruminating on my part, and re: encouraging others to think about the matters discussed herein.
Hopefully I do not thereby wind up learning anything discouraging with regard to re: how (in)sincere certain people truly are about “let’s talk about mental health.” But I guess we’ll see…
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