Category Archives: mental health

Self exploration through writing

On the way home from the store tonight, I was thinking about how most characters in books have certain virtues and talents that get them through life and hard times, such as being courageous or have a great voice (like in the book Fairest), or how many fairy tales the princess has to be beautiful and that’s what helps her, while the men are strong and brave, and don’t back down, they don’t give up. Steadfast.

So I was thinking about my characters. Since I started my writing exercises last year, I’ve focused mainly on one character, and though I do have others, they’re pretty similar. And, well, they’re similar to me, because I have a hard time writing outside of my personal experience. I can write characters that already exist, or base a character off a real person, but since my writing exercises are for me alone as a form of therapy, my characters take on traits I either see in myself or wish I had. When I write these characters down, and look at the story from afar, I can see things so much clearer than when they’re in my head, when I’m examining myself. I have to step outside of myself in order to see me better.

Claire is definitely not perfect. She has anxiety and depression, feelings of worthlessness and the strong overwhelming desire to be worth something. And in her desire to help in any way she can, she’s also afraid of messing things up, which in turn can mess things up. I noticed she has a strong maternal instinct, she has the desire to protect and to care for others, even if she doesn’t know them. She’s a nurse and a fighter, tending to the wounded after fighting a battle. She’s also practical to a fault, one some might call a “stick in the mud.” I don’t get to test out my prowess on a battlefield (and I’m sure I’d be bad at it), but I do know I’m good at taking care of people. It’s like some sort of auto-pilot comes on and I just go…

I do have a strong urge to protect people, and to help them, and to make their lives better in any way I can. I don’t know why, it’s just how I am, despite that I pretty much don’t trust anyone and am constantly on my guard. And as strange as it is, I’m loyal to a fault as well. Those people who have hurt me over the years, the people who have backstabbed me and betrayed me… I have continued to keep whatever secrets they may have told me, and I refuse to go on my public scenes to complain about them, and even here, I don’t mention names. I guess in a way, I don’t even hold it against them, really. I can still be civil with them, even if I can never trust them again. If someone else is fine with them, who am I to besmirch their name? What happened was between them and myself, no one else. I think there are maybe two or three people who I have told anything to over the years, and I’ve told them because I know they won’t say anything to anyone else and they won’t seek out any sort of payback for me. I do not need anyone attacking anyone else because I said something.

And as weird as it is, I would still help those who have hurt me. If I had the means and they needed my help, I would help them. That’s just how my family is. I can’t imagine being any different. And it shows in my characters a lot. They’re lonely, protective, desperate to be worth something, and willing to sacrifice themselves for the good of others. They are not heroes, they are in the background helping the heroes. They don’t want attention and if they can help anonymously, they will, because just the knowledge that someone might be happier, even just for a moment, because of something they did, it’s worth it. Even if it’s just smiling at someone who looks like they’re having a bad day or buying someone a coffee, or even just leaving a piece of artwork for someone to pick up.

I want to make the world a better place, I want to help people in any way that I can, and what better way than to go out into the world and touch people’s lives? It would be better if I wasn’t so… anti-social and socially awkward, and an outsider. Even if society deems me to be a freak and unfit to join their ranks, even if they bully me, and people like me, I will continue to do what I can to help others. I think that because there is so much pain even here in the states, that’s more reason for me to go do things to help out. I know the states has it easy compared to many, many other countries, but this is where I am, and where I can do the most good for now.

Internet interactions

So this past week or so, I’ve been having some strange interactions online with some people who are rather antagonistic. One instance involves Person A adding Person B to a group without asking if Person B wanted to be added. Person B then left the group and Person A asked why. PB said he never asked to be added and didn’t want to be part of the group, and they got into an argument about it.

PA then posted on his wall, wondering why PB got mad, because it’s not like some notifications can hurt, right? I tried to explain that by adding without asking, he was taking control of the situation away from the other person, and people tend to react negatively to that. PA thinks that the only way they’ll know if they want to be part of a group is by adding them, rather than inviting. He doesn’t care that people don’t like that, he’s going to do it anyway because it doesn’t cause them any physical harm. There’s a lot more to it than that, and needless to say PA has a few of my friends, and my brother even, pretty mad. My brother asked me if I was going to let PA get away with what he said to me. I’m not that good with words to properly retaliate. Another of my friends wants to beat the guy up.

Another incident involved a forum where this person posted about depression being a disease, not just a mood, and people need to stop the hurtful comments about it. One person on there posted that you can cure your depression if you think positive thoughts, and if you can’t, then you just have a weak mind. He said I lack awareness and that I’m a defeatist for not believing thought can cure something I’ve been trying to think away for around 17 years. I’m just weak willed, you know?

Another person brought up pornography to take a shot at something the OP said elsewhere, and they asked for someone to define it, so I did, and they attacked me and said my art was “far from good *yawn.*” When I asked why they said my art was bad, they replied with, “Quote me where I said your art was bad, I never said that.” So I did and they insulted me further -_-

One person was saying “I guess it’s really a matter on what type of connotation you give to “weak” or “cowardly.” I don’t give those things a negative or shameful connotation when it comes to things like this.” Concerning depression and suicide. So what is this person thinking, that they can get away with telling people they’re cowardly or weak and that the people should accept it because their connotation isn’t the same as the majority of humans on the planet? Our entire history is full of fights with those words used as insults to goad the other person into doing something stupid. You can’t just magically change those words to be light and fluffy good things.

Other people are saying you can’t blame depression for suicide, because it didn’t physically kill them. I can understand this a lot more, but I pose the analogy of a mind altering drug. If someone was given a mind altering drug and went on a killing rampage, people would say the drug was to blame. The person would still be held accountable, I’m sure (depending on the circumstance), but the drug wouldn’t be shoved to the side, it would be listed as a reason for his behavior. A reason for him killing people. Depression isn’t much different. These people wouldn’t kill themselves if their minds weren’t in an altered state. Just because it’s all internal and no one is injecting a drug into the person, doesn’t change it.

I want to try to bring more awareness to mental health, but I didn’t expect so many mean people all at once. And I didn’t even post the thread. But hey, it’s not really that surprising. There’s a horrible stigma still that goes with being depressed. Well with any mental illness. Any illness. Any state of being. People will judge, and think they’re right, that their opinion is the only one that matters, on any aspect of your life, even if they know nothing about you but a blip of words. I find that many people will take a small bit of what you said and fill in the rest with their assumptions, never mind that it wasn’t what you said at all. They only read/hear what they want and nothing anyone says is going to change their minds about it. So bizarre.

I try to stay open minded, and try to see things from different perspectives, but I’m fallible myself, and I know I make mistakes. I may not like the feeling I get when called on it, but I would rather be correct than be an arrogant ass.