People deal with stress in very different ways, for the simple fact we are all very different people. Some people’s reaction to stress will be hyper organisation and may turn to anxiety, others will shut down as a coping mechanism to block the stress out and some, like me, may feel completely overwhelmed for a day or two and then be able to bring some perspective back, one way or another. I read some comments that really astounded and disappointed me, more so than many others have previously. I was left feeling angry, hurt and rather frustratingly for a moment, guilty about being so honest.
There were comments that said because I earn a good wage I wasn’t allowed to be stressed, because I didn’t have a ‘real job’ I shouldn’t be stressed and because I had been truthful about having a couple of bad days I was suddenly an ungrateful *insert expletive here*. Why is there a limit on the amount of crappiness I’m allowed to feel as another human being? Why does my career and my savings account dictate wether my mental health is important? Should I be allocated a set amount of days to feel sad and try to ensure I don’t exceed them, or are my feelings in fact valid too?
“You only appreciate the good days because the bad days happened.”
What really disheartened me about some of the comments I received, was how they conveyed that my career and financial situation were somehow linked to how valid my feelings were allowed to be. Emotions, feelings and mental health do not discriminate and this mindset needs to end. This is the mindset that represses people’s ability to ask for help when things get too much to handle. One person’s feelings are not more valid than another’s and I for one do not want the next generation to feel guilt for expressing how they feel.
There was one wonderful comment that summed up my thoughts better than I ever could have by a lovely individual named Lara: “Everybody is allowed to feel exhausted from time to time, no matter what you do and never would I even think for a moment that you don’t feel blessed. It’s normal, isn’t it? And it’s totally okay, we are all just human beings. I believe what we can do is cheer each other up instead of bringing others down. What’s the point in this? Women should fix each others crowns when they’re broken.” How incredible would it be if we all thought about others this way? Please let’s try.
I feel so passionately that everyone’s feelings are valid no matter what situation you may find yourself in. If you ever feel like you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it and know that you matter x