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An Open Letter to An Obviously Compassionate Human Being
Dear Amanda Lauren,
I figured I’d start this piece this way, as so many other ones have, as a letter addressing a grievance, a missive explaining a wrong. I thought about those heartfelt thinkpieces, people baring their souls and scars to you, pleading for you to understand that despite their illness, all those trips to the hospital, all those suicide attempts, all those pills swallowed, that they deserve to live. I think about these people who you have hurt, who you equated to lost causes even as they struggle to get on their feet, writing to you to please consider what you’re saying—the stain of stigma that you are perpetuating—the shame of illness that you’re ignoring. I think about all those people, with open wounds and battle scars, and I end up with little to say other than:
You, who dismissed and derided someone’s painful struggle against debilitating sickness because it was cluttering up your Facebook feed. I’m sorry my depression isn’t impressive enough for you to Like. I’m sorry my panic attacks aren’t nearly as cute as the pictures of latte art and fitspo on your Instagram. It must be so difficult to be on social media and see a glimpse of someone’s hellscape in between engagement announcements and vacation albums.
Here’s an idea. Why don’t you use the goddamn block button? It’s so easy, really. You just click and poof! All that ugliness disappears!
You’re probably wondering why people suffering from mental illness don't do the same. And you’re wondering this because you are the moral equivalent of fecal matter spread on moldy toast.
I love how you wrote this article regarding a “former” friend. How benevolent of you to look at someone whose secrets you once listened to, whose burdens you once shouldered, and then dissect it for everyone to see, ripping open the corpse of it and spreading its entrails and declaring, “It’s better this way. She’s not suffering now.”
I hope she was a former friend because she realized that you were an oozing pustule disguised in human flesh and cauterized you from her life. I hope she finally saw your bloated hemorrhoid of a personality for what it was, recognized you as the human version of stepping on a Lego, and ran as far away as she could. I hope she did this, not just because you deserve it, but because, even if she suffered from the ravages of mental illness, she no longer had to suffer you.
Let me tell you a little story, Amanda (aka Human Urinary Tract Infection).
When I was eleven years old, I fell into a serious depression. I was bullied at school by girls I thought were my friends, leaving me adrift and alone. Every day, I endured their taunts, flinched at their words, shuddered at their laughter. Every day, I watched as my parents denied it, my teachers ignored it--as nothing happened. And every day, I sank deeper and deeper into my own personal hell, one that whispered to me, “This is all your fault. You deserve this.”
One night, I managed to reach the medicine cabinet in my parents' room and grabbed a bottle of ibuprofen. I swallowed down every pill dry, scratching their way down my throat. When I went to bed that night, it was with the sweet, sweet relief that I wouldn’t be waking up that morning.
So tell me, Amanda, you moldering pile of bloody tampons, what you told the world. Tell me that I am better off dead. I have nothing to live for, all alone and terribly unhappy. Tell me that I will be either institutionalized or a burden on my family. Tell eleven-year-old me that my death won’t be a tragedy; that it’s my life that’s tragic.
Tell my family, grieving the loss of their daughter, that my death is a blessing.
Does that make you cringe? Make you sick? Does the thought of that raise your hackles, get you defensive, make you grit your teeth and spit out “I wouldn’t do that!”
You’re right. A decent human being wouldn’t do that.
So, to all my sisters and brothers and friends who struggle to smile, who have to learn how to breathe, who have to block out the voices telling them to jump. To all of you who live with monsters, shoving them under the bed and back into the closet, holding blankets over our heads and squeezing our eyes tight, doing your damnedest to keep them at bay for one more day.
To all of you: your life is the greatest blessing the world has ever known.
And to you, Amanda Lauren, garbage can human, dried-up cat puke person, festering canker sore in the mouth of humanity, I hope this helps you figure some things out.
Though, like you said, some people are so sick, they are truly beyond help.
With all my love,
#Real #Response #TalkAboutIt #MentalHealth #Depression #Stigma #StopWritingGarbage
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