Everything will get better! Except there are times it just doesn’t.
I’m scrolling though my timelines and I hit this message I have seen and heard a million times “Everything will get better!”Long quiet sigh to self. Heck I’ve even said it to others trying to share some hope but deep down I don’t connect to the phrase and never really have.
Before I go any further let me introduce myself. There is silly easy stuff we tell others in an effort to share, like:
I’m Rene. I was born in Barbados and I am a Capricorn who was born under the year of the rabbit. My blood type is B positive. I smile a lot, be it out of genuine happiness, nervousness, or politeness.
Then there are these truths burning through the mask and the smiles.
I have mental health issues
Link on mental health:
I live with bipolar disorder
Link on bipolarity:
I’m often riddled with crippling anxiety. People can often make this situation worse because they don’t fully understand what is going on in that moment.
Link on anxiety disorder :
I have suicidal tendencies and behavior. I have seriously tried to end my life a number of times over the years. My first suicide attempt was around age 10 I think.
Link on suicide 1:
Link on suicide 2:
I’m dyslexic. For me it plays on my spelling, reading to others, and comprehension under pressure
Link on dyslexia:
I self medicate. Often these days with compromising and harmful results using alcohol and cocaine
Link on substance use:
I have a physical congenital deformity called pectus excavatum
Link on pectus excavatum:
So now that you know all this about me, here I am. I go to bed every night with these things as my reality and I wake up faced with this same reality. There are days that I may not have these things at the front of my thinking but they are always there with me. Not every day is gloomy; there are days were I feel absolutely great, but when that fades away what follows for me is deeper than sadness. It is something that has plagued me for years, honestly to the point that I can’t remember a time that it hasn’t been this way.
There are points that I watch and read up on the things I live with. I like to do this because it somehow connects me with people through watching and reading. I get to see how others manage their own lives faced with issues similar to mine. This often helps but at times it can also be frustrating, as the content out there may be about your struggle but the “everything will be fine” narrative doesn’t quite fit. This is because unlike a book or show, life goes on.
I want to take a focus for a moment on mental health. When we make positive gains in managing our health it is like coming into bloom. Nothing feels better than experiencing life on a functional level. What we often choose not to talk about is that there can / will be breaks, cycles or a crash where you return to or surpass a state in our mental health. How we deal with this, if we recover from it, will vary for each of us individually. We all have different coping mechanisms but the real question for us is:
Are they positive or negative actions / behaviours? For me, as I get older, I find myself slipping further into negative spaces and becoming less able and willing to cope period.
So where does this leave me, and people like me that aren’t feeling it’s okay and that things are getting better? To be honest I don’t know. I feel comfort at times in the messages like ”it’s ok not to be ok” ,“life may not necessarily get better but people can get better”. I find peer conversation enlightening. I personally believe in asking for help but again I totally understand how people and systems can easily become negative experiences and spaces. Right now I’m unsure of people and spaces; this includes the ones I’m familiar with. To be honest the only thing I / we can do is to take it one day at a time.
We imagine if we were to lose our freedom that it would have to be snatched from us but more often than not it is slowly signed away by our own doing. ~ Me
“I think we all have a different capacity for pain and our ability to withstand it. What could be life-threatening to me in terms of suicide could be your Tuesday. We’re just all very different people.” ~ Dese’rae
Full link on suicide:
I wanted to share this on reflection of being hospitalised in September 2018 after a suicide attempt.
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