A World of Contradictions

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Life is interesting. And full of contradiction. Society claims they hate the news because it reports so much bad in the world. “We want good stories, happy stories, inspirational stories,” we all say. On the flip side everyone talks about how much they hate social media because it gives a false perception of people’s lives. Everyone posts happy things, like life is never bad. “Show us reality,” we say. “Not your fake happy smiles.” So which one is it? Good or bad? Positive or negative? Depressing or inspirational?

With my blog I’ve found that I get way more views when I post a depressing piece than a happy one. And the happy ones aren’t fake. I’m open and honest all of the time. I’m always me and I always show that. But my posts about hitting low points and showing ugly crying pictures of myself always get more views and more responses than posts about how I’m doing well or how I’m happy and haven’t been dealing with my mental illness.

I’m certainly grateful I’ve gotten such a positive response from readers, friends and neighbors during my difficult times. I’m grateful they have been there for me, prayed for me, loved me and not been scared away. It shows me that people are learning, caring and seeing past the stigma of mental illness that has been around for so long. But people—everyone, with or without mental illness—still need love and support even in the good times.

So we want happy, but we don’t want fake, but we don’t want depressing, but we only care if it’s depressing. And around and around we go. I have no judgments about whether this is right or wrong or makes sense or not. I just find it interesting because it does seem like a pattern of contradictions. Do I keep writing even if I’m happy or should I only share when I’m struggling? What are your thoughts?

2 thoughts on “A World of Contradictions

  1. I read all of your posts and enjoy (if that’s the right word…) all of them because they help me feel less alone and more connected to you. It is an interesting contradiction though, and an important one too I think. I see it in the television news daily… There’s a horrible, gruesome local story here involving the ante and murder of a child and the newswriters are milking it for everything they can. Whether there’s new info on the investigation or not, a significant time of each broadcast is spent recapping the case and this has been happening for months now. In my mind, it’s crossed the line into voyeuristic and disrespectful and I change the channel now whenever they turn to this story. However, clearly many many others are watching this story nightly or they wouldn’t keep talking about it. Anyway, my point is that I do think people want the truth AND they want positive AND there’s also something in most of us that is drawn–perhaps voyeuristically, perhaps with the intent to see how we can help–to the darker stories. I think this blog is about you, every facet of you, and about spreading your message of awareness and honesty about mental health/illness, so you should continue to post anything you feel moved to post. It’s more or less unpredictable to know how people in general will react to each post, so you have to just keep being you and know that this blog, to my understanding at least, isn’t about pleasing people… Maybe just the opposite at times, right? It’s about drawing attention to things that people traditionally/historically don’t especially like to look at. You’re doing a wonderful job at that, including the posts about being happy and doing well. I think people like things to be clear cut and nicely defined and when a blog about mental illness posts something about the author actually feeling good, it messes with that ability to put these things into tidy little boxes. Nevertheless, the good days are an important part of mental illness as well (as you pointed out). The more you post about every aspect of this struggle, the closer people get to having a more complete understanding. The people who, for whatever reason, are more drawn to the “negative” posts to the exclusion of the “positive” ones are missing out on a key piece. That’s just my view, but I hope it helps.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So incredibly well put, my friend. And that’s the thing about mental illness. Even when it’s a daily struggle you can still have good, happy days. Even when the good happy days last for a long time, the mental illness is still there and can come back and hit at any time. That’s something people should know. You are brilliant and beautiful and your support and words mean so much to me!

      Liked by 1 person

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