I got the blues.

This is not directed towards anyone in particular (more like a handful of people in my life), this is just a culmination of thoughts I’m having as I reflect on the week that has passed.

To be totally honest, I just don’t know how to talk, or motion, my way out of this funk. I’m unhappy. Immensely unhappy. I know why I’m unhappy and there’s quite literally nothing that I can do to fix it. Not a fucking thing. This dark cloud has decided that it’s going to sit above my head for the time being and, from what I can tell nothing will dissipate the shit storm that it’s brought with it.

I’m tired of people telling me to just be happy, or just smile, or just let it go, or just go for a walk. Someone left a comment on here the other day that said ‘Perhaps if you went for a walk once in a while, rather than blogging, you’d be happier’. You want to piss me off in a real hurry? Explain away mental illness by implying that if someone exercised it would just go away.

I do walk. Every fucking day. Even when it’s -30 degrees Celsius (-22 Fahrenheit). I walk. I run. I routinely get 20,000 steps on my smartwatch. I also listen to calming music. I try stay away from stressful situations. I try to get adequate sleep. I take my vitamins, every single day. I try to nourish my body with the food that I’m putting into it. I try to do everything that possibly I can to minimize the effects of truly debilitating anxiety. And I still have it. Go figure!

So now what? Go for another walk? Will that fix it?

I’ve had a lot of things making me angry/unhappy this week and I’ve just been trying to keep my head afloat. I’m trying to do for others and occupy my mind, but some nights, like tonight (clearly), my thoughts just get the better of me. So, let me state this explicitly for anyone who does not understand…

Mental illness is not something that can be swept away with a brisk walk in the park. Mental illness is not something that people want, choose or ask for, and it’s most definitely not something they can control. Yes, you can take certain measures that help you cope. But that doesn’t fix things. That doesn’t make someone better, and it certainly doesn’t make the issue disappear.

If all of someone’s problems can be fixed by going for a walk, or smiling or just being happy, that’s not mental illness, that’s just a bad fucking day. So the next time you want to say something ignorant to someone who is suffering, don’t. Educate yourself. Ask yourself ‘will this really help them or am I just believing what I want to believe because I don’t know any better?’

I didn’t ask for this anxiety. I don’t want this anxiety. I certainly wish I cold be normal and happy-go-lucky and always see the brighter side but that’s not real. I need to be me.

Am I kind of a bummer sometimes? Yeah. I try my absolute best to not let it get the better of me but sometimes it does. Sometimes I just need to vent and let it out. I guess that’s what this is, because people have been pissing me off this week and I just need a break, a holiday and maybe a beer.

The beauty of the beast.

I wish that I could be edited. I wish that what the world could see were a perfectly curated collection of a beautiful life with sweet moments and loving family and friends. I wish that I could be one of those people that makes life look effortless, or one of those rare people in this world to which life is actually effortless.

I cannot do that. I can’t.

Life is messy. Life is filled with disappointment and heartbreak, sad moments and struggles. Life is not easy. It’s not effortless and I refuse to paint a picture of life that just isn’t rooted in the truth.

That’s not to say that there aren’t happy moments. The good moments are there and they do exist. But I’m the type of person to which, when I experience the good moments, I am living them… not trying to instagram them. And that’s not to throw shade at those who do, that’s just to say that the best moments of my life, you likely won’t find proof of on any phone or camera. The proof is that which lives on in only the fondest of memories that never dim nor fade, no matter how many times I upgrade my phone.

Current messy bits going on in my life are big bouts of anxiety. I’m talking BIIIIIIIIIIIG bouts of anxiety. Worries about money, about relationships, about forever falling short of the desires I have for work and success and life are filling my days that no amount of road-tripping seems to be able to solve. I’m getting through though. I’m still trying.

I’ve opened up a lot about my anxiety this year. The reactions that I’ve gotten have definitely been mixed. I think that’s why it’s important to continue sharing, though. If someone’s never dealt with mental illness before, it’s hard for them to understand what exactly someone is going through. I get that. But I think it’s time they learn. I think the best thing you can do for yourself is open up about your struggles. And if they don’t hear you, open up again and again and again until they hear you. Because education about mental illness is the biggest thing we do towards ending the stigma.

We don’t need curated lives to look perfect for the world to see (at least I don’t). I think what we need is to be open and honest with one another about the struggles it takes to just be human. Because if we’re human, and I presume we all are (I’ve yet to see any proof of aliens) then being open and honest about the struggles will make the good moments, the beautiful sights, the happy days, feel so much better. We’ll have people to share them with who will truly appreciate them with us.

The more that I see the edited lives of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and so on and so forth, the more I think we’re losing touch with reality in hopes that we can portray our lives to look ‘better than the next person’.

I don’t want to be better than the next person. I just want to be me.