durerea devine viciu când luminile fosforescente inundă crăpăturile interioare, distanța dintre două cioburi e mereu egală cu timpul scurs între două decăderi, două abisuri, două tăceri
fumul lăptos mângâie contururile corpului altfel anonim, granițe se sparg în jur cu viteza exploziilor finale. supernovă.
tot ce rămâne-i impulsul, nașterea viciului de unică folosință, escapism made in No Man’s Land, ambiguu, pentru fiecare tip de durere câte-un altul.
oamenii devin dependențe, dependințe înguste-ale propriei vieți, aceeași viață de care tragi să fugi
leagă-mă de tine, fă-o așa cum societatea mă leagă de utopii goale pe dinăuntru. leagă-mă și lasă-mă să-mi oglindesc în ochii tăi Sinele viciat de care am fugit atâta vreme, leagă-mă într-un partizanat al abisurilor nude, ample, încântătoare.
I wish I could say that I’m an activist, but I’m not. I don’t feel like I’d have what this needs. I am only someone with questions. I sit, observe, put things together, and then ask myself questions about this process. The same goes for the outer world. I sit, observe, gather information, and then try and make something coherent out of everything.
Or this is how it used to be, as 2020 came like a hurricane, shattering every single thing I thought it was already figured out. It brought a pandemic and a whole list of questions to be answered. It brought new issues to be addressed, and put some light on older issues, often left for later.
One of those issues to-be-addressed-later is the way we are looking at politics. I used to hear frequently that old line, I am not getting involved with politics, it is none of my business to do so! long before 2020. But then a pandemic came and made us ask ourselves Is this true, or just comfortable?
But let’s look a bit closer to it. When we talk about politics, we talk about agendas. About issues and core values that politicians find worthy of being prioritized. From women’s rights to migration and education, everything is or could be, a point on some political agenda. And I’ve managed to see a lot of issues being publicly addressed by politicians, real and heavy issues of the society. Excepting for one: the mental health state of the population.
Even when the environment is toxic, focused on competition and over-achievement and, constantly fearing that you mightnot be good enough, no politician or political party has made a statement about the mental health crisis. Because it is a crisis, and the pandemic is only putting it under the spotlights. And there are a lot of arguments as answers to any related questions.
It is a crisis because it does not provide any kind of recommendations on how to stay sane during these times. Our lives are nothing like before, we still have restrictions to face, dear ones that we can’t see, and are told to limit any unnecessary kind of interaction, for as long as it will be needed. We are being told to obey the rules, protect ourselves and the others, but no one tells us how to cope with all the anxiety and frustration that this situation has brought.
People have to deal with anxiety, grief, stress, and uncertainty on their own.
There is no real support system for psychological needs. Access to psychotherapy is a privilege and not a realistic possibility. I’ve heard a lot of I will start going to see a psychotherapist as soon as I will afford it from people perfectly aware of what they are facing.
There is no real support system for the children’s psychological needs either. They are also feeling anxiety, depression, pain, neglect. They are also feeling rejection and heartbreak. They are also needing help with learning to manage their feelings. They also need someone else to be there for them with empathy and objectivity. A bigger person, worthy of their trust and openness.
And I will not talk here about the lack of psychological support for the families having a member with disabilities or chronic conditions. I will not even open the subject.
Yet all these have a common root, even if it doesn’t necessarily look like it: the social stigma associated with the topic. Society doesn’t see mental health as actual health, but more as a trifle. It is optional, not vital. Public policies on mental health can wait, we have bigger things to focus on. Even if this might, to some extent, be true, there is just as true the fact that a bunch of individuals facing mental struggles all by themselves won’t form a thriving group.
The public agenda on mental health policies is empty. No words about deconstructing the social stigma surrounding the mental issues, no words about increasing the awareness about anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and nothing to be said about the tendencies of romanticizing mental struggles. Silence and empty pages waiting to be written. People waiting to be seen, heard, and represented.
Nothing can be changed overnight, but this doesn’t mean that things have to stay the same forever. We need help, and we need it on an institutional level. Of course, the help given by the NGOs that advocate for mental healthcare is like a glass of water in the desert. Deeply needed, and definitely something to be grateful for. But it is not enough.
If we scream and brag about how much we care about people’s health, yet we won’t do a thing for their mental health, then our care for the overall health is just a lie. A lie we keep telling ourselves and others, without understanding that we can’t have a healthy individual with a struggling mind. Even this splitting between mental and physical health is artificial, therefore worrisome.
There is a lot to be built, but the good news is that it’s worth it. Because a society where you can afford seeking medical help when you have a broken bone, but not when you have a depressive episode, that is by no means a society that has any interest in her citizens’ health.
Life as an introvert has never been easy. And you learn this especially in your teenage years, when the pressure to conform is simply huge.
You notice quickly that your extroverted friends do better in society: they receive more attention, more compliments, they’re invited everywhere and everybody wants to be around them. That’s how everything starts, with thinking that if you’ll be morelike them and less like you, you’ll be better. So you begin to say yes to everything you notice as being trendy, rushing to blend in.
And, even if it might look like an understandable choice, in the long run it will show you the contrary. It is an exhausting game, pretending to be somebody you’re not, just to fit in. And it is also visible, but I’ve noticed this way later.
Because I used to be one of those yes-teens too. To say yes when it was actually no just to avoid arguments, to do things I wasn’t really fond of and say things I was not believing, just to fit in, to be accepted. To be like the others, the cool kids. Because I’ve always wanted a bit of that attention they were receiving so effortlessly. And I wasn’t so different from them, after all, was I?
Well, truth be told, I was. I’ve always had a different view about life than the popular kids around me. I liked things they couldn’t care less about. I had my inner world, my passions, my beliefs. Somehow, I’ve always been skeptical about sharing them with other people around me.
Then, high school happened. And a lot started to change. I discovered people who were more like me, and the fact that I have options to choose from. I spent more time with them, debating things we cared about till we eventually got tired, and less with old friends, which made me feel like I wasn’t good enough to fit in. Eventually, I got to spend time with them only when it was really required, like family gatherings.
But it was only in my university years when I discovered that I can say no. A small word with magical powers. A word I had always been afraid of.
I’ve been equally afraid of saying no, as I was of being told so. Of being rejected, dismissed as not good enough. Everything till one day, on my way back home, I had a revelation: I can either begin by being picky, or I will end up losing myself for good.
It was a tough thought to handle, especially thinking about the fact that I always hated to hurt people, but I knew it was the right thing to do. Took everything easy: spending more time with myself, making up excuses to avoid going somewhere where I already knew that I was going to feel uncomfortable, cutting off some long time friendships, as I noticed them becoming meaningless interactions.
The worst part of learning to say no was, though, the guilt. I was feeling guilty for rejecting people or invites almost all the time, and in the beginning the guilt trips were awful, but there came a day when I understood that, as long as I have the resources, I also have the power to choose where I will invest them.
It was, perhaps, the most liberating thing I’ve ever done. Learning to say no when it was no, instead of saying yes. This happened when I got to understand that saying no is not about rejection, it is about boundaries.
About knowing your needs, your passions, and your worth. About giving up on settling with whatever comes in your direction, and start choosing only what brings you joy. That saying no is not about being mean, as it is about self-respect. And the same thing goes for being told no, as well. Not being good enough for someone will not make you a failure. It only means that there are different needs to be met.
Of course, there are still moments when I say yes, but I mean no, but they are not that frequent anymore. Maybe this is the sign that I’ve grown up, but today I’m not afraid of saying or being told no anymore. Today I can easily say that it has become my favorite word, the one that makes life easier, as I can speak my truths without fears.
Because knowing where to draw the line requires to have spent enough time with yourself, so you know for sure what is and what isn’t meaningful to you. A good exercise for knowing when to say no to something is to ask yourself these three questions before: Is it true? Is it good? Is it useful? If the answer is mostly no, then no is what you should say to those things, too. It is the easiest way of finding out what is and is not for you, to see if it speaks true to you, if it’s something that is useful or brings you joy. If you have more than one negative answer to these questions, you can refuse without regrets.
I admit, learning never stops, especially when it comes to setting boundaries to others or, even better, to yourself. But learning is part of life, and we should not treat any of them like something limited or a chore.
At the end of the day, somehow, the only talk you need to have is the one about how much of who you are will you sacrifice for the sake of others. And if you feel like you’ve had enough of that already, then learn to unfit.
To unlearn all the toxic patterns which you’ve picked up along your way and which have taught you that the only way to be appreciated is to never say no. Actually, it seems like it’s the opposite: you’ll be really appreciated if you dare to stand up for yourself, knowing who you are. And that usually begins with declining everything you don’t feel it serves you in any way.
Saying no more often will only help your growth, your mental wellbeing, and will better filter the people around you, so, in the end, why wouldn’t you give it a try? Because, if you will keep saying yes to everyone and everything, you might, one day, discover that you were only saying no to yourself all this time.