Real Problems

I slept too late. It’s miserable to wake up in the afternoon, feeling heavy, groggy, aimless, like you’re missing out on everything.

I read a comment on here yesterday that I spent a lot of the day pondering, on the surface it was perhaps humbling. Somebody said “Oh, you’re from a privileged western country. Why do you feel suicidal? Try moving to my country where we fight to survive, you’ll be grateful for life then.” For a minute, I bought that. For a minute, I questioned everything. For a minute, I allowed myself to feel guilty in comparison to her for suffering depression and suicidal thoughts. Still, the suicidal thoughts persisted. And that’s when I remembered. When I realized.

It may be unimaginably difficult to fight to survive, of course, you have every reason to be unhappy. But the trouble with living in a more privileged country is that you are surrounded by the basics. You have food, shelter, water, sure. You have those things and often we forget to be grateful, but we should be, right?

There’s physical conditions and then there’s mental conditions. There’s physical neglect and then there’s mental and emotional neglect. Physical comfort often causes us to neglect mental health, healthy emotions, healthy relationships, love. Love. We lack love. We are surrounded in ugliness that has seeped so deeply into our minds, it hurts. It hurts- how dare you say we have no right to feel suicidal or depressed sometimes? Consider this, consider you have all the physical things but you are emotionally abused, manipulated and neglected for so many years of your life you cannot function as a healthy human being. And then made to feel guilty about it because – oh well, you’ve been emotionally abused, but at least there’s McDonald’s, right?

I’m sure you think you have the “real” problems. But it’s never fair to undermine someone else’s kind of suffering just because you’ve never experienced it. Physical wounds can be healed, physical places can be changed. But mental and emotional scars stay with you everywhere you go.

People’s brains are sick. It affects the way they think. It’s not that they’re ungrateful. They’ve suffered too, just in a different way than you. I’m glad for you if you can’t understand their damage.

I sympathize with you. I do. I’m sure you’ve suffered.
But don’t you tell anyone else that they haven’t just because it’s a different kind of suffering. I’m not saying they’re equal, but suffering is suffering. Period.

V

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