Monday, 18 September 2017

Walking in my boots

"...Now I'm not looking for absolution
Forgiveness for the things i do
But before you come to any conclusions
Try walking in my shoes
Try walking in my shoes
You'll stumble in my footsteps
Keep the same appointments i kept
If you try walking in my shoes..." - Depeche Mode

This post was pulled from my previous blog that is no longer active. It is very relevant today. Especially with what I am going through with my anxiety issues. I have edited the article to reflect the present day.

When I came back to Goth several years ago, I lost many friends for various reasons. Now that I am dealing with mental health issues, I am doing some spring cleaning with some friendships. Funny enough, ALL my Goth friends have been super supportive, understanding and nice.It is the more conservative people that I heard some rumblings from.

I am going to rehash about losing my best friend. You see, we became really close during my "normal" phase and I am uncertain whether or not she knew that I was Goth beforehand. She knew I was a bit eccentric but I had a lot in common with her. We liked fashion and makeup. We were best friends for about 2 years until I pretty much ditched her.

You see, my life took off in so many wonderful ways. I had a lot of positive things going for me. I was coming back to Goth and I knew she wouldn't accept it.

In fact, I still remember the last time I saw her. I was in full Goth attire. I had randomly bumped into her. She had no advance warning. All she could do was stare at me in utter shock and disbelief. The only thing she could do was ask me over and over again if I was depressed and comment on my purple hair. I was very blonde the last time she saw me. It was really awkward. My husband noticed the tension between us and commented later on in private that he could have cut the tension with a butter knife.

I think it was not long after that awkward encounter she unfriended me from Facebook. In fact, I believe it took me several months to even realize she unfriended me! I wasn't surprised because some mutual friends commented that she thought I was too weird for her and she didn't want to associate with people like me.

This taught me a valuable lesson recently. You see, in a lot of ways, now that I am going through this anxiety bullshit, I KNOW I am being judged by the more conservative, ignorant people just like when I was judged for coming back to Goth. This doesn't bother me. What made me realize, and to some extend, bothers me is the fact that I can be so quick to label people myself without knowing their full story. I am doing the same thing that was done to me!  I realized that there is so much stigma associated with mental illness it made me take a step back and think what invisible demons these people fighting that I don't know about? While I stand true to myself and will always have little respect towards people who are intolerant assholes (it is hard to feel sorry for people who judge others), it has made me aware that so many people are probably in my shoes right now and I would probably never know about it. In the past, I never understood why or how someone would let themselves get this far (the severity of the anxiety where they need to be on sick-leave from work) and now I do. You really don't know their story.

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