“So Why Don’t You Just..?” – Said The Ignorant To The Broken


This often feels like the most offensive question I’ve ever been asked and the most offensive part of the question is that it’s socially inappropriate for me to be offended, for me to be anything other than grateful for their well-meaning but ultimately useless and often condescending advice.

“Why don’t you just get up and do something fun?”

“Why don’t you just go do something productive?”

“Why don’t you just stop being depressed?”

Yeah, why don’t I? It’s so simple, why didn’t I think of that? Oh wait, that’s right, because it doesn’t work like that.

Just get up and do something fun…

…would probably be a really great idea if anything was actually fun anymore. If all of the appeal previously held by all the things I love hadn’t vanished like a thief in the night.

Case in point: I have this thing when I’m down where I compulsively download movies, seriously, I have thousands, although I’m not sure I’m really breaking any copyright laws because I don’t actually watch them. Any of them. I just sit and stare at my meticulously organised media folders (alphabetically by genre and then title), for hours sometimes.

Desperately searching for something, anything, that interests me in the slightest before ultimately closing my laptop and going back to bed to stare blankly at the whitewashed brick walls and try to convince myself that I’m strong enough to cry, to move, to shut my eyes and sleep, to do anything but sink deeper into this waking coma.

Go do something productive…

…they say to me, like that will be the tipping point to a happy and fulfilled life. I would love to, the house proud, domestic goddess in me that lives to exceed the 50’s stereotype is genuinely happy when my home is clean, the washing is neatly in the closet and there’s dinner in the oven.

I would love nothing more than to write another chapter in the dystopian universe I’ve spent half my adult life shaping into fictional existence, or to update my blog or to even just return a single missed call.

And I would, if only I didn’t have the energy levels of a stage 5 cancer patient and all the driving creative force of a rock. Not even a pet rock or a decorative stone but one of the little ones that gets stuck in your shoe and inspires nothing more than irritation and a loud bout of incendiary profanity.

So I’m told I should…

…just stop being depressed?

It’s easy, right? It’s not like it’s this sinister, inexorable force that winds inky tendrils of suffocating doubt and exhaustion around everything I thought I knew about myself. Sucking the colour from my vision, wrapping my brittle bones in lead and turning food to ash in my mouth.

The problem is that this is not a bad mood. This is not a crappy day. This is a neurological chemical imbalance. This is a physiological condition as much as it is a mental one, and yes, I’ll admit the symptoms aren’t so easy to understand and categorise as a body ravaged by decay or a severed spine but it is just as debilitatingly crippling.

Clawing at my will to live, stripping away everything from my self-esteem to my appetite. I haven’t slept but I’m not really awake either, my stomach is empty and it’s been days since I showered. The messages are piling up and there’s a fine layer of dust covering the paraphernalia of a life I’ve forgotten how to live.

Inside these walls it’s cool and dark and quiet as the grave and I start to wonder if this is what death feels like, if I just lay here will I eventually fade away to become one with the dust floating in the still air?

It’s been years since I considered suicide to be an option and I’m not considering it now. It will get better. I know that, I’ve done this before. It will get better and then worse and then better again, these are the seasons of my life, a seemingly endless phoenix cycle of self-destructive resurrection.

And I swear to God I’m trying, I really am. I’m working and fighting and failing and trying again and I will get better, but right now I’m not okay, not yet, maybe not even soon but one day. In the meantime, I’m not asking for help or sympathy or any number of things advocated by the well-meaning to support the unstable, I just want you to understand.

The lights are on but nobody’s home and the phone just keeps on ringing.

12 thoughts on ““So Why Don’t You Just..?” – Said The Ignorant To The Broken

  1. I love the honesty in this post. I’ve struggled myself for so long to even admit that no, I’m not okay right now. Having been able to recently admit this to myself/my husband/my therapist feels like it’s lifted such a burden- just admitting it. I think it’s hard for some people who haven’t experienced these feelings to understand. But I hope that you at least have people close to you that do understand, because that makes such a difference. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! I’m sorry it took me so long to reply.
      Coming to a place where you can admit to yourself and others that you’re not okay is a huge deal, it’s one of the hardest things in the world, kudos to you for your strength. I do have some wonderfully understanding people around me and I’ve found that confiding in them has brought us so much closer. I hope you have the same kind of people and you’re getting all the love, support and understanding you deserve in a way that’s actually helpful for you.
      Thanks for reading. xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is one of the absolute best blog posts I have read. Ever! I can relate to every single word of it. It rings with such truth and spirit! Thank you so much for writing it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is one of the absolute coolest comments I’ve received. EVER! Thank you so much, I can’t even tell you how much that means to me! I’m so glad that it resonated with you and I hope that you have all the support and understanding that you wish for.



  3. I have been saying this a lot lately. I know it’s going to be fine. I know we will work it out. I know that there is another side, a better side. But right now I don’t feel it, nor do I know how to have a feeling about it. It’s so annoying when someone says ” it’s going to be ok” sometimes. Because I KNOW that, but I don’t feel it and that’s the point. I want to feel something. I want to be as happy as I know that I should be in my head when I look at my life. I want to be sad for a minute and then for it to go away. I hope and pray for all these things. But I don’t feel them right now and I just want someone, anyone to not only understand but to accept that. Thanks for the post!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve found that knowing things will get better doesn’t really mean a lot when it’s this ‘someday’ concept, and having someone tell you something you already know is never helpful.
      I won’t tell ever you that it’s going to be okay but I will tell you that it IS okay right now. It’s okay to be annoyed by ‘helpful’ people, it’s okay to just take a moment to feel what you feel, it’s okay to handle your emotions YOUR way and it’s okay to not even know how feel about things.
      I hope you have people around you who can both understand and accept where you are right now without trying to rush you somewhere else or slapping a metaphorical bandaid on it like that’ll make it all better. I wish you all the love, understanding and acceptance in the world and I hope that when things are better you’ll be able to look back and be proud of yourself for making it through.
      Thank you so much for your comment!


  4. It’s absolutely true that knowing it doesn’t amount to a hill of beans. My husband has been awesome and I’ve been trying to take my time making choices and working through the process. THanks so much for your kind words.

    Liked by 1 person

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