A Little Reminder for Anyone Struggling With Depression During Pride Month
Why wouldn’t they? Have you read the news anytime soon? You cannot even go on social media without being hit with a flood of misery. Worse, no matter how hard you try to look after yourself, there’s no way to completely take yourself away from the fact that the world right now is a sad, scary place.
Pride Month ought to be a time for defiant celebration. A time to stand up and show the world you are here, you are worthy, you are valid. A time to stand next to your loved ones and demonstrate your support. A time to march against the people who put us down, stick our middle fingers in the air and tell them to fuck off.
Unfortunately, that’s not always possible.
As a person who deals with depression and anxiety in equal turns (I know, the “party” never ends in here) any kind of outing is extremely difficult for me. There are a million things to consider: how are my energy levels today? Will I have my friends there, or will I be alone? What if someone takes pictures? Would I be OK with that? Does my body feel good, or will the KTS flare up in the middle of the march, and if it does, do I have enough money for a taxi home? Will I be able to trust the people around me to look after me if I can’t look after myself? And what if onlookers get confrontational? Will I be able to defend myself?
These are everyday concerns, but they are amplified by my anxious brain, making it nearly impossible for me to think beyond that.
And then the switch flips, and we’re back to the Depression Channel.
“Who cares? Nothing ever changes. All these people, they’re just paying lip service to all of us.”
“I’m a demisexual, we are barely acknowledged anyway.”
“What right do I have to be there, when I can ‘pass’ so easily?”
“What difference does my being there make?”
It’s self-effacing and self-defeating and it sucks. It sucks. To a person without a community, Pride Month might be the only time to truly feel like they are a part of a whole.
But it’s not easy, and mustering up the energy and enthusiasm for it doesn’t happen automatically.
So, here’s a little reminder to all of us:
You are valid, even if you don’t have the spoons to celebrate.
You are valid, regardless of where you fall on the Kinsey scale or asexuality spectrum.
You are valid, regardless of whether your local community acknowledges that.
You are valid, even if your state is policing the event and making it harder for you to march.
You are valid, even if your family calls it a “phase.”
You are valid, because you are you, you exist and you deserve basic human decency and happiness.
Having a mental heath condition does not invalidate any of that.
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Getty image via nito100