To the older generations, from a Millennial

The other day I over heard a comment, 'the younger generation are too sensitive'. This comment made me think about how oblivious the older generation are to us and why they really ought to just stop being so in denial about our mental health.

We are told and told to speak about our problems, to let out how we're feeling and not keep ourselves locked away, however when we do speak about it we are told 'you have nothing to worry about', 'you're too young to feel stressed', 'don't be so sensitive' or 'if you're that bad why have you not seen a doctor for it', causing us to want to keep our thoughts and feelings locked up.

I don't think it is 'normal' to feel awful all the time, and if it is, why is it normal? We weren't put on this planet and given a life to feel depressed, we should be able to live a life.

I feel like the older generation are so closed up on these ideas, especially some parents, because they feel if their child does suffer from something within their mind they think they've failed at raising them when it could have actually stemmed from absolutely anything.

I think they're so old-fashioned and were raised to just be strong that they think that our generation can be the same, but there's so many factors now that impact our lives.

I broke down on Friday night and truly felt at my lowest point, so this could get a little deep but I find writing my blogs helps me feel better and I feel I'm myself here. It saddens me that our thoughts are only taken seriously when we reach this point and people finally realise that maybe it isn't so normal after all that we're feeling this way and maybe we do need a little help and maybe we're not too young to feel this way and shit really does happen in our lives.

So, I'm 22 now and I just feel low. Like really really low. And I'm exhausted of feeling so low. But this is what has happened in my 22 years that I think have triggered how I am now.

When I was 7, my mum and dad split up and my mum and sister moved out. What had been my family home for my childhood was now my 'dads' house. I no longer had my mum or my sister around me all the time (my other sister had already left home) and for the next 14 years I felt like the messenger between my mum and dad and felt like I was always treading on egg shells. I know this is so common now that parents do separate and people do cope more than others and others just don't but I believe this affected me a lot more now that I'm older than I initially thought.

I started to get bullied when I was 11 by a couple of people in primary school, and then I moved to high school and got bullied some more for most of my five years there due to a really small inperfection that I still feel insecure about today. The thing is though, bullying has happened for generations but when you got bullied when my mum and dad were kids you could go home, in your room and feel safe. Not me. Social media had just really took off when I was getting bullied and so I was coming home to abuse online. Facebook statuses written about me, MSN chats victimizing me and there was this awful website called Formspring where people could send you anonymous messages and a lot of mine called me fat, called the imperfection I have and told me to die on a few occasions. Then when my dad contacted my school about it, my head of year said 'girls will be girls' - the thing is schools don't really do anything unless someone dies and that's the sad truth.

During high school I did have a few friends and I was part of a friendship group that were a lot prettier than me and a lot more fun. I was pretty much the fat, ugly, small friend. Boys didn't like me. I never took risks and so I got called boring and annoying a lot and that kind of stuck in my head. Now whenever someone calls me boring or annoying, even as a laugh it hurts me and I genuinely start to believe that’s how I am. Sounds so stupid.

In my fourth year of high school I got to quite a low point, but again, it was 'normal' apparently. I developed problems with eating after being so chubby for years I lost a lot of weight because I was barely eating. I've already written about this and so I won't go into it but yeah it wasn't a very good time for me.

I then got into a really toxic relationship, which really broke me as a person and I forgot what being free was like.

After getting out of that relationship, I finally saw the light. I made friends, I fell in love, I started to love myself, I started to live.

Unfortunately, like a lot of girls my age, I became majorly obsessed with social media. With keeping up my appearance and how many likes I got on my photos. It sounds incredibly stupid doesn't it? But unfortunately this is the pressures of society these days.

Then about a year ago the world crashed on me. I lost my Nonna Maria and my world really did make possibly the worst turn. I saw her die and I still cannot get that out of my head. I saw her last laugh, her last smile. Losing my Nonna was one of the most difficult moments of my whole life. I didn't really take any time out of work after that I just kept going and pretended I was okay but really I was hurting a lot.

The month after she passed, my step dad Stanley got diagnosed with lung cancer and was given months to live. Watching someone I cared about go from this strong, big bloke to this weak, frail man was heartbreaking. My whole families life changed. My mum was always running around taking him for chemotherapy and not being able to work normally. My sister spent a lot of her time being his carer and seeing him in his worst states. And I really felt for my sisters because they had the constant worry of how my nieces and nephews were going to cope with losing their granddad Stan.

That day came on the 27th February. It was one of the snowiest days of the year and I had almost reached work when my mum rang me and told me Stan had took a turn for the worse and the hospital had asked to gather his loved ones to be there. I didn't know what to do but I got into work and broke down straight away when one of the lads asked me if I was okay. I was driven to the hospital and it brought back the awful memories of seeing my Nonna pass away.

We spent the whole day there. I just watched him and felt so sad. We didn’t want him to pass in hospital, we wanted it to be at home where he was comfortable but that wasn’t possible so we tried to make it as peaceful for him as possible. He loved the band Elbow so I created a playlist full of Elbow songs on my phone and as we all held his hand we played Elbow to him as he peacefully passed away.

I didn't take any time away from work then either. I just continued on.

I didn't ever give myself time to mourn and I think now I've realised that I should have done and I'm not at all okay.

During Stan being unwell, my dad got really unwell too and I saw him at his lowest and instead of my dad looking after me and suddenly I saw myself looking after him. He developed photosensitivity and so he’s been wearing sunglasses everyday since last December. It doesn’t sound like a big deal but I haven’t seen my dads eyes since last December. 

I bet some of you are thinking why am I posting this all over the internet? Well I think some people need a reality check and I think they need to know that to be honest I might only be 22 but a lot has happened in my life and my mind is pretty damaged. Maybe nobody is thinking that and it's just my over-thinking mind going off on one again.

I really am lucky though. I'm lucky I have my boyfriend who lets me cancel Nando's and let's me cry to him for 3 hours straight. I'm lucky for my dad who brings me hot water bottles and a cup of tea. I'm lucky for my mum who meets me for coffee so I can let out all my problems. I'm lucky for my sisters who protected me from those people who bullied me in high school. I'm lucky for my best friend who messages me every single day and helps me feel better. 

Some people don't have anyone. Some people are battling inside their own head with not a single soul to confide in.

So my message to the older generation who say I'm too sensitive and tell me how I should feel, my mind doesn't listen to me so it most definitely will not listen to you. We don't just wake up everyday and want to be sad. We may not have battled through wars, or beaten at school by our teachers but we have fought our own battles and we continue to fight battles in our heads everyday. Life can be really hard whether you’re 22 or 62.

Next time you see someone get a little 'touchy' over something you said, why don't you just take the time to ask them how they are instead of pushing them to feel worse.

The people I see sharing mental health awareness posts are some of the same people I hear telling people to man up. The sad reality is a lot of you only begin to care when it’s too late. Be kind. 

Lots of love


p.s I'll be okay :-)