1:33am rant with your pal Alyssa
It’s 1:33am, I can’t sleep and I have a thing to rant about. You hear a lot of people say stuff like “don’t judge someone if you don’t know them”, “there are always two sides to a story”, and “you can’t come to conclusions about someone based on rumours”. All classic judgement free quotes that you see and hear pretty much everywhere. Although these quotes are quite generic and maybe some people find them unoriginal and annoyingly repetitive, I believe they are in fact true, so instead of just tweeting one of these quotes or making them a caption on an Instagram selfie I thought to my stupidly awake, 1:33am self “hey Alyssa, let’s elaborate on this” now here I am, doing just that. I don’t intend on writing this in essay format, I am no English major, it’s 1:33am(have I mentioned that?) and I’m typing this on my phone for god sakes, I’m just going to say whatever the heck I want to say. Everyone deals with stress, there are negative stressors and positive stressors in everyone’s lives whether they choose to admit it or not. There is no escaping it, but there is dealing with it. Some people are fortunate enough to deal with the negative stressors more efficiently than others. Some people simply don’t know how to deal with stress at all. In some cases it is not always easy to tell these people apart. Everyone deals with stress differently, nobody should ever feel shamed for expressing themselves be it because they are mad, sad, happy, frustrated, frightened, whatever the case. Focusing more on the negative stress: “get over it”, “it’s not even a big deal”, or “calm down” are never, ever, EVER acceptable things to say to someone who has chosen to openly share what they are going through and how these events have impacted them. Maybe you would react differently than they did, maybe you wouldn’t react at all, but that does not mean that the way they are reacting and expressing their emotions are wrong. This is where I begin to talk about mental health coming into play. On the Internet, I’m a pretty comedy based person, who seems quite happy. This is the side of me I choose to share with the online world, this is what I am comfortable with, and this is how I like to appear on social media, and that is okay. In all reality, I am very introverted, I struggle with expressing myself, and have dealt with and am still dealing with mental disorders (situational anxiety and mild depression if anyone wanted the specifics.) It has been really difficult and it can really drain me sometimes. I’m not including my personal issues to start an Alyssa pity party, so people can feel sorry for me and tell me how great I am, I’m using myself as an example, because my issues stem from not expressing myself, not sharing my emotions. I do this because I fear that I’m being annoying or whiney and that’s how people seem to react when someone expresses their emotions isn’t it? They accuse them of being an over dramatic attention seeker who just feeds off compliments. (The people who glamorize depression and serious mental health conditions definitely should not be doing that because they are serious issues, but I don’t think we should be so quick to judge them either because if they need to fake something so serious for attention, they really need help themselves, but that’s a separate issue.) Basically, I was afraid of being accused for faking it, even though I was well aware, it was all very much real. I didn’t want to worry my parents, I automatically assumed I would lose all my friends and I thought the world would be better of if I just silently dealt with my issues alone. If you hadn’t guessed it already sitting in silence makes things significantly worse. Although I’m unaware of any people like this that I have met so far in my life, I know there are others out there. It’s one thing for me to tell anyone that decides to read this that you should never internalize your feelings like I did, support can be hard to find but it’s important to always share how you feel, don’t let anyone make you feel bad for being emotional, all that stuff that you’ve probably heard a million times before, but I think something that is equally important, is to stop shaming people for being emotional. Girls get emotional, don’t accuse them of being this way simply because they are a girl, guys also get emotional, don’t accuse them of being girly because they are this way. Everyone deals with emotions, everyone deals with their emotions in their own special way, what I am asking from you dear reader, is to accept this. I have seen enough of people being shamed for expressing themselves, if they have found how they want to handle their emotions, you have no right to stop them. I don’t even need to get political about it and talk about basic human rights, freedom of speech and all that. I’m asking everyone to just be a decent person. If someone chooses to post a body positive photo, don’t shame them. If someone posts a story about how they have overcome their depression, don’t shame them. If someone chooses to post pictures of their significant other frequently, don’t shame them. The list goes on, and my ending statement will always be “don’t shame them.” Shaming someone for acting in their own unique way, in my opinion will never be acceptable. I hope there are others who feel the same way. I’m not saying this 1:33am rant will solve everyone’s problems, but even if it makes one person think about being less judgemental, encourages one person to express their feelings, or share that body positive post, even make one person feel less alone, it’ll have made a difference. I write this in high hopes that people will begin to speak out more about this issue, because it is a great one that means a lot to me, and it’s an issue that society undoubtedly needs to start fixing. We can’t be a society that stays silent. That’s why, at 1:33am, I am deciding to speak up. That’s why, at 1:33am, I am asking anyone reading to start speaking up, so others will not feel afraid to.