The glorious and triumphant return of now-19 year old Blogger, the revival of a once-grand and dare I say influential webspace that produced daily content, and the crippling anxiety of a young woman who no longer has any time or motivation to write, and feels like any ability she had acquired in the past through repetition and sheer will alone is now slowly slipping out of her grasp. Brief history of the Blog and Blogger can be found here.

Here be personal journal entries, observations, slices of life, questions and conclusions, as well as exploration of social and political topics seen through the lens of a Malaysian Muslim, feminist, lesbian, Marxist, and horse enthusiast.

Monday, March 19, 2012

It (Magically) Gets Better

Hi. So basically, what's been bugging me lately has been... not much. The fact that there's a lot of things to do and be done? But comparatively, my life is going swimmingly. I have never been more satisfied with grades and the more I hang out with my friends who assure me that, "They're not going to care if your BM suck," the more I start to let more and more go, even though said friends actually got higher BM marks than I did. Wait. No. That's not what this post is about.

I wanted to talk about how life is okay what with school being, well, school, but the one thing that's mostly bugging me? SFS It Gets Better. I. Okay, I have. God. I'm going to sound like the biggest jerk ever, aren't I? I keep starting off my posts like this, trying to find out if there's a cell in me that cares about how I come off as to the general public and it's been years, seriously, since I started this blog. And well. So far, as far as I'm concerned, no. Not a single cell. So I've got to say first and foremost that, yeah, don't kill yourself. I mean, I can't help you if you don't want to help yourself and I'm a kid, really, not in much of a position to strap you to a gurney and wheel you away to the psychiatric ward of a hospital. Not in much of a position to do anything other than offer my sincere and well-intentioned advice that's most likely going to end up going in one ear and out the other. I'm going to come off as detached from the topic when in reality, there aren't a lot of things that I'm more familiar with than depression.

I would say that I was very much on the edge of it all when I was twelve and thirteen. Suicide was something that I was so constantly exposed to that, of course, it entered my mind. Fear always held me back, though. Fear, you'll notice, and not quite faith. I always knew of the ramifications of suicide, religion-wise, even though I only discovered that it's considered one of the main huge sins this year. So, yeah, maybe think of that. That would be the crappiest advice I have to give, because "it gets better" does have a nicer ring to it, doesn't it? But I can't exactly guarantee you anything, not with a slogan or a few words or anything really. I can only tell you, if you're a Muslim, that, dude, you are going to hell for committing suicide. Unless you say that you're going to hell anyways, and in that case, knock yourself out (literally).

Oh, God, I suck. I mean, might as well prolong the wait, right? Might as well stay as far away from astral punishment as you can get, right? Right. And what better way to do that than staying alive? Well, where was I? Right, so being me has its advantages but for the most part, I'm not a stranger to depression. It's... well, little things, which I'm grateful for, really. I have a squick for real life blood and pain in general, so no cutting. Even though I have the resources, I don't believe there's anything to gain from substance abuse (I mean, if you're out of it all the time, then you're not really going to be able to think straight, and I value thought - or the ability to think - above pretty much everything else). I just have to deal with little things. Sometimes I can't sleep (but I'm not going to mountain out of a molehill something and cry 'insomnia!'). I mostly do not have that much of an appetite when I am freaked out (but I hate food so that is also a factor to my status as an underweight waif). And for the most part, it's the misanthropy. Which, you know, who knows, maybe someday it'll go away? SHUT UP, YOU. YOU'RE NOT HERE TO TALK ABOUT YOU.

You would think that I would reach an all time low in Form 2, wouldn't you? Ghosts coming to haunt me from the past, really bad friendships and relationships. Just, a really messy year in which I learned things that can never really be unlearned. But in Form 1, I had a sort of one week episode that spiralled a little out of control. I basically just stayed in bed all day, telling people I was sick. Um, I just needed to get out of school and away from people and away from things that happen. In Form 2, I learned something kind of important. It gets better.

Now I'll skip all the personal stuff and get right down to why I find the whole campaign thing a) annoying, b) insincere and c) just not worth it. Maybe you should've chosen something else. Maybe not a slogan that certain people identify very, very personally to, because when I hear "It gets better", I only think of one thing. And here's where it gets jerky.

For the original It Gets Better campaign, guess what? They don't really have that much of a choice in how they get treated or how they feel. Say what you want or believe what you will, but this is my blog, and I'm tired of being cryptic. They, apparently, were born that way and there wasn't really a cause or even a want for them change who they were, drastically, just to fit into what society deems as "normal". So it wasn't about them, internally, it was more about their outside surroundings and yeah, other people should be better, other people should get better over time so in that sense, it gets better for them, as it should. But when you use this slogan as the banner under which to raise awareness for suicide prevention? It's sort of... not right in a way. Because I know we all break down once in a while and rare is the gal or dude that has nerves of freaking steel, but you have to do something about you. You can't tell people that it gets better, they have to want it, for one thing. They have to want it to get better because when you're depressed, there's nothing more common than wanting to just wallow in your misery. You have to want things to get better but most importantly? You can't just chant "It gets better" like a mantra, you have to make it better.

"It gets better" is a promise. It's you saying to someone that things will get better for them. But you're not God. You can change only one person in the whole wide world and that's you. Or, I don't know, if you're really influential or whatever, then by your leave. Slim pickings for the rest of us. You can't go up to someone who's depressed and say "It gets better" even if that's the only thing you have to offer. Because like I said, you can only change yourself. So maybe it should be corrected to, "I'll be a better friend"? When you tell someone who is constantly harassed and bullied for being themselves "it gets better", it's a promise that might not happen, but probably will. Because that person probably will find a place in the world that they belong, find friends who accept them for who they are, find a happily ever after with some stipulations. When you tell someone who is depressed that it gets better, no amount of external support can really do anything for them unless they are willing to let it get better.

The next thing I have to say on the matter takes on a more personal approach, in which I know most of the people who are actively involved in the SFS campaign are not in any position to be making this promise. You hold up a piece of card with the words "It Gets Better" on it and I mean, honestly, I don't know how else to say this but. If you're sincerely making a promise to people that things will change, they'll weather through the storm and come out on the other side to face greener pastures or whatever, then maybe you ought to start... not being bitch? Like, start being nice to people? Nicer? Well, obviously I can't speak for all, but... if you're not an Interact club member, then you'll probably understand what I'm saying. It's one of my main pet peeve about Interact as a club, in general, that they try to raise awareness about a ton of things and great, good; here, have a pat on the back. But. And there is no way for me to finish this sentence without coming off as a bitch. But there's different kinds, you know, as they say...

So to sum it all up again, it's great that people are taking an interest in this. Do you honestly care about the cause, or do you just want to tag along because it's the current hot shit of the week? Up to you. You make your own calls. And if you're depressed and thinking of ending your life, let me tell you, we can be here to support you, we can write sonnets to you to make you feel better, we can tell you that it's going to get better, but if you're going to view the world as a bad place, then it is one. Make things better. Try to. This is not a campaign to glorify those who are mentally unhealthy, it's a good campaign with a slightly iffy tagline that tells you that it's not going to magically get better, but if we're nice to people and if we stand by our friends through thick and thin, we might just be able to change the world by lowering the suicide rates.

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