Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Power of Words...

Part of the Cestrian Dreams Project
Article author: Alwyn Ash

'I am not an "organisation" with tough shoulders who can shrug off abuse.'

This isn't exactly how I had planned this article for Cestrian Dreams, but the rudeness and downright disregard for my personal feelings caused me pain. And it was all because of my phrase of words - "You are never alone"

Invited by a friend of mine to take a look at this very website [original Cestrian Dreams website now closed], a Twitter user (username withheld) had decided to take it upon herself to not mince words and say something that deeply hurt - hurt so much that I self-harmed that day just to cope with the pain within. I am a very sensitive person and took her directness personally. I had not invited her to communicate using foul language and therefore did not deserve her reaction in any way. I was pained, and still am having difficulty getting over her sharpness and lack of consideration.

You might be thinking, "well, if you can't cope - why do it?", but seriously, Cestrian Dreams means so much to me on a personal level, an opportunity to share my experiences and try to help others, if I can. I am not an "organisation" with tough shoulders who can shrug off abuse.

For someone who supports mental health awareness, her behavior was unacceptable and cruel. In truth, the way that she reacted did so much damage, more than she can ever realise - I had almost cancelled my plans to establish Cestrian Dreams because of that day, that tweet...

This article isn't designed as an invite for her to "have another go", I am merely expressing my feelings in a way that might help me to come to terms with Human behavior. It had never occurred to me that someone who understands depression can be so cold towards a fellow sufferer. Perhaps this young woman has issues - and yes, I will try to find it in my heart to forgive if she does - but how can any of us truly learn to live with depression if it causes us to turn on each other?

I am told that this lady is generally a nice person. Well, perhaps. But she failed to show any Human kindness that day. And I can only judge by how others behave towards me. I had also pointed it out to her that the website was still in a development phase, so there were changes to be made and additions to be placed. Nothing was yet "right" or finalised. In reply, she repeated the same vulgarity. If she had had issue with anything present, a polite message would have been embraced. Or, she could have just kept her opinions to herself instead of causing unnecessary upset.

When saying "You are never alone", I was, in fact, referring to something that I had been told by a friend - that even though we think we are the only ones with depression, and self-harming, there are others out there, facing the exact same battles.

It was a message to myself as much as anyone. Because I do feel alone so often, have trouble facing my demons and have to be reminded - I am not a single entity fighting to stay safe.

I will now focus on the positive, and work tirelessly to support those who need it, welcome it. I am still here, struggling but determined...