Wednesday, 26 September 2018

We Need To Talk.

As you may know if you have been reading my blog for a while now, one of my main passions in life is raising awareness for those that are affected, whether directly or indirectly, by mental health. 
I have 2 sections on my blog that are dedicated towards it (which you can find here and here) and it's something that I'm very mindful about, because it's had an impact on my personal life and it's an area of work that I'd like to go into at some point in the future.

I'm writing today's post in light of Mac Miller's death. The 26-year-old American rapper, singer and musician, who died on the 7th September, following a suspected overdose in his Californian home. In recent years, deaths by addiction have become much more common through celebrities like Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse, Whitney Houston, Prince, Avicii and now Mac.

A lot of people like to shut themselves out of this conversation, because they think that if it doesn't affect them, it doesn't matter. They assume that people who dabble in drugs are senseless and just do it for the sake of looking cool.

I'll admit, I'm sure a lot of teenagers have been in that situation, so that they have something to brag about to their friends and their followers on social media, but the focus shouldn't necessarily be on them. It should be on those who are genuinely struggling and losing their lives to these agonising addictions. 

Growing up with an alcoholic father, who also had an alcoholic father himself, I do think I'm experienced enough to talk about this topic, because I know what it feels like and I know what it can do to a family. 
When I was going through the part of my life where I didn't have any contact with my father or his side of the family, I just viewed him as a selfish, irresponsible excuse of a man. 
However, although I still haven't healed from that trauma, as I have grown older and gone through life my own way, I've gradually begun to understand that there was underlying issues behind this habit and he probably didn't have any other coping mechanisms.
I have grown up without him, and will continue to do so, because as sad as it is to admit, he isn't able to bring anything to my life that I don't already have.

The people who live each day with their addiction aren't weak. They aren't selfish, they aren't devils, they aren't out to intentionally cause harm. In most cases, for one reason or another, they got themselves caught up in using and abusing harmful substances, because they felt they didn't have any other option. They could be your average Joe on the street or they could be a world famous celebrity. Addictions are just like any other mental illness - and they do not discriminate.

As a nation especially, I do think that we're becoming more open when it comes to talking about mental health issues like depression, anxiety, self-harm and even suicide to an extent, but I never really hear much conversation about substance misuse until someone's died due to it and I honestly think that's so wrong and upsetting.

People, especially the older generations, or those who feel they are more self-entitled tend to assume that the youth are loose cannons and that they do these things to try and fit in with the crowd. Whilst this can be the case, jumping to conclusions is never healthy, because you could be silencing someone that's genuinely struggling and teaching them to keep quiet about their personal battles that they need and deserve to be getting help for.

Both boys and girls and men and women are equal in every aspect of life. Girls and women are more likely to open up, because we are biologically and factually more hormonal and expressive about our emotions, but then as soon as a boy or a man attempts to speak out, they are laughed at, ridiculed and reminded that 'men can't cry'. 
This toxic idea is so damaging to the half of the population, who are expected to have their shit together at all times and to bite their lip on any occasion where they feel the desire to show their true feelings. 

I don't want to just focus on those men who are in the limelight, but I want to make a stand for those boys and men, who are ordinary individuals too. Whether they have spent half their life being known for their talent, or whether they were just another student, brother, cousin, son, friend or neighbour to the wider world. Every single self-harmer or suicide attempt matters to me - and it always will.

Nobody should be held accountable for someone else's issues though. Ariana Grande shouldn't be faced with the blame and the guilt of Mac Miller's death, just because one of the reasons they ended their relationship was because of the demons he had to face on a daily basis that put strain on the both of them. It wasn't her fault that she couldn't save him and it wasn't her responsibility. I've learnt that no matter how much you love someone, they have to want to change for themselves, but sometimes, they may just not have the strength to do so. She did her best to support him and I know for a fact that he would have had endless appreciation for her due to that. 

Having said that, Mac Miller shouldn't be remembered as 'Ariana Grande's ex'. He was still his own person with his own successes, and he literally left the world in one of the worst ways imaginable. 

From now on, please do think before you speak, whoever you are. People are hurting and people are dying and if all you can do is sit behind a screen and laugh about that, claiming that 'people know what they are doing from the moment they choose to experiment with a drug', then you really are the lowest of the low. 
I sincerely hope that you find the strength and the courage to allow your heart to heal, whether you have been affected by someone with a form of addiction like myself, or whether you are the one with an addiction. 
I send love and light to all of you who have taken their time to read this post.

Addiction is a disease, which has affected not only my life, but my father and grandfather's lives and even some people I once loved with the entirety of my being that I went to school with. 

Please, if you want or need someone, reach out to me. I will do everything within my power to support you as best as I can - and that's a promise.


Here are some resources should they be of use to you:

My email - simplyjadeyadvice@gmail.com
My Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat - @simplyjadeyx

Lots of love always,

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