Thursday, 3 October 2019

Check on your bubbly friends, they wear the cleverest masks | Editor’s Letter

For as far back as I can remember, to sitting on a play mat in reception I have been the happy go lucky bubbly friend. The class clown, the one who shares dark jokes at inappropriate times, the one who will always be there to lift you up in your darkest hour.

We all have that friend who never seems anything but happy. But as Robin Williams once said, “I think the saddest people always try their hardest to make people happy because they know what it’s like to feel absolutely worthless and they don’t want anyone else to feel like that”. 

I was someone who had never been depressed and naively thought I was too ‘strong’ and ‘thick-skinned’ to fall victim to something so ‘preposterous’. You see, I was that arsehole who would role my eyes and think, ‘just get over it’. I suppose Karma came calling for me.

The beginning of coming to terms with what was going on inside my head filled me with a weird ache in my heart. The mask I wore to keep my pride meant that no one knew that inside, I was crying out for help but no one ever asked if I was okay. Why would they? To those around me, I was busy being an grade-A clown. 

But it took its toll and left me feeling so alone. I didn’t want to bother anyone with my issues as I kept telling myself I’d be okay and my problems were minor compared to others. 

I became an unbearable over emotional potato. I stopped wearing makeup, keeping up my manicures and brushing my hair. I’d shove my hair up and not brush it for a week because I very oddly found comfort in it for I was slowly taking my mask off and hoping someone would ask if I was okay. 

It’s an extremely odd thing, depression. It takes everything from you but is also (and it’s important to remember) very different for every single person. For me, I stopped loving the small things in life, then my hobbies and then I’d cry in the toilets if someone made a joke about my hair or bare face even though I could just brush the damn thing or slap on some makeup. I thought that was the worst of it but I was so wrong.

Finally, I accepted it after confiding in a close friend over a drink. She told me to put myself first and sort my head out, so I did and here I am, with a face mask in my hair as I write this. 

I told my family and closet friends, I couldn’t talk to anyone in detail still as I just couldn’t communicate and didn’t want to worry anyone with what was running through my mind. My GP signed me off work for two weeks and I spoke to a professional. Now I feel weirdly free to let my emotions be and to ask for help when I need it. 

The reason I’m returning to VavaViolet (my upmost favourite hobby) with this post is for two reasons. One, stop pretending if you are. Take your mask off, break down and let it out, seek help and take the first step to enjoy life again. I’m not completely over it yet and can be a sensitive little soul at times but I know I will be okay, whereas before, truthfully I started to see no hope. 

Two, check on your happy bubbly friend. If they’re acting different, just ask them. No one will ever be mad at you for just asking the question because I promise you, it will shine a light in their world.

While I won't personally be sharing any more than this and will very unlikely ever address it again as it's just not something I feel comfortable talking about. I would like to bring someone on board VavaViolet who can write helpful articles for our readers. If you are interested in writing mental health content please drop me an email or a DM on Twitter @ VavaViolett or VavaVioletMag. 

Drop a text, or drop the mask. 

Written by VavaViolet’s Founder and Editor-in-Chief Sophie Blackman. 



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