I Wish People Would

I wish people would leave Pete Davidson and Ariana Grande alone. That doesn’t mean I don’t want his friends and family to be there for him, or hers to be there for her. I just wish the public would respect their privacy. I wish the media would. On my way home from work, last night, I heard the radio DJ say that Ariana was turned away from SNL, during their set, Saturday night. The DJ said, “Stay tuned to get the dets!” I don’t get it. It’s not healthy to be voyeurs in the private challenges people face, just because they are celebrities. It’s also not helpful to them.

If you claim to be a fan, do your celebrity crushes and icons a favor. Pay attention to their body of work. Their acting, singing, etc. Pay attention to the parts they choose to make public, like charitable work and political/social advocacy. But please, for the love of their health and yours, let their private life be private. If you can imagine your life under a microscope, and you private life all of the sudden being plastered all over the internet, imagine how much harder that would make your life. It’s not healthy, for anyone in our society, least of all the people who are subjected to this social act of mobe mentality barbarism.

By now, everyone knows that Pete Davidson is struggling with depression. My heart breaks for him, and I just keep hoping those close to him can help him get help.  On the off chance he might read this, I would like to make sure he knows the following.

Pete,

You and I both know, that depression is a crippling disease. You also know it’s not your fault. I have fibromyalgia and lupus. I know people who have had breast cancer. It’s not their fault. It’s not my fault. It’s not your fault. You have to keep that in check. Write it down. Put it on your fridge. Say it out loud, any time it’s getting hard, and you are feeling like it is somehow your fault.

Here’s the thing, though. Part of depression, can be suicidal thoughts. The depression tricks your mind into thinking there is no way out. The depression thrives on getting you to believe that. The depression convinces you to isolate yourself. That is how it gets stronger. With no other voices, to drown it out. Once you acknowledge that you have depression, you also have to be on guard for your mind trying to trick you.

When your depression is pushing you in that direction, you aren’t allowed to trust your mind. You just aren’t. You have to have reminders, that tell you not to trust you mind. I know that’s counter-intuitive, but I know, that you know it’s true.

I know it sucks, because when can you trust your mind and when can’t you? How can you know? If your mind is telling you to isolate yourself, that is always the trick. Friends, family, counselors. They are the support we all need. They are what being in this world is all about, even when it’s hard. The “funny” thing about depression, is that it gets weaker, when we talk about it, when we express it, when we reach out for help and tell people that our mind is going in that direction.

Please keep your friends, family, and counselors/therapists close. I see a therapist, and I think of it like any other health measure I take. I go to a chiropractor. I see the dentist twice a year. I check in with a therapist, to discuss the things I might not want to share with other people in my life. Sometimes it’s stuff I don’t mind sharing. Other times, it’s stuff I’m trying to process. Trying to get straight in my mind.

Allow yourself that imperfection. Remind yourself, that you aren’t perfect. Remember that I’m not perfect either (no where close). No one is. Those who seem it, are working to present that. Whenever I look at someone who seems to have their life incredibly together, I try to keep in mind how much of their life I know.  For example, Michelle Obama. She’s pretty close to perfection, right? I mean, come on. But here’s the thing. I probably don’t know 1% of her life. That doesn’t mean it’s all a veneer. She’s got brilliance, grace, and so much more. But that doesn’t make her perfect, and she shouldn’t have to be. My point is, that I have to keep in mind that I know very little about her life, and I only know what she chose to share. That’s how it should be, but that means I can’t really just assume she’s perfect.

Apply that to any person in the world. No one is perfect, and anyone who looks perfect to us, we probably only see a small amount of. We see as slice of who they are. That’s ok, but that means we can’t just judge that they are better able to make sense of this world, than we are. Everyone has their own struggles. We shouldn’t judge theirs and honestly, people aren’t really judging ours.  Yes, I know. Trolls online, the media, fans in the streets. I can’t imagine what it’s like to live in a celebrity bubble. But I can convey what my mom taught me.

She’s a nurse, and for a few years, she was volunteering at a crisis hotline. She said she sometimes talked to people who were clearly paranoid schizophrenic. They were sure people were judging them, and constantly watching them. She would say, “what do you spend most of your time worrying about?” The person would answer, that they can’t stop thinking about what other people are thinking of them. My mom would respond that honestly, that is what most people were thinking. The person would respond either with “What???” or “I told you so!” My mom would clarify. Most people are just like you. They mostly worry about what everyone else is thinking about them. She would put that to them, and ask, “Do you think other people spend time worrying what people are thinking of them?” The person would respond with some variation of “I guess”.

And that’s when she had the argument. People may comment online and discuss the lives of celebrities, but that is a distraction from their own lives. Most people spend most of their time, worry about what other people are thinking about them. They aren’t judging us, as much as judging themselves. When we start obsessing about what others think of us, it does us no good. As my mom told me, it’s none of your business what anyone else thinks of you. Why? Because it has more to do with what they are worrying about, in regards to themselves, than it does have anything to do with you. Your reflection on their life, is just a mirror for them to try on different parts of themselves. We all do the same thing. It’s an unhealthy trap, and a waste of our energy.

Anyway, keep your friends, family and counselors close. Keep the media and troll far away. Only let in what is healthy and helpful to your life. What will build you up. The rest is not meant for you.

Much love,

Courtney

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