I should have told her. I keep thinking about it. On Wednesday night, as I lay my mat on the floor, I immediately notice her small frame on the mat behind mine. Working hard on some ab exercises before class, she was fully focused. The more she pushed, the more I was afraid she died. Through the whole practice, I was praying that her heart would be able to keep up with the fast pace of the vinyasa flow and not simply stop in the middle of it, because anorexia is a life threatening disease. It kills people. Through Warrior 1, Warrior 2, Utkatasana, I thought about how I could tell her.
At the end of class, I followed the tiny girl out of the studio. I came so close, so close to ask her if she was okay, if she needed help. To tell her that I know how it feels to not be okay.
But I didn’t. I didn’t want to make her feel uncomfortable, her to tell me to mind my own business. And now I regret it.
This Monday, tomorrow, it will be Blue Monday. Blue Monday is a name given to a day in January (typically the third Monday of the month) reported to be the most depressing day of the year for countries in the Northern Hemisphere. Except it isn’t. Blue Monday is the creation of some PR department of a drinks company.
Some criticize it since it would in a way promote the trivialisation of depression. I agree. Depression is a mental disease. It’s much more complex than having the blues for a few days when you get back from the holidays, and we have to be careful about the messages out there who too often confuse this low January energy with depression.
However, if it can help get the message out there that you don’t have to suffer, that you are not alone, I am a hundred percent with you. Using the excuse that Blue Monday was coming up, many of my friends, including myself, shared on social media the following message.
“My door is always open, kettle is always on and my sofa is always warm and a place of peace and non judgement. Any of my friends who need to chat are welcome anytime. No need to suffer in silence. I have home-made beer in the fridge, tea & coffee in the cupboard and I will always be here. You are always welcome.
Blue Monday is a name given to a day in January (typically the third Monday of the month) reported to be the most depressing day of the year and January the worst mon…th for suicides. Let’s make a difference. It’s always good to talk but even better to listen.
I’m not one to copy and post but this hits close. I’ll always lend an ear and a shoulder.
Could one friend (at least!) please copy and repost (not share)? I’m trying to demonstrate that someone is always listening ”
The summer I met ED, everything went really fast. In as little as two months, I realized I wasn’t in control anymore. I was caught up in the eating disorder trap, and it was too late for me to get out of it by myself. I was completely lost, and started to lose hope of feeling any better sooner or later. Most of all, even if I was at the time surrounded by lots of friends, which I was seeing on an almost daily basis, I felt very much alone.
I will always remember that sunny afternoon where my dad came to me in the kitchen and simply asked : “Are you okay?” Through those three simple words, he conveyed all the love, the concern and the kindness of a dad who sees his daughter melting away.
Of course I wasn’t okay. Letting know my dad was the first step towards getting help. At the time, getting help was more about letting my parents do the work and follow them. I still had to make the decision to get back some of the power I had surrender to the eating disorder and pass it over to my parents and my doctors until I was able to take care of myself again.
I believe the worst thing with mental health issues is that they leave the person suffering from them feeling alone, and the entourage feeling helpless. Words can break that invisible barrier. Even at my lowest point, when some dark thoughts crossed my mind, I had the chance to never feel alone. There was always someone to talk to.
You can be that person who makes the difference in someone’s life. If you are worried, let the person know. If you are suffering, offer someone the chance to be there for you. There is no point in suffering alone. We are here for each other.