Sorry I smiled, I must be happy or something”

Have you ever met someone and then all of a sudden you start seeing them everywhere? It’s the same with anything that draws your attention. After I bought my first car I began seeing the same type of car every time I was driving, it made me wonder if all of a sudden there was an influx of Yaris’ purchased in St.John’s, or if I had been seeing these cars everyday and just not noticing. Mental illness works the same way.

Lately I’m noticing just how much people use mental illness terminology in everyday life. For instance, I hear people say things like, “I have so much energy today, I must have ADHD”, or “Tim’s stopped carrying blueberry tea, I’m so depressed”, or “I like to keep things neat, I must be OCD or something”, the list goes on.. These people did not have OCD, or depression, they were just trying to get a laugh. But why would you laugh over mental illness? Mental illness is definitely not a joke. I don’t think these people were really thinking about mental illness, I think it is just part of their everyday language. I’ve heard way too many people saying things of this nature, in all sorts of settings, coffee shops, bars, offices, meetings, workshops… It’s concerning really.

Every time I hear these comments, I immediately get offended, even if the comment isn’t directed towards me, or even if it about a mental illness I don’t have. When I get offended, the first thing that pops into my head is, “Am I just being sensitive?” I always wonder if maybe I’m just being weird.. I know they don’t mean to be offensive, they probably don’t even realize they’ve offended me! I feel like such a baby, I shouldn’t be so delicate.

Wait.

No!

I shouldn’t feel bad for being offended.. Making fun of mental illness is not okay. Whether or not they knew they were doing it, is irrelevant. There are some things you just don’t joke about, like cancer, rape, dead parents, dead children.. It’s just bad taste. Mental illness should be see the same way. It’s very real, and very much not funny. I was told to never apologize for my feelings, so I’m done. If you say something that offends me, I’m going to speak up. I have to, for multiple reasons; 1) You’ll probably say it again, 2) I’m upset. I’m not going to let your negativity fester within me, it needs to be changed to happiness and my way of feeling happier is to make my feelings clear.

Besides, isn’t happiness what it’s all about? I’m on my own personal journey to happiness, and if saying “please don’t joke about that” is the next step for me, I’m on board. I’m doing everything I can be more happy, I’m stepping further and further away from the dark. Don’t let someone cloud over your light, blow it away and enjoy the sunshine.

 

 

 

“In the world of love Ethan, not that I’m such a genius at it…”

When it comes to love there are two types of people;

People who want to be needed, and

People who want to be wanted.

I’ll start with a disclaimer; I don’t know much about love, and for a very very long time I didn’t think I was capable of feeling love. Now that the clouds have parted and the sunshine has finally reached the dark corners of my mind, I realize I am worthy of love, and I am definitely capable of feeling it, but that being said, I’m still trying to figure it out. So far I’ve broken love down into two categories.

People who want to be needed. These are betas who think they are alphas. They’re people who have a big ego and little confidence. They want to be needed so they are in control. They want to have the upper-hand. This type of person who doesn’t care about your needs, only their own. With these people comes one-sided conversations, arguments, worry, and stress. I don’t mean to be painting such a negative photo, I’m just grabbing from past experiences, which is probably a bad idea, but you’re supposed to write about what you know, right? Not everyone who wants to be needed are like this however, there is always a rebuttal. For example, mothers. Mothers take care of their little baby from the day they are born, but as the baby grows they need their mother less and less. This causes mothers to want to be needed by their children. Until they are living on their own and still asking for money…..oops. Clearly though, mothers are not normally egotistical and wanting to be dominate over their children, but in relationship love I see people who want to be needed as people to avoid.

On the other side of the coin are people who want to be wanted. I see these people as confident, and self-aware. They set high standards for themselves and don’t settle. These are strong people who are comfortable with who they are. I think these are the people who strive for an equal and reciprocated love. A love that comes with compromises, equality, and friendship. These are the type of people who choose to be with you because they want to, not because they feel like they need to. Similar to the open birdcage metaphor, if you want to get figurative. The bird chooses to stay in the cage, even when it has the opportunity to fly free.

Throughout my 22 years, I’ve been on both sides of the spectrum. I’ve been the person wanting to be needed, and also the person wanting to be wanted. Looking back on things, I think I’ve definitely been in a happier mindset when I’m wanting to be wanted. When I was at my lowest I thought that I wasn’t wanted, so my only option was to be needed. This made it easy to slip into a relationship where I felt like I was needed, and forget about being wanted.

Now I realize that I deserve to be wanted, and that makes all the difference. I’m more confident and more like the person I want to be, not the person I was. I’m not saying I know the secret to a good relationship, and I’m not by any means an unbiased opinion, but I believe that if you are somebody who wants to be wanted, you will attract the same type of person. Now I know they are say opposites attract, but when it comes to love its probably a better idea to make your choice based on your own experiences, rather than the nature of magnets.