Beating The Odds Blog - Labels

When it comes down to it, there are two labels in life. Right and wrong. Pretty much everything in life that is labelled, falls underneath the two. Who actually tells us what is right and what is wrong though?

Is it our friends, our family, teachers, the government, social media, the media or your favourite TV show? The environment we surround ourselves in account for a lot but how much can we actually trust them?

Teachers teach within a system that hasn’t changed over the last 40 years, whereas the world around us has change drastically… yet it is a legal requirement for us to go to school, what did you learn at school that you actually use today in this present day? Probably nothing, yet we stay in that system for a minimum of 12/13 years, a system that indoctrinates our minds with what? You don’t really learn anything in school, it’s actually a memory test that divides you amongst your peers and teachers treat you differently based on how much you retain… yet society says this is right. Actually the most useful subject was business studies, it gives you the foundations to emancipate yourself from a system.

We’re in a system that jails a drug dealer longer than a paedophile. I’ll leave it at that. It is also perfectly legal in the UK for men to be paid more than women. The law dictates the way society should live, so that must be right too, surely?

Of course not… So why do we believe the labels that are placed on people? If somebody is known as a slag, or a hoe does that make them a bad person? The word association would have you thinking so. Mental health is the same thing, it has a negative association amongst society.

If you’re reading this and you DON’T have a mental illness. If you have a negative association with mental illnesses, the next time you speak to someone who has one, please don’t let that change your opinion negatively on who you think they are. In fact, ask them about it WITHOUT pity, because I can assure you, we don’t want your pity. We want people to talk to us collectively like you do with everyone else.

It happens every time I’m at a social gathering or I see people who I’m not really close with. I am so grateful they watch and listen to my stuff, but it’s the pitiful look in their eyes towards me that I cannot deal with. It make me regress into myself and not want to speak, it actually makes me very anxious because I know they feel bad for me. I probably don’t own it enough in all fairness (maybe because of the labels), but it’s how I feel and I doubt that I’m on my own.

When it comes down to it, there are two labels in life. Right and wrong. Pretty much everything in life that is labelled, falls underneath the two. Who actually tells us what is right and what is wrong though?

Work is definitely a good example, I NEVER tell an employer straight away about my anxiety or the fact I’ve had depression. That label instantly means ‘HR risk’ and judgement in my opinion and experience. I don’t want to be the person that they say “Considering she suffers from anxiety and depression, she’s good”, I want people to say “She’s good at her job and she suffers from anxiety and depression”, see the difference.

The way I do it isn’t going to be for everyone, however opening up about it work has bitten me before. That culture really does have to change, there are discrimination laws that include mental health, but let’s face it the realities and the likelihood is, if you work in sales like I do and you tell a prospective employer about a mental illness… it’s pretty likely that you are not getting that job. I would really love for that culture to change and mental health become its own on the school curriculum, recent approval has been given to implement it into humanities/PSHE classes, but I still don’t think that is enough.

Anxiety only really affects me with work when I don’t know what I’m doing – fear of looking stupid. I’ve learned to ask questions and admit fault when I mess up, which isn’t always easy but it is necessary to learn and to not feel scared in the future. Which means less anxiety. I also perform very well under pressure at work, it keeps my very busy and I have absolutely 0 time to think about my problems. I’m very much a person, with issues the same as everybody else, who wants to be treated and addressed the same as everyone else without a mental illness. I’ve avoided the term normal because I can’t seem to meet one person who can define what normal actually is.


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