Someone recently invalidated my feelings and it really hurt. I’ve been feeling like rubbish ever since because it was someone close to me. I just feel like I can’t talk to them about anything I might feel in the future. I’m depressed and I’ve been depressed for a long time. So, to get my feelings completely disregarded, by someone who knows my mental health and knows me very well, isn’t nice. Ever since they did it, I’ve been down more than usual. I feel like we would argue if I brought it up with them so I’m just going to have to keep my feelings to myself around them, I guess? Even though they’re someone I shouldn’t have trouble expressing myself to. I’m in a really low place right now and it hurts. It hurts that I can’t talk to them. It hurts that they’re such an important person in my life. It just hurts.
This post is a combined post about mental health day (yesterday) and girl’s day (today). It’s talking about my all-time favourite poet: Sylvia Plath.
She was born in 1932 and died thirty years later in 1963. Why did she die at the age of thirty? Suicide. She had attempted suicide many times, but they failed. Eventually, she succeeded by carbon monoxide poisoning.
As she wrote in some of her many letters, she felt that she wouldn’t get a place at the top universities because of her suicidal background. She did eventually get a place at Cambridge, where she met her future husband, Ted Hughes, who was once the poet laureate.
She talked, in her letters, that girls being suicidal wasn’t taken seriously back then, and that it would even affect their chances in education and work. Her doctor cared deeply about her mental health, however, and had tried to get her admitted to hospital several times, but they would not take her. The system failed her because they didn’t care enough about her mental health. She was also subjected to electroconvulsive therapy when she was depressed, which is a really awful way to treat someone.
In one letter, she mentioned that two days before a miscarriage, her husband had beat her. Many blame Ted Hughes for her death, and some even vandalised her grave, getting rid of the surname ‘Hughes’ and replacing it with ‘Plath’. Her son also committed suicide in 2009.
Nowadays, mental health is taken more seriously, but a lot of girls are still subjected to judgement: “it’s just hormones”, “it will pass”, “you’re not depressed, just sad”, “you don’t seem it”, “this is a phase”. Sylvia Plath was failed, but she did so many beautiful poems that will always honour her memory; don’t let anyone else be failed. Just because they’re young, doesn’t mean it’s a phase, or hormones, or anything else. Even if it is, just take them seriously. Wiping them away like rain on your windscreen will cause them to isolate themselves and, eventually, they might have a similar fate to that of Sylvia. I love her writing so much but a lot of it is sad. She literally wrote about her emotions and she still didn’t get the care she needed.
This post was about girls, as it is girl’s day, but that doesn’t mean you should forget boys. They are taught to be strong pillars, but allow them to fall down. If you don’t, they might have the same fate as Sylvia Plath’s son, Nicholas.
I’ve been struggling with the stress of a-levels for a long time now and then I realised: my mental health should come first. Having suffered with depression and anxiety for a long time, I was back into a cycle I couldn’t get out of when I started my second year. The constant change of creative writing teacher certainly didn’t help. Now, I might only be doing one a-level soon. I know, I know, only one!? It’s because I’ve been having a lot of anxiety attacks recently and we’ve been talking to the college about the stress.
You guys have to remember that, although good grades would be nice, you shouldn’t let them be harmful to your mental health.You matter and you will get through this. I believe in you! However stressful a-levels are, they will be done one day. Just remember that. Especially if you have had mental health problems in the past, I would speak to people about what the best course of action is for you. They can help you by breaking the work down or referring you to counselling or whatever you need. Just reach out if it’s all getting too much. People do care.