©2017 BY JANELLE BRIDGE

Fakery is Fucking with Our Mental Health

Updated: 3 days ago

Last Thursday, the 12th of September was R U OK Day, I've been writing this post since that day. After seeing lots of beautiful posts, creating awareness and asking others if they are ok, I thought it was the right time to weigh in with my own opinion on our mental health crisis.


In my opinion, the projection of perfection is greatly contributing to our decline in mental health. We are constantly connected to our phones, and therefore constantly connected to social media. Social media when used correctly, can be brilliant for connecting us socially, and reinforcing positive messages, keeping long distance friends in touch even building businesses.


The problem lies in the fact that most people do not show their true authentic selves on social media, both emotionally and physically. I've connected with people on social media, and then not recognised them in the street as they look so bloody different to their pictures. I've witnessed couples have the biggest, most heart wrenching argument, then post on social media 10 minutes later wishing their partner that they just told me that they cannot stand anymore, "Happy Anniversary to the most wonderful person I know who makes every day so much brighter" etc and I just want to comment "BULLSHIT!"


Everywhere online you'll see so many perfect homes, perfect couples, perfect selfies that have been face-tuned to the shithouse. Keep scrolling instagram and see the perfectly clean and styled homes, whilst you look around your own lounge room, notice a couple of cobwebs hanging in the corner, kids shoes thrown on the floor, some random dog hairs, and skirting boards that need a good scrub. (Maybe thats just my house! But you know what I mean) You start thinking, how the fuck does this mum of 5 live in this pristine home? What the fuck am I doing wrong?


But is that pristine home her real life or did she do a quick clean to take a photo in that corner? Maybe she is a brilliant home maker, but that doesn't mean she is better than you. Maybe she never cooks and that's why her kitchen is so clean. Maybe she is just a bloody brilliant goddess. Point being, you've got no idea what else goes on in her home.


You can share as many R U OK posts and suicide helpline numbers as you want, but if you're not showing your own vulnerabilities and imperfections, I guarantee that people will not feel comfortable confiding in you when they feel like a failure.


A friend recently told me that below quote reminds her of me, and at first I thought "Oh god, I'm so awkward, I really am such an over-sharer." I was embarrassed, and then I realised; Fuck it! Thats who I am.

By telling it like it really is, and awkwardly sharing too much information, being completely real and very much imperfect allows others to feel like they can do the same.




If you shared something on R U Ok day, stop and think about the image you portray on your own social media.

Do you share the "real" or only the perfect? Are you honest about your life and your relationships or are you trying to portray the idea that everything is perfect?


For the longest time, I kept anything that I was going through in my life, my mind or my relationship in a secret vault. I didn't want to tell anyone, and have them think any less of me. I couldn't tell anyone about the argument I just had with my husband as they might judge him. My standard answer to "How are you feeling?" Has always been "yeah good" even when I dislocated and snapped my pinky finger diagonally across the bone. The doctor? "How are you feeling" "Yeah good"

Childbirth - having the most painful experience of my life... "How are you" "Im good" Not "I literally think I might actually be dying."


It wasn't until a night out with my girlfriends many years ago that I was hit with the reality of what we create when we hide the things we are going through. After a few espresso martini's the D & M's started flowing, l told the girls that things were not great between my husband. We were new parents of two young kids and we were finding our feet, it was normal but it was hard and he was not coping and I was sick of holding it all in.

This led to one of my girlfriends sharing something really huge that she had been going through with her partner. I was so sad that we had no idea that she had been battling this alone. She then said " Oh my gosh! I thought you and Dan had the perfect relationship, so I was embarrassed to tell you what was going on with us" It was the real reality check for me that holding things in didn't help anyone.


Moving forward a couple of years, and I have dealt with some pretty heavy shit, and if I hadn't learnt to share that load with others, I would have crumbled. I created a home team around me who knew what was going on and who I knew I could call and say "i just cant do this anymore" I could vent without judgement and they listened and I FELT better. As humans we crave connection and people we can relate to.


I pride myself on being tough, but sometimes being tough means noticing when you need help and reaching out for it. You need to reach out so people can reach in... and when you reach out, you encourage people to reach out to you when they need someone.


You can share as many statuses as you want, but if you don't share your own vulnerabilities then people will not feel comfortable enough to share their own with you.


Dropping the facade is the only way forward. Life is fucking hard, and we need to all be in this together.


http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20180209-how-social-media-changed-my-depression-for-better-and-worse

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