I’ve been spending a lot of time recently thinking about ‘Me’. Now, that might sound extremely narcissistic and egotistical but I’ve been thinking about who ‘I’ am. Who is Danny Potter? And to be honest, i’m struggling.
Actually if I’m being brutally honest, I’m extremely disappointed with myself.
I’m not necessarily disappointed with the person I’ve become. In fact I consider myself to be a nice guy with morals, a sense of decency and above average intelligence. But I have gradually grown to become disappointed with my lack of a sense of self-worth. And I think over the years this has been my downfall. I’ve spent far too little time taking care of myself, body, mind and spirit. I have neglected my metal health; not paying enough attention to my anxiety, my social anxiety, which at times can be absolutely crippling. I’ve never really spoken about it, and have instead always worn a smile to cover up how I’m feeling. And unfortunately, I’ve become far too good at hiding it.
It’s very difficult for a big, 6ft 8″ guy to talk about something like this, to anyone, including family; this blog post is hard enough, let me tell you! As an English male it’s a kind of unwritten rule that feelings aren’t exactly something that you should constantly talk about; especially those which have typically been a sign of weakness, like anxiety, or any other form of mental illness.
Here’s a little list:
“It’s not that bad”
“You don’t have anxiety, you’re always smiling”
“Just get out of the house, you’ll feel much better.”
“Make some friends”
These are THE worst things to say to someone who suffers from anxiety. And I get every single one of them thrown my way all too often.
The thing is, i’m getting to a position where none of these things seem to bother me anymore. I don’t feel bad when I want to spend time alone because regardless of what people what might think, it doesn’t mean i’m lonely. I don’t feel like i’m spiralling in to depression whenever I don’t feel like smiling or laughing because no matter what people say, you don’t have to be cheerful all the time. It might seem like a bit of a cliché but it’s very true that sometimes it’s okay not to be okay. It’s ok to sit alone, in your bedroom, mobile turned to silent or airplane mode and just ignore absolutely everyone. It’s ok to feel shit sometimes because you don’t-for once-feel like smiling just for the sake of smiling. I know they say that your mood or your attitude affects the people around you and that can be true, but surely the most important thing is to make sure that if you do suffer from a mental illness that you look after yourself first. Surely if the people around know that you suffer from anxiety or anything else like it then they will understand and stand by you and if they don’t then you know what to do. Cut ‘em out.
At the start of this year I made the decision to 100% delete my Facebook account. Not deactivate it so I can come back whenever I want but delete it, fully. Facebook is the absolute worst form of social media. It is vile. It is damaging to society and although I loved everyone I had on Facebook, the truth is I fucking hated them all when they were on Facebook. Everyone changes, everyone becomes a different person on Facebook, they talk differently, they become bitchy and foul-mouthed and they judge EVERYONE for EVERYTHING. I stick to Instagram and Twitter (mostly Instagram) and although they can be awful at times and a lot of the time you’re seeing only the best of someones life, their showreel if you you like, it feels more real than Facebook. Weird. I follow celebrities and the usual types on Instagram but when it comes to people I know I only ever have the people I absolutely want on there, people I feel absolutely comfortable around. It was different on Facebook, where you feel obligated to have old ‘friends’ and family members you only see at funerals.
Heres my advice:
Cut anyone and everyone out of your life who makes you feel small, hurt, humiliated, stupid, worthless etc. Do it swiftly and violently and without remorse.
It may seem harsh but it works. I didn’t feel bad when i deleted Facebook, I felt relief. I have in my life and on my social media only those who I absolutely want to be there and that’s that. Simple.
If you’ve managed to get this far and you’re a friend or a family member that I have on Instagram just know I appreciate you. All of you. Even if we don’t know each other that well or if we don’t see each other as much as we ought to. Just know that if you EVER need someone to talk to, about ANYTHING i’m here for you. Whenever. If you feel like you can’t talk to anyone else, know that you can come to me for anything. Whether that’s advice, a shoulder to cry on or simply just someone who’ll sit and listen. I’m here. I love ya.
Anyway until next time…