At the start of this week I had planned to make a lovely post about girls sticking together. After speaking to my girls on Valentine’s Day, I was in a very supportive and loving mood. There really is no better feeling than the encouragement you can gain from people who support you no matter what. So I had the intention of coming here and sharing that love with everyone as a reminder. But all of a sudden it felt too late. After hearing the news about Caroline Flack’s passing on Saturday evening, I’m ashamed to say I didn’t even need to ask what happened. I knew. It’s become all too normal.
When I hear news with relations to mental health, I always consider writing a blog post about it. I consider it for so long I always manage to talk myself out of it too. Publishing my opinion online tends to feel slightly hypocritical in these situations. I’m about to complain about the impact our words can have on others, while spouting my own mouth. For this reason I’m a peaceful protest type of person; with every intention of leading by example. Being the change I wish to see (to paraphrase Ghandi). And when I heard the news about Caroline Flack, I decided it was time to stop taking action towards these issues too late.
Mental health has always been a topic close to my heart. However, I also take care not to accuse other people of being uncaring. Because that’s not a fair thing to say in most cases; I think people do care. They care enough to take the time to say hurtful things to each other. So my question becomes, why do they care enough to take the time to say hurtful things to each other? Because that, from my perspective, is the root of the problem.
As a culture we have developed an unhealthy obsession with perfection, to the point we are destroyed by mistakes, and error is amplified beyond our control. We feel the need to spotlight people who challenge our view of normality. Almost as though we have lost the balance between standing up for ourselves and letting others walk over you. Our arms reach out for justification where they should reach to embrace each other. I am a firm believer that life is all about perspective.
Only hurt people hurt. By no means, am I saying that is a good excuse, but it might be worth us trying to understand the causes a little better. I will happily put my hands up and admit I haven’t followed Caroline Flack’s career and I didn’t follow the trial. The most I gathered was that it sounded an awfully complicated situation. Even so, it seems a lot of people thought they could understand what was happening. I don’t believe we ever truly will.
Although in the ideal world we would all be able to love and forgive one another, I am also a realist, and realise that this is not an easy possibility. I’m aware that it takes practice to look positively and lead with your heart. I’m sorry it has taken yet another death for us to be reminded of it, but nevertheless, let’s start walking hand in hand together.
Oh – and I am also aware that I have spoken about ‘us’ in a very finger pointing, blame gaming matter throughout this post. I am certainly not forgetting the wonderful people who fight for voices in mental health constantly. Namely: Matthew Haig through his writing and on his Instagram feed, and girlonfilm who wrote a lovely article for Caroline earlier this week, here https://restlessmagazine.net/caroline-cancel-culture-and-performative-condolences/
BUT my finger pointing does include the organisations and the journalists who fuel our constant need to interrogate and harass someone for so-called entertainment. I have not forgotten you. I’m merely so angered by it that I don’t think I could write appropriately on it right now.
This article serves mainly to readjust my own perspective; a kind of declaration that I will continue to campaign for mental health sufferers. Perhaps more outspokenly than in the past. I do not forget the wonderful people who fight for voices in mental health, I simply hope that in some way I will join them.