Written by: Natalie
Trigger warning: anxiety, depression, ptsd, abuse, neglect
So, I did an interview a while back in which one of the questions was "have you gotten any negative feedback about the club." My own naivety had me thinking that this was a silly question, because how on earth would someone find something wrong with our club?! Well, someone did. One girl even went as far as to mail her membership card back, which is fine, that's her prerogative. I absolutely get that this club is not for everyone. Realistically there is no way it could be, but I wanted to chat for a bit about who I am and what this club is trying to accomplish.
It was said that the club does not paint a good picture of what strong women look like, what feminism looks like, and even that we are latching onto the new wave of people who see mental illness as something trendy they can throw on with their high waisted jeans and claim to have when they don't.
It sucks that we have come across that way, even to one person. It was never my intention to do such a thing.
I, myself, have struggled with depression and anxiety since the age of seven. I was molested by the man I called dad. My mother and I have a non existent relationship after an extremely rough time when I was a teenager. When I met and married my husband, for the first year or so of our marriage, I was still having nightmares. I would wake up screaming, and husband would have to get up, turn on the lights to show me I was safe, and that no one was in the house. After I had my kids, postpartum depression kicked my ass. I cried every day, all day for 4 weeks. I didn't want to be near my children, I didn't want to be near anyone. Some days were worse than others, and I wouldn't be able to get myself out of bed. I would just lay there and cry. I only just began taking medication this past year to help me manage my depression and anxiety. I'm finally feel like a human being. I still cry, I still feel things, but I also get things done. My life is no longer run by my depression.
Do I want you to wallow?
No. Every now and then, I believe you need to have a good cry, or a mini pity party for yourself in order to just hit the reset button...but wallowing? No, not at all.
Do I want you to give in to your depression?
Absolutely not. If you find yourself at a place in your life where your emotions are no longer manageable for you, then please seek help. You're the only one who can know what's going on inside your beautiful body. You are brave and capable of taking the steps needed to deal and heal, so please do.
Is mental illness a trend?
No, my adorable blue hair was a trend. A trend I loved and actively decided to make a part of my life. My mental illness is not a trend. My mental illness is a part of me that dominated my entire existence for a very long time. My mental illness is something I never would have asked for in a million years. My mental illness is a piece of my life that takes constant work to manage, but I am managing it. Mental illness may seem trendy to people who are not actually suffering, but for those of us who are, it's worse than hell.
I began this club as a small inside joke for myself and other crybabies. I wanted it to be a polite, but sassy "hey, kick rocks" to people who had called me names and looked down on me for being too sensitive. After we started though, everything sort of took off on its own. The Crybaby Club resonates with so many people, and for me it was a breath of fresh air to see how many fellow tender hearts are out there.
We do not advocate for mental illness, we advocate for mental wellness.
We DO want you to know it's ok to feel things, to cry; it is a natural stress reliever and it can sometimes make you feel a thousand times better.
We DO want to support you while you take charge of your mental health; make a promise to yourself that this is the day, the week, the year that you begin to cast out whatever you've been keeping inside. Be kind to yourself, show yourself grace on your bad days, and never be ashamed of who you are or to ask for help.
"You're not a bad person. You're a very good person, who bad things have happened to. Besides, the world isn't split...We've all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That's who we really are."
I may cry, but I can still get things done.
That's what The Crybaby Club is, guys.
That's who I am.