Probably one of the truest statements I have ever heard. I’ve searched for the author of those words, but opinions vary as to who’s they are. As soon as I saw the quote, it made me think back to when I was in a group therapy session last year. I sat in the hall waiting for the expected 50 or so other people to arrive. I always like to people watch and wonder what their story is. There were a whole array of different characters coming in. Some looked as anxious as me while others looked like the most confident together people I had ever encountered. The confident ones where wearing suits/ smart dresses and I assumed them to hold important powerful jobs. How could they be anxious or suffer any mental illness? The rest of us were wearing smart/casual attire, I thought here we go, we are clearly the most messed up ones. I was so wrong.
Once we got started it all became more apparent. We were asked simply to state our names. I had no problem with this, maybe it was down to the betablocker I had taken just before going in. I noticed the smarter dressed people were the ones that were the most nervous doing this simple task. I came to the conclusion that the clothes acted as armour, it made them less approachable as I assumed them to be in a position of power, above my pay grade if you like, and therefore they could hide their anxiety by not having to speak……until they did.
I was in a very similar situation when I had to collect my key from the local police station recently. When I overdosed, they had to break the door of my flat down. They patched the door up and secured it with a padlock. I got to the police station and asked for the key, I had to explain that my door had been forced, hence the key. When I told him I was embarrassed, very embarrassed. He didn’t bat an eyelid and said ” it happens mate, I’ve done it twice myself. One of the other lads has done it three times”. How could they, they are in a position of power, I go to them for help, they must be stronger than me.
I’ve said before about Chester Bennington. To me he had everything, a beautiful family, fame, adoring fans, success. He always appeared so happy and confident. Imagine singing in front of thousands of people, surely you have to be “together” to do that? Again a facade. You really never can tell. I’ve said it before his last album sounded to me like his suicide note.
I’ve found in my personal life it’s the most confident outgoing people that suffer silently the most. To those that know me personally, I’m always laughing and joking, it’s my armour, my defence mechanism. You really never can judge a book by it’s cover. And matter what, literally everyone you meet will be fighting a battle you know nothing about.