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✡️ Josh Shahryar ☪️ @JShahryar
, 45 tweets, 10 min read Read on Twitter
TW (Depression and Suicide)
Hi friend. Is the approach of a new year and its uncertainties making you blue? Are suicidal thoughts coming back because another year ending where you struggled mightily? Is the thought of trying to keep going depressing? Then this thread is for you.
(You can mute or unfollow this thread if you're having a great time)

First, know that your pain is valid. I know everyone starts with "You are not alone!" but we all know how irritating that sounds like in times like this since everyone situation is unique as is their pain.
But just because your pain, your suffering and your issues may be different, it does not make them any less valid, or important or worth addressing. Nor does it mean that they don't affect you as seriously as you think or say they do. It all matters because you matter.
Occasions like New Year's Eve and Christmas (or Eid and Diwali) are founded on mutual or group celebration. They are funner the more people participate. But that doesn't mean they should be "sad" or "depressing" if you're not with other people. Less fun? Maybe. But not SAD.
This is important because often with mental illnesses, the sufferer like you and I, is either physically alone, or mentally isolated. So when an event occurs where we feel like either we're not participating or not able to participate, it heightens the alone-ness and isolation.
It becomes a reminder that we are alone - either physically or mentally. The closer the event gets, the more that sense intensifies. Worse, it is accompanied by our worst fears. Not only do we fear we will be alone at a time of collective happiness, but purposefully left out.
It makes us not only feel like we are alone, but that everyone else is actually avoiding us because our presence is either going to ruin their happiness or that we're so insignificant that our participation doesn't matter one way or the other. Making us feel like our lives don't.
Maybe this year isn't a fluke. Maybe next year it will be the same. And the year after that and the year after that one. We will be forever avoided, never matter and be alone in pain.

Which is where the suicide part comes in: "What good is me living like that?
I'm here to tell you that being alone on New Year's Eve DEFINITELY does NOT mean you are being excluded, avoided, or forcibly isolated. More than anything, however, it does NOT mean that you don't matter. Being alone on New Year's Eve is no metric to judge yours or anyone's worth
First of all: You are unique. Incredibly unique. Mind-bogglingly unique. Here's how unique you are according to someone who's done research on this shit.
What are the chances of there being other copies of YOU in the universe? Well, the universe would have to be a googolplex meters across.

A googolplex is 10 to the power of googol. A googol is 10 to the power of 100.

i.e. 10^10^100. Watch this:

You are literally so one of a kind that in order for your uniqueness to be expressed in mathematical terms, you have to watch math nerds on YouTube for TEN WHOLE FUCKING MINUTES! Jesus, I'd call that pretty god damn unique!
"So what if I'm that unique? How does it make me matter?"

It depends on how you define "mattering". What does it mean to matter? You could argue that you do not matter at all. Or at least you matter so little that in the grand scheme of things, your existence can be ignored.
But if you define mattering that way, then no one you know, have known or will ever know... no one ever at all on this planet matters, has mattered or will matter. If mattering means influencing the cosmos - or just our galaxy -, no human has EVER mattered. EVER.
On the other hand, you - yes YOU - are the only thing that matters to 90 trillion other organisms that call your body home. Of the 100 trillion cells that constitute you, you - cells that operate as your body - only make up 10% of it. The rest is bacteria, viruses and lil things
There are tiny little worms critters that live in the holes from which your eyelashes come out, little things that live under your armpit, gut bacteria that live inside you - all warm and cozy -, there are living things at the tip of my fingers as I type this!
How much do you matter to these 90 trillion beings? You are basically to them what earth is to you. Their entire lives depend on you. YOU are in a sense, the only mother, father, home... heck, even GOD that they'll ever not know they had. Without you, 90 trillions lives cease.
But that's taking it to the extremes. There are things in the middle. Matterings closer to our conceptions. Effects that are more tangible. Perhaps the most beautiful and awe-inspiring part of our existence is that we never quite know how much of a difference we make on here.
Every time you smile at someone, every time you shake a hand, every time you say a kind word, a nod, every pebble you move from a sidewalk, every light you turn off because you don't need it, every hug you gave to make someone feel better matters... it really does.
Close your eyes and think of people that have mattered to you. To things that have changed your being. To faces that guided the trajectory of what you call your life history. And you will see faces and hear names that only ever briefly showed up to do ONE thing then were gone.
Then among those names and among those faces, you will see people again and again you will see people who left a mark on you and your existence. People whose faces you barely remember and whose names you never caught. But words that inspired. Actions that altered.
I still remember them. The girl I sat next to on my first flight who taught me to breathe to be less tense. The old man who stopped me at a bus stop and begged me to quit smoking because I was too young. The lady who signed me up for Medi-Cal. You remember, too.
None of them woke up that day thinking, "We are going to matter to someone today. So much that they will remember us for the rest of their life - even if they forget our faces or our names."

And yet, here I am. Decades later, recounting how they mattered and continue to do so.
And something they taught me - and indeed all the people who've mattered in my life have taught me - is that mattering is not something you do. Nor do you really *know* how much you matter. Mattering is something you aspire to and is really gauged by others you don't even know.
Do you think the friend who hugged me when I was crying after my first break up and just listened to me for an hour while I lay on wet grass with my head in his arms KNOWS how much that meant to me? Or how much it helped me heal? Or that I've tried to emulate that ever since? No.
Do you know how many people have done things like that that I've since taken up and tried to follow in the footsteps of? Countless. Do you know how many of them know that I've done that? Probably zero. Does that mean they matter any less? Heck no. Probably more!
"Okay, I get that. But I mean people I love! People close to me! Family! What if I don't matter to them?"

This is something that I've grappled with and so have many many of my friends. The answer is super easy and super complicated. But it starts with YOU.
Before you matter to ANYONE else, you first *must* matter to yourself.

I'll repeat that: YOU must matter to YOU before you matter to anyone else. This is simultaneously the easiest and the hardest part. Easy because it's easy to state. Hard because it's hard to practice.
You must accept that you belong here on this earth just like everyone and everything else. You have just as much right to occupy the space you occupy, the water your drink and the air you breathe as anyone else. And you deserve just as much of a chance as anyone to stay here.
You cannot tackle "mattering" until you tackle "existing". You cannot exist until you love yourself. And for that, you need to accept that you deserve your love. Unconditionally. Whether you are a good person, or you think you are an evil clown, don't reject self-love.
Because the only way we can move forward is if we love ourselves. Even if you are evil incarnate, loving yourself is the only way you can change your ways. But it's especially important if your goal is having people in your life to whom you matter.
This is because if you don't matter to blood family (if you have them), then one of two things is true: Either something's wrong with you OR something's wrong with them. If something's wrong with you, love yourself enough to change your ways to deserve their love.
However, if you are a good human being, with honest intentions and are just stuck with a blood family that continues to under-appreciates you, brings you down and tramples on your selfhood, then love yourself enough to let them go. You heard me. Let. Them. Go.
This is true of anyone in your life. Be it family, friends or partners. If you have mental illnesses, and feel alone on occasions such as tonight, and despite attempting to get reassurance, are being hung out to dry by those you care about, it's time to find new people.
I have way too many friends who suffer from mental illnesses who have families that are plain toxic. Not only do they NOT ask for reassurances from them over holidays, they actively avoid them in favor of chosen families that are there for them without them asking for it.
Again and again, I've formed friendships with people who've said good bye to families who refuse to try and understand them or their pain. Blood ties that exist in name only. Where you only matter if your needs, desires and wishes are completely extinguished under their feet.
Close your windows to the toxic fumes that you are trying to embrace because they are being pumped out by people you were accidentally born amongst. Open your doors to people who are your kin by experience, circumstance and spiritual compatibility.
Stop trying to matter to people who have forever closed their eyes to your inherent beauty, dignity and value. Find the people that you matter to without having to beg them for understanding, care and love. It will take time. And it will take effort. But GOD, is it worth it!
It's true. Some people are lucky enough to be born within families that love, cherish and nurture them despite the fact that we may come with pain, baggage and unsolvable traumas. For those of us that aren't so lucky, however, the end is not giving up. It's finding that family.
Once you find that family, you will realize something remarkable: You can spend New Year's Eve at home, with a tiny pupper, on Twitter, drinking mate and chillin' on Twitter and not once feel lonely, isolated or as if you don't matter.
Because occasions in themselves do not create feelings of sadness, isolation and not mattering. What they do is heighten those feelings if they already exist. And they can only exist if you feel that way OUTSIDE of these occasions as well. That's why change must be wholesome.
Being with people tonight won't change your feeling of isolation, lack of worth and sadness if you feel like you don't have people who love and care about you and who value you for who you are OUTSIDE of tonight. Tonight's feelings are a symptom. They aren't the cause.
I don't know how you are spending tonight. I know you are sad. And I know it sucks to be in that place. I've been there. I know others who've been there. I know some people who are still *KINDA* there. I even know a few people who are exactly there. But I know there's hope.
I pray that the new year brings you everything you hoped for and more.

But most of all, I hope the new year brings you people who care about you enough to remind you on a daily basis that you are wanted, cherished, loved and that you matter. Because you really do. <3 HNY <3
P. S.
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