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  • Writer's pictureTori Sipe

Let's Talk Mental Health

There are a lot of things going on in the world right now. It’s kind of the understatement of the century. I’ve been very proud of my friends who have been marching, fighting for justice, donating, and trying to navigate their own mental health during this new state of the world. I stand with them and fight for equality and to put an end to systemic racism. Black Lives Matter. I’m more vocal on this topic on some of my other social media platforms, and have been a little silent on here. My goal with Let’s Talk Pop is to talk about pop culture, comedy, and create interesting content for everyone to enjoy. I decided to take a small break, but I do want to talk about a topic that I know many can relate to right now. Mental Health.

The quarantine has affected people in a multitude of ways. A large portion of the US, along with the rest of the world became unemployed. For the lucky few such as myself to be able to benefit from unemployment, it was great. I felt like I was as productive as I could have possibly been, but I still feel like I could’ve done more with my time. I was out of work for 115 days. Almost 4 months. I did a lot of things with my time. I’ve been studying French every day so hopefully I can be fluent, or at least understand how to order wine in Bordeaux, if they ever let us over there again. Est-ce que nous pouvons boire du vin? I created this website, and have started to really concentrate on my brand and networking. I worked on my first novel, which hopefully I will be done with by the end of summer. I took care of my dog, Dale, in his final months of life. This took up a lot of my time. It was around the clock care. He would wake up multiple times in the night. Neither my husband and I slept through the night for maybe the last year to six months of his life. Then we mourned. I am so grateful to have been able to spend so much time with him at the end, and to be able to have enough time to mourn. I was a mess for a few weeks. Still something will trigger me, or I will go to bed and wonder where he is, then I remember.

Social media has engulfed our lives even more so than normal since February. Remember when people were only talking about Tiger King? It seems like it was five years ago honestly. The hate that is spewed in comments sections, videos, arguments with people that just want to get your blood boiling, for those of us that suffer from anxiety, depression, just normal human decency and empathy for others, it has weighed a giant sized toll on us. I’ve tried my hardest to be optimistic, and not let others affect my feelings. Around early March I got into it with an old co-worker on Facebook, and because of the bullying and hate this person spewed at me I took a social media break. They blocked me on all accounts before I had the chance too. I’m not a saint or anything, and I definitely poked the bear. The way the US downplayed COVID in the beginning definitely affected my decision making. Hell, I was still semi-confident my husband and I were going to be able to travel to London for our long awaited honeymoon we had planned for late April. I was naive and definitely underestimated everything at first, but quickly realized the severity of the situation. This person called me out, in an aggressive way, when I was more joking about the situation at the beginning, and I understand why. But it was way over the top.

I commented on a mutual friend’s post about still working at the beginning and how dangerous it was, and we had a civil back and forth about not working versus working. This was before stimulus checks, and extra unemployment money, so the idea of not making any income was terrifying. This person, again, commented on how wrong I was, saying I was insulting the third party’s intelligence, and going way over the top. I ignored them, and myself and the third party, again had a good back and forth expressing our concerns. I felt like I was in 7th grade again, getting bullied by the mean girls. I took a break, and came back.

I’ve deleted, unfollowed, done everything I can to block the toxicity from my life, but every time I look at my phone I can’t escape it. I’ve gotten into arguments with people in a Jack Russell Terrier Facebook group. I have anxiety and depression and for awhile I would lie awake at night because I would just think about every little thing and it would consume my energy and my soul. I’ve tried very hard to make sure my mental health is in check with everything going on in this world. Don’t even get me started on body positivity right now. When people talk about their home workout routines and what they’ve kept up with I feel like an absolute, utter failure. Then, being extremely self conscious about my body, I was sexually harassed in a grocery store in June, commenting on how big I was. I’m up to a size 10 again. You be the judge of that one. That day was particularly difficult.

If you’re suffering from depression, anxiety, or just fed the fuck up in general, I hear you. I’m with you. I go through the same struggle on a daily basis. Sometimes the voices are louder than others. Sometimes I feel like a failure, other times I feel accomplished. Sometimes I feel worthless, other times I feel like the best version of myself. The key, I’ve found, is to support yourself with good, solid people in your life. Don’t be afraid to talk about your feelings. Don’t keep the stigma that you’re the only one feeling this way, and keep everything bottled up inside. Something I’ve never been shy about is expressing how I feel. I’ve made people uncomfortable with the things I’ve said. Right now, I think that’s important. To make others uncomfortable. Whether it’s about mental health, or wearing a mask, or black lives matter. To make people understand and let them know you need help. Don’t ever be afraid to speak up. I’ve included a link to a website with at least 60 Mental Health Resources, or please e-mail me. Let’s Talk. It doesn’t have to be about Pop.

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