I follow a diverse group of people on my social and blog circles: lifestyle bloggers, artists, and just your average Joes. What I have truly observed in this tough week of public loss to so many is the topic often avoided on many lifestyle blogs: suicide. Many are still posting fashionable outfits of the day and quick RIP messaging in their stories, but after 24 hours, it’s old news to them and glanced over by their audience. I am not accusing them of being insensitive, unaffected or diminishing the work of those who have put a platform of assistance out there, I am simply pointing out an observation that is important in our bloggosphere of lifestyle lovers.
As role models for so many, it’s essential to emphasize the need for this conversation. We all fight our own personal battles: the world is a vigilant attack against who we are, telling us what and who we should be or do, telling us we aren’t good enough, and lacking to give us the resources we want to always be happy. We have to recognize that lifestyle blogs make everyone look happy all the time, but we all must know this isn’t true.
Self harm and suicide is something we all need to observe as a reality in our world, something we need to acknowledge as an issue and something we need to have frank conversations about. Many who struggle with mental illness are embarrassed to talk about it in fear that this perfect image may be broken of the perfect life they are attempting to live, but the reality of it is that 1 in 5 adults battle some form of mental illness, whether known or not, and mental illness isn’t the only cause of suicide. From PTSD to eating disorders and simple financial struggles, it’s important to support each other not just in disseminating this perfect image, but in creating a platform to discuss openly these tough topics. Bloggers design communities around common interests, and should engage in community discussion even when it’s not a product push or #OOTD post.
I can only hope that my followers understand, even if we are not known to each other personally, that this is a platform for all – one that welcomes many who want to be healthier and happier in their daily endeavors, which is why I make a point of discussing other topics that approach life, physically, mentally and emotionally. I challenge all bloggers to approach this type of mentality, giving their community the opportunity to reflect and grow on their own terms with support and guidance from those who have been through tough times and learned through their lives. Be the support you wish you saw more of in the world, and love each other unconditional above all else.