Good old social media, that place where we share snapshots of our lives, the best bits of our day. We're always being told that it's not real, that people are sharing an edited version of their life - the fun and laughter. You can understand why then people feel they have to explain themselves for posting something that might not be all rosy and nice. A couple of my friends have posted on Facebook over the last few weeks but starting their post with a disclaimer. That disclaimer went a little something like this...
"Before you all start, I'm not posting this for attention, it's just something important that I need to share..."
They both went on to share details of something bad that had happened to them, each of their accounts was very different, but both displaying a disclaimer really made them stand out for me. Why should we have to excuse ourselves for wanting to share something personal, perhaps something sad or unpleasent that has happened?
Mental health campaigns are telling us all the time that we should not feel alone, that we should speak up and ask for help because there are people that care about us that want to listen. My friends may not have been directly suffering with mental illness but if they had to deal with those events on their own could have easily lead them down that path. Both my friends bravely reached out to people for solace during a difficult time in their lives and thankfully they received many kind messages from people which I hope was able to give them comfort to help them deal with their experience.
It's fine to be an attention seeker when you need it. Posting publicly to hundreds of people on social media about a personal issues might not be the way that everyone wants to go but I don't think we should be so quick to criticise those who do. I can understand why some might feel its easier to just type it out once and post it on social media, rather than having to have the same difficult conversation again and again with many different people.
I'm happy for my friends to tell me what's on their mind and they certainly don't have to put a disclaimed in front of it. It's good to talk.