Written By: Eric Todd, Circle's Leader
Invisible. Forgotten. Discarded.
These words can often be used to describe a lot of people who live in poverty. Whether it's living on the system or homelessness, or addiction, or mental health; it's easy to feel invisible when your situation is so hard to deal with every day. When the world around you seems to be progressing at lightning fast speed and your situation feels like a slow crawl, or even going backwards sometimes. It's easy to get lost in the shuffle.
When you can no longer keep up with what everyone else is doing, that's when you become disconnected. This is where hopes and dreams become toxic, they become a reminder that you will never be like everybody else and you start to believe that you deserve the bad things that have happened in your life.
You start to wear masks, you learn to hide your pain.
Then it starts to become normal. You become passive. You don't fight for what you believe in or used to believe in. You don't vote. You don't interact with anyone outside your comfort zone and you start to lose connections. Once that happens, the rules of right and wrong tend to go out the window. That's when everything you do is a distraction.
A distraction from your pain. A distraction from your life.
That’s when it gets really bad. That’s when you overeat. When you binge on drugs or alcohol. When you engage in toxic relationships or you just find new ways to harm yourself. Whether you want to cover it up or rip it open, your pain becomes the driving force in your life, until you do something really bad. Then everyone around you will say, “we never saw it coming” or “you were so quiet,” and “we had no idea.” But the truth is you never knew the real them. You only knew the persona, the mask.
For some reason it has become socially unacceptable, to talk about feelings and pain in everyday life, unless it's to a paid professional. But most of us don't want to hear about someone's issues because it reminds us of our own issues. We are so afraid of things getting awkward, that we just don't allow for anything negative. We only want to hear positive happy things that will make us feel good. I would rather more awkward moments in life if it would mean less dead friends, less people in the hospital, and less people harming themselves right now.
We have created systems to make people become invisible. People become lost in their pain. People become lost in their terrible memories. People become lost in society.
I'm sure that a lot of people who end up in this situation, started feeling this way when they were kids. Maybe it was a bad situation with mom or dad, or the kids at school, or something worse. There is often a chain of events that leads to a bad situation later in life, or perhaps they don't even make it that far. So, I ask you London . .
How many more kids gotta kill themselves from bullying?
How many more teenagers have to die from bad situations in high school?
How many more adults have to end their life in their thirties from issues that were never dealt with?
How much longer are we going to allow the long-term effects of poverty shorten our elders lives?
We NEED to change the conversation.
We need to allow things to get awkward.
If we just learn to listen for someone else's sake instead of our own, it could do us all a world of good.
It doesn't take much for someone who is experiencing the many faces of poverty to become invisible, to become forgotten by friends and family, and to be discarded by society.
We can do better
Let's start doing better London.
You can help change the conversation by sharing what you've learned with others.