'But you'd have to walk a thousand miles
In my shoes, just to see
What it's like, to be me
I'll be you, let's trade shoes
Just to see what it'd be like to
Feel your pain, you feel mine
Go inside each other's minds
Just to see what we find
Look at s**t through each other's eyes'
Eminem - Beautiful
I heard this song recently after not having heard it for a long time. It really struck a chord, not just for the obvious reason that it is, in my opinion anyway, completely true in how people with mental health problems usually feel about other people. But it also resonated in a different way. The thought that sometimes I, as a person who has battled depression and self-harm for a few years now, never really seem to understand why people get so bothered and upset by the things that my illness compels me to do.
For instance, I have particular problems with understanding why people get so upset about my self-harm. It helps me cope with the horrid feelings I get and is a successful release for me. However, when I do it, everyone turns on me and asks me how I could hurt myself like that.
But listening to this song made me realise that as much as I'd like people to walk around in my shoes to see how I feel, I probably ought to 'trade shoes' with them and see how they feel. Not only could it help me understand why what I do upsets them so much, but it could also help me see how they're coping with this upset. As much as I want to be selfish when I'm feeling low, maybe trying to understand other people could, paradoxically, help me understand myself.
So, maybe we should all try and 'trade shoes' with other people before we launch ourselves into a defensive attack of our coping methods. I wear fives, what about you?
A Moodscope member.