Webtoon| The World Where I Belong — Let’s Talk About Mental Health

Webtoon| The World Where I Belong — Let’s Talk About Mental Health

Hello, hello loves~ Time for a webtoon post! Today, I’ll be talking about a webtoon called, The World Where I Belong. It’s by GMWOW and is currently being released on LINE Webtoons. There are two things that drew me into this series. One is the unique and distinct art style. It’s really detailed for a webtoon. I really love how detailed it is, how everything is drawn and colored too. The second, and most important thing, is how it covers a very sensitive topic: mental health. I’ve gotten real with you guys before and briefly talked about the topic in some of my previous posts [Here and Here]. It’s a sensitive topic, and because of personal reasons, I do think it’s important to address it. So I will be getting a bit more personal and open today. Basically, I’ll be laying out my heart for you guys.

However, I do know it’s a tough matter to address. So I will give you a trigger warning.
Trigger Warning: This post and the series that it covers will be addressing sensitive topics regarding mental health, including suicide.
You are not obligated to read this. If you choose not to, or cannot, I totally understand. I love you and wish you nothing but happiness and ease. 

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PLOT

Kouki is a high school student. He was known as an energetic and carefree boy who smiled all the time. He really loved life then. That was four years ago. In the present, Kouki’s found himself sitting on the classroom window sill of a school building undergoing repair. He starts to think, “No one would be able to find me here. I wouldn’t have to worry about anything in this place. And at this height…” Just as he ponders death, he’s stopped by a strange girl that appeared out of nowhere. She has strange powers and claims to be his Savior, a being that helps people who are about to commit suicide.

capture-20180909-004548.pngAs I previously said, the unique and distinct art style was what first caught my attention. It’s quite detailed for a webtoon. I’m especially fascinated with how the backgrounds are drawn and colored. The coloring style reminds me of painting with acrylic paint or water colors. I find it really beautiful. Half the time, I’m just admiring the background art.

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However, what really drew me to this webtoon is the story’s characters and how it brings attention to mental health. Mental health can be quite a heavy subject. It’s difficult to address and express. For many people, it’s something completely difficult to comprehend. What I found incredible about this webtoon is that it not only puts a spotlight on mental health, but it really shows how some of the things people really struggle with. What I love is how it also depicts how the different characters deal with their issues. I think it’s incredibly relatable, especially if you’re familiar with those issues and feelings. I think it’s eye opening and can help people be more understanding of mental health issues, and those who struggle with mental health.

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Mental health issues and struggles are never the same. Everyone has different issues and faces it differently. I’ve several friends who have mental health issues. Friends who have actually been clinically diagnosed with depression and anxiety. There are also many friends who aren’t clinically diagnosed, but that doesn’t make their issues less important. I’ve always been trusted by friends to be their confidante because I’m very empathetic and never judge. I myself, though not clinically diagnosed, have issues with depression and anxiety as well. I think every person has gone through some form of depression, anxiety, and/or other mental health issues. Again, we all deal with it differently. However, it’s important to note that the weight of these issues differ from person to person. I think this part is incredibly important and something that many people fail to understand. I’ll be speaking more from my personal thoughts and experiences from here.

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Much like Kouki, I’ve been seen as someone who’s pretty carefree and smiles alot. I try hard to seem positive. It may have been true once, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more pessimistic and cynical (Ah…the passage into adulthood; Also known as becoming Squidward). I don’t show it very much though. My customers and people who are acquainted with me just see me as a bubbly person who smiles alot. However, I live each day just trying to get through to the next. I force myself to smile quite alot. The reality is that my mind is weighed down on many different things. To be honest, I hate talking about myself. I’m not good at it, nor am I very good with words. I’m slightly better at writing things since it gives me some time to collect my thoughts and word them. Many people (friends and strangers) tend to pour their hearts out to me and have me as their confidante. However, I rarely talk about myself because I find it incredibly difficult. When I do talk about myself, I tend to be somewhat vague. I rarely like to make myself feel vulnerable, and so I only ever reveal the surface. It’s frustrating. Things build up and become so overwhelming at times. However, it can be hard to talk about yourself. It’s hard to expose your wounds and make yourself vulnerable. It feels awkward and frustrating. All I will say is that I live a boring and mediocre life. However, I’ve been through many not so ordinary events in my life. Things like my uncle,who was something like a governor in Thailand, being assassinated when I was in elementary school. For a period of time, I had to be escorted by armed soldiers from the Royal Thai Army whenever I traveled outside of Bangkok. Imagine being 10 and having to wear a bullet proof vest, being escorted in a military truck with bullet proof glass, and armed Royal Thai soldiers. You can imagine the stress and impact it had on me. I also had alot of stress from family and life as I grew up. Let’s just say that I had/have family obligations. I felt even more obligated because I’m the eldest in my family, and I’m basically going to end up being the matriarch for my generation. Yay…more stress and pressure. I’m not exactly in the situations I want to be. That’s not to say I didn’t try. Unfortunately, I have awful luck and life just wasn’t in my favor. Still, I’m trying hard to just live and do my best with my life and situation. However, I’ve been treated like a failure. I’ve faced alot of harsh words and judgement, despite all my efforts. I hated being asked and told what to do with my life. Hello anxiety and more depression. Where am I going with this? I know it seems irrelevant. However, these things are important to show you MY mental state.

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capture-20180909-031507.pngLike I said, everyone deals with things differently. For me, I endured and tolerated alot. I worked hard, and tried hard. Those close to me know this to be true.  However, everything carries a weight. Years passed, and things piled on. A pebble may not seem much, but how much weight would it be after piling up for so many years? It’ll eventually crush and break you. I’m not as energetic as I once was. I cried and went through alot of mental breakdowns over the past few years. Recently, I really found myself to feel really burnt out. I started feeling more exhausted and withdrawn. I was under alot of stress, pressure, and anxiety. I eventually reached a breaking point. I basically felt like I was drowning. I was finally sinking under all the weight that I endured. My will was broken and I was basically just an empty shell. I was at the lowest I had ever been. My thoughts went really dark and I contemplated alot of things. This was not too long ago. I was told that “Breathing is the art of embodying the sky”. However, there were times when each breath felt like a brick. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I felt like I was being crush, and I finally felt like I broke. I lost the will to live then. I’ve had low points where I felt so tired of everything that I would think, “I just want to sleep…sleep forever.” For once, I clearly thought, “I don’t want to live anymore.”  I fortunately did not do anything drastic. However, I clearly thought of the details. I’m not proud of myself for having had such dark thoughts. There are times when things feel so incredibly painful, you think it’s best if you ceased to exist. You think things like, “Would anyone really be sad? It’s probably for the best.” The thing is you think you’re a burden to yourself and to others. You withdraw yourself, and sometimes the things people say just can’t seem to reach you. It’s hard to talk about things. Sometimes people are incredibly understanding. Sometimes, they’re not. Sometimes you start to think and worry too much. “Despite what they said, I’m sure I’ll end up burdening them. I’m sure they’ll grow tired of me.”

Sometimes, it’s hard because people can be incredibly insensitive. Mental health is an incredibly complex issue. People who don’t recognize it fail to see the impact of their actions and words. Patience and understanding is so important. This failure to recognize mental health issues is what makes it harder to talk about. It’s become a stigma. People are afraid to admit it. I know I kept my issues to myself for so long. What really pushed me to want to address this was chapter 19 [HERE]. It really resonated with me. Basically it there’s a part that shows Atsuko, one of the female characters, standing in the kitchen with her parents. As she’s chopping vegetables, she overhears her family talk about kids committing suicide. As readers, we know Atsuko seems to be struggling with some issues of her own. However, she clearly tries hard to hide it from everyone. She acts the part of a happy high school girl. It’s clear why from her parents’ discussion. It really resonated with me because I basically went through this as well. Almost in the exact way. My family would be watching the Thai news. There was a period where suicides happened very often. “How idiotic.” “They don’t even think of how their family feels.” Some people believe depression and suicide are made up acts for trying to gain attention. It’s not. It’s a very real and painful issue. Yes, it’s selfish and saddening. However, often times people are in such pain and in their minds they’re ridding their loved ones of a burden. Be mindful of what you do or say. It’s things like this that make people shut their selves and thoughts away from others.

Like I said on Twitter, human thoughts and emotions are complex. Still, it’s comforting to find something like music and stories that can so eloquently form them. Sometimes, things feel so incredibly difficult. However, it’s comforting to find something that seems to really resonate with you; Something that you can relate to. It’s as if someone is telling you, “I know what you’re going through.” It really helps take off some of that weight. That’s why music is so important to me. Alot of songs from artists like Epik High, address these emotions and issues. It’s also why I sometimes address these kinds of things in my posts. It’s also why I constantly end with things like “I’m proud of you” and “Love yourself”. I’m not sure how many people actually read my posts, and that’s not really important to me. The bros once asked what we wanted to achieve through our blog. For me, I feel blessed to be a part of this blog and community. I originally just joined just to help out and kill some time. However, I’ve come to really enjoy being a part of this crew and blog. I’m grateful to have talk about various things with some of you. All I hope to accomplish is that someone may enjoy what I write, and most importantly find something you can relate to it. I hope it sends you some comfort to know that you’re not alone. Loving yourself is hard, I know. I also struggle with loving myself, but I’m trying. Even though I don’t love all of myself, I’m slowly learning to accept and love parts of myself. I hope you do too.

Thanks for reading. I know I went over more about mental health than the webtoon itself. However, I didn’t want to spoil too much. I just wanted to recommend it as I think it does a wonderful job of portraying the struggles with mental health. I’m not very good at writing or expressing myself. I express myself better through music. So I guess Epik High’s “Run” and “Home Is Far Away (Taxi)” would do a better job of eloquently explaining these feelings. However, I hope a part of my message got through the clumsy writing and confession. Sometimes, the heaviest weight is the harsh weight and expectations we put on ourselves. I just want to say that despite what life may have thrown at you, and no matter what anyone says…I’m proud of you. You’re working hard to live, and that’s an amazing accomplishment. I hope you can come to love yourself one day as well. I know it’s already hard to talk and lay out your heart to friends, even more so to a stranger. However, if you ever feel like things have piled up and need someone to listen, I’m happy to listen.

 

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