Archive for the ‘anxiety’ Category

Today, let’s talk. Tomorrow too.

January 31, 2018

Many years ago now I started talking.

I started talking because my little boy had his first suicide attempt at 5. Kids telling another kid to kill himself will eventually see them try. And because of the countless other ones we’ve encountered, because everyday my child fights to stay alive. And talking helps.

I continued talking through hospitalizations because it’s the only way I could get through leaving my little boy locked on a ward, alone, for something mommy couldn’t fix.

I still talk because we’re not alone, and because I am determined others know they are not either. And because this journey is a lifelong one.

January 31st used to be a love /hate day for me.

Why do we only talk about mental health mental illness for one day? What is one day going to do? Why aren’t we all talking, screaming, about mental health everyday? Why do people jump on the topic for a day and then go back to being blissfully ignorant to the daily impacts? But I loved the awareness it brought, I just didn’t want it to stop. I wanted to shake every single person who was ignorant or argued mental illness wasn’t real.

And though I still talk everyday and I still want to shake ignorant people into the reality many live, I have learned just what a day, yes a single day, can do for the cause.

I have learned that so many people click, share or text for something so crucial. People who get the importance, people who don’t, people who just talk once a year in support, people who talk daily and people who talk sometimes. People care enough to take a moment to show support for those who are battling mental illness. And even if someone just does it because it’s the ‘thing’ of the day, those who tomorrow will go back to ignoring facts or belittling those who are struggling, well that’s ok too (well not really but that’s for another day) , well their money will still at least go to a good cause ūüėČ it’s all good and all appreciated.

I have learned that one day is better than none.

That one day of so many talking is huge for not only awareness but the breaking down of stereotypes.

I know people often say that celebrities speaking up for something or their truth is ridiculous, how dare they use their status for a platform. Here’s the thing folks, mental illness doesn’t discriminate. Mental illness doesn’t care if you are a store clerk, a child, a senior, an athlete or an artist. It just does not. The platform and reach of those who are known is far greater than you or I.

And those who share to increase awareness? Well I for one thank you. It is not easy to talk about our battles and journeys and they talk to vastly more people than I, that takes incredible strength and courage, because yes those stigmas and stereotypes are still very much real.

Today and everyday we keep talking helps break those stereotypes stigmas down. Helps those fighting know they are not alone. Talking educates and brings reality, facts and mental illness to to people who otherwise might not know. It helps my child, and many peoples children know that they are worth it. That there is no shame. That you are enough.

So let’s talk today, let’s keep talking every single day. I have so many private, public and personal conversations, daily, and if we can help one person by sharing our journey sharing and talking is worth it. Because everyone is worth it.

Get talking.

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It matters to me.

July 26, 2017

I haven’t written in a while. ¬†Partly because I am busy in my florist role, partly because I try to enjoy ¬†every piece of what little summer we have. And partly because I wonder, does it even matter?

In the last year I have been disheartened and discouraged by the ignorance and lack of education I have witnessed  (often online because that seems to be the safe place to post ignorant things) and I have found myself wondering why I even bother trying to make a dent in lessening ignorance, stigmas and stereotypes surouning so many things but mostly mental illness.

I find myself shocked. Shocked by the lack of compassion, understanding or even willingness to understand or accept difference. And I wonder how my one little voice can help.

Because I am well aware of how many people on my friends list find my awareness and posts around mental health annoying. ¬†I am well aware of the people who think I am over talking,looking for attention or have no idea what I am talking about because I don’t have a PhD behind my name or I am not peddling some miracle cure. That old saying “walk a mile in my shoes…” comes mind….

Then I realize those people are exactly who need to be “bothered”. Either they don’t understand mental illness on a raw personal level (congratulations) or they think it’s better to not speak of ¬†such things out loud. Both are part of the problem. Sorry but they are. Instead of being annoyed take a minute to read instead of complaining about being annoyed. Instead of being quiet, make a ¬†comment online or in person to show others they are not alone.

In my world openness and being vocal is crucial. ¬†Not only for my loved ones but for others – I ¬†have had frantic messages, visits and phone calls from those I don’t know well reaching out for support,advice or an ear. Had I not shared our journey on a regular basis, they wouldn’t have. Not saying they wouldn’t have found those things elsewhere but would they have felt comfortable or even known they could ask questions without judgements or gossip if I just sat quietly? ¬†probably not. And I like to think maybe I was able to bring a bit of comfort. A bit of guidance.

I have been brought back recently that stigmas and stereotypes and ignorance around mental illness isn’t going anywhere soon, like a big ol kick in the face.

And I am committed; that as long as those who suffer feel judged or inclined to suffer alone or end it all, that I will be a voice for them.

Be it a little voice.  For the more little voices there are, the bigger the roar. And how I wish there were more little voices.