It’s about the elephant in the room…the one no one wants to talk about:
Why is that?
I discovered the answer last night while driving and trying to determine which road to choose…drive into a telephone pole, or make my way down to the Ottawa River.
It’s because no one knows what to say.
For the people who just don’t understand, I like to call the “purple painted ponies pooping butterflies jacked up on Sugar Smacks” community:
“I don’t honestly know what that’s like. If there’s something I can do, please ask, otherwise, know I’m thinking of you and support you in the journey to find yourself in a better place.” (Because…we all have to own our shit…find resources if we need them…that kind of thing)
For the people who know someone who knows someone with a mental health issue:
“I’ve seen much more commentary about mental health in the news, but alas, I’m not sure what would be productive to say that you might find helpful or reassuring, but I get how it affects a whole family.”
For the people who know mental health issues a little more closely…say, a relative, friend or loved one:
“I just want you to know that I love ______ about you.” And maybe they’ll send you a funny meme on Facebook.
For the people who *know*:
“Dude, I will Thelma & Louise right there with you, but it’s not the way this story is gonna play out, so let’s have ice cream instead.” And they sure as shit send you a Dr. Who meme on Facebook.
My husband didn’t bat an eyelash last night when I told him. I don’t think I know 100% how to take that, other than the obvious, “No, you wouldn’t have.” Which is entirely true.
But the fact remains that I wanted to. Neglecting to recognize the underlying emotion that fuels such a statement is akin to building a home without a foundation…you’ll still sleep at night, but the need remains for something warm and comfortable in order to provide for a quality of life.
Right now, I’m at a place in my life where the pros and cons of sustaining cellular activity are pretty much on even keel.
MY duty, my responsibility…is to find the resources to help me attain better coping skills and more appreciation for those pros…
There is no such thing as thinking I’m “entitled” to sit on my pity pot and have caring, kind people dote on me the commentary required to get off it. That’s MY job. And, I strive to promote awareness and contribute to the health community to ensure that I am actively participating in my own self care and those of others around me. I’ve also taken many steps in order to augment my own personal health situation…I’ve quit smoking (coming up to two years in March)…I’ve joined the gym…I’ve undertaken to complete a Chartered Herbalism program that will enable me to add another, holistic, means of care to my health team.
Your mission, should you choose to accept being a friend, a colleague or loved one, is to figure out which community of thought you think you’re coming from, and SAY something.
Ignorance is not bliss.
I’m doing my part. I need help, and I need it in the form of acknowledging that my emotions matter…whether you would choose to think in that same manner or not.
Differing thought processes should never invalidate the thoughts/ideas/emotions of another.
Simply put: “I love you.” “I’m hearing you.” “I care.”