Mental Illness Takes No Prisoners
I, like all of you, face each day from the bottom of my hole. The grasp that my illness(es) have on me weakening every waking moment. For this I am glad, how could I not be. Yet, it also fills me with sorrow, as the one thing that I have known for so long, and so well, is leaving me. It is a strange feeling that I assume that some of you have also experienced. With the right blend of medication and therapy, the darkness inside us begins to ignite as light is brought into this space. This will be short, and sweet. I have had something on my chest for the longest time, with no ears to listen. Now, I have all of you wonderful people, eagerly sharing the day with me. I want to create a place where those of us who are in pain, and struggling can be brought together to seek asylum from our afflictions. It needs to be known that Mental Illness, as all other diseases does not show preference in color, gender, status, wealth, etc. It does not care who it brings into the depths of sorrow. It will come for whomever it pleases, leaving just the husk of a once bright person who yearned for life. It could be your mother, father, brother, sister, best friend, teacher, yourself. Worse still, it could be the “weird” kid who doesn’t talk much in class, or seems out of place with their friends at a bar. It could be someone that is so secluded in their grief that you don’t really know them at all.
There is a famous story about a young boy carrying all of his books home from school, I know you’ve heard it by now. He drops his books and is ridiculed by his peers. In spite of this, another young boy offers to help the first pick up his belongings and help him bring them home. They quickly become the best of friends and continue living life as it should be lived. It isn’t until the first boy’s graduation, high school or college I do not recall which, that he reveals his intent the day the boys met. He had been bringing all his books and possessions home that day with the resolve to take his own life, and so that his mother did not have to empty his locker after he was gone. It was only the simple act of kindness of the second boy that pulled the first from the despair that he had found himself in. You often will hear stories about a person that, in their suicide note, said they are going to walk to the nearest bridge. With the purpose being to end their life, and if only one person smiles at them, they will stop their plan.
I don’t really know, it seems to me that in this day and age, maybe even long before, we have lost sight of a very important thing. That you and I, the man riding the bus on the way home from work, the mother that just finished her shift at her third job, even the man that just passed you in his brand new million dollar car, are all human. We all have the same sack of jelly in our heads telling us to move, breath, eat and live. When you boil it all down, it doesn’t really matter what we look like on the outside. Sure you can have all the pride you want in your race, gender, religion, that’s fine with me so long as you don’t use that same pride that you use to perch yourself up, to bring others down. Humans are very social creatures in that we seek connection with others, and yet there are so many of us blind to the pain and suffering of those like you and I.
Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, Bipolar Disorder; you did not choose your mental illness, you were struck by it like a brick house being hurled at you at the speed of sound. We need to stop the petty fighting and bickering, and really get down to the true issues that plague our society.
I’m trying to do my part, are you?