Finally the month is ending but mental health awareness shall continue on and I’ll get to that post in just a bit.
The month has ended on a low note with the rage of the Black Community in America and off it (afterall what the great do the less will prattle of) but this is not prattle in the way of foolishness but pain. Especially how this is still our problem years later, despite advancements in… everything. How does humanity fail to take the strides almost every other sector has taken? How do we reconcile some of these thoughts with the heart of God?
Africa lives in too much of a glass castle to start throwing stones and I already know this. It must even seem more senseless when it comes to the strife we have amongst ourselves because we can’t readily point out our differences at first look. So I’m sharing two posts that I’ve read over the last week that touch on this subject.
This one is from the perspective of a friend who ties it up with the African dilemma as well and The other is a sneak peek into what being on the receiving side of racism is like. We must keep the discussion going and I think a book that tries to look into both perspectives is Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. I read it myself and we can’t keep claiming ignorance to the pain so rampant around us. I hope these inform your perspective on the subject and I also know that words will fall short. All these won’t encompass the gravity of the reality but I hope it’s all in the right direction. The basis of it being we see you, we hear you and are ready to play a part in being the solution. I hope this is the heart of many who will read this.
Now… I don’t know what raced through your mind when you read the title but being vulnerable is something we all desire (from others) and yet are so afraid of (when it comes down to us) . I know I want to be the person my friends come to in all seasons of their lives. I don’t know what that says about me but I love being in the know and it cuts differently when I have to hear about a friend from someone else. I’m guessing that is true for most of us. Allison in Pretty Little Liars had something right when she said ‘secrets keep us close.’ But this is not about closeness but healing.
Showing people all the dilemmas we struggle with is a fit that can keep you up at night. Because we know if we yield that secret we give them unimaginable extent of power over us Will they keep it to themselves? Will they start to see us in a different light? Does it change something fundamental in our relationships? It does but not in the way we are afraid of, in the way that it brings people on board who are ready to walk with you on the journey.
Some of course will react in the way we fear most but that’s OK, honesty helps you weed out real from fake. We are all walking around with our issues. If someone judges you for yours rather than walking with you through it, then cut them loose…or at the very least hold them at arms distance. Because if someone shows you who they are, believe them.
But the idea behind vulnerability is that wounds exposed to the light heal faster (of course this is relation to mental health). And I know this from experience. Both with physical wound and mental woes. You can read some of it in my post on depression. I was crying and unhappy and simply not a joy to be around. I saw it taking so much than it gave in return and I needed to tell someone. It felt like a weight too heavy to carry alone.
So I told my family about it. That conversation was NOT EASY and even after it was done I was beating myself up wondering if it was the right move for me to make. Should I have kept it to myself? But I didn’t. And I think this helped them understand those dark phases that couldn’t be explained any other way. I don’t know if they could ever understand the magnitude of it without experiencing it but they wanted to…and in that moment it was more than enough.
Do I still have bad days? Heck yeah!! Days where I question my purpose and why am still here! And I know this sounds like a broken record but talking about it helps. It allows you to examine some thoughts out loud and see where the lies are. It frees the hold they have on you and gives room for the truth to sip in. And also you never know who you share with, some people have already walked the same path and can give you advise but you will never know till you TALK ABOUT IT.
It is scary to make that decision, to let someone in that dark place in your life but mental breakdown, like all evil, festers in the dark. It takes pride in the fact that you have no one else but your thoughts and then it can overrun your mind.
The discussion on mental health is far from over just as that on racial equality has barely scratched the surface. But I do hope we all find our safe spaces. It could be a journal, a blog, a vlog, and most recommended, another person. This helps you examine the thoughts and see where you are getting it wrong.
As a close for the month. YOU ARE LOVED, YOU ARE CHERISHED, YOU ARE IMPORTANT, YOU MATTER, YOU ARE UNIQUE, YOU HAVE A PURPOSE, YOU ARE NOT ALONE SO DON’T BE ALONE!!