in canada there is a massive phone company called bell. once a year they have bell lets talk day, where they donate a nickle for every text, call, share, hashtag whatever into a mental health fund which people then apply for grants to get the cash.
its great. i cant complain.
today is lets talk day.
and people are talking. so many people are posting stories of their hardships and struggles and labels. and i can, and have, done this numerous times as well. here are my labels, see my labels, see words and not feelings, not states, not the disease. see normal. equate normal with these words, but not with the symptoms.
sometimes i so badly want to just post: hi, i have mental health issues and they dont go away. i did not recover. i will not recover. i spend 320-1000 dollars a month of therapy. I take 12 mental illness related pills a day. they are making me pretty sick right now.
and today i want to die.
so you want to talk about mental illness? thats the purpose of the day? there are times when i dont sleep for days on end and colors get really bright and i talk too fast like i cant catch my own thoughts. i get reckless and drink quarts of liquor by myself at night. there are times when i dont leave my house for weeks. i cant brush my hair. i cant go to the grocery store without having a panic attack. i have a suicide planned so perfectly it could be enacted at any moment and none of you would see it coming.
but im not going to kill myself. and sometimes, not killing myself is all i do with a day. and sometimes, thats an accomplishment. because i may be in bed and i spend the day staring at a wall, but i didnt spend it six feet under so today is a good day.
this is mental illness. the down and the dirty and the parts nobody wants to hear or talk about. the parts that make everyone so uncomfortable they wish they hadnt seen them. it is not the stigma of a label that is the problem it is the misunderstanding of what that it means to be accepting of mental illness, to treat and support the mentally ill, and the deluded idea that ‘recovery’ means ‘cured’.
there are people in life who feel like safe havens for my mental illness, and its usually other mentally ill people.i wish i could develop some way to translate the knowledge, the comfort, the support of those people to the general public. i wish everyone who was like me had people like them. but the truth is, most of us dont, and i have just been lucky.
and what this day should be about, needs to be about, is not placating ourselves with the idea that we are de-stigmatizing words. it needs to be about creating a culture that is always a safe haven.