We all know somebody who has a mental illness.
Go ahead, file me away as another voice that can be simply brushed under the rug. Bury the issue into the ground and act as if it isn’t there. File me away and go about your life where you’ll remain relentless in the pursuit of an illusion that society has created for you
But remember that things fester. Things that we ignore, things we remain oblivious to, things we choose not to confront, these things have a habit of festering. And they grow and they manifest and they grow. Until they are more difficult to contain. More difficult to control.
Maybe we’re already at the stage. Maybe we’re already at the stage where humanity is out of control. But one thing everyone seems to be going on about is early prevention.
It’s time to stop talking the talk and start walking the walk.
Stop making promises and start fulfilling the ones that you have been making because lord knows they’re overdue. Start helping people. Stop acting as if pain is a weakness. Our weakness is our inability to acknowledge that pain is a part of the human condition. And yet so is happiness. So is joy.
This is me. And I am merely a person behind a screen. But I am and I exist. I am a living breathing thing and I am calling out to all of man and womankind alike, who are all capable of so much bad, but also so much good. I am calling all of humanity to realise that the issue of mental health is real. That it is real and we need to do something about it. We need to tackle the ignorance, provide more care, more love for the people who need it the most.
Our mental health is important. Without it we are nothing. Without it we are just shells, and we were never meant to be shells. We were meant to shine. We are meant to feel everything in all its glory and in all its horror.
Mental illness is a pandemic. It is an ongoing issue. Depression is no longer considered an abnormality. Suicide rates are high. And yet people have the audacity to claim mentally ill patients should ‘pull themselves together’. It is not a choice. It. Is. Not. A. Choice.
Right now, I live in a world where innocent people are murdered, children are beaten and violence is a common occurrence. I live in a world that is in its twenty first century and has never been so disgraceful. I live in a world where mental illness is ignored. I live in a world where people who end their lives are considered anomalies. I live in a world where despite all the advances we as a species have made, all the technological advances, all the agricultural advances, despite all of that, mental illness is still a taboo.
I live in this world. As do you. Perhaps it’s about time we started acting like it.
You want to know why it’s important? Because everyone is scared. Scared of the backlash, scared of the hate, because what if they hate us more than we hated ourselves. I meet people who fear what others will say if they ever knew about the battle raging in their minds. Which is why this needs to be done right now.
I am tired of the stigma. I am tired of the averted eyes, of the hushed whispers.
This isn’t about a moment where all the pain suddenly makes sense. This isn’t about your knight in shining armour turning up at the perfect time and whisking you away to a shiny diamond palace. This isn’t about overcoming something terrible. This is about making peace with the past and becoming the person you were always supposed to be. This is real life. The real life where people are afraid or unable to get help but does not change the fact that they need it.
This is about a world that needs to change they view and deal with mental illness. This is about a world that needs to redefine help, redefine compassion, redefine kindness.
We are all different. We contain universes, multitudes. And some of us are going to grow up and be successful. Some of us aren’t going to get the chance to grow up. Some of us are going to get sick. Some of us are going to move away. Some of us are going to be happy. Some of us aren’t. Some of us are going to get married and have children. Some of us are going to get divorced. Some of us are going to live whilst others will simply survive.
We have it all to come. We are going to laugh and suffer and reminisce and regret and make new friends and be left behind and leave behind and live and hope and get jobs and have arguments and disagree and love and hate and hate and love.
But first, first you must accept that every passer-by every person whose path crosses yours, lives a life as vivid as yours. Most of all though, you need to accept yourself.
Perhaps a meteorite will hit our lonely planet and destroy us all. Perhaps it won’t. Supposing it doesn’t, we are here. You are here and I am here. We are here. And one day we won’t be. One day we won’t have any tomorrows left and all our yesterdays will have been in vain. But we don’t stop. We all realise that we are on the same side and support each other. We need to help people because we can. If you and I are here, we can. The question that remains is will we?
I believe in the impossible. I have lived the impossible.
Come and meet me at a place called hope.
Originally published at medium.com