How do you describe a sunset to a person that has been blind from birth?
How do you sign, to a deaf person, what a child’s laugh, sounds like?
How can you explain the depth of anxiety someone with OCD feels, when a routine is disrupted?
How can you feel how deep depression can become, when you have only had a taste of it?
Then try to explain the emotional sensitivity someone with Borderline Personality Disorder feels?
Or the frustration someone suffering with Bipolar feels when they go from mania… to deep depression.
How more than one self, more than one identity can live… in one mind.
How someone with an eating disorder can not just sit, and eat a meal like you enjoy.
Try to understand how someone feels, when you see scars on their arms… and look into their eyes.
What someone feels, when your comment of “they must be off their meds…” is heard.
or buck up
just do it
your brother is not like that…
Can you understand how that hurts?
You can’t, can you?
No, don’t nod and say yes and then lapse or become tired of trying to understand… because it is a lot of work.
Don’t try for a while and then fade away, because that hurts even more.
You wonder why someone suffering with mental health issues, does not like to talk about what they deal with, how they feel, what it feels like…
This too is stigma.
When you look up the word stigma in thesaurus, you find:
It is no wonder that it exists, stigma. Why someone with mental health issues, does not wish to talk about it. Look at those words. Just the word stigma.. has stigma.
How can we move past all of this? This stigma?
We can’t understand, we can’t talk about it.
I am not going to go into the numbers, how one in five suffers with mental health, I am not going to talk about the high suicide rates, I am going to talk about the comments that follow these things…. the “I didn’t know”
It is because, we didn’t know, that we didn’t help
It is because we can’t understand, that we didn’t know
it is because of that word
it is because of that word, that many do not seek help
it is because of that word, that help is often not had
because, we don’t talk about it
funding for help, is minimal
Because it is not an issue
because… we don’t talk about it
Open your eyes
you know someone that is suffering
You can help, you can help so much.
You may have to try a tiny bit harder
You may have to make allowances
You may have to watch, how the little things you say, are not so little
You may have to be more sensitive.
You may have to build up trust, so talking, explaining, becomes easier.
You may have to reach down deep, to understand.
you can’t do it, can you…
We have to talk, understand
It will be hard, to understand
will it be too hard?
will you give up?
try for a day, and then stop?
When you watch the ambulance drive away
with lights flashing
with a loved one… in the back
Will you try then?
“I didn’t know”
partners, those two.
but this too, is just a page of words
maybe some will sink in though
maybe it will start a conversation
maybe you can print it out, let someone read it
and then talk.
We have to start somewhere
we can can’t we?