Friday, June 8, 2018

You're Not Alone

This week we were rocked by two celebrity suicides. Kate Spade and today Anthony Bourdain. Now I'm not a big celebrity chaser and I'm not here to jump on the band wagon. But they news on Anthony's death hit me. I'm a foodie and I've watched his shows. I appreciated his view and I enjoyed watching him travel and try foods most of us Americans had never heard of. His death really got me to thinking about the mental health crisis we have going on in this country and the stigma it brings.

I have so many friends who suffer from anxiety and depression. Sometimes both. I see them try to cover it, hide it, pretend it doesn't exist. Some wear the masks of normalcy better than others. I can't write this blog and say I know what it's like. I don't. I can, however, sit here and write this blog and know what it's like to be in pain, daily. As you well know dear reader, I live with fibromyalgia and CREST Syndrome. Some days the pain is manageable. Other days the pain makes you wish you weren't alive. And this is where I can understand my friends with mental illness.

I can think back to the dark days as I call them, to a time before I had a diagnosis. When no one had an answer and all I had was pain. It felt like there was no light at the end of the tunnel. Doctor visit after doctor visit, begging for help but no answers. It took me a year and a half to get to a doctor who could give me a diagnosis and therefore a way to treat my symptoms. That seemed like forever. I can not imagine what it must be like to cry for help, but either not get it, or get a stigma attached to it.

Earlier this week I was talking to a friend about their anxiety. And they asked why I wasn't judging them for it. I asked, do you judge me when I have a high pain day? Do you see me as less because of my fibromyalgia? The answer was no. My next question is, why should it be any different for you? They were stunned. But you see dear reader, this is how I see mental illness, an illness of the mind. It deserves no less attention or compassion than an illness of the body. This is how I see it. This is the message I will continue to spread until I see my friends treated by society the same as any other illness.

Dear reader, if you are reading this and the pain is more than you can bear, please please hang on just a little longer. I know calling it quits may seem like a solution that will end your pain. And it probably will. But I have to be selfish here and ask you not to go. What you can't see beyond in your pain is how much you mean to your friends and family. How much you are loved. And what a giant void you will leave. You can't possibly see what a wonderful human being you are. But trust me dear reader. We see you. We love you. Please give us a chance to show you before you make a decision you can't take back. Even if you feel you have no one else to turn to, please pick up the phone and call  1-800-273-8255. That is the national suicide prevention hotline.

Please dear reader, no more Anthony's or Kate's, or Chester's, or Chris Cornell's. Please no more death from people we will never ever know because they weren't famous enough to make the headlines.

Until Next Time

1 comment:

  1. Thank you

    Please continue to be selfish and need us. It's hard to come up with a reason for ourselves, easier if for someone else.