We have a problem. A really big problem. A problem that is difficult to talk about but easy to minimize. A problem that is so insidious that some of us don’t even acknowledge that there is a problem. Or that some of us deem it “their problem”. Or we ridicule those who acknowledge, accept, and attempt to fix the problem. And the problem is just getting worse.
Mental Illness is real. It is not a sign of weakness. A lack of faith. A cry for attention. An issue that we can afford to keep defunding and expect everything to be OK.
The prevalence of mental illness is becoming more and more apparent as care is becoming more negligent. Ignoring mental illness doesn’t make it go away.
Recently I have seen more attention being given to mental illness as people begin to talk about it a bit more on social media, sharing their stories. And what I have gathered is that a stigma that has long kept people silent is being overshadowed by the deep pain people are feeling due to the crisis we have here in America. A crisis that I believe goes beyond just race, and gangs, and police but to the very root of our humanity.
Our humanity is bleeding. It is hurt and the pain has consequences. It leaves scars that often hide an infection that runs so deep that the fever is often left “unfelt” and untreated until it is too late to get it under control and in a rage, we burn.
We need help.
The scars must be opened.
The infection irradicated.
The wound aired out and allowed to heal.
It will be messy. It will hurt. It will stir up feelings and emotions long buried and ignored. It may cause us to dislike others as well as ourselves. It will be unpleasant and very uncomfortable. But it is necessary.
It is irresponsible to let this infection ravage our very humanity. We only have so many limbs we can afford to sacrifice while we refuse to get treatment for what ails us. Stubbornly disregarding the tale tale signs of the angry red welts on our arms indicating the infections relentless march in our veins, making its way to our heart.
Our humanity is crying out for acknowledgement. And dressing it up and plastering a smile on its face does not negate the suffering reflected in its sad eyes.
We must talk about it. Not we should. Not we could. But we MUST.
If we as a people are not mentally well than where does that leave us? It leaves us battered, bitter, bruised, and belligerent, and eventually; if unacknowledged, unaccepted and untreated long enough, at risk of losing our very humanity.
Let’s talk about it.
We are worthy of being holistically well.