I hope you’re taking care of yourself and doing your best. Todays a weird day for me, but I really want to talk about why, because I think it’s important for more than just me. I’ll go ahead and give a TW, the warning being I am going to mention a suicide attempt. Today is my two year “anniversary” of my last attempt and I feel compelled to do some insightful venting about how mental health is treated and why it isn’t okay.
I always feel like there is an awful stigma around talking about our mental health struggles. People get uncomfortable and start throwing out reasons why our mental health struggle is toxic to everyone else. No one wants deal with it or doesn’t know what to say. News Flash, we’re human begins who have an array of emotions. We don’t get to just have “good vibes” all the time and thinking that is such a toxic mindset. Yes, I think the “good vibes” philosophy is a toxic mindset to have in yoga as well. That’s not what having a human brain is like, we have to accept the whole experience of it. Especially if we want real change and “enlightenment”.
If you’re someone who demonizes or adds to the stigma of mental health issues, what does that say about you? Because it says a lot more about you than the ones you’re trying to demonize. We are living in such a challenging period. There is a global pandemic, we’re killing the earth, there are loads of ancestral trauma stored in our DNA, cops kill people, racisim/classism/sexism all exist, the good guy never wins, capitalism is ruining everything…..not to mention we’ve never in human history had technology and information like we do today – it is ALL effecting how our human brains work. No wonder all of us younger generations are “mentally ill”. I feel like if you’re mentally healthy with knowing all of the issues in our world, I think you’re the odd one. actually.
Anywho, my point is, mental health struggles are actually kind of normal. A lot of us struggle with them. Stigmatizing and demonizing them is just going to cause harm. And if you’re someone who believes in practicing Ahimsa (non-harming), pay attention to how you view those around you who are struggling. Mental health issues doesn’t make someone toxic or bad. The more we tie all of our struggles up and don’t share them, the more alone we feel. Not just individually, but collectively. And I am trying to tear those walls down. Which is why I share so openly about my struggles, because I know there is someone out there who just needs to know they aren’t alone in how they feel. I am also a firm believer that the more we can talk about it without judgment and stigma, the more we can find true solutions and healing. Maybe my experiences helps someone else make their own connects and find a different solution for their brain or life. You can’t heal if you keep getting beaten and told you’re bad because of your brain every time you try to explain it. You’re not bad. You’re a gentle soul living in a broken world.
I know based on the increase in suicides among the circle of people I know and keep up with that there are a lot of us humans struggling bad right now. That’s why I wanted to share this. Because I’ve been there, I’ve been there more than once. You aren’t alone and you aren’t bad or selfish for having big emotions. You aren’t a failure if you got good at managing those big emotions for a while, but they got hard to manage again. Healing isn’t linear and the idea of always being able to function in a truly chaotic and toxic world is just a little silly. You’re not bad because someone you loved and trusted has demonized you because they don’t understand your brain. Mental health professionals don’t always understand either, which is truly sad. But It doesn’t have to be the end of the world, maybe all the overly sensitives of the world should just start creating a better world. Be the example of radical love and kindness. And if you’re someone who isn’t struggling or truly doesn’t know what it’s like or are in denial that your mental health is struggling, just be freaking kind. Listen. Hold space. And.stop.judging.people. You don’t get to be a better human because you brain doesn’t bully you. None of us are better, we’re all just humans.
The best advice I can give to you if you’re struggling is to treat yourself like you are your best friend. Think about someone you love, how would you help them if you knew they were struggling like you? Chances are you’d be a lot nicer than you’re being to yourself. Also, remember your opinion is truly the only one that matters. And as cheesy as it sounds, be the change you want to see in the world. Listen when no one else does. Advocate for yourself. Give love to those who are feeling left out in the cold. Cheer on your people. Be patient with those who are struggling to get it. Live your life believing you are creating good and maybe, just maybe there is hope for all these systems of inequality and injustice in the world to start to crumble.
Take care of yourself and know you’re not alone.
We all struggle.
You got this.