Please forgive me but this is part of what I do.
It’s never easy to speak honestly or least of all to tell the truth about the so-called life or the feelings or thoughts and ideas that come along with certain disorders. And it’s true.
They pin stigmas on us like pins on a map. Perhaps the pins are red; as if to resemble a warning of what to expect (and what not to).
Perhaps this is to make a mental note of who we are and who we were. Or, maybe this is a judgment, which is more of a reflection on others.
Maybe the truth we talk about and the facts that we reveal about ourselves (or how we feel) are symptoms that reveal a certain vulnerability, which nobody wants to talk about.
And to be clear, advocates such as myself or people who are like us are those who identify openly as a person with an emotional background, which is more common than not – but nobody wants to talk about it because if we talk about it then we have to deal with it. And if we have to deal with it then we have to own it and in a professional or corporate model, nobody wants to deal with this because A) somebody will have to pay for it and B) somebody might sue because of it. So, you know what?
Let’s look away. Let’s avoid the truth.
However, the truth is hard to swallow and the truth is that most people who live with an emotional challenge will never reach out for help.
Most will never dare to say anything. Some will push back on this subject and say that there’s no room for topics like this. They’ll deny that problems exist. Meanwhile, they have their own struggles and as we’ve given in to the demands of “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” our society and its problems have only grown worse.
So, me . . .
I’d rather face the pain. I’d rather stand than sit. I’d rather do than watch us submerge as we sink deeper into a behavioral pandemic.
I’d rather explain and build awareness. I’d rather promote and foster courage so that I can be part of a movement that brokers healing and sponsors growth for one and all.
I’d rather be about it than talk about it; or more, I’d rather live the meaning of diversity, equity and inclusion than use this as a commercial posture.
I’d rather have virtue than be a person who virtue signals where home, there’s a bottle of vodka and a cabinet with pills.
I’d rather live this way than speak out of both sides of my mouth because; and this is something that I never want to become – I don’t ever want to have to order two meals. What I mean by two meals is one to feed each face, as in two-faced, or fake.
For the record, this is not a rant.
I live and work as well as compete in an arena of combat in which there are times when I have to lean and times where I have to pull back. We live in a world where trust is a concern.
Or, we live around people where confidentiality is not always confidential and anonymity is not always anonymous. Yet, people are screaming out for someone to talk to. But who?
We are all weak at some point. We are all humbled. We all have pressures and stressors. We all have anxieties and depressive subjects, which depending upon an individual; this can range from mild to manageable or from wild to unmanageable. Or often, we can have moments that lead us to the downright dysfunctions that keep us from our best potential.
This is called being human, by the way.
It’s hard to write openly sometimes; in fear of judgment; in fear that although I was a different person (once) I have fears that the honest details of my history and connection with certain topics will forever stigmatize me as someone who is sick – or lacking.
But I’m not sick. Least of all, I am not more or less sick or ill than anyone else. I am human and as a person, I would rather humanize (and normalize) the fact that we all have moments of despair.
I am not lacking anything nor am I lacking the understanding that life comes with challenges.
My aim is to point out that each is their own challenge. To each is their own intention and interpretation. To each is their own culture and to each is their own right to be, think, feel and live equally; as in “inclusively,” as in to live without stigma or the exclusivity of discrimination.
Thus, I laugh because I have seen people with podiums in front of them as they stand to call themselves, “United” yet, none of this is true.
So, it is with you then. Yes?
My future? My fate?
Our world. Our recovery.
My hopes that perhaps somehow, we can see past our differences are more than the power trips (or struggles) and yet, I have found that whether the world is ready to talk about difficulties or how we are and how we feel – or if the world wants to interact or offer ways to help – or to offer more treatment, more money, more ways to silence the screams – there is no way around this.
There is no way to deny the elephant in the room. There is no way to silence the rage behind the numbers of people who die, each day, due to a preventable illness or emotional and social virus.
Forgive me though, if I seem too vague.
My rant is really not a rant at all. Instead, this is a mission of mine. This is my right the same as it is yours – to be, to improve, to walk, talk, think and feel without the scrutiny of judgment.
This is my D.E.I. (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion).
This is not a rant and although my intention is strong and the energy behind my words is rigid and steadfast, I write this as a person with a broken heart. I write this as a friend of a Mom who chose to fight back instead of submit. I write this as a person who has heard people scream, “Not in my house,” or “Not in my backyard.”
I write this as someone who has seen fatalities in emergency rooms – I am someone who has seen people being kept alive by a machine, breathing for them, because otherwise; their brain was gone and nothing else was left.
I am a person who wants to see the stigmas die so that people can live and come out from behind their struggles and seek help.
Or, maybe this is what it is – a rant.
And maybe I am someone who is afraid, Maybe I feel alone. Maybe I’m looking to fight back and when I look around me, it seems as if those who’ve said they have my back have chosen to stand back even farther.
Maybe I don’t want to hear about another parent who had to bury their child. Or, maybe I don’t want to have to comfort a child because they had to bury their parent.
Ever create a bedtime story for a nine year-old and tucker her in over the phone because Daddy is never coming home again? Ever listen to a Mom who lost her daughter on Thanksgiving?
Ever see a person revived in a hospital?
I remember the first time.
I held her hair back as she vomited. She was a Mom. She was a person. She was real.
She still is as a matter of fact.
I suppose the idea that war is hell is true. It is hell.
And rest assured, we are at war. Make no mistake about it.
I’ve met Moms who said “My children would never do such a thing.”
Know where I met them?
In a hospital.
In the emergency room, after their child overdosed
and nearly died . . .
Hey G, this one’s for you.