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A LIFE WE DIDN'T CHOOSE.... BY JEN

WHAT AN INTERESTING CONCEPT WHEN YOU HEAR PHRASES SUCH AS,

" WALK A MILE IN MY SHOES..." BUT DO WE TRULY UNDERSTAND WHAT THAT MEANS? I BELEIVE IT MEANS "FEEL WHAT I FEEL, STRUGGLE WITH WHAT I STRUGGLE WITH, MANAGE WHAT I MANAGE, FACE WHAT I FACE, SEE WHAT I SEE, HEAR WHAT I HEAR.... SO IN ESSENCE JUST UNDERSTAND, FULY IMMERSE YOURSELF IN SOMEONE ELSES LIFE AND JUST TRY TO REALLY GET IT.

WE OFTEN JUDGE WHAT WE DO NOT UNDERSTAND; FOR EXAMPLE, WHAT IS IT LIKE TO LIVE IN A WORLD WHERE WE ARE JUDGED BY MANY SIMPLY BECAUSE WE ARE MISUNDERSTOOD. IT TAKES AN ENORMUS AMOUNT OF STRENGTH AND DETERMINATION TO LIVE IN A WORLD, THAT OFTEN PEOPLE DON'T UNDERSTAND,AND STRUGGLE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS; ITS EASIER TO JUDGE WHAT WE DON'T KNOW INSTEAD OF BEING OPEN TO LEARNING AND UNDERSTANDING.

I ONCE HEARD THAT WHEN SOMEONE GOES INTO THE HOSPITAL FOR A SURGERY, OR FOR HEALTH RELATED ISSUES, YOU WALK INTO A HOSPITAL ROOM AND SEE BALLONS AND FLOWERS AND CARDS OF WELL WISHES. ON THE FLIP SIDE, WALK INTO A HOSPITAL ROOM OF SOMEONE SUFFERING WITH A MENTAL ILLNESS CRISIS, YOU WILL FIND NO FLOWERS OR CARDS, INSTEAD JUST A STARK, BARE ROOM AND LOVED ONES WHO MAKE UP STORIES OF WHERE THEIR LOVED ONES ARE BECAUSE ITS EMBARRASSING, AND NOT SOMETHING WE TALK ABOUT, THOUGH I OFTEN WONDER WHO IS MORE EMBARRASSED. MENTAL ILLNESS IS STILL A HEALTH CONDITION AND SHOULD BE TREATED AS SUCH, BUT OFTEN IT IS NOT, JUST A TABOO SUBJECT THAT NO ONE TALKS ABOUT. JUST LIKE WE DON'T CHOOSE TO HAVE DIABETES, OR A HEART CONDITION, OR CANCER...WE DON'T CHOOSE TO HAVE A MENTAL ILLNESS AND THERE IS NO HANDBOOK THAT TELLS YOU HOW TO LIVE WITH IT. EVEN ON MEDICATION, PEOPLE STILL HAVE SYMPTOMS AND MAYBE IT WOULD EASIER, IF WE EXTENDED A HAND, A HUG, A "YOU GOT THIS" "I AM HERE FOR YOU" INSTEAD OF JUGEMENT AND LOOKING THE OTHER WAY. MOST PEOPLE WHO STRUGGLE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS ARE JUST DOING THEIR BEST DESPITE LIVING A LIFE THEY DID NOT CHOOSE AND HAVING DAYS WHERE WE FALL TO OUR KNEES BECAUSE IT JUST HURTS TOO MUCH AND MORE THAN WE CAN HANDLE ON OUR OWN AND JUST NEED SOMEONE TO CARE, TO UNDERSTAND, TO BE THERE.

SO WHAT IS IT REALLY LIKE TO LIVE A LIFE WITH A MENTAL ILLNESS?

STAY TUNED FOR THE NEXT BLOG: " A DAY IN THE LIFE..."


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