Being Difficult

Ok  - I have been struggling with something and I just …need a little help.

May Day May Day!

Too dramatic?  It is May, a day in May, not really May Day but ok.

A day in May is Mother’s Day.

Also Tuesday coming up is a day in May.

There is a  whole month of days in May.

And the Month of May – all the days combined, the whole damn month ( I think there are 31 days in May)

Is Mental Health Awareness Month.

Did you know that?   I did. 

Not at the very beginning of the month but a few days into it and,being… several  things I am, and what I stand for, the responsible thing to do would have been to write about it the first week and to have brought it to your attention.  I mean that IS how you spread awareness.

But I have decided instead of all that,

I am protesting.

Why does Mental Health get a whole month of  awareness?

Mental ILLNESS is what should be in the spotlight.

That’s what they  really mean.  If you read the motto and ..stuff, clearly what they are trying to do is make people aware of mental illness, stop stigma, and help those that may need it.  Take away the shame and fear and isolation felt by the mentally ill and disordered by bringing awareness to the reality of their condition so they are more readily accepted as human beings and not dismissed as nut jobs.

Trying to being awareness to Mental Illness….????

Well I don’t have mental health.  And guess what?

I never will.

Mental Illness, Mental Disorder…NOT Mental Health.

Why do you think I call our little daily breaks  Mental Moments?  Used to be, for like a minute, the Mid-Afternoon Mental Health Moment.  I felt like a hypocrite.  It helps with mental health?   sooo if you don’t have mental health..then what?

Mental Moments aren’t really about that anyways.  It’s about your mental state and making that better.    Healthy or Ill.

Whoever deemed it called Mental Health Awareness  needs a time out.  And a dictionary.  And to take  mental HEALTH  Awareness and … at the very least call it what it is.

Mental Health Awareness Month just left out the people its supposed to support.

Some are thinking .. Lizzie you are taking it too literally.  Everybody knows when they say mental health it is just to encompass all the …all the what?

All the people with Mental Illness?

No, everybody doesn’t know that because I am somebody and I am asking why?  If I am asking why, someone else, somewhere, is asking why too.

Here;s what I think.

I think calling it Mental HEALTH…the blanket way we reference mental state, is the most blatant form of  denial about  the mentally disordered and ill that ever could be thrown in their face.

The reason they refer to it as Mental HEALTH..is because Mental ILLNESS…Mental DISORDER..is too scary and sad.   People fear what they do not understand.

Awareness days, weeks, months..are designed to help people understand, to bring AWARENESS to something that they fear, to improve the lives of those that are feared, or the conditions they have that make them scary..and sad.

Call it health even though is isn’t so that it sounds better… .

It’s a joke.

Me going to a mental health clinic, going by the name, is pointless.

Let;s take a vote.. how many here are afraid of Mental Health?

Mental Health is the absence of mental disorder or illness.  If you have mental illness or disorder, you may never be able to have Mental Health.  Ever.  I say may, because there are some conditions that can return to Mental Health.

Not mine.  And many others like mine.

One more thing, I was just noticing that, even though it’s a whole month long and its awareness and stuff, and even though for me..  it makes  not much sense,

based on the PRINCIPLE of it, based on the seriousness and importance of it

Shouldn’t places like the social networks be talking about it?

There are so many people in this space that came here to find a way to understand their mental disorder, to find…themselves.

There are so many here that are trying to bring awareness to the illness, and the stigma…  wanting to show others that they are beautiful, happy WORTHY people, even without their mental health….you would think that a huge thing like .. WordPress for instance, would for just one month try to help?

How many topics are about mental health, mental illness or metal awareness?  How many have you seen FP where the post that got all the attention was about any of that?

Huh.

I waited..  Today is the 12th of May..  12 days of awareness already gone without much effort at awareness that I see.

Of all the blogs I read, I saw two maybe three mentions about it.

I didn’t mention it.

Call it whatever you want.  Mental  (insert choice here) Awareness Month.  Not very many people really want to know.

Any ideas what color ribbon is for Mental Health Awareness?   No?

Don’t get me wrong, I am all for and would participate fully in a Mental Health Awareness Month..if it’s about mental health. I like the idea that if we are going to make awareness days, weeks months about the things that we fear, the things we want to help others not fear..  then let’s do it for those who are just fine too.  Really.

And I am not trying to say it’s not as important as Mental Illness Awareness.  Or shut anybody out of the festivities.

Let’s call a spade a spade.

I have bipolar disorder, I do not have mental health.

I appreciate the effort to bring awareness to my disorder and others that are like it.   I fully support , in order to stop the stigma, the sadness the isolation and …darkness, an awareness day, week, month and want to participate to do my part,

calling  it Mental Health Awareness is …  shitty.

I try to do my part everyday.  I try to, just by being here, and being me, show people the other side of the darkness, the light.

I used to keep it a secret ..me having bipolar disorder.  I was.. ashamed.  Scared.  I felt unfairly judged and unfairly labeled.  Once I said bipolar, to some, it didn’t matter beyond that how many other things I had to offer.

So I kept it a secret.

Like everyone else in this world – yes a generalization and one I will stand behind, everyone… all I wanted to be, was accepted for who I am.

Validated as a person, not dismissed as a disease.  Not treated like I was less, simply because I had more of a mess in my brain than most people do.

Ignoring it, pretending it isn’t there doesn;t work.  I used to think it would.

But that’s the very reason we need to have awareness days, weeks, months…because there is no reason to be ashamed, there is no reason to feel unworthy, there is no reason for those that are mentally ill to be afraid to ask for help and no reason for the mentally healthy to be afraid to give it.

People fear what they don’t understand.

They can’t understand if you don’t ….  bring awareness.

I have found,

  • by talking about it,
  • by letting people ask me questions,
  •  by reaching out  for help
  • by not hiding behind shame that should never ..never have been mine to begin with..

more acceptance, support and love and felt better about everything in my life, even the state of my mental disorder than I ever have before.

Ever.

But I can’t do those things under the guise of Mental Health Awareness.  I am not mentally healthy.  I have a mood disorder that has no cure, it can be managed but mental health is not something that is ever going to be mine.  I am Mentally Ill.  (but my mental state is excellent – just saying )

Am I being difficult?  Am I making waves?  I hope so.

Am I just spouting off about something I know NOTHING ABOUT??

MENTAL HEALTH – a state with no illness or disorder.

Let’s go with being difficult.

For what?

Maybe to bring some awareness to Mental Illness.

Really though, what it is?

Awareness of the Human Condition.  We ALL share that.

Think about it…

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30 responses to “Being Difficult

  1. I had absolutely no idea it was Mental Health Awareness Month. I’m looking now to see what I can do to raise awareness.
    And go you for posting this!

  2. I am so with you on this one. I despise all the “awareness” of the PC, touchy feel, make sure no one panics, sugar-coated gradu. Whether we are taking a moment of silence or the whole month, call it what it is.

    Just so you know, I shared the post on FB with the following comment:

    If you know of anyone with a mental illness, you absolutely need to read this. And then share it. And if you do not, share it because someone on your list does know someone or is someone with a mental illness.

    I am for awareness of the problems, not of the absence of the problems. Sheesh.
    Red.

    PS Happy Mother’s Day <3 xxx

    • thank you for sharing it. I have been mulling it over since I heard about it . The whole thing about it just.. I dunno it truly is important to get the word out. Its not all touchy feely warm and fuzzy.but let;s call it health… ok.
      Thanks hope your Mothers Day was excellent :-)

  3. Mental Health Awareness Month. I had no idea it was Mental Health Awareness Month, and and what a great point you make! Honestly, they are so worried about being polictically correct . . . it’s so cowardly of them! That’s like calling breast cancer breast awareness! Well thank goodness for you Lizzie. One person CAN make a difference. You have certainly made a difference in my life and how I think about bi-polar. Truly! You are a dynamo and when Lizzie gets going, “Look out!” :D If the mental health awareness bozos that be are going to gloss over the issue of mental illness then who better than my wonderful cyberdaughter to set them straight!! You ROCK not just this month, Liaaie, but 24/7 365 And I just love you!!!!

    • lol.. breast awareness..I get this thought of a bunch of people in a meeting ..trying top decide the best things to call it..all for breast awareness ? lol… Someday I am going to change the world.., I may be 105 when I do it.. but someday. I love you too… thanks :-)

  4. Good point on the title. I can see some marketing guy plying through the stats and figuring that Health would be less obtrusive to people (offensive?) without considering the root reason for the whole month being what it is. I will also do a post at some point as well.

  5. Reblogged this on benzeknees and commented:
    May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Lizzie makes a great point about this title & the awareness that needs to take place. Not everyone who has a mental illness feels comfortable coming forward due to the stigma attached to mental illness. We need to make everyone aware, those suffering with mental illness are more often than not just like you & me.

  6. Re-blooged on my site with these comments: May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Lizzie makes a great point about this title & the awareness that needs to take place. Not everyone who has a mental illness feels comfortable coming forward due to the stigma attached to mental illness. We need to make everyone aware, those suffering with mental illness are more often than not just like you & me.

  7. I went through many bouts of good and bad as you stood by and watched
    I hope you are ok and can only say that addiction is a men a ment
    SHIT !!! Some of us don’t like to say it but……. I hope you had a great
    Mothers Day and take care. Dont be afraid to be yourself. When your good your the best.
    And when you go bad ! Well we won’t talk about that lol. Please continue to be strong
    Hate breeds hate and LOVE will see it through with the love of those around you may you find peace and happiness in your life. MY heart you will always be. GOD BLESS

    • thanks..i don;t understand why you are hiding now.. I was thinking about last Mother’s Day, and yesterday. Addiction is horrible..it ruins lives and hurts people. Mental illness does too. There is one big difference between you and I ..there is no cure for my illness..you have more of a choice.. was it worth it? Get some help…..please. Addiction awareness Month is in September. I will definitely be writing about that. Addiction of someone I love tore my life apart – dont do it to everyone else who loves you you are worthy and valuable..please get some help…

    • thank you.. I get a bit hung up on words sometimes. If I let myself run with it..and usually I am surprised at the outcome :-) Take for instance.. you are a professional that deals with people with mental illness and disorder.. wouldn’t that make you a mental Illness specialist? People with mental health are not your focus although I do understand that you help people recover their mental health..those that can.. but those who wont ever, like me.. the goal I guess it to have me mentally healthier.. but I am still mentally ill..

      and too.. I was a bit riled.. still am about the social networks not stepping up more.. I mean really.. then again how can I complain, I have the perfect platform and a mental illness.. I want to help people that dont get it understand.. I want to help the ones who suffer understand.. Now is the perfect time ..and where have I been? well. I guess you could say not blogging to bring awareness to mental illness.. ? indicitive of what it does.. how bad it can be.. .. well I am rambling and whining..
      I will start being better about checking my spam box..Im sorry I missed this.. and a few others too.

      • It’s a deep point, Lizzie–really. And I, too, am quite disappointed in the social media networks–and regular media, too, in fact–about their lack of coverage of the important awareness days, weeks, and month. It doesn’t say much for our consideration of the importance of mental illness as a society. And you? Don’t even say it. . .you ARE blogging to bring awareness of mental illness. That’s what you do–just keep doing it.

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