We all have this fight, those of us in the mental illness community, with so many factors. We come from many different backgrounds, and our stories may vary in some ways, but the truth is we are all fighting a war. The war to end the mental illness stigma.
Like any war, it is a battle on many fronts. For me, it varies from day-to-day. Most days lately is a multiphase battle with depression, mania, social anxiety, and insomnia. It is a struggle I feel at times that I am losing, and other times it makes more sense that these battles are for the greater good in my life– like winning the war. The battles make us stronger, but it is not always so cut and dry for every mental illness sufferer.
Look, mental illness is for life, but that does not mean that we need to give up.
The other side of this war is even tougher– the fight to live. I was talking to a fellow mental illness suffer today, and this person spoke of the struggle of living with a mental illness and trying to find a place where they can lay their head down and feel safe. To indeed make the stigma surrounding mental illness disappear we must fight on all fronts. What I am talking about it taking care of two specific groups within our community– those soldiers coming back with mental illnesses and homelessness.
I am one of the lucky ones. My family could have just let me go, but they chose to help me. I would be in one of three situations– in a mental psychiatric ward, on the street homeless, or dead. It is the cold hard truth of the reality for those who can’t afford to live in this world with a mental illness. The solution is often homelessness and death because of the high cost of medications or just living with a mental illness.
Many are not so lucky to be in a good situation. If we as a society are not willing to help those that have trouble taking care of themselves because of mental illness then what are we? Yes, there are many issues in this world that I want to fight along with mental illness like ending child hunger here in the United States, but I am a part of this war for now.
We must find a way as a society to care for our soldiers that come home with mental illnesses and those who suffer from homelessness– with or without mental illness. The truth is that mental illness is a growing global issue. I never get political because I am well versed in that realm, and this place is about showing the world that mental illness is not something “we should just get over.” But, we need better people in charge that believe in helping the people, that means healthcare for all. And, for now, that is about as political J.E. will get on this blog.
So let us continue to fight to end the stigma surrounding mental illness together.
Always Keep Fighting (AKF)