I am crazy about my mental health.
Crazy about being healthy of mind, strong of body, and spirit.
I am crazy about keeping my mind focused, sharp, capable of thinking great things, capable of guiding me through each day without pulling me off track into the darkness of darkness, the sadness of sadness that blankets every thought, every word, every thing when depression hits.
I am crazy in love with being free of thoughts that would drag me down into the swamp of believing the only way out of life is death. Death is part of life, but it is not the all of life. and that’s what depression would have me believe.
I am not depressed.
I do not suffer from depression.
I had a big encounter with it. Once. I was in a relationship that was almost killing me. I wanted to die. I thought about ways to die. Dreamt I could make it happen. Tried a couple of times.
I’m grateful I failed.
I was lucky. I lived through it.
Because of the stigma though, I never reached out for help. Never told anyone. Never called the Distress Centre. Never talked to a professional.
I was too scared. Too ashamed. Too fearful of what people would say if I told them how dark it felt living inside my mind. Too ashamed of how crazy-making my life was in the terror of a relationship that was so bad for me, I thought the only way out was to die.
Today in Canada, 11 people will end their lives through suicide. Approximately another 210 will attempt it. Source
We need to talk about it. It’s crazy not to.
We need to talk about our mental health and mental illness. About the darkness, and the light. We need to talk about the challenges, the pitfalls, the hurdles to staying sound of mind when darkness falls and we can’t see the cracks where the light is trying to get in.
Because mental illness affects every Canadian, either directly or indirectly.
20% of Canadians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime.
8% will experience major depression at some point in their lifetime. Source
I am one of the 8%.
I survived. I’m not crazy. I’m alive, and today I thrive.
Others won’t survive their mental illness. Others will believe they’re crazy to feel the way they do, and take matters into their own hands.
We need to talk about it so they know they are not alone. They are not crazy.
We need to talk about it before it takes their will to live, before it drags them so far into the darkness, there is no possibility of the light getting through the cracks.
Today is Bell Let’s Talk Day.