Just Talk. #LetsTalk
Everybody is talking about mental illness this week, mostly due to Bell’s #letstalk campaign.
So I’ll talk too.
I see so many things going around social media about how you don’t need some prescription, just lace up some runners and get some fresh air.
I read another article about the body having a reaction to inflammation causing mental health symptoms, claiming that dietary changes can fix all your troubles.
And of course at the other end of the spectrum people shitting their pants that its an illness, caused by chemical imbalances in the brain that must be treated with synthetic drugs, much like you would treat a bacterial infection with antibiotics.
Although, treating a viral infection with antibiotics gets you nowhere….do you see where I’m going with this?
The truth as I see it, and from my own experience is that every single one of these things is true. The problem is that like everything else in life, humans have this tendency to push their experiences onto others, and expect others to react the same and have the same truth as they do.
Bitches, that is fucking ridiculous.
Just because you can keep your crazy at bay by going for a run or eating gluten free or having a stress reducing support peacock doesn’t mean that I can. It’s like saying that because penicillin cured your strep throat, it will cure my influenza. No two people react the exact same way to treatment and management of their symptoms. Hell, I don’t react the same to management of my symptoms of anxiety for two weeks in a row. My symptoms aren’t even the same two weeks in a row.
I mean, there are some repeat performances for sure, but some days the only thing that fixes my shit is a good hard 5km, and other days that same 5km will trigger my fucking anxiety. It’s so bloody annoying. It’s like some days my anxiety is a regular, predictable asshole, and sometimes it is just a real cunt that will not be contained.
My point is that living with a mental illness is a learning curve for each individual, and management of symptoms can be done using a variety of methods, including medication. (or some days preferably sedation I swear). Having some sort of expectation about what does or doesn’t work coming from somebody who has never worn my shoes is pretty fucking annoying. It makes sharing harder, because people get all pissed when you reject their advice. It’s like dude, the fact that just going for a run and having a cup of chamomile doesn’t make my batshit fly under the radar like it does for you doesn’t make it any less of a viable treatment option for you. It might help. But some days, I just can’t people. Or be nice. Or give a fuck about what you think.
So when you’re talking, be aware that sharing means recounting your experiences, and listening to another person’s ideas, and validating what they tell you. It means that they are an expert about their own life, and you are just an observer that they trust enough to let in.
So don’t be an asshole. If you want to talk, talk. Don’t force. Don’t judge. Don’t expect.