Today is a special day, especially for customers of Bell Mobility.
It’s Let’s Talk day, an occasion dedicated to raising awareness and decreasing stigma attached to mental illness, namely, depression.
What a sad word.
Even saying depression, even thinking it or writing it out, seems sad. I can’t speak for all you readers out there and your experiences with it, but I can speak for myself. You’ve heard it before from me, but you’re gonna hear it again, because someone needs to speak out: depression is something I have struggled with in my life, and it.sucks.ass. It’s not fun, it’s not pretty, and it’s not healthy.
But it does not define me.
This past weekend I opened up to a dear friend about something that I have been struggling with, and for some reason I got super defensive and I repeated over and over, “please don’t think of me as a victim“.
Is that why we are afraid to be honest about our mental health? Are we so worried about what people will think of us?
I know that for me, I was worried about coming out in terms of my struggle with bulimia because I didn’t ever want it to hold me back. I was afraid that somewhere along the way, a potential employer would find out and refuse to hire me (or something along those lines). I was afraid that my honesty would end up limiting me, haunting me for the rest of my life. And I was also scared that people would feel awkward around me and try to somehow shelter me from bad things. I didn’t want that to happen at all.
But it didn’t. My goodness, there is SO much grace in this world, my friends. It’s not always easy to see, especially if you watch the 5 o’clock news, but in our own lives, in our own relationships and circles, there is grace. Amazing grace. (Most) people want to listen, they want to help, they want to reach out and they will.
There is a song called Love Alone by Caedmon’s Call that I used to so easily relate to.
No one would love me
If they knew all the things I hide
My words fall to the floor
As tears drip through the telephone line
And the hands I’ve seen raised to the sky
Not waving but drowning all this time
I’ll try to build the ark that they need
To float to you upon the crystal sea
Give me your hand to hold
‘Cause I can’t stand to love alone
Not waving but drowning all this time…holy smokes. That just kills me. I’ve been there. That’s been my life. And I have compassion for myself…and I have compassion for anyone who has suffered silently through this, for however long, for whatever reason.
And I’m willing to bet that is most of you; that at some time and place in your life you have been that person…with hands raised to the sky.
So let’s talk about depression, friends. Let’s give it a voice. Stop saying you’re “fine” when you’re not fine. Stop acting like battered women and war veterans are the only ones who are allowed to struggle with depression. It’s a big deal. And I don’t have the answers. But I do know it’s safe to talk about it to my friends and family who love me unconditionally.
If you’re a Bell Canada customer, today is a good day. For every text that you send and long distance call you make today, Bell will donate 5 cents to programs dedicated to mental health. 5 cents is not much, but it will add up. Fast.
And I know that personally, it would be awesome to have more resources available to turn to…I don’t know exactly what that would look like, but it would be good. For me, I would LOVE to have access to free or less expensive counseling. It’s just a luxury I cannot possibly afford right now, but it would be nice. I think everyone should be in counseling at some point in their lives. It’s an amazingly introspective and eye-opening experience, not to mention liberating.
Give me your hand to hold,
’cause I can’t stand to love alone.
Here me now: You are NOT alone. If you’re sad, it’s okay. Sometimes I am sad, too. We can talk about it.
Happy Let’s Talk day, friends