Scarlett: Fiddle-dee-dee! War, war, war; this war talk’s spoiling all the fun at every party this spring. I get so bored I could scream. Besides… there isn’t going to be any war.
No, Scarlett, though everyone wishes you were right. In reality there is always a war. Always.
Whether brought by family, friend or foe we will forever come face to face with discouragement, adversity, jealousy, and confusion. Sometimes arriving on a daily basis. We are forced to fight for survival in this world. Every human soul is battling similar issues.
The worst wars? Those are the ones we fight against ourselves.
Living with a mental illness requires courage, counseling, meditation, prayer, supportive friends and family members… and medication.
There is still such an absolutely permeating social stigma surrounding invisible illnesses. Also, most communities have a severe deficit of understanding and empathy in how to support someone with visible challenges, much less citizens with mental or emotional disorders.
Most people do not intend to act in a hateful or prejudicial manner towards us as we walk among them every day. They simply don’t understand what we’re going through or why we behave differently from the “norm”.
To battle this unintentional pre-judgement, it can be helpful to adopt the mindset of a warrior…. reaching deep within your spirit to find the courage others might lack. Courage is both our worst enemy and best friend… depending on the swing of the pendulum. When we can manage to grasp the friendly side, we fancy ourselves charming and able to do anything. Then, in those times, what do we wield as a soldier of education and understanding?
We must speak openly, honestly, and often about what we’re feeling, how our illness effects our daily lives, and what our friends and family can do to help us heal. We should also be open to questions and prepared to answer as simply and quickly as possible.
There will always exist other moments… the ones during which courage eludes us. That’s when our friends and family need to step in and take up the mantle of edification. Because they have lived with this and should know how to impart knowledge when needed.
It is imperative that we do everything we can within our homes and communities to bring light to what so many people consider a dark subject. There is no darkness in Truth. (I’ll get to that later, btw. 😉 )
When someone says, “you have a lot of courage.”, it is a wonderful compliment and such a sweet utterance from the most well meaning among us. They are the people who care and are willing to learn and they see our courage.
However, I still have to wonder: should it be an act of bravery to speak openly about something that is experienced by so many people? It is a health condition that either directly or indirectly effects well over half our population. We should have a dialog moving fluidly between us at this point in history. Yet, it’s misunderstood to a degree that many people would rather keep silent and hidden.
I’m hoping we all find the tenacity to attack this enemy of apathetic cowardice and win this war. It is my prayer that someday we will be seen as courageous because we are living with strength and battling some of the worst monsters life can through at us.
Let us become an army of unmitigated temerity against aversion born of misunderstanding and fear.
If I may…. shall we “Rise Up“?