Get Real Series: Not to be a Brat but … 5/23/22

***** trigger ⚠️ warning ⛔️ *****

May is mental health awareness month. Accordingly my company is posting one message a day on its Intranet. I admire that they are trying to do something. Truly I do. And not to be a brat but…

In today’s story of gentlemen wrote of his daughter mental health diagnosis. I will not elaborate and/or minimize her struggles. My initial thought was we need more of this, people willing to speak up. As I started to reply my comments twisted and took a different theme. A not so nice one. A bit of ire underneath what would’ve been well wishes. Not for the gentleman and his daughter but for the system. I made it about ME. And God help me I hate that about myself. So I canceled my comment before it went large.

This is what I almost wrote… Thank you <insert name> for being vulnerable to share your family’s story. I’m glad you found help for your daughter. For every one person that speaks up, hundreds more are suffering in silence. The stigma/fear/shame are real. The social services are lacking. We are fortunate to have FMLA and a job that allows us to concentrate on what’s most important. Many do not.

I could’ve gone on and on and on with my diatribe. I could wallow about our experience with Lulu who at the tender age of 16 suffered with suicidal ideation. How she used to cut herself. How she binge ate her way to oblivion to get through the stress of college. Who is now skinny as a rail having mastered her fate. Who still struggles daily with self doubt and worse yet in those struggles, shows a fierce determination and strength beyond her years.

I could go on and on about the broken system. Elaborate with intimate detail what we went through to find help. To be turned away. To be further harmed. Hell, we went through fresh hell. But I haven’t the energy. And I’m not sure it’s productive. I firmly believe one should come with a solution not a complaint. In other words, whining about a broken system doesn’t fix said system. With that I’m FIN. For now. Until the next dust up.

If you take away anything from this rant, know you aren’t alone even when it feels like it. We are legion. Not just in May but year round ❤️‍🩹

As always more to come.