I am going to stop being picky about the way people want to support my pain and struggle. At best, everyone is trying to be kind. At worst, you learn how to communicate your emotions better.
In this age of awakening to the reality that mental health is real and raw and scary, we have become very particular about what "the right or the wrong way" to help others is. I am here to tell you that I am learning, for myself, there is no right or wrong way to help or to be helped but it is okay to have preferences for what makes you feel safe.
We have become a list of "Say this but do not say that." And now we have become more anxious to communicate with one another because we might accidently say something on the "do not say this" side of of the list, offend somone, and instantly lose a friend.
My question is, "Haven't we already been here before? Say religious agendas where people are disfellowed for being humans to one another?"
We have created enough agendas, when do we get to be what the Creator is creating in real-time which is imperfect and constantly being formed but generally, kind and desiring to be helpful?
Granted, lists regarding how to handle one another has opened a door to becoming softer with one another and they have certainly raised awareness to issues regarding prejudices...they are helpful but are they sustainable?
At the core of it all, what I have realized that I needed the most in times of despair, darkness, and suicidial thoughts was genuine connection, not a list. A list is there and then gone. A genuine connnection involves devotion to one another. It shows up even in the dark.
I have learned recently that I needed to speak up for my emotions. I needed to stand up for my mental health like I would anything else I defend in my life.
I needed to say, "You know, for you, it might be easy to get out of a depressive, dark funk but can I explain how it is for me without you wanting to fix my way of coping?"
There are so many shades of mental health. On the outside, a person can look like sunshine and sundresses but on the inside, it is raincoats and storms and we all do not need the same solution...some do not need the sun to come back out but rather a lighthouse or a boat.
It does not mean they are always in the rain, always sad, always moping like Eeorye in Winnie The Pooh, trying to find a glimpse of beauty but when they are, they are definitely not trying to be like Winnie, you know? There is actually beauty in the darkness too. It is just that we are told otherwise.
Lest, I am speaking for myself so again, I state that there are so many shades of mental health and what everyone needs is vastly different. It is important to note that whatever you said or did not say has nothing to do with a person who is struggling & their choices after the fact.
Yet, my question is, when do stop creating agendas around communicating and start creating true connection?
I believe that learning how to speak our emotions and not feel shame for them is one of the first steps in the "general" healing of mental health for future generations & for the now.
No doubt, religious agendas and dogmas are known for their insensitivity to expression and to me, this has NEVER made sense seeing that God is the greatest expression of all.
Yes, God is absolute but if we read between the lines, God is honest when he feels anger, sadness, and even regret. Was it not God that sent a flood to wipe out humanity and then said, "I will never do that again?"
But it is not just religion that shuns expression. It is childhood development.
I watch so many children being told to switch their emotions quickly. We put resilience before expression and I feel like putting it before causes an interuption in the process of healing rather than an interceding.
Resilience is like The Holy Spirit--it intercedes on our behalf but in order for there to be an interception, we have to be holding the pain in our hands, outwardly, unshamefully, like a baby dove ready to simply learn the process of being set free.
We have to call out, reach out, pick it up and demand that the pain we are holding is heavy. My 8 year old nephew was wailing on Easter because he spilled all of his bubbles. As adults, we can think "No big deal buddy, get it together!" but what about when my nephew turns 16 and gets his heart broken for the first time or when he is a fully grown man and grieving one of his parents who has passed? It might be bubbles now but loss will not always be just bubbles.
His parents let him wail it out. No one told him he was "wrong" in the storm of his emotions or tried to rescue him. Later on, I overheard him at the kid table. He was calmly telling his 3 year old sister why he was so upset and why he thought her chasing him was a bad idea because then he fell over and spilled his bubbles. He was transmuting the feelings into a sound and reasonable lesson. He did this on his own AND with the support of others. After he expressed his emotions, he was able to listen to his dad & I know that he appreciated his mother letting him cry the way she did.
What I am trying to say is that it starts with spilled bubbles. That grief and that pain is so raw in the moment--his joy sucked right out of him, never knowing if he will ever get the bubbles back because in that moment, they are GONE.
It does not matter if somone says, "Do not worry, we can get more!" The fact of the matter is that ten seconds ago, I was blowing bubbles and now, I cannot because of an unforseen circumstance.
That is depression and grief sometimes.
It is spilled bubbles and the reality that while I can always get more bubbles, I can not get back all things or that moment before the heartbreak or my parent who has passed.
I believe there is a time and place to explain to children when "quick resilience" is necessary, such as being out in public and learning how to walk