For the 20 plus years that I have been severely ill with my bipolar disorder, have been hospitalized way too many times to count, received way more ECT treatments than I can count, nearly lost my life to suicide attempts requiring stays in the ICU, I NEVER got…
- one casserole
- one prepared meal
- “Get Well Soon” balloons
- rarely ANY phone calls
- rarely ANY visitors
- ANY “Get Well Soon” cards
- “I care” or “I love you”cards
- “Sorry to Hear You are Sick” cards
- “I am praying for you” cards
- a post-it not saying, “Hi” “Hello” “How are you?”
- offers to help with my children when they were young
- offers to help drive my child somewhere
- help around my house… (and I am a single mother)
- not a “how are you feeling today?”
- not a “how can I help you?”
- not a “do you need any help?”
- not a pat on the back
- not a shoulder to cry on
- no hugs
- no love and encouragement
- I was on my own!
Because of the stigma of mental illness sometimes people do not know what to do or say so they say nothing and/or do nothing due to fear of saying or doing the wrong thing. I guarantee saying the wrong thing is better than nothing. At least for me because at least I would of felt someone cared and tried. The silence and lack of doing anything is deafening LOUD and hurts.
After 25 years I understand people’s response or lack of response to my mental illness now. However it does not make it easier and definitely did not help me then. I thought people did not care, but actually they didn’t know what to do so they did nothing.
Please keep reading…
I finally understand now that my mother could not deal with my illness and her way of dealing with it was to pretend that it did not exist. She didn’t want to talk about it. She had guilt and couldn’t deal with my pain. Her way to deal with my severe bipolar disorder was not to deal with it at all.
She pretended my illness did not exist and that I did not exist… until I was well. My mother would only talk to me when she thought I was better, when I was well enough that she could pretend I did not have a severe mental illness.
That of course did not help me in any way, and in fact worsened my symptoms as I thought my own mother and many others didn’t even care about me. I needed love and support and I never received it. People were not there for me. I was all alone.
“You don’t ask the question because you don’t know what to do with the answer. ” ~Bonnie
Please open the conversation about mental illness.
Start talking about it. Listen. Learn more. Show kindness, understanding, compassion, love and please just be there and CARE. LOVE and LISTEN.
Lend a hand, a shoulder, a listening ear or just be near…
May is Mental Health Awareness Month and it is still May…
SO PLEASE WATCH AND LISTEN TO THE FFOLLOWING VIDEO.
I HOPE YOU ENJOY IT AS MUCH AS I DID.
“Talking About Invisible Illness – Mental Illness” by Max Silverman
This sounds way way too… familiar. It breaks my heart and reminds me of my life.
Mental illness is invisible and highly stigmatized.
This is a fabulous video. Loved his every word.
We are all privileged to speak about mental illness and mental health. Let’s do it–do it well and do it postiviely and lovingly.
I will be posting something important about mental illness every day throughout the month of May on my blog in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month.
Please keep visiting my blog My Loud Whispers of Hope and look for statistics or other beneficial information related to mental illness to increase awareness, educate, reduce mental illness stigma and prevent suicides.
It is crucial and imperative for all of us to get involved and save lives.
So, please visit my blog every day, but especially every day throughout the month of May.
Mental illness awareness and education saves lives.
Opening the dialogue about mental illness saves lives.
Sharing your story will help save lives.
Please see my post about my campaign titled, “There’s Glory in Sharing Your Story.” I need your help. Please let me know if you want to share your story and I will post it on my blog.
Please check out
stories from last year.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
You are all FABULOUS!!!
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