We seem to only talk about mental health when we need to. When there is a crisis and another famous person kills themselves. It’ s a news cycle, the importance of mental health. The tweet engine stirs and whirs, and the impassioned, emboldened even, cries for more talking, sharing, and understanding of this thing, this mental health “thing”, are heard. Then, a politician is caught with his pants unzipped or a Kardashian has a baby and we move on. It’s what we do.
It’s mostly O.K. That whirling and stirring, and the dying down, because it’s uncomfortable to talk about things for too long. Especially if they hit close to home. Hit the mute button, change the channel, skip through the commercials. We are wired this way. Get to the good stuff.
But what happens when it’s us? What happens when we need the help? And, it may not even be the big stuff. The stuff that’s going to cause us to jump. Maybe it’s just “our things”, the growing up, the getting older, the job, the stress, the kids, the wife, the…
Sometimes the help we need isn’t about the big things. It’s the little things. The little things we don’t talk about. The things that nag, that turn into the big things if we let them. Those are the times we should be talking about it. But we don’t. Because it’s uncomfortable. It’s just “our stuff”. “Everyone has that stuff, why are mine important?” These are the excuses. These were my excuses.
I am talking to someone. Maybe not about the voices, but about the things. The things that trip me up. The small things that someday could have turned to big things. I’m doing it for my wife. So that I can give her what she needs. So, I can learn to share. So I can learn to not have to be lonely because I can’t express what I want, need, feel. I’m doing it for me. So I can be better. So I can be healthy. Health in mind is like health in our body. We need it. It’s better to live that way.
We all have our things. Vulnerability is hard. It makes us weak. We are men and women who build things, who lead people. We aren’t supposed to be weak. But we are. And sometimes that’s ok. Weakness overcome with strength in mind is powerful.
It’s ok to talk. Talking helps. It clears the mind. Whether that person is in a church, or in an office, talking helps. It’s helped me. The talking is the start. I’m just starting. But, it’s impossible to get going if you never start.
This post was originally published on Medium and is republished here with the author’s permission.
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