Important Words That Are Not Mine

I have not written and I have not read about the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. The pain and the loss is far too great for me to opine. I have not read all the beautiful posts by my fellow bloggers, only because I couldn’t. I am not that strong. I have been thinking since Friday about what has happened but I don’t know what to make of it all. I had a party last night, my annual ladies Christmas cocktail party, and not everyone talked about the murders in Connecticut but Friday was ever-present.

This post was written by my brother-in-law. I have always loved him but never more than when I read this.

“Lots of talk about mental health lately. I’ve had my struggles with it and even accepting there is a problem, having a will to get better and means to pursue treatment getting help is not easy. Our lifestyle and society don’t allow the necessary accommodations to effect real improvement. If you go to a hospital complaining of physical pain so severe that it doesn’t allow you to think or do your job and makes you wish you were dead you’ll be admitted, made comfortable and looked at until a solution is found. If the pain was mental, you’d get handed some Xanax, an ssri and be told to try it for a month and see how it goes. If you talk about your illness you are never again taken seriously by a lot of people. Disability insurance won’t pay for mental illness, but will if you get yourself too fat to go to work. Diagnosis criteria are based on how crippled you are by the disease, if you muster a will to function you’re just thought to be over dramatic even though you’re a ticking time bomb. Simply getting diagnosed is a career death sentence for many.

So what are we gonna do? Piss on each other regarding what kind and how many weapons you can own because its easy and quantifiable and because we’re so obtuse that we can’t accept that we as a society have failed anyone that is so deranged and hurting so bad that will commit acts a normal mind can’t even comprehend.I read a celebrated post today that basically said these people should just quietly kill themselves alone in their basement. It was liked by tens of thousands of people within a couple of hours. While that would obviously be preferable to the awful way some of these people end, thinking your sick teenaged child’s best outcome is to blow his head off alone is most likely going to lead to denying and hiding his illness as best you can rather than seeking help (which isn’t really there)

So where do we start? First let go of the idea that mental illness is weakness. Self evaluate and deal with your own problems so you don’t pass them on to your children. Don’t tell people who take a chance telling you about their depression or other troubles that they just need to go for a run, or suck it up, give them a hug and listen to them. When someone at work needs a little time to get their shit together, give it to them and don’t give into the competitive drive to throw them out because they can’t perform that second. But most importantly talk about it. If you’ve been there, let others know they’re not alone.

My name is Pavlov Bubolich, (his secret FB name) I am mentally Ill and I live amongst you normal people. You don’t have to worry about me because i am loved and taken care of. Now pay attention and be kind to those who haven’t yet accepted their own struggles so that they can get better and stay with us.”

Love to all of you.

29 thoughts on “Important Words That Are Not Mine

  1. Dear Maggie and Pavlov, I’m one of those people calling for gun control, because I believe it is a practical option that could be achieved with strong leadership. I’m also calling for gun control because thousands of people die of gun related incidents every year, only we don’t hear about them. They don’t make the news.

    That said, the deplorable state of mental health desperately needs to be fixed, both in the US and here in Australia. It hasn’t been tackled yet but at least the stigma associated with mental illness is starting to change here, thanks to a group called Beyond Blue. One of the patrons of Beyond Blue is a former State Premier who admitted to suffering from depression in order to raise awareness of just how much pain and suffering is out there in our communities.

    I know that changing attitudes takes time but I hope that if nothing else, this tragedy helps the youngest sufferers get some kind of meaningful assistance until they can survive past their teens and early twenties.

    Thank you for being so honest. -hugs- Meeks

    1. There are many pieces to this puzzle including a culture of glamorizing violence. Thank you for reading and for being so thoughtful. These issues are so huge and deserve much discussion. xo mags

  2. This is it. This is really what it’s all about. I think I’m gonna do an educational post on mental illness. Our society is still so backward with regard to this population. It makes me sad and also angry. What seems obvious to some of us is lost on others. It’s time for a change and a new understanding. We need to wise up.

    I wrote a comment on Guapo’s post. I think I’ll write something along those lines.

  3. TAE

    Thanks for sharing this. I do think there’s something wrong with the gun culture in the US (it’s not the only country where mental illness is stigmatized and ignored), but I do wish that there were meaningful steps taken to better mental health. If it were a virus or a physical disease, there’d be more effort, I’m sure. Your BIL is quite right.

    1. He’s definitely been through the darkness in the past and luckily as he said, he has the resources and a loving family and the energy to do something about it. I am so happy he wrote this.

  4. Pingback: Feel Like I’m Hiding | I Saw Bob Dylan in a Speedo

  5. Yes! Gun control is one thing we can do. More importantly, we can stop making mental illness invisible and give the people who suffer from it the respect and the care they need and deserve. We’re all equal, and we’re not the same! Thanks, Maggie! xoM

    1. Getting therapy and counseling shouldn’t be a battle. It should be as easy as a co-payment, just like any other doctor’s appointment and there shouldn’t be caps on how much counseling anyone is allowed to have.

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