Does mental illness actually have a face? I suppose many of us, if asked, might sketch something dark, melancholy, even abstract, however, I am beginning to see mental health concerns from a new perspective.
Imagine with me buying one of those big containers of wildflower seeds from your local gardening supply store. In late winter or early spring, after cultivating your garden soil into a deep, dense and rich haven, in which your newly bought seeds will begin to grow and flourish, you wait with great expectation for late spring or early summer when all your flowers begin to bloom and you have a carpeted menagerie of Dahlia’s, Zinna’s, Sunflower’s and more. This is how I am beginning to view mental health awareness.
A collective of beautiful minds that:
- think deeply.
- feel on a deeper, rawer level than most not only for themselves but for others and this can be very overwhelming,
- have HUGE compassionate hearts that bruise, break and agonize easily.
What I have learned and am continuing to learn:
- outbursts are not about you. They may be directed at you but most likely they are situational in your loved ones life.
- when your loved one is experiencing a downward spiral help out in any way possible keeping as close to a routine as possible. Maybe that means doing things for your loved one that they would otherwise be able to do for themselves. Something as simple as offering them their medicine, making their meals or doing a load of their laundry.
- find a support group or start one.
- lower your expectations. Not of your loved one but for yourself. You may not be able to ‘do’ all the things you want to accomplish and that is okay. Tomorrow is another day.
- Take care of you so you can take care of your loved one.
- You are not alone.
Together you can bloom where you are planted.