Mental Note Vol. 19
Happy Halloween and happy last week of October! Here was our winner for Poetry Wednesday:
“The ABC’s of Mental Illness” — Zachary Phillips, Curated
“C — Crisis Plan
Critical contracts created to consistently control crisis conundrums.
D — Depression
Dark days diabolically dictated by dubious and delusional diatribes.”
And here are nine pieces that really stuck out from Invisible Illness this week:
“I always enjoy my birthday in September. It’s usually still warm, and I get a few days of celebration out of it. Last year I decided to go a bit low key (for me) so I texted my sister, my brother, and my 2 cousins to join me for family dinner and drinks at my favorite sushi place. They came, we had a blast, eating, having drinks and laughing. Exactly five months and one day after that, sometime during the night on February 13, 2020, my youngest cousin Stas took his own life.”
“The preacher spoke of Lazarus being raised from the dead, a bizarre funeral topic that made me suspicious my stepbrother would suddenly sit up in that casket. And just like when he had burst into my room, would mutter, “This was just a joke” and climb out.
Gaslighting with the excuse “ it was just a joke” became a pattern in my life I never recognized. The jokes were never funny, because they were all lies.”
“The “It Gets Better” campaign provides an encouraging message of hope for young people faced with conflict about their identity. But that message of hope, the hope that it gets better, must also be shared with older men who feel a sense of loneliness and despair. For those struggling with conflicts about sexual orientation, reach out to someone who can offer hope.”
“Dissociation and trauma is something that never goes away. All anyone can do is shine a light in the dark, a bit like what The Haunting of Bly Manor does by having these moments of love, compassion, and romance within a spectacularly chilling ghost story.”
“Although the initial juncture with her mother was especially fierce, Julia remained steadfast and determined. As we laid bare the source of her oppression Julia exhumed her instinctual aggression and her authority. She demythologized her mother and shattered all illusions of restitution. No longer obsequious and deferential, Julia reclaimed her right to exist for herself. As to be expected, a period of necessary separation was required. This eventually led to establishing intractable conditions that allowed for superficial engagement.”
“As you can understand, it’s not easy to have others around that aren’t supportive through the process. It’s extremely unhealthy to be psychologically invalidated, having your emotions disregarded, and facing emotional burnout. I made the decision to remove myself from all outside influences and focus on my mental health. I need to focus on myself, not my reactions to others. It may be selfish, but I’m not good for anyone else if I can’t be good to myself first.”
“My daughter’s struggles are nothing new to her. She often remarks that she has far too many service providers: a special pediatrician to help her deal with school stuff, a special “feelings therapist” outside of school, not to mention all the service providers she sees inside of school. She knows she has trouble with math, and with making friends, and with focusing when there are a lot of distractions around.
But, until now, we have skirted around providing her with the actual label which envelops all these difficulties.”
“If you’ve ever looked for a therapist, you have seen their credentials. They take the form of acronyms after their name that are shorthand for all the relevant diplomas, licenses, and certifications. If you’ve gone to a therapist’s office, you’ve seen some important looking documents hanging on the wall, the actual diplomas, licenses, and certifications. What do they mean? Can they tell you the therapist knows what they’re doing?”
“If anyone ever trusts you with their mental illness narrative, take the time to discover who they are and what they’ve been through. Tap into your strength of listening. In turn, perhaps you feel inspired to share your own story.
To break the mental health stigma, we need to invite people to share their experiences, and we need to listen carefully.”