Several years ago, I made a conscious decision to talk about my mental health on my blog. It wasn’t easy.
Like many Americans, I was taught that these things are not to be discussed outside the family, or even inside the family. But the hardest part wasn’t the sharing, it was what came after.
We tell people with mental health challenges to share them. That it’s important for reducing stigma. That people will be more accepting and more understanding if they know you’re struggling. And to a certain extent that’s true.
The double-edged sword of it all is that, once you share, people expect you to get better. They expect you to heal. And for many of us, that’s not going to happen.
We might improve. We might get the balance of medications right (though that is often temporary). We might develop new coping tools, therapy might help. But most of us don’t get completely better.
And the part that comes next is that when you need continuing support, people are often ill-equipped to give it. It’s the same for those who suffer from chronic physical illness. The continued level of support needed is tough to give.
So the biggest piece of advice I can give to you if one of your friends, family, or colleagues has a mental health challenge, understand that it often doesn’t end completely, and that patience is what’s needed.
One Work Thing // The pandemic forced many into working from home. As a result, we all lost our morning and evening commutes. And according to The Atlantic, there were psychological benefits to commuting — to having a separation from work and home — and we have lost them.
One Amazing Thing // I’ve never given much thought to Hermit Crabs — the cute little crustaceans running around wearing seashells — but this video from David Attenborough has me seeing them in a new light. If you watch only one thing this week, watch these little critters switch shells.
One Home Thing // I wrote up a list of <$75 housewarming presents, but this little coffee scoop/bag clip is the highlight of the piece. No more spilled coffee grounds. No more refilling the other canister. No more measuring by sight. It’s a good gift.
One Family Thing // We usually only talk about family boundaries around the holiday season, but family relationships are difficult to navigate all year round. This article from Shondaland discusses how to create healthy boundaries within your family relationships, and how to maintain them.
One Last Thing // Me: at all these vegetables…so healthy. Also, Me: Honey, let’s order takeout pizza and call it good.