People talk about sex and illness, death and life…but skim the surface of depression or anxiety, suicide and debilitating phobias. It makes them uncomfortable.

When you see someone who suffers from mental illness, please don’t look the other way. Or worse–look right through them, rendering them invisible. We already feel like we don’t belong.

We walk the fringe between existing and living. We become chameleons, seemingly adapting to our lives. But behind closed doors, the weight of fear, guilt and sadness are opressing. And we either fight it or give up.

We can learn ways to control it (sometimes). Find ways to cope.
What we can’t do is pretend it doesn’t exist.

Don’t tell us to snap out of it, or think sunny, positive thoughts. There isn’t one person who would choose to live with depression or mental illness.
We can have good things in our lives–love, family, friends, support. There is no rhyme or reason. The darkness envelopes us, in spite of it. Regardless of our courage, patience or strength. It’s a relentless bully, that keeps coming back.

Depression can be as lethal as a heart attack.
It has no mercy.
It is an attack of the soul.


P.S.
I am choosing to talk about mental health today, instead of tomorrow, the day Bell has its “Let’s Talk” day. I refuse to support a company that dons its hero cape, and devotes a “whole day” and 5 cents per tagged social media post to mental health. This, just before the $5 increase ($9 for phone and internet) on Feb. 1.
Many people with mental illness rely on internet service. It’s their lifeline to the outside.
Bell’s bottom line: $$$$.

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