Today is World Mental Health Day, and I thought I would tell a part of my story to try and prove a few points. It is not a story that I have been silent about by any stretch of the imagination, and it is just one that I am not ashamed to tell over and over again in the hopes that it may help a single person dealing with the vast array of mental health issues that plague humankind.
My mother was a bad person. My father became a bad person due to being a soldier. Neither one of them should have been parents. My siblings and I endured abuse from our parents our entire lives. From being berated verbally for not doing something the way it was supposed to be done, being punched in the face because it was done too slowly, left alone for a weekend so they could go to Vegas and, in my case at least, suffering the horrors of sexual abuse at the hands of my mother. It was constant from as early as I can remember until I became too big, I am 6’10” now, I was 6’3″ then, to hurt anymore.
However, that is not the story. The story is what that all resulted in for me.
I was diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety disorders around my 9th birthday. I was, much later in life, diagnosed with PTSD from all of the abuses I suffered as a child. I have, on multiple occasions, tried to take my own life either though self-injurious behavior or my drug addictions as a teenager. I have been medicated for these things my entire adult life, and I do not feel shame or self-hatred for it because mental health, just like all other forms of health, sometimes need healing, either through medication or different holistic approaches, to make them function as they are supposed to.
My most considerable fortune in life has been finding an inner circle of people, including my wonderful late wife, who understood this and did not lay the stigmas on my that others have in regards to my mental health. They have helped me, sometimes literally, take steps to become a better person who can benefit himself and others he loves with the care I can.
Understanding that mental health issues are as common as a cold is vital to remove the stigma that people feel when they either tell people of their problems or when people find out in other ways. We mustn’t cast shame on these people who are afflicted but to embrace them with love and understanding. We need to let them know that it is not a path they will walk alone, and even when it seems there is naught but darkness, there is always a way to find the Golden Light that will lead them back tot he people that care of them so very much.
There is ALWAYS help. I swear there is.
Remember, I love you.
If you are in crisis now, please call one of the numbers below.
You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255.
You can reach the Crisis Text Line 24/7 by texting “START” to 741-741.
You can call The Trevor Project, an LGBT crisis intervention and suicide prevention hotline, 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386.
You can call Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860 if you live in the U.S. Call 877-330-6366 if you live in Canada.
To find local resources in your area, visit To Write Love On Her Arms.
If you are a veteran (or your loved one is a veteran), you can reach the Veterans Crisis Line by calling 1-800-273-8255 and Pressing 1. You can also send a text to 838255.
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