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A million tiny pieces A million tiny pieces
by Abigail George
2010-10-24 09:26:03
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God is so far away from our lives these days. We are living in a material world. Money, status, power makes the world go round; it drives men and women leaving their children vulnerable. It leaves them frustrated and vulnerable as well. People do not know what the word 'faith' means anymore and that is sad. You do not need to go to church to know God or what spirituality is. You only have to look inside your heart. You do not need to kneel to pray or to sit in a yoga posture to meditate. We're fragile creatures. We repress our sadness by fitting in as many activities as we possibly can in a day stopping melancholy dead in its tracks.

On the one hand this is a good thing. It takes our mind off stress. Keeping busy is good for our minds and our bodies. But what happens at night when we grow unaccustomed to the light and the darkness becomes visible? Talk about the issue of lingering sadness and depression and feeling down or blue with your children. Watch and get a gut feel for their responses. Always remain positive. Don't feel guilt-ridden or self-conscious in talking about what was a taboo subject not so long ago. Silence in suffering only leads to mental anguish.

Silence, rejection, being isolated by your peers, family, not having intimate relationships with others who accept you for who you are and colleagues, stigma and denial kills, not words. Every single one of us has had to brave our own personal hell to reach where we are today. Some have done it courageously, others with the help of outsiders or family, valiantly and with the promise of the illumination that comes with having a peace of mind and awareness.

You will learn to summon men, women who have also had trials in their own life, who are angelic in their example of living their lives to the full, come to terms with their own dark experiences with depression and have learnt to overcome them. I hope my words strike a chord with all who suffer from mental illness. Everything is not lost when you're a depression sufferer. There is much to be gained even if you cannot see it now, there is life.

The world can make you feel like nothing or alive, whatever you give it permission to make you feel like doing. You are never alone in this constant stream, this river, flow and ebb of darkness. Your life might sometimes feel like a dream, as if you are slipping away into nothingness. The feeling can be a misleading and an evil one. Fight for life. Fight for survival. It is worth every risk you take just to inhale and exhale. Take small steps daily; baby steps in a grown up world..

Every stepping stone is a step, a balancing act in the realm of the emotional stable. When the blackness gets too much and it seems as if there is no room to move or breathe always remember that there is a survival kit; there are others like you out there, that you can share your story, anonymously if you want. Reach out and there will be a helping hand if you need it, grasp it and you will touch the light.

The importance of family is downplayed these days with the hellish pace every individual family member lives with. Suicide and depression is rampant amongst teens and growing as we speak. This is a message for parents: listen to your teens, pay attention to your children. They need to hear that you respect their opinions. Give them hope. Value your children. They are tomorrow's leaders. You are their compass. You will navigate them through the pathways of life.

If you are a single parent, life is even more difficult. You own adult needs have to be met as well as having a child or children who has an absent parent. What does a stable, loving and caring family life mean? For this generation it means so many things. It means stealing time from other issues that you think need your urgent attention more than that teen crying out for help who you think is just throwing another temper tantrum or whining about something that is trivial. Commit yourself to your family. You will discover love, physical and emotional wellbeing and stability, respect and self-respect and loyalty in return.

Depression comes with accomplishing, improvising, genius, madness, miracles in the sturdy mental and physical battle studies of loneliness and gifts. Even in self-sabotage, in those present, past and future moments of inhibitory internal and external self-destruction, when you are posed as an extrovert or composed as an introvert, caged in introspection it is a gift because no one can take it away from you, distillate as a cure, you own it as heart-wrenching, gut-wrenching, brutal, invincible as depression or mental illness might seem there is a gift in the shadows that plays on your intellect, your psyche, your ego, your spirit. It is there for you to recognise both its worth and its glorious familiarity with things both old and novel in your present life. It is your chance to share your knowledge with others in the same predicament as you are in and give depression a human face.

Having problems at work with a colleague, feeling the pressure of the day dragging you down, giving you a headache, weighed down by a physical illness like the flu? You're having symptoms of an illness that you can't explain away? Relationships with men, women and our children are far from perfect but we still live in the mode of denial. Denial about stress, the constant pressure we're under driven to succeed in our careers and as parents, leaders in the community, in churches, denial about depression, mental anguish but understanding can help lead us to permanently accepting the daily battles we have to face. What we need is unfailing encouragement, belief and faith in ourselves.

Sometimes it might seem as if we are a million miles from being normal. Our bodies, our brains, our emotions made up of a million tiny pieces. Depression and mental illness is far from just being cerebral, inventive, a quaint catalyst; let those who suffer in silence, in private, let all their realities be stories of personal growth in defying all the odds that stand and challenge us quietly or with cries or a shout head on. Let us give mental illness a human face to millions. Let us accept them for who they are and not villify them or hold them up to ridicule. It is not too late for changes to take place; for the awareness of mental health to grow and keep on growing. All people are deserving of respect. Let us not forget that.

The end



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