SO HERE IT IS. If you woke up this morning with a mental illness, got out of bed, and got ready for the day, you’re a hero. If you got your kids ready for school, made them breakfast, brushed their hair, and sent them off with kind words and a smile, you’re a hero. If you put on your tie, heels, or tool belt and went to work, you’re a hero. If you went in your office, the restroom, or took a drive during the work day, to give yourself a pep talk, you’re a hero. If you apologized to someone after an argument, you’re a hero. If you thought to yourself, “I’m not going to make it through this day,” and then kept plugging away, you’re a hero. And if you did or said something kind to a person in need, even though you felt tired and depressed, you’re a hero. Others may not know the incredible struggle that you endure each day. They do not see the internal war you are fighting. They may not understand that when you’re in the grip of depression, or another mental illness, the simplest of tasks, bending down to tie your shoes or sending an email, become overwhelming and seemingly impossible.
Let’s take solace in the knowledge that we have companions on our journey, that there are many who understand. Let’s be grateful for our family members and friends who love us enough to endure the struggle of mental illness with us. There are so many heroes, so many Bellowing Angels with us, and taking care of us, on this unique journey.
So soak in this simple fact, let it become a part of your being. If you have a mental illness and you are walking, working, resting, or even sleeping through this day with a commitment to keep going, to live to fight another day, then you my friend, are a hero. I’m honored to call myself your fellow companion on this journey. I’m honored to count myself among the many heroes facing a mental illness today. There is much to learn from our journey together. Have a great day and take good care of yourself. Why? Because you are one of the heroes who inspire me and many others. Though you may not think it, you are loved by so many. So I am grateful for you, a true hero.
And just for the heck of it, here are two pictures from this morning. The city and the ocean. In the words of Louis, “What a wonderful world.”