Sunday, December 16, 2012

What Matters

I am looking forward to tomorrow.  It's when I get my little boy for the week.  He is five years old and in kindergarten. 

It goes without saying that like other parents, I have been greatly affected by the tragedy in Newtown, CT.  For me, the most terrible picture I have in my head is the unspeakable fear that those precious little children must have felt with a killer unmercifully gunning them down.  The feelings I have are broad, ranging from sadness, anger, and disgust.  I am also not a big fan of those who would be quick to politicize the issue in order to push their own agendas.  Frankly, it is my believe that most solutions that are offered and much too simple when compared against the complexities of human social interaction.  I do not think the answers are found in quick and simple legislation.  I am far more confident in the work of sociologists, criminologists, and psychologists, who are not swayed by the next election, but by facts and truth.  They have a monumental task ahead of them.

For now, what I wanted to say is, with the immense amount of pain and sadness being conveyed over the news, social media, and other outlets, it is important, especially to those of us susceptible to triggers for depression, PTSD, and other afflictions, to take time to take care of ourselves.  That is not to say put the recent events out of our minds, because we can't nor should we.  But, it is vital to take time to enjoy time with your kids, spend an hour or two doing something you love, or visit an old friend.  A friend of mine recently went to the beach with his family.  Today, I rode my bike.  Others may read, workout, paint, or go for a nice drive.  Whatever the case may be, it is not a matter of "taking a break" but a means of strengthening ourselves to maintain our ability to function and perform and be strong for those who may be having a rougher time. 

Having a mental illness is no fun, but for many it is very treatable, and it does not mean a person with a mental affliction is weak.  It means he or she must take the time to take care of themselves.  From there, we are in a position of strength to allow others, experiencing their own, new and acute mental anguish to lean on us.  We understand how much we need to rely on the support of loved ones and friends, so we are ready, willing, and able to return the favor.

Lean on me.  Lean on us.  We have some experience in pain and uncertainty and we are in the fight.

Finally, if the recent events have made you feel in a very low place, and you feel alone and someone to talk to, friend is waiting for your at 800-273-TALK.  Give them a call -- lean on them.

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