I’m dealing with a really difficult situation of late that involves a very mentally ill woman whose mental illness is spilling over into vandalism, harassment, and veiled threats for a number of people in my building. (My roommates and I are some of the people, in particular, that she’s been fixated on targeting.) Unfortunately, no one seems to have gotten involved to intervene and help her early enough that her mental health could turn around… and now yesterday, after her behavior has escalated spectacularly, she’s been served an eviction notice.
My roommate(s) and I are dealing with a lot of added anxiety/stress/time-wasting on a pretty regular basis. A family upstairs felt pressured into giving up a pet they’d adopted due to the harassment. Other neighbors have to deal with a lot of unpleasantries in general. And, of course, the deeply unwell woman herself has to deal with a lot of fear and hardship too. It’s a very sad situation all around.
So all of this has brought me to reflect on the importance of mental health. And I just want to say a very heartfelt THANK YOU to every single person who looks after their mental health. Who ignores the stigmas about help-seeking and resolves to tend compassionately to their needs. Even if sometimes it’s difficult.
Every step you take toward self-care makes this world a better place. You deserve happiness. You deserve peace. You deserve love. You deserve support. And we are all very fortunate for your courage and your resolve in taking steps to cultivate your own wellness.
However far you might feel from “well” right now (or ever), the simple fact that you care to be well, and that you have even the intention of healing, is truly exceptional. Those intentions will carry you forward.
And the practical side of the self-care — the counseling appointments; the hospital stays (if needed); the medications (if needed); the phone calls to the crisis hotlines; the journaling; the art; the cuddles (with a willing partner, of course); the meditation; the healthy exercise; the healthy eating; the healthy sleeping, the abstention from substances that destabilize you; the cultivation of healthy, balanced relationships; the walking away from toxic relationships (and jobs, and places, etc., etc., etc.) — every single one of those things is an incredible gift that you are giving not just to yourself, but to everyone whose world overlaps with yours too.
If you’ve fallen off the wagon with your mental health, you’re not a failure, and you CAN be well again. None of this is written to shame anybody for any “slips” they’ve experienced. You’re still a good person. Please don’t doubt yourself.
I really just wanted to say that I appreciate the healthy things that you do make a point of doing for yourself. And to reassure you that what you are doing by participating in your own healing process is heroic.
No matter how you feel about yourself right now, trust me that the world is absolutely better with you in it… and it’s even better each time you renew the choice to tend to your genuine wellbeing.
So thank you.