This weekend my husband and I lost a neighbour and a friend. He took his own life. We were, of course, shocked. We had no idea he had been struggling. It made me feel so sad to know that he was going through something and that we had no idea.
You don’t know what people are going through. I know people, some of them very dear to me, that are going through some issues with mental health. And they struggle the most with the stigma; people thinking they are weak, talking about them, thinking they are “faking it” or they aren’t trying hard enough to be happy.
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t understand mental health issues. I guess I should be grateful for my genetic lot in life, my resilience and my positive outlook. Don’t get me wrong; I have days where I’m in a bad mood or times when I’m feeling sad but it’s not pervasive. But I know it’s not like that for everyone. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be trained in Trauma Sensitive Yoga which started for helping treat PTSD and is now used to treat all mental health issues.
Recently, someone I know who is struggling said that their intellect and their emotions aren’t in sync. They know they have a good life and job and that they should be happy, joyful, excited but they just feel flat and often less than that; even depressed. It was from this explanation that I had an “aha moment”. I finally got a glimpse of the internal struggle.
Start paying attention to those people in your life, especially if something changes in their behaviour. I don’t have advice. But I know from experience that they really just need help; they need medical help, professional help but most of all they need someone to listen, to be there for them, to care…even a silent companion can do wonders. We all need a little help from our friends…