I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
– Philippians 4:13
Does anyone know what’s important/special about today?
It’s Bell Let’s Talk Day
They are encouraging people to talk about mental health and their own struggles with mental health.
They are trying to remove the stigma associated with mental illness
Stigma is “a mark of disgrace on something”
What is mental illness or mental health?
Why might it be important to talk about?
Why does mental health have a stigma?
Do you have people in your life that you can turn to if things get tough?
What sorts of people can you talk to?
Kids Help Phone (1-800-669-6868)
What should you do if you are worried about the mental health and safety of a friend?
The Morning After
The morning after I killed myself, I woke up.
I made myself breakfast in bed. I added salt and pepper to my eggs and used my toast for a cheese and bacon sandwich. I squeezed a grapefruit into a juice glass. I scraped the ashes from the frying pan and rinsed the butter off the counter. I washed the dishes and folded the towels.
The morning after I killed myself, I fell in love. Not with the boy down the street or the middle school principal. Not with the everyday jogger or the grocer who always left the avocados out of the bag. I fell in love with my mother and the way she sat on the floor of my room holding each rock from my collection in her palms until they grew dark with sweat. I fell in love with my father down at the river as he placed my note into a bottle and sent it into the current. With my brother who once believed in unicorns but who now sat in his desk at school trying desperately to believe I still existed.
The morning after I killed myself, I walked the dog. I watched the way her tail twitched when a bird flew by or how her pace quickened at the sight of a cat. I saw the empty space in her eyes when she reached a stick and turned around to greet me so we could play catch but saw nothing but sky in my place. I stood by as strangers stroked her muzzle and she wilted beneath their touch like she did once for mine.
The morning after I killed myself, I went back to the neighbors’ yard where I left my footprints in concrete as a two year old and examined how they were already fading. I picked a few daylilies and pulled a few weeds and watched the elderly woman through her window as she read the paper with the news of my death. I saw her husband spit tobacco into the kitchen sink and bring her her daily medication.
The morning after I killed myself, I watched the sun come up. Each orange tree opened like a hand and the kid down the street pointed out a single red cloud to his mother.
The morning after I killed myself, I went back to that body in the morgue and tried to talk some sense into her. I told her about the avocados and the stepping stones, the river and her parents. I told her about the sunsets and the dog and the beach.
The morning after I killed myself, I tried to unkill myself, but couldn’t finish what I started.
– Meggie Royer
There is beauty in everyday. It’s in the simple things that we so often over look.
Chances are, we will all need help at some point in our lives. And if we don’t need it, we will know someone who will.
By talking about mental health and illness we make it an “ok” thing to talk about.
By showing someone that you are open to talking, you might just save a life.
If people don’t have to worry about the stigma of reaching out for help hopefully they’ll do it more often.
Is there anything else people want to know? Anything else we should talk about?
Let us pray,
Life isn’t always easy. It can be scary and dark and sometimes we might need a little help to get through. Help us to find the courage if that time comes, and to answer the calls of help from those around us. Remind us that there is something beautiful in every day and that all you need to do is find that beauty. Be with all those who are struggling with their own demons right now. Help them to see that they are far from helpless and that they are so incredibly brave to keep fighting. This we pray in Jesus name.