Yeah, we got one, too.
I don’t think I’ve ever shared something from my personal Facebook page here before, but this seems as good a time as any.
I am writing this post in case there is someone who needs to read it. Someone like me who is not seeing what they need to see on their social media channels. The message is simple: it is okay to be afraid. It is okay to be afraid of death, afraid of being alone, afraid of the future looking different than one imagined, afraid of our leaders, afraid of the planet itself which sometimes seems bent on our destruction.
Most of what I am seeing feels like we are skipping this step. It is not malicious and it may be what we need in the end: to connect in online social groups, to post our positive imagery, to credit the helping professions, to share humor and family and nature. I have appreciated these things, and I’m sure I’ll soon post my collage of Bodhi perfecting her Taiwanese dumplings.
But when we talk about mental health awareness, I think it begins with each one of us. If we present ourselves as not afraid, perhaps out of shame, we leave each other to wonder if we are the only one experiencing waves of overwhelm and despair. We then each become a little more alienated, and not just from each other — we become divorced from that part of ourselves, and that only increases the strain.
I will think a dozen times before posting this murmur from the darkness. But I hope I persevere for the person out there who is wondering, Is it me? Am I too afraid or afraid in the wrong way? And who can then feel a little bit less alone in perhaps a complementary way to the rest of what this good world has to offer.