I am torn today. Torn at what to write about. Mixing in my mind are cookie-dough thoughts to roll in bowls of sugar. I’ll drop them one-by-one on baking sheets before sliding them into warm ovens where soon the buzzer will ring. My words are done! Delectable bites and delicious morsels will ever so gently be lifted to white paper towels for all to cool. Soon they’ll pop up on the screen.
Occasionally, the recipe is not quite right. I forgot to pinch the salt or add a dash of nutmeg. Worse yet, I left out a whipped egg! Even then, something on the screen will be seen whether it’s good or bad. Today, I’m hesitant to type it there. It’s Christmas time. All things should be merry and gay. That’s not what is on my mind today.
The theme of my blog is about chronic conditions, the “lessons” I’ve learned along the way.” I’ve lived with them all my life, since I was a very young child. A baby some would say. My lessons are hidden gifts from God, messages He has left me and continues to do today. Some have taken years for me to realize, others I haven’t quite figured out. Perhaps they’re waiting for another time or place for me to stumble upon, to sting red upon my face.
I’ve been in a ‘debate’ of sorts with a group I’m commenting in regarding, “mental illness.” I can’t say the whole group, just a one or two, to be exact. Debates are healthy, but frustrating too, especially online. Facial expressions can’t be seen. Emotions are blind. Most don’t want to become involved. Hidden, their lips are sealed. Mental illness is not a popular subject to discuss. Even today, as I type my words upon my keyboard I feel I may be going out on a limb. Will you be here for me tomorrow or the next? The two words, “mental illness,” have all sorts of stigmas, taboos, and stories of horrors (right or wrong). It’s a subject many or most don’t want to think about let alone discuss….especially at Christmastime.
So, I’m putting it out here because my family has lived with it… lives with it still. Yesterday, today, tomorrow and the next I have no doubt. In some cases (as in my “debate”) I’ll agree that the breakdown of family, bullying, politics, violence, and the sad state of the world we live in (not my words) help to “trigger” cases, it’s true. However, I can attest that it most often is hidden deep within the “genes.” There is no other reason. Period. It just happens. It’s no one’s fault.
We need to care for children and adults (yes, I did say “children”) who have mental conditions of any kind as if they had a broken arm (an analogy, if you will). They need treatment, plain and simple. It’s the same as when I took my six-year-old son to the hospital for insulin all those years ago. He was diagnosed with diabetes. He would have died if I hadn’t. Would I have let him? No, never. Today, he takes his medication. He lives a structured and careful, but wonderful life. For those who live with mental illness, there may be “triggers,” but sometimes they are not seen. It’s in the genes: like blonde hair, blue eyes, freckles, or being short or tall.
Please believe me when I say I’m not in any way defending ‘shooters’ like the boy at “Sandy Hook.” I was on my knees crying for loved ones on that day and for weeks afterward. I cry for them still. This is the “anniversary” week. I say prayers hoping they are heard. I ask you to do the same. I could be walking in a grieving parent’s shoes to a child’s empty bedroom. I can’t begin to imagine what that must be like? Then I remember, what about the father of the older child who caused the slaughter of the little lambs? His heart bleeds too……….
I don’t know what the answer is. We alone can not change the world. There is a need for more education, treatment, acceptance, and understanding. I hope if you see or even if you think you see something not quite right in someone you know……a friend or family member, pick up the phone. That would be a “trigger,” but their genes I can almost guarantee came first. Talk to them, or do something brave. Remember, God places heroes upon this earth. One never knows when they are called upon to do their deed.