Mental Health

Let's talk about mental health.

Not because a giant corporation has turned talking about mental health into basically an advertising campaign where they get to look like the good guys. Not because it's trendy to act like you're depressed, or to use your mental health as a crutch to blame things on. But because we don't talk about it enough. 

Actual mental health and what that means was not something to be talked about up until the recent past. You didn't acknowledge what was going on, you just pushed through. Think about all the older members of your family. Think about how cold they seemed. Maybe they had addiction issues. Maybe there was a cycle of abuse that they perpetuated. 

Most of this probably could have been somewhat helped if they could have talked about their feelings, or what was going on in their lives. If you've been reading what has become almost my diary for a while, you'll know that my grandmother is suffering from dementia and some other issues. I am not saying that simply talking about her problems would have fixed them but it could have brought around the next step. 

There is no shame in needing to talk to a professional. Medications have been invented to help, so why do so many people fight against them? No one needs to know you're talking them except your doctor and pharmacist. Who are they going to tell? And if they don't work for you at least you can say you tried. 

It can be hard to ask for help. We are told that we need to buckle up and just deal with things. Inevitably though what stays bottled up explodes and then the real issue is so buried that it takes so long to deal with the rest that the initial trigger might never be addressed.

There are so many places and ways to get help. Even anonymously through text messages. Drop that burden, or at least lighten it a little. Your light is out there waiting for you. Don't be afraid to do what it takes to seize it. 

In the spirit of mental health, today's song is Everybody Hurts by R.E.M. Not only my mom and stepdad's "song" but a well-written song about all being in the same storm. I say storm instead of boat because we are all in a storm right now. My boat might be sinking and yours might be okay. But who knows what the next wave will bring.

Anyways back to the song.

Everybody hurts was released on the album "Automatic for the People" in 1992. In April of 1993 Everybody Hurts was released as a single and it exploded in popularity. I couldn't find a lot of facts about this song. In the liner notes of the album, the song is credited to the drummer of the band, Bill Berry. However, the band is known for writing all the songs together. And in fact, Berry doesn't play on this song. Instead, a drum machine was used. Originally Micheal Stipe (the band's lead singer) wanted legend Patti Smith to be a sort of backup on the song, but that didn't work out. 

The video for the song really stuck with me for some reason. In it, the camera goes from car to car in a traffic jam with captions of what the occupants of the car are thinking. When I am stuck somewhere I often wonder what the people around me are thinking. At the end of the video, everyone gets out of their cars and just disappears. I think we have all felt that way at one point or another. 

If you are suffering today or just don't know where to go for help, here is some info:

From the Government of Canada: Call 1-800-668-6868 (toll-free) or text CONNECT to 686868. Available 24 hours a day to Canadians aged 5 to 29 who want confidential and anonymous care from trained responders.

From Alberta Health: Virtual Mental Health

Even TELUS has MyCare


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