May is Mental Health Awareness Month…. a month I am wildly passionate about… it is a month to promote mental health… a month to reduce the stigma… a month that others who rarely talk on the subject, take notice.
May is the month when we celebrate Mother’s Day… a day of joy and celebration… a day of appreciating… a day of sorrow and loss.
Each May these two days intersect. Each May I try to pretend they aren’t connected. Each May an event knocks me down and forces me to reflect on the loss of my mom. Each May I am forced to acknowledge a pain that will always be part of my life. Each May as much as I try, I can’t avoid the reality of what is my life, what is my truth. Each May I am forced to reconcile my mom’s impact on my own mental health.
If you work in education, at this point in a normal school year you are tired… if you work in education this year, you are at a point of exhaustion you can’t explain. The finish line is close yet you wonder if you have the energy to finish. This has been my mindset this last week. I pride myself on a positive attitude and motivating those who are struggling… the last two days I must admit I have found myself in a place of exhaustion and discouragement.
A co-worker today shared about Julie Moss competing in the 1982 Ironman… Although she was far ahead as she got near the finish line, her legs could no longer carry her…. in the end she had to crawl to the finish line after she had been passed. While she didn’t win, her effort to finish has been viewed as a heroic act. Her getting second place is remembered so much more than the person who got first… her refusal to stop is such an example.
Today I also became aware of someone having to go through a loved one making a suicide attempt… and the long-term status is unknown. As much as I wanted to help and rescue this person from the pain, I know I can’t… you see once you have lost a loved one to suicide, you know the pain, guilt, and shame so well. As much as you want to take it from others, you can’t… and you feel helpless. You know such an immense pain is only survived from crawling forward. As much as you want to continue running in life, you can’t. As much as you want to refuse to see the impact, your body won’t let you forget… as much as you learn to start walking and running again in life, there are moments that knock you back down… as much as you try to avoid it… you can’t.
It is May. It is a month for me to be voice for the importance of mental health awareness.
It is May. It is a month for me to once again not only remember, but also feel the impact of my mom’s suicide.
It is May. It is a month for me to show others that even if you have to crawl, you can keep moving forward.
It is May…