We Walk Among You

We might not let the world know but we walk among you

We are your caregivers, your teachers, creators, lovers, entertainers

We walk among you

We tell you that everything will be okay when our world is falling apart

We walk among you

We dry your tears and listen to you so that you can feel better and so that we can find some purpose in life

We walk among you

We defend those that are called “crazy” or “weird” because many times, we are labeled that way

We walk among you

We make you laugh, think, dance, smile, FEEL

We walk among you

Photo by mason cook on Pexels.com

Who Are We?

People with mental illnesses. We try to void the stigma that we’re killers, homeless people, drug abusers, etc. We have the ability to function in this world. It might take a little longer than usual, but we can do it. No matter the setbacks, the gossiping behind our back, the name calling where we are misdiagnosed (especially by family), and assumptions, we are surviving. Yes, there are people in the world that do things that are uncommon to BE called “crazy” but many of us just want to live a normal life. If we could change having to depend on medication and therapy, we would.

Many of us can’t afford treatment. Many of us are told that our mental illness is in our head. We are told that we are weak. We are told that we are lazy, bad parents, scary. Some people refuse to believe that we even have a mental illness although we have shown signs that something wasn’t right. Some of us have our moments but those moments don’t define us. Many of us are thrown into jail because the country saw fit to close down mental health institutions; there is a shortage of social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists because of the cost of education and low wages (especially for social workers). With the growing need of mental health professionals, especially during the pandemic, this shortage is more noticeable.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health:

  • Mental health disorders account for several of the top causes of disability in established market economies, such as the U.S., worldwide, and include: major depression (also called clinical depression), manic depression (also called bipolar disorder), schizophrenia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
  • An estimated 26% of Americans ages 18 and older — about 1 in 4 adults — suffers from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year.
  • Many people suffer from more than one mental disorder at a given time. In particular, depressive illnesses tend to co-occur with substance abuse and anxiety disorders.
  • Approximately 9.5% of American adults ages 18 and over, will suffer from a depressive illness (major depression, bipolar disorder, or dysthymia) each year.

SOURCE: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/mental-health-disorder-statistics

Ignore What You’ve Heard

People with mental illnesses aren’t always portrayed accurately. We are not what you see on TV. Movie stars, rappers, and comedians don’t represent us. If you really want to know us, talk to us. Learn how we think and why we think the way we do. Ask us how we feel, you might be surprised at what you find. But we also aren’t the representative for the diagnosis that we have. We all have our own stories, traumas, and experiences that make us who we are just as those without mental illnesses.

There are acute and chronic forms of mental illness. It doesn’t have to last forever but, for some of us, it does. And we have to learn to cope. We have to learn to accept ourselves and attempt to be accepted by society.

Don’t make fun of the things that we don’t do that most people are able to do with ease. Some of us can’t even get out of bed in the morning. Many of us don’t even want to take a shower but we work on autopilot to get through the day. We do something called “masking” where we do what society expects us to do in order to fit in. We long for a life where we don’t have to do that, but we have to in order to stave off concern from those that we love and love us.

All we want is to walk among you and be respected as human beings and not our diagnosis. We are not all bad. We might have setbacks and need some time to get through them, but we are not the worst people in the world. We’re just trying to survive…just like you.

Published by tallgirl79

Blogging about life. Well, my life. As a black, bipolar, mom to a teenager with special needs, well, there is always a story to tell. From my aversion to having a man to my weird experiences while trying to avoid people, it's all there. Being me is.... different but it always makes for good blogs.

3 thoughts on “We Walk Among You

  1. Sooo beautifully written. At first I thought you meant angels but then you explained it’s amazing heroes with mental illness. I sooo love this blog. We are so much more than a label. Big hug to you xx

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