Well, it's Mental Health Month, and I'm blogging.
That said, this isn't going to be one of those posts where I tell you about my history with depression or with Chronic Fatigue.
Because if you're in the middle of a period of bad mental health, concentration is often the first thing to go. So to you, people who are really struggling right now, I will say: go see your doctor if you can. Eat and sleep and exercise as well as you can. Ask for help as much as you can. Stress as little as you can.
And if all of that is totally impossible right now, that's OK too. Because you're still alive. And in life, nothing ever remains the same for long. This, too, shall pass. So just...keep going.
This blog post, really, is for everybody else. The three out of four. The people who aren't currently suffering from mental health issues, or never have, or think they never will.
And I want to offer you two pieces of advice, or possibly just two qualities I would wish upon you.
You will need compassion.
Compassion is what enables you to remember, when the chips are down and your hackles are up, that you have no idea what is going on in anyone else's life. Compassion allows you to speak softly when you wish to shout. And compassion enables you to take it easy on yourself when you are hurting, and will make you a healthier person.
Compassion will improve the lives of the people around you who are hurting. And everybody is hurting about something. Some a little, some a lot, but no one makes it through life without a few scars, internal or external.
And compassion will improve your life, not just because it will make you a kinder person, but because we are all weak sometimes. We are all sick, or tired, or at the end of our ropes. And it is in those times that we particularly need compassion. From others and ourselves.
You will need resilience.
Resilience is when you fail and get back up. Resilience is when you love, and lose, and then risk love again. Resilience is what allows you to bounce back when you fall.
And it is so important precisely because of that. You will fall. You will fail. You will be hurt. But life with no risk of pain is life inoculated against joy. So be brave. And then keep being brave.
Resilience keeps us striving for the bright side when the world falls down around us.
Compassion takes into account that none of us can be resilient all the time.
Trying for both, I hope, will make us all healthier people. Mentally and otherwise.