For years, I’ve suffered with pain. Pain everywhere. Pain when I wake, sleep, and even do the things I love. As the years went by, it became more difficult to just block out. And it led me to all this: a beautiful downward spiral. A mind and body shaking in pain, but I would rather feel it all than nothing at all. Denial isn’t sitting well with me, lately.
I don’t think of having issues as scary, chaotic, and feel as much shame about it anymore. I took calls from people at a previous job, and heard many say “I’m so lonely, sad, and just want someone to talk to who understands.” I would sit and listen to these stories which all had the same endings: sitting in pain, solitude, and shame. I’m here to tell people, you are not a diagnosis, weak, or forgotten. Although, I can’t say your names, there hasn’t been a day where I don’t remember the stories. You are a person who has so much strength and power with your story you don’t even realize it. I think in the back of my mind, I held onto these stories to remind myself I can make a difference someday. And I hope I can find the right people to help with this vision.
One voice cannot fight the epidemic of drugs, alcohol, mental health, lack of quality of care, lack of housing options and suicide in this country. And all these issues are causing some to go into a denial, escapist-like state. I understand. Instead of helping yourself or those around you its easier to try to escape reality. It’s easier to grab that bottle, smoke that blunt, grab that smartphone, and imagine a world that doesn’t exist.
But there’s comes a time where some of us are going to have to help the vulnerable and wake up. The pain cannot be ignored in this country any longer. Politics aside, there are people suffering and funding needs to go directly to their needs somehow. No more fake help, fake empathy, and empty words. No more denial of reality. There’s no way out of the shadows but through the dark. And I hope I can find a way to lead those into the light with me.