We’ve got to do a better job talking about this. The suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdaine prove once again that you can’t judge a book by its cover; you can’t simply look at someone and know what’s truly going on.
Money and fame doesn’t scare depression away. Status doesn’t give you immunity to mental illness. I’m not talking about just rich and famous status here either. The church (in general) often makes those who struggle feel less faith filled, less Christian. (Read more about that in an article I wrote last year… http://lookoutmag.com/offering-light-and-hope/ )
We’ve got to stop assuming we know someone’s story. If we truly got to know most people, we would be pretty surprised at the things they’ve gone through, the things they struggle with or the things they think about themselves.
We live in an age that has more ways of being connected than ever before. And yet we are the loneliest, most disconnected generation that’s ever been. We post what we want people to see. We’ve stopped talking (especially to those who think differently than we do.) We opt to show our lives in picture perfect posts instead of having real, live conversations.
I wonder if we really want to?
Would we rather just go about our own lives and not get involved? It’s easier, I suppose. To walk a rough road with someone is hard. To reach out and help someone who struggles with mental illness is sometimes awkward, as we don’t usually know what to say or do. Reaching out is a great first step. Telling the person you don’t know what to say but want to help is a start. Simply listening helps.
We’ve got to put down our phones (or the million other distracting devices) and start having conversations again, in person, around the table, on a porch swing, in a coffee shop, at a park…somewhere face to face. Put away your opinions and shock face and listen, really listen to each other.
Lord, give us the want-to. Amen