Myth of Time

The passage of time used to be heard in the clocks that filled rooms… the tick… tick… tick.. of the second hand as it made its way around the circle of numbers. Or the chiming of the grandfather clock that declared another hour had passed. Now, time silently slips by without those auditory reminders. Yet, it is felt with each beat of my heart.

Yesterday I was given a truth that dispels the oft used phrased, “Time heals all wounds.” Time does not heal all wounds, I was told. Hearing those words from a man who a few years ago buried his wife of many decades was much needed, because it lifted the weight of expectation from my shoulders. He called it myth one of grieving.

Time… every second of every day reminds me of a void that will never be filled. I awake with her, I carry her throughout the day, I fall asleep with her. There is no analogy that can be used to describe the ache that is felt in every fiber of my being with her absence. Images flood my mind, songs fill my ears, flashbacks brings me to my knees.

Death is a part of life, but her death brought more than just a physical absence. It is the death of all the plans we had. It is the death of the name she had already selected for her little girl that is no longer to be. It is the death of a part of me that will be never be brought back to life. It is the death of hope because time is no more for her, for us, for our family.

If an analogy is to be used, I suppose it is like a category six hurricane. Suicide is really a “stops-you-in-c(s)ide” type of death. It is assumed or accepted that it is just that moment, when the truth is it is all the moments that led to that one event. For us, it was 14 years of moments, 14 years of being in a hurricane. In the aftermath, even though the sun eventually shines and the ski clears, the carnage is there. The physical pieces are picked up, but the internal pieces are still scattered to the ends of the earth. How do I describe this? How am I to respond when the words of a supposed loved one are spoken, “You are not the only one to lose someone.” Those words alone minimize, reduce the carnage to a bag of trash that needs only to be tossed into the bin and taken to the dump. Then it will be okay. How do I explain to that person how devastating those words are and how they sever any ties that bind? How do I describe that suicide is not like other deaths? How do I describe finding our daughter, the person I carried for nine months, gave birth to, nursed, cared for, watched take her first steps, and all the moments between birth and finding her lifeless body in our home? How do I describe that I am angry with her, yet I love her and understand? How do I describe the feeling of not doing enough even if that defies reality?

The proverbial, “be strong.” I know not what that means either. How do I explain to those who have perceived me one way that I am not that at all? How do I describe the heart-crushing pain that exists in every part of me, and strength is an illusive ghost? How do I describe that when asked, “How are you?” I want to scream, because while the word “okay” forms, I really just want to cry, but the perception of strength must remain? How do I explain I am not okay and I do not know if I ever will be okay again?

How do I describe the roller-coaster of emotions. Just when I think I am going to be okay… a wave knocks me down, leaving me struggling to get back up, and then the times when I don’t want to get back up, that I really just want to let the waves consume me? How do I describe that only our son keeps me going? It is not a crisis of faith, because I know where our daughter is; it is a crisis of pain. There’s a difference.

How do I describe that time does not heal all wounds, and how grateful I am for the person who told me it really is just a myth?

How do I put into words that all I really want is just a hug, one hug… time… the passage of time… how do I explain that I really do not know just where this road of time will take me? This is not eloquent, it is not meant to be; nor is it meant to elicit responses. Time… it is not forever; while it continues, it does stop for each of us. I was not prepared for her time to so violently end, but I suppose no one is ever truly prepared when that moment in time enters the door of the heart.

You Are…

Crazy, nuts, bipolar, schizophrenic, manic depressive, depressed…

Ever notice when it comes to mental illness or mental injury, the words used are, “You are…” fill in the blank.

Now consider this scenario: you are attempting to recapture youth by learning to skateboard, when your balance gets lost in the memories of time and you end up in the ER. What words do the doctor use? Does he say, “You are a broken ankle?” or “You have a broken ankle?” Of course he uses the latter, because you are not a broken ankle, you have a broken ankle. There is a difference.

This is true with any injury or other illness such as cancer. Why then are individuals who have a mental injury or a mental illness labeled with “You are…” Is there a difference? Would changing the language used determine the outcome?

When “you have” is used, the mind and body receive the words and begin to process how the condition can be healed. Not managed, not drugged, but healed.

When “you are” is used, the mind and body receive the words and believe nothing can be done to heal, and therefore, it’s just who you are and therefore, it must be managed or drugged.

What if we used the words “you have,” for mental injuries or mental illness instead of “you are.” What if we changed the dynamics and approach from managing to healing. Going back to the broken ankle, or cancer, or heart disease, or other physical illness, the doctor pinpoints the cause of the illness and proceeds to create ways to heal or eliminate the illness, with the person’s input. For the broken ankle, the doctor doesn’t tell the patient to take some pain medication and go home and learn to live with the broken ankle. He resets, or sets, the bone, places it in a cast or wraps it in such a way that allows the bone to heal so in six weeks, give or take a few, the ankle is healed and the person back to attempting to recapture youth, or just walk.

Just as when a person “has” a physical ailment or illness, what if we approach the brain the same way? A person with cancer is seen as a whole person, and the treatment reflects the whole person: mind, body, emotional, spiritual… what if that same approach was applied toward those who have mental injury or mental illness. Instead of a “take this drug, and this drug, and sit on a couch…” approach, imagine if the mental health industry viewed the totality of the person. What if those doctors, in consultation with the individual, accepted the four pillars of that person: mind, body, emotional, spiritual?

It does require more work, more effort, but imagine if instead of masking with drugs, the ‘professionals’ took the time to determine the root cause, created a treatment plan that includes the four pillars of the person, so true healing could take place?

Just imagine the healing difference that could be made… Just imagine…

Garden of Memories

Mad Hatter: “In the gardens of memory, in the palace of dreams, that is where you and I will meet.”

Alice: “But a dream isn’t reality.”

Mad Hatter: “Who’s to say which is which?”

Alice Through the Looking Glass

“We meet everyday in the gardens of my memories.”

“I enjoy our time together among the sunflowers.”

“I watched a documentary the other night. I felt as if I was watching our, your, story.”

“Will you share?”

“Of course, but first remember your words, ‘It’s like everyone is seeing how I’ve been feeling this entire time on the inside of my body cause now its affecting the outside of my body. I’ve been falling to pieces for years inside and now everyone can see what I’ve always been feeling. It sucks.’ Remember?”

“I do.”

“In this documentary, a man was describing his story of childhood trauma and finally getting the help he needed. He finally found a doctor who stopped labeling him. The doctor told him, “You are this way because of something that happened to you. You have a story that’s not been diagnosed.” He was told the labels didn’t make sense, trauma victims blame themselves, and the arch enemy, the fiend is the truth, but your reality is not allowed to be seen and to be known, and that is the true trauma. I cried because he was describing you. So many memories flooded back. Memories of desperately searching for someone, anyone, who would stop labeling you, who would see you, listen to you, help you heal. Then the words that it’s not mental illness but mental injury…”

“You okay?”

“No, not really. I thought there was time, I thought we’d have time…”

“It’s okay now, momma.”

“Yes and no. A friend said to me, “God answered your prayer to heal her, just not in the way you wanted.” A hug, your hug… just one hug… you always said I gave the best hugs, but really it was you who gave the best hugs. I miss your hugs most of all because they were so complete, so full of unconditional love.”

“We shall hug again…”

“I know, my precious daughter. You weren’t mentally ill, your were mentally injured. Doctors who prescribed drugs only hurt you more because those drugs didn’t help you, they hurt you more by altering your mind. I wish I could go back… I would tell that first doctor to go to hell. I’m sorry I trusted him, a doctor who didn’t care about you in a system that cared even less. I’m so sorry.”

“Momma…”

“I know, how could I know? It doesn’t really help though when I’m trapped in the garden of memories.”

“Momma?”

“Yes?”

“Remember?”

“Remember??”

“I sent you a picture with the words, “God is restoring everything the enemy has stolen!” I wrote, “You know those days where you think God forgot you and you can feel the pain crushing you and then something catches your eye cause it’s not in the ordinary of your things? I read this the other day during one of those moments and I think it’s great. 🙂 I hope it helps you too.” God has restored to me everything the enemy stole because I’m whole now. It’s His promise to you as well. I love you momma.”

“I love you to the moon and back, to infinity and beyond.”

“I love you more.”

“I love you the most.”

“I loved you first.”

“You are missed, my darling. You were never a burden, by the way. A thousand bad days with you are better than a perfect day without you.”

“I’m still with you…”

Stronghold…

“How did you know?”

“Know?”

“That I’d be here.”

“It’s where you always come when you want to be alone.”

Draping the air as fog on an early summer morning, the silence clung to the particles of the atmosphere, cloaking its visitors.

“Are you okay?”

“Now… I am now.”

“What changed?”

“Me.”

“How so?”

“Before I can tell you, there’s a more pressing thought?”

“Will you share?”

“It’s not comfortable.”

“That’s okay. I prefer you share to comfort.” 

“Comfort… it’s comfortable to observe the world while keeping it as arm’s length bay.”

“What is it you observe?” 

“Stronghold towers.”

Fog… silence…waiting…

“People create stronghold towers… they live in them… they stay in the stronghold of their constructed walls so they can feel comfortable. They are afraid of what’s outside, but really what they fear lurks inside.”

“I’m not sure I understand.”   

“It’s okay, I’m not sure I understand myself… it’s just an observation.”

Stillness… “It’s okay, you can explain, you are safe here,” whispers the voice.

“Remember the Allegory of the Caves?”

“Vaguely…”

“The cave… all the trapped souls within, but they don’t believe themselves trapped. They believe they are safe in the darkness of the cave. Yet one day… one man gathers the courage to leave. The light hurts his eyes and he must move slowly to allow his orbs times to adjust, but when he finally emerges, he realizes the cave is not a stronghold tower but rather a prison and the freedom awaits outside.”

“What does he do?”

“He returns to tell the others about the freedom awaiting them…”

Silence…

“And?”

“They laugh at him, mock him, tell him he’s crazy… demand he stay with them in the darkness. This saddens him because he finally sees the truth, but they refuse to believe him. “We’ve always lived here,” they say, “We trust this cave because it’s what we know.” 

“What does he do?”

“He leaves… he breaks free of the stronghold of the false tower and when he emerges for the last time, he shudders… casting off the darkness, leaving it behind because he knows that even if alone, he’d rather be alone and free than surrounded by a thousand imprisoned in the stronghold of a belief drapes their minds and souls, anchoring them to the darkness.”

Moving the air particles, hands join forming a circle of love.

“Going back to the beginning… I’ve changed. The darkness has been caste off and I am now free because I walk toward the son.”

 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.” John 12:46

 

 

Silence…

“You told the story?”

“To some.”

“How was it received?”

“Depends on who you talk to, I guess.”

“Mama?”

“Yes, hon?”

“Do you think they understand?”

“Understand what?”

“What it’s like to be trapped inside a screaming mind.”

“I don’t know. What do you think?”

“I think fear controls them as much as as it controls my mind.”

“Tell me more.”

“Fear… fear of having to confront the reality that not everything is as it seems, and we deceive ourselves by not accepting reality.”

“I’m not sure I understand.”

“It’s hard to put into words.”

“Please try.”

“Remember the word?

“What word?”

“Hero.”

“Yes?”

“We create impressions in our mind based on that one word. We delude ourselves into believing an institution is heroic because heroes fill it, but we only allow problems to continue because of the illusion we’ve created, and when we are confronted with the reality that the institution is failing because not everyone is a hero, we immediately reject it.”

“I think I’m beginning to understand, but…”

“Not everyone who wears a uniform is a hero. Not everyone cares. Not everyone who is in the institution has pure motives. Many are selfish, many only care for themselves and take for granted the trust placed in them.”

“What happens then?”

“People die.”

“How does that relate to heros?”

“I can only tell you because if I tell anyone else, they will get angry and reject… confronted with an uncomfortable reality we’ve created false gods of people through the labeling of hero. Just as we’ve created images of people with screaming minds labeling them “crazy,” “unbalanced,” disturbed.” They don’t get it, do they? They don’t see what’s in front of them. They don’t want to confront the ugly reality that they are just as imperfect and flawed as I am, and that I am a product of their creation of false gods, because they don’t want to acknowledge people fail and not all people are good and… my mind… it’s unraveling.”

“No my precious child, I think your mind is clearly seeing what most want to eradicate.”

“Why won’t they try to change?”

“Change what?”

“The entrenched institutions.”

“I don’t know. What do you think?”

“I think they are just as imprisoned as I am… and afraid.”

“Imprisoned? Afraid of…”

“Afraid they will have to accept that they are part of the problem through their silence and acceptance of what they know is broken. What did you use to say… you use to tell me… yes, that’s it. Human nature… when confronted with the ugly part of human nature, people can acknowledge or reject. In acknowledging, they can choose to act; in rejecting, they choose to ignore. What does that say about them, if they know and yet choose to ignore and do nothing? So instead of either, they choose to imprison themselves in denial because then they feel safe in that cell. They don’t have to do anything. They can comfortably believe in the heroes of the institutions they believe in almost as much as they believe in God. They choose imprisonment of denial over the freedom of truth.”

“What can we do?”

“Tell the story… break the silence.”

“I will try. Will you be with me?”

“Always.”

 

 

Darkness in the Sun

“I love the sun,” said the young woman.

“As do I,” said the young’s woman mother.

“I turn my face toward the sun to feel its warmth.” said the young woman.

“As do I. People probably think me stuck up, but when I go outside, I always turn my face upward toward the sun,” replied the young woman’s mother.

“I agree. But mom…”

“Yes, my daughter?”

“The darkness never leaves.”

“Please explain, my darling.”

“The mind… my mind… the darkness is overwhelming.”

“What kind of darkness?”

“It’s not the darkness of night that is vanquished with the rising sun. This darkness is different.”

“How so?”

“Sometimes it creeps in unexpectedly; other times, it crashes in like a tsunami, destroying any remnants of peace and my grasp on sanity becomes hard to hold onto with the force of it.”

“I don’t know what to say. Is there anything I can do?”

“No.”

“Tell me more then; maybe it will help if you talk about it.”

“It isn’t a place of compromise. I surrender every time or it’ll strike me harder otherwise.”

“I can’t imagine.”

“Sometimes… sometimes…” words accompanied by a single tear.

“Yes?”

“You’re the perfect victim. Call me crazy, but for you I empathize. With each and every blow, I sigh, saying I’m sorry for how you feel inside.”

“Who is saying those words?”

“The part of me that is tired… I’m trying… trying to shake it… trying to control it… trying to eradicate it… I’m tired.”

Silence… a hug.

“Even though it haunts me, I’ll make it out ’cause I live a nightmare.”

Silence…

“Waking in my dreams, looking for someone to hold. I’m told, “I’m sorry for how you feel inside. I’ll pray for you tonight.” I’m tired.”

“Does it ever end?”

“No. I’m outwardly free, but inwardly a prisoner of my own mind.”

“The sun brings warmth?”

“Yes, but I’m fading like a flower…”

Hug tighter.

“I love you, stay with me,” whispered in the young ear.

“I love you too, I’ll always be with you,” whispered in the old ear.

Different Worldviews: One Choice

Julia Roberts narrated a video for Nature is Speaking (from Conservation International) imagining what the earth, nature, mother nature would say if it could speak. The video is stunning, showcasing the beautiful landscapes that is the earth. The point, it seems, is to get humans to change actions to protect the planet, but does it accomplish its mission? Strip away the superimposed video and the voice, and what is left are the words:

“Some call me Nature, others call me mother nature

I’ve been here for over four and a half billion years

Twenty-two thousand five hundred times longer than you

I don’t really need people but people need me

Yes, your future depends on me

When I thrive, you thrive

When I falter, you falter or worse (?)

But I’ve been here for aeons

I have fed species greater than you, and

I have starved species greater than you

My oceans, my soil, my flowing streams, my forests,

They all can take you or leave you

How you chose to live each day whether you regard or

disregard me doesn’t really matter to me

One way or the other your actions will determine your fate not mine

I am nature

I will go on

I am prepared to evolve

Are you?”

Nature is Speaking


Conservation International website states:

Our Mission

Building upon a strong foundation of science, partnership and field demonstration, Conservation International empowers societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature, our global biodiversity, for the well-being of humanity.

Our Vision

We imagine a healthy, prosperous world in which societies are forever committed to caring for and valuing nature, for the long-term benefit of people and all life on Earth.

WE NEED NATURE

Nature is life: Every breath you take, every drop you drink, every bite you eat — it all comes from nature. Here’s how Conservation International works to protect it. Conservation International


Again, on the surface it would seem the video, mission and vision of the organization is good, because there is an element of truth to it in that humans do need water and food which comes from the earth. However, the elevation of nature to a god-like status is in the words, “Every breath you take, every drop you drink, every bite you eat – it all comes from nature.”

Stay with me… read it again with a different perspective:

“Some call me Nature, others call me mother nature

I’ve been here for over four and a half billion years

  • How exactly is it known by man how long the earth has been here? Growing up I was taught different numbers, and it seems the “age” of the earth is in a constant state of fluidity. Aside from that, the premise is that nature is god and created itself, and you are a mere afterthought, if a thought at all.

Twenty-two thousand five hundred times longer than you

  • Again, you are inconsequential because nature existed way before you.

I don’t really need people but people need me

Yes, your future depends on me

  • Our future depends on some random coming together of nature; we are subservient to nature.  If nature doesn’t need us, then what does it matter, our actions?

When I thrive, you thrive

When I falter, you falter or worse (?)

  • While I think I understand what they are attempting to say, what they are actually saying is again, humans are subservient to nature. Of course when there are storms, tsunamis, droughts, et al, humans are affected, but does that make humans subservient to nature?

But I’ve been here for aeons

I have fed species greater than you, and

I have starved species greater than you

My oceans, my soil, my flowing streams, my forests,

They all can take you or leave you

  • You don’t matter. Your life, your existence is completely dependent on nature. This poses a problem for individuals who believe humans can destroy the earth (“nature”) through their actions or inactions. How is this? According to this script, nature has been here for aeons (indefinite period of time, or unit to describe billion), and it doesn’t matter what you do, it’s not going anywhere. Nature can take you or leave you, and well… you are inconsequential, as are your actions.

How you chose to live each day whether you regard or

disregard me doesn’t really matter to me

  • Again, how you live each day doesn’t matter to nature. What you do is irrelevant, which contradicts the notion that we have to “worship” the earth, or take any conservation measures because to nature, it doesn’t matter.

One way or the other your actions will determine your fate not mine

  • Again it is stated that your actions – the actions of humans – will have no impact on earth’s (nature’s) future; what then is the point? Whether we do good or do bad, it makes no difference – good or bad – because “your actions” won’t determine what happens to the earth (nature); your actions only determine what happens to you.

I am nature

  •  Notice the “I am?” Seems those words have been used before… Christ said, “I am.” Contrast the two. Nature is saying “I am,” and based on the previous verses, it cares not for you (humans), does not need you, does not consider you. Compare that to when Christ speaks to being “I am.” There are several, but John 8:12 states, “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” Simply written: you do matter, your life does have meaning.

I will go on

I am prepared to evolve

Are you?”

  • These three lines are incredibly insightful, because it contradicts two prevalent theories: (1) humans evolved; (2) we have to take action now or we (humans) will destroy the planet (earth or nature).
    1. The theory of human existence is found somewhere along the aeons of time, because humans evolved to the state we now find ourselves, but the closing words indicate this is not the case. Nature is declaring it can evolve, but can you? Can you evolve? Based on the evolution theory, of course we can because that is how we got here in the first place, so why would we not be able to evolve in the future? And if we can’t, but nature can, when did we (humans) stop having the ability to evolve… while nature retains that ability?
    2. I’ve read that we have 12 years, 25 years, 50 years to save the planet (nature). The number of years varies depending on the speaker, but the dire warnings are if we (humans) do not take drastic actions now, we will forever destroy nature. But this contradicts not only the last few sentences, but the script in its entirety. Why? How? Because leading up to the conclusion, we are told it doesn’t matter what we do, nature will go on. It is declared nature doesn’t need us, but we need it; that nature has fed and starved species greater than us. Somehow then, we are to believe that nature has been in existence for four and half billions of years, yet somehow we humans are going to destroy it within 12-50 years? Then we are told nature can evolve, so it doesn’t really matter what humans then do, nature will prevail (go on).

I’m left wondering why it matters what I do if nature cares not, and will continue regardless of my actions, and then what does that mean for me? Of what value am I in this world view?


Still with me... read it one more time but from a different world view, one that doesn’t elevate nature to a position of a god, but through the lens of God.

“Some call me Nature, others call me mother nature 

  • “Listen to Me, O Jacob, even Israel whom I called;
    I am He, I am the first, I am also the last.” – Isaiah 48:12

I’ve been here for over four and a half billion years

  • “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.” – Colossians 1:16

Twenty-two thousand five hundred times longer than you

  • “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” – Genesis 1:1

I don’t really need people but people need me

  • “You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.” – Nehemiah 9:6

Yes, your future depends on me

When I thrive, you thrive

When I falter, you falter or worse (?)

But I’ve been here for aeons

  • “And, “You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands;” Hebrews 1:10

I have fed species greater than you, and

I have starved species greater than you

  • “The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen.” – Isaiah 43:20

My oceans, my soil, my flowing streams, my forests,

  • “But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” – Job 12: 7-10

They all can take you or leave you

  • “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” – Genesis 1:26

How you chose to live each day whether you regard or

disregard me doesn’t really matter to me

  • “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8 
  • “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things  present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38-39

One way or the other your actions will determine your fate not mine

  • “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.” – Hebrews 11:3

I am nature

  • “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host.” – Psalm 33:6

I will go on

  • “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” – Romans 1:20

I am prepared to evolve

  • “That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun. That there is no one besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other…” – Isaiah 45:6

Are you?”

  • “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:10
  • “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

What we have here is a clash of worldviews. One that states humans evolved (but not still evolving); that we are subservient to the earth; that we have no purpose; that we have no future outside of placing earth in an elevated state; and our actions are irrelevant, therefore, we are irrelevant. The other worldview declares we were created in image of God, and He seeks a relationship with us. His love for us was so great that His son, Christ, came down amongst His creation in the form of the created – man – to offer Himself as the ultimate sacrifice, and in so doing, created a bridge to our Heavenly Father.

We do have a choice, and unlike what the video declares, our actions do matter. Our lives matter. Our souls matter. Yes, we are to care for God’s creation because He has given it to us to feed us, to clothe us, to shelter us, but we are not to worship nature because it does not exist outside God. Quite the opposite as nature itself declares God’s existence, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” Psalm 19:1

Let us not create a false god in nature, but instead, worship the very one who created nature, all of it, for our purpose. Let us accept Christ’s love and salvation – by faith, through grace we are saved. Let us love one another while caring for the creation given to us by our God.

It is a choice…  of two worldviews.

All the Pretty People

Public Service Announcement: brought to you courtesy of the pretty people living in their pretty homes with the best of the best available to them. Need food? They have an assistant for that. Need home cleaned? They have an undocumented worker for that. Need medical help? They have a private doctor for that. Need mental health? They have the best on speed dial.

“NBCUniversal on Friday launched a new “The More You Know” public service ad campaign aimed at informing people about how to deal with the COVID-19 crisis and reduce their risk of catching and spreading the virus… The campaign is being supported by many of NBCU’s advertisers and ad-tech providers including Acxiom; Cadent; Canoe; Crossix; Epsilon; Experian; Facebook; Panera Bread; ShareThis; Snap Inc; The Trade Desk; T.J.Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods; and Vizio-Inscape. The have donated commercial airtime, service fees, data and/or distribution on their own platforms to run the NBCUniversal-created Ad Council PSAs. ” https://www.broadcastingcable.com/news/nbcu-launches-more-you-know-covid-19-psas

The government – local, state, federal – has been warning us of the dangers of social interaction, thereby instilling a fear of fellow mankind. Adding to that are all the shaming posts and memes on social media… you know the ones, the declarations that it’s the stupid people’s fault who are going to the store, or leaving their house as the reason for the continued shutdown of life. “It’s because of people like you that we have to continue isolation,” or some variation thereof. We have to isolate ourselves in order to avoid causing the death of one person, or many deaths. (Translation: if you go out, it’s your fault if a person dies because you didn’t listen.) Everything and everyone is a potential carrier or transporter of the virus and the only “cure” for this virus is to imprison ourselves in our homes. Of course it is only temporary until a vaccine is found, but a vaccine doesn’t “cure” the virus, it just minimizes one’s chance of getting the virus by injecting the virus… or something along those lines.

Cue the pretty people: Victoria Arlen, María Celeste Arrarás, Brie Bella & Nikki Bella, Stephen “tWitch” Boss, Gizelle Bryant, Andrés Cantor, Kelly Clarkson, Andy Cohen, Cris Collinsworth, Terry Crews, Ted Danson & Mary Steenburgen, Kate del Castillo, José Díaz-Balart, Reza Farahan, Ben Feldman, Erika Girardi, Melissa Gorga, Savannah Guthrie, Zuri Hall, Bob Harper, Lester Holt, Matt Iseman, Nick Jonas, Hoda Kotb, Marcus Lemonis, Erin Lim, Mario Lopez, Jane Lynch, Rachel Maddow, Dorinda Medley, Craig Melvin, Chrissy Metz, Becky Quick, Carl Quintanilla, Retta, Kyle Richards, Al Roker, Stephanie Ruhle, Tom Schwartz & Katie Maloney-Schwartz, Savannah Sellers, Christian Slater, Chris Sullivan, Michele Tafoya, Mike Tirico, Carmen Villalobos, Melissa Villaseñor, Brian Williams, and Captain Sandy Yawn.

Pretty people in their pretty homes informing the public that although we are isolated, it’s important to take care of our mental health and there is help available, just a text away to an unknown source. Wow! There it is, the cure for mental illness. All it took was government-imposed isolation to discover there is such an easy fix to mental illness. I’m so glad the sponsors donated money/time to inform us of this… I feel so much better now… guess I can sleep well tonight.

Except – yep there is an except – one question? How does this infomercial – sorry, public service announcement – truly help one person with a mental illness. These pretty people who live in a segment of society that the average American will never even drive by are suddenly telling you – the average American – that it’s important to maintain mental health by finishing that project, staying in touch with family (thought we were suppose to not interact with anyone, including family), calling a friend, “reminding ourselves to stay in tuned and connected as we experience these changes…” “it might be one of the most helpful things we can do…” And if that’s not enough to help you, well there’s always the know-all, cheerful bartender from the friendly neighborhood pub to tell us, “If you need help, it’s just a text away.” (Ted Danson, Cheers)

BAM! There it is, just a text away, all the help a person needs. Phew, I’m so glad because that was a close one.

I am raising the elephant dung flag. Let’s just break this down a bit, shall we? A person lives with a mental illness every second of every day. Depression, anxiety, PTSD, schizophrenia, OCD, suicidal… Even in the best of times, waking up, getting dressed, venturing into the world in which they live is a feat and testament to their courage to just get through the day without ending up in the mental ward or morgue. Yet now, every fear they have is being voiced by government officials, “friends” on social media and any other number of people declaring we have to avoid each other, and only essentials shall be purchased, and only essential employees can work… examine that last one: only essential employees. Imagine, you already struggle with self worth, and that job you had was the only thing that gave you a reason to get out of bed. It wasn’t the world’s best job, just a waitress, but it gave you purpose and an income. Now, everyone has told you this job is not essential, therefore, you are not essential. Add to that the reality that now you can’t pay your rent, or your phone bill. What reason is there now to get out of bed, to live through another second of another day in a world that just confirmed every fear you have?

Add to that the places that you previously went to for peace, grounding, or a simple reminder that beauty does exist are now closed: the beaches, the trails, the parks…

Cue the pretty people: help is just a text away!

The real shame here is the “cure” will prove to be worse than the virus (disease), and the number of suicides will increase especially for those individuals who live with mental illness. But not to worry, suicide and the right-help for mental illness wasn’t a high priority of the pretty people or government officials before the virus, I doubt it will suddenly become a priority when we are told we can go back to normal (new normal).

For those of you who know a person who lives with a mental illness, defy the government orders and social shaming… visit – no phone calls or texts are not enough – actually take the time to go visit that person on a regular basis. You don’t have to offer some sage wisdom, just be there so that person knows they are not alone, and are still valuable. No, it’s not a cure-all, but it’s a start.