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Let’s Talk: World Mental Health Day and a Reminder to be Kind

“A lot of people just need someone to be kind to them today”, because… “Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.” — unknown ⠀

I didn’t know it was World Mental Health Day, October 10th, until I saw a few posts on Instagram and remembered this time last year, when I was teetering in and out of the depression I’d soon completely “fall” into. Back then, I remember hoping by the following year (or today), I’d be able to write about how I’d gotten out of the darkness I was in, or emphasize how mental health struggles are NO JOKE (of course I’d realized this before, but the mind, fortunately, forgets). And so here I am, one year later. Thankfully, with a lot of struggle, sobbing breakdowns, therapy, time to feel, break and rebuild, I feel stronger today. I feel stronger knowing just how healed I can feel after going through such deep, personal hell (almost like when you get your heart broken and feel love again. You can’t believe your heart is capable of renewing itself, of finding enough hope and vitality to do so. It can feel like a miracle). I feel more connected to myself knowing my boundaries, ones I will not break again, if I can help it.

However much I may have healed, though, mental health struggles are still no joke. Last year’s experience with depression brought me to a whole other level of awareness and understanding of the fragility of life and the fragility we all hold as humans.  So, rather than focusing on the details of my own journey (I have written about it in several other posts) for World Mental Health Day, I want to focus on kindness. Just be kind. Be kinder than you think you are. In person and online. Give someone a smile if you have energy to spare. If you think a nice thought about someone, even a stranger, tell them. You never know if that’s the little slice of hope or joy that person needed that day. (I know I personally hung onto those little “gifts” like they were treasures, because they were — and are.)

 

“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”

 

Another thing I’d like to note: if you’ll notice the personal photos below, they were taken only a few days apart. Someone can seem fine and dandy but be completely crumbling inside. There isn’t much you can do to help if you don’t know, of course…which is why it’s even more important to be kind in general. Whenever, wherever you can. The person that smiled at you in the street could also be someone that is crumbling inside. So just be kind. We are all the same. We all feel and need the same basic things. Love. Gentleness. Understanding. Hope.