Monthly Archives: April 2015

Tell Your Story

Tell your story. It’s like honey on the tip of a straw. Stir into life the sweetness of truth. 

Tell your story. It’s the only way to freedom. 

On Saturday a man said to me through tears that if the only thing you do is tell your story, then your life will have left this world a better place.

The tears told part of his story, how his daughter survived suicide and so much more. Now she is headed to seminary in the fall.

There is no one story about mental illness. We embody a multitude of stories within us in a single day. So we won’t fool ourselves into thinking that just one story is enough or one voice is enough to break the silence, because it’s not enough.

This movement to end the stigma and shame around mental illness needs more voices. We need to hear from brothers and sisters of color, we need to hear from members of the gay, lesbian, trans* and bisexual and questioning communities. We need to hear more from youth and veterans.

We need to hear the stories of people who live with chronic mental disabilities and we need to hear from people who are silenced and sidelined.

Tell your story. The world needs to know what it is like to be you so that we can better understand and be more compassionate. 

I want to hear your story and the woman walking her dog wants to hear your story and the kid on the bus wants to hear the story, too. 

It’s stories that ultimately give us hope because in our stories we can shape our lives into meaning. 

The individual self connects to others through sharing stories. The shame and stigma causes people with mental illness to feel isolated and alone. Speaking out, breaking the silence, and sharing our stories about mental illness is like honey on the tip of a straw. 

Hope tastes like honey.

When Winter Ends

Changes in weather remind me of changes in moods. There’s a lot of movement in the upward effort of spring.

All that winter shattered is now cleared away. New baby green paths emerge where once there was snow.

The cold silence replaced by wet wind, tapping tree limbs keeping time.

So, too, does the mind sweep from winter to spring, from scenic snowy landscape to flooded, muddy trenches.

Except there is no calendar for telling the season of the mind, no moon shape or temperature.

The mind’s moods cannot be predicted through an almanac at all.

But only felt the moment it arrives like spring.