“You have depression? But you are so happy!” “You have an eating disorder? But you are so pretty.” “You have OCD? But you seem so normal.”
This list could go on and on as people are confused by those with mental illness. Many of us do not fit an exact stereotype of our diagnoses. Even if we do, putting on a mask is one of the first things that we learn. You do not want others to know the confusion, chaos, and agony inside otherwise they might reject you.
The truth is that all types of people have mental illness. No one is too smart, pretty, wealthy, kind, rational, you insert whatever adjective to escape these disorders. No one. As this video shows, even a super hero can be depressed.
One of the best picture books I have read, this tells the story of a child being forced to grow up but stay unique.
44. . . . And She Sparkled by Joan Steffend
Browsing in a cute little shop, I saw this book on the shelf. For some reason, the plush front with a simplistic but mesmorizing silver design appealed to me. The connection to my life was instant as I read the picture book. Right then, I was in residential treatment and struggling to want recovery. Staying a safe child or sick patient seemed much better than growing up in a frightening and uncertain world. Thus, this book played an important role in reminding me of who I was under all of my pain and healing that inner child. It might be a picture book, but . . . And She Sparkled has a deep message about recovery.
Synopsis: This book tells the story of a little girl who sparkles. Joy follows her as she brings beauty and light into the world. Each day, she dreams of the next one with excitement and anticipation. However, her dance falters as difficulties begin to come into her innocent life. Others start telling her to be quieter, more sensible, and less childish. In an attempt to be good, she locks up the sparkle inside of her and hides it from the world. Darkness increases as she struggles to live each day the way people say she should. The sparkle waits inside, hoping to shine once again.
For Minnesota, snow is a normal part of life. We complain as we drive through the slush and ice but secretly take pride in our ability to face the cold weather. After all, winter is both beautiful and deadly.
Lately, many people around me are complaining about the snow. I often feel annoyed with it as well. After all, it creates dangerous road situations and chilly fingers. However, I decided to look at the wonderful elements of it today on Thankfulness Thursday.
“Comparison is an act of violence against the self.” – Iyanla Van
The first day of my university’s mandatory chapel, our Student Body President addressed us. Beginning with a quirky poem he wrote, the senior smiled out at the rows of chair filled with bubbly theater majors, nervous freshman, yelling football players, and politely applauding faculty. Suddenly, the young man who we all looked up to paused for a moment before looking around with a serious expression.
“I want to tell you something important that I learned from someone else.” He stared out as if looking into each of the students’ eyes. “Comparison kills compassion. When you compare yourself to others, you no longer are able to reach out to them with love and compassion. Instead, you are stuck thinking about yourself and how you measure up compared to the people around you. I have been guilty of this and it needs to stop.”