Happy Mental Health Month!
You might be looking at your computers, iwatches, calendars or phones and noticing Mental Health Month is midway through. Sorry gang, I’ve been busy impersonating a nurse (*see Lyme blog). Yes, I realize this too, and I like to be more prompt, but as I said, I’ve been a busy girl.
So why a whole month for the mentally ill while some causes only get a day or week? For one, we need it, or at least, I know I do. Two, we get shafted everywhere else; it’s about time the scales were tipped in our favor somewhere. I don’t know about you, but I’m often exhausted. (*Except when manic, then I can fly!) And sleep is always at the top of my to-do list.
I mean no disrespect to our cancer friends, but I am sick and tired of pink. When will green matter? (*Please note I have had family members with cancer, one who died. Do not throw tomatoes at your screen you will only ruin it. Hate mail, I can handle that. Huff Post wouldn’t publish this.)
Now, I search for green or any mental health displays of affection but find no green in any of our communities during May (or at all). Will any town ever line their streets with green? I don’t know about your town but we go pink crazy here. Pink is everywhere and mental illness is no where. I’m pretty has been around as long as cancer. Maybe in a few decades–when we get sick of pink–we’ll introduce it. Maybe one brave town will display green somewhere. By then I’ll probably be sucking on oxygen, have a pacemaker or be flying around town on one of those very cool looking scooters. (Or worse, be stuck in some home because I’ve lost all my marbles.) Hopefully though, I’ll be just fine, because I’ll have taken good care of myself.
Still, how about green bras hanging from roofs of local merchants? Have you ever seen those? The real estate agency down the road has pink bras hanging off theirs. Can you see it? Green banners? Anything? How about green bows and pens for sale to raise money for mental illness? How many do you think people would buy if the merchants would even accept them and put them out? How long would that take?
Again, no disrespect to cancer, breast or otherwise. (I can feel the hate mail coming.) I have lost loved ones to cancer so I am not ‘anti-cancer’,don’t put me there. Forgive me, I have to stand up in every article for my peeps. And we, too, deserve the same respect as any other illness. How long will that take? We have the whole month to get your attention and I often wonder if anyone outside the mental health community cares.
As I drive alongside the pink line in the road – yes they paint them here – I can’t imagine green. The only green in town is our lawn, finally, and our neighbors’. (I live in New Jersey, not California or Colorado.) Celebration, in addition to advocacy and anti-stigma, is to feel good about yourself. If we felt any of this from our community, I would feel better. It’s a good thing I have so much of myself, mental health and work to focus on.
I want to paint the town green, paint my nails green (though how long could I take it, that I wonder) and maybe spray paint some shrubs. Wait, they are already green. Okay, I’ll think of something. Maybe I’ll spray paint the caution tape we have around our new grass, though something tells me people will not make the correlation. They would simply pile it on to the other reasons why their new neighbors are odd.
We’re still new in the neighborhood, and I don’t know how fast it has spread that there are two mentally ill girls on the block. (I told my neighbor I was a mental health writer and you should have seen his eyes! And I thought ‘health’ was a good spin.)
Maybe one May I’ll be doing running leaps up and down our street at our town’s announcement that we’re honoring Mental Health Month in some fashion. I’ll take a green sticker somewhere or an acknowledgement in the monthly newsletter. I’m easy. I’m not suggesting lighting the school tower in green – though one night would be cool. We could postpone it to December and make it blend in for the holidays. I’m not even demanding a green stripe downtown. (Although, a nice, lime green alongside the pink would look lovely; I’m willing to share.) Besides, this is a preppy town and wouldn’t they look nice together? I’ll even settle for a sticker at town hall. We could squeeze it into a shamrock, put it up in March and take it down in June, kind of like a lingering St. Patrick’s Day spirit. Something, geez. Anything!
I did a little digging, a little, for some stats just to back up my blog here.
I hope your Mental Health Month is a good one, both mania, depression and hospital-free. No major trouble here for me, so far, and I hope there hasn’t been for you, my friend. (I haven’t been up all night or run up the credit cards, so not manic here!) If you are manic, slow down, do what you need to and get your sleep. Keep up with your meds and appointments, be a good bipolar. If you’re feeling depressed, I understand, a wee bit down myself. Keep your chin up and remember tomorrow is another day, one that just might be better than today.
And, THINK GREEN!!! Paint your nails green. Men, you could, that’s a choice. But ladies, how about it? That reminds me, I have to go out and buy some so when anyone asks why green?…
I can say, “Because it’s mental health month!”
Cancer peeps, we love you. Uncle Rick, I miss you. You would laugh at my absurdity and probably agree, I know. You’d probably laugh at the pink line in your downtown. Maybe you’d help me go out and paint the other side green.
Pink & Green, perfect. We just need more green love.