“Sometimes, when we lose ourselves in fear and despair, in routine and constancy, in hopelessness and tragedy, we can thank God for Bavarian sugar cookies. And, fortunately, when there aren’t any cookies, we can still find reassurance in a familiar hand on our skin, or a kind and loving gesture, or subtle encouragement, or a loving embrace, or an offer of comfort, soft-spoken secrets, and maybe the occasional piece of fiction. And we must remember that all these things, the nuances, the anomalies, the subtleties, which we assume only accessorize our days, are effective for a much larger and nobler cause. They are here to save our lives. I know the idea seems strange, but I also know that it just so happens to be true.”
― Stranger Than Fiction
Knowing you are capable of more then you ever thought possible is the beginning of fearlessness and the end of hiding from your power. Sometimes, we must face the fire to burn away that which restricts our true purpose. I hope this anonymous quote inspires fearlessness in you!
“Fearlessness is the result of
caring more than others think wise,
risking more than other’s think safe,
dreaming more than others think practical,
and expecting more than others think possible.”
Nothing is simple when it comes to mental illness — there are no easy answers, no political slogans, no webcomics or awareness campaigns that can encompass the full and difficult reality of living with a mental condition.
Yet the truth is that many of us, and many of those we love, live their lives in fear of their own minds. We live in terror of the idea, the possibility, that we are damaged goods, incapable of bringing anything but pain and shame to ourselves and those around us.
I believe that no one “goes crazy” on their own — that we live in a society that is crazy-making in its capacity for trauma, denial, and rejection of its own complicity in the creation of disturbed and violent individuals.
If everyone had access to security and healthcare, if our social systems were more open to diversity of psychological experience and expression, I truly doubt that mental illness as we know it would exist.
This is what we must strive for: a greater understanding of how social oppression and intergenerational trauma breed violence and more trauma. We must come to the realization that everyone exists on a spectrum of mental health and illness, and that no one lives without being affected in some way by the “illness” side of the scale.
Let’s focus on the ways in which oppressive social forces such as poverty, racism and systemic violence, as well as personal traumas like child abuse and neglect, are actually responsible for creating and maintaining the symptoms of mental illnesses.
Finally, we must learn to recognize, and love the madness we find within ourselves so that we might better hold and heal the madness we encounter in the world.