Man, work-wise, this last week has been insanely busy. I really wish I had more time to post, but it is what it is.
So yesterday, I was with two guys from work who I don’t work closely with. They know me, but not too deeply. I got into a conversation with one of them and it led to talking about my writing. Like people almost always do, he asked what I write about.
I gave a brief summery about the book I’m currently working on (almost to 45,000 words!) I told him about the main character is 16 years old and has mental health problems. How he attempts to commit suicide when things get really hard for him.
At this point, I was interrupted and told by the first one he didn’t like my main character very much. I asked why and he said this. (Using some of his words, but not a direct quote)
I don’t like him because he’s such a pussy. Yeah, he’s depressed, Just so ask for help or whatever. He just decides to wallow and doesn’t even try to get better.
We talked for a long time about depression and mental health. It became pretty clear, real quick he didn’t know very much about mental health, but had a lot of the same beliefs the general public has.
“Mental illness isn’t the same as physical illness.”
“You should just pull yourself out of it.”
“Having these problems makes you weak.”
I don’t even have mental health issues, but this still broke my heart. I can’t even begin to understand how it would feel if I was fighting a miserable and invisible battle and some person told me I was weak because of the chemistry of my brain. Something I’d have no control over.
Without a doubt, this really is the reason why I’m writing a book about mental health.
Because as a whole, there are so many stigma’s. Because people don’t understand.
When someone breaks a bone, everyone understands. There’s no embarrassment. Oh Johnny? He’s in the hospital because he broke his leg. Don’t worry, he’ll be okay.
When he gets out, everyone is more then happy to help him. You need us to hold the door, or get something off the top shelf? No problems.
But what if the same person has a mental breakdown? Then it becomes a huge secret. No one else will hear about it. If someone asks where the person is, some lie is told.
Why is this?
Why is mental health such a bad thing? Why is it different then a physical issues?
We wouldn’t dare make fun of someone in a wheelchair. What makes it different.
This is what I’m writing this book. Because I watched a friend in high school struggle for years before she was diagnosed with a severe mental issue. She’s on medicine and doing so much better, but I saw firsthand how hard those years were for her.
And don’t get me wrong, I’m writing other books which I’m writing for fun. (Kidnappings! Conspiracies! Villains galore!) But I felt like this one needed to be written.
After all, Who else will?