Yesterday afternoon, I was watching a football game with my family. The tv network showed clips of some people joyfully shaving their heads in support of a coach who is fighting cancer. This was a wonderful display of encouragement, compassion, and solidarity, for a man who is facing what is probably the fight of his life.
Please understand, I want to make it clear: I think it is important that people who struggle with cancer get as much support as they can get. I know cancer is a terribly frightening disease and I'm happy to see cancer patients get showered with love and concern, as they should be. It's just that I wish I would also see the same response for those who suffer with a terribly frightening disease of the mind.
I know those of us with mental illness can at times be very, or even extremely, difficult to live with. We don't mean for that to happen. Really, we don't. And just like a cancer patient is responsible for following through with his or her treatments, we need to follow through with ours as well, and do what we can to minimize our symptoms. However, beyond that, well, it's not our fault. Really. It's doubly painful to have to live with an illness and then have people be angry with you because of it. It sure can be lonely sometimes. That makes me sad.