He would retreat to a dark room and stay for days. He would later emerge with grand plans and be the life of the party. The cycle would repeat until it became too much for those around him. We didn’t know the origin, but we could easily identify the triggers. And when we knew a trigger was coming, we were all on alert.
This person wasn’t a child; he was a grown adult. Life had been unfair, but many hardships lurked behind the scenes. We are told to speak out, call the hotline, and find a counselor. He could not do any of these things out of fear. Regret. Disappointment. This grown adult could not be taken kicking and screaming to his doctor, and he couldn’t be bribed to take the necessary medications. The battle loomed on for him and his loved ones. Tired, weak, and defeated.
With the recent sudden loss of Twitch, fantastic dancer, bringer of all the joy – I wonder if he too couldn’t do all the things everyone suggests when you are sad or anxious. Even the bright lights and accolades were dimmed by the words that he was not enough. I guarantee his family would take him kicking and screaming if they could. If they knew more. If they had magical powers. We all would for when our loved ones are hurting in ways we cannot imagine.
So, what do we do? How can adults seek help or find ways to see the light? If you came to read this thinking there will be a top ten list of how to care for your mental health, you will be disappointed. We are tired of the dead ends people meet when they just can’t find a way to go on. We want true, genuine support. We want mental health reform where we can pick up the phone, make the appointment, and get the exact help we need. Without emptying our savings to do so.
After the back and forth of retreating and emerging, not to mention the lack of good help, we lost this fun, passionate, difficult grown adult. If I could go back, I would ask more questions. What will help? What are you missing that we can help find? This story shouldn’t be one we keep hearing on repeat.
And to be honest, maybe I shouldn’t be sharing his story – or his family’s story. But, if there is one positive thing to come from this loss, it’s that this story is told. During Mental Health Awareness Month, you will hear again to talk, call the hotline, etc. But, the overall hope is to talk every month. Research every month. Make our resources better every month.
I wish this were a post with true, tried tips. For those we lost. For those left behind. This post is just the real, the hard truth about mental health. If you feel so inclined, share your stories too. That whole “you’re not alone” thing can go far.
Let’s not give up, though. When all hope is lost, we just can’t give up.
And maybe that is really what this post is all about.
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The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB Health) system of care includes hospitals and emergency departments on four campuses, a network of primary and specialty care clinics, urgent care and walk-in services, and collaborations with physicians throughout the region. UTMB Health serves patients throughout Texas, and features an extensive network of primary and specialty care clinics and centers that complement hospitals on three campuses.