Mental Health. I talk about it a lot, and from the outside, it looks like I make a lot of excuses, but an excuse is just a reason by any other name.
When people hear my story suddenly there is an air of understanding around them, suddenly “I” make sense, and people are more likely to make room for me because they’ve experienced the tears that come with me sharing my story. Really, what it is, is they feel sorry for me, and I’ve got plenty of reasons for them too.
I don’t want people to feel sorry for me. Or for you for that matter. I want people to make room for other folks, regardless of whether or not that person is disabled, or dealing with mental health issues, just make room. Today is giving Tuesday and everyone’s all in an uproar “give as much as you can, share as much as you’re able, spread the wealth, destroy the patriarchy by supporting women, ruin white supremacy by supporting Black, BIPOC, and marginalized folks.”
I think the reason that we get tired after Christmas is that it’s a constant and continual whirlwind of giving, if we were as generous every day with our time, our money, our friendship, and our ability to help others, we wouldn’t consistently be exhausted from trying to cram it all in once a year during December.
Each of us has to decide how much time we’re able to spend giving, but I think we also have to think critically about how much we’re able to give. Not everyone can do 15 years of working at a shelter, not everyone can afford to donate their time because they have to work, and the guilt we feel for not giving enough, can have serious mental health issues and consequences.
Guilt and shame are real, so get rid of those, and remind yourself they are no longer welcome at your party, all they do is drag you down and make you feel bad about yourself and why would you want that in your life?
One of the best ways to celebrate today of all days is to find teachers, nurses, and other frontline workers and fulfill some of their amazon wishlist requests. This is especially true for teachers.
Volunteer your time with a local shelter or food bank, or even and possibly better, the local SPCA.
There are of things lots you can do, but the only question you need to be asking yourself is what you want to do. Volunteering changed my life and I have no doubt it’ll change yours too.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall
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