People would say “you’re your mother’s child,” but does that still apply when bipolar disorder, anxiety and depression run in the family?
It breaks my heart the way people react to the topic of mental health. Failing to realize that, they themselves or someone they know, will experience some sort of breakdown or breakthrough, if they haven’t already or even as we speak. In my opinion, the negative reaction of judgment or denial alone is an indicator of their own mental health.
Or how some people fail to understand that it’s exactly like being pronounced with any health condition such as diabetes or something as simple as a broken bone. “Hurry let’s all rush over to sign John’s cast and let him know how much we want him to get better! Oh wait, did you say John had an anxiety attack? Let’s all leave him alone and not bring it up, so he knows we care about giving him his space.”
Just like diabetes or a broken bone, a mental health condition is not something a person wishes for upon a shooting star or orders like a meal off a drive-thru menu. “Yes please, I’ll take one order of sadness with a side of childhood PTSD, and can you make sure you go easy on the paranoia this time?”
That’s what my order would sound like anyway. I started volunteering with the CMHA just a couple years ago as a peer supporter, but my journey started way before that and before I was even aware of it.
As happy as those childhood memories are, there were also some threads of abuse and abandonment. Too young to comprehend what was taking place, combined with being left untreated and confidential, is what warranted my teenage and young adult depression, anger issues and anxiety. Not talking about it for several years is what resulted into those conditions, and now that there is a platform, such as Ride Don’t Hide, people still want us to take a back seat? Not a chance!
I attribute everything to mental health. The way people have their specific routines before they go to work, or how some people like their coffee with exactly 1 cream, and 2 and a half sugar in the morning, but only use the Nestle Coffee Mate brand or else forget about it. If you’re not helping, then you’re still part of the problem.
I ride to be apart of the solution.
I ride to be one pedal closer to answers and making a revolutionary change.
I ride for the 5 year old little me who didn’t have a voice at the time but is ready to be heard loud and clear now.
I ride for anyone who feels they don’t have a voice.
I ride for all the awkward and wary looks I receive when I talk openly about mental health.
I also ride for the inquisitive minds who lean in just a little closer when I do too.
I ride for every precious heart we lost in the battle and for their loved ones who are affected by it.
We all struggle from something but small changes change the course. Even with all my silly bike punch lines, the people that need to read and understand this the most, probably won’t. That’s why we must ride until the wheels fall off or at least the spokes anyway, as long as we start somewhere!