For the last couple days I’ve been meaning to write this post, on Tuesday I went to bed with hundreds of ideas swirling in my head about what I was thankful for and what I wanted to write about. I woke up the next morning feeling entirely crotchety and not thankful for anything, so here I am today.
Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful for a real plethora of things when it comes to my mental health, my team, my support system, you blog readers… but I determined the thing I am most thankful for this thanksgiving is the change I have seen in our culture toward the concept of mental health.
I realize the change doesn’t seem huge, especially when you are someone having to deal with discriminating employers, the cost of having an illness like bipolar disorder, and the feelings of isolation that come with depression, but it really is getting better.
In the last few years I’ve seen numerous actors, professional sports players, and even politicians come forward to say that they have been living with bipolar disorder. Books have come out speculating the state of the mental health of many past American leaders. I’ve seen young, naive pop stars offend thousands of social media followers by using the word bipolar incorrectly, or using it as an insult.
On a more personal level, I’ve seen every person in my close personal life strive harder to learn more about bipolar disorder and depression and what we can all do to treat each other with more support and dignity.
In the short time of, say, the last five years, the ball has really been rolling. It is starting to pick up speed, and that fact makes me both feel incredibly thankful and hopeful that things will continue to get better. Cracks are showing in the stigma of mental illness, signs of weakness. All we have to do is keep moving forward.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!