If you have a cold, do you take medicine? How about an infection? Do you hesitate to go to the doctor to get a prescription for an antibiotic? Now what if you suffer from diabetes or hypertension? Any issues taking a regular cocktail of medicines or relying on pharmaceuticals to bring some semblance of order into your life?

Too often, it’s easy to judge someone and their situation based on our experience, our knowledge, our opinion. We don’t know what that other person is going through yet we decide we know better than them when it comes to their disease. Regardless of what anyone may think though, mental illnesses are valid diseases and no one should be shamed for seeking treatment or taking medicines to help them.

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, text ‘Start’ to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741. It’s free and confidential; and someone is available to talk to you 24/7. Visit their website at www.crisistextline.org for more information. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-8255) or NAMI (800-950-6264) for support and local referrals.

When People See My Pills and Say, ‘You Know That Stuff Is Poison, Right?’

By Danielle Clapham

You stand there and laugh at my little plastic cup filled with pills.

You think it’s funny how my dorm shelves are stocked like a pharmacy.

“You know that stuff is poison, right?”

I know… I know what you don’t…

For while you laugh at my pharmaceutical cocktail,

You can’t see the cane sitting on top of my wardrobe,

The one I’ve named

Because somehow it makes the object harder to hate.

You can’t see the scared 16-year-old girl having vials and vials of blood drawn through needles she used to be afraid of,

having too personal pictures taken of her bones in three different hospitals,

and the 18 months of her body being attacked by an enemy that no expert could name.

 You haven’t seen the girl who cries in bed because even gravity is too heavy,

and yet is scared to take the pain pills for fear of addiction.

If pain gives you strength, then I could lift mountains.

I’m strong enough to stand in front of you while you laugh at my “poison.”

I can sit here with you and swallow these rainbow-colored pills that you think are my choice to take.

Because I know what you don’t…

What a luxury it would be to have the ignorance enough to laugh

* * *

To celebrate the release of my new book, Stay With Me, as well as commemorate Mental Health Awareness Month, I will be posting articles and links on the subject through the month of May. Please share this with your friends and family. And don’t forget to get a copy of my book. Go to https://ruthegriffin.com/home/bookshelf/stay-with-me/ for more information.

‪#‎mhm2016 ‪#‎MentalHealth ‪#‎MentalWellness ‪#‎StayWithMe

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