I had the honour of meeting Nicole Gibson recently. Nicole was appointed Australia’s national Mental Health Commissioner at the tender age of twenty-one. A survivor of anorexia, which Nicole proclaims as her mental illness journey. Nicole has written a fabulous book: Love out Loud – A Millennials Guide to Enlightenment : Get It Here. The focus of the book is to spend your life enquiring into Love and what it means for you. writes the following: “It’s important that all of us are given a roadmap to understand the journey of self-love so we know and accept our need to love and to be loved. It’s beyond me as to why and how this has not yet been incorporated into our education systems. Love has been the single most transformative energy in my life, both in how it’s shaped and moulded my healing and my journey, as well as the transformative impact I’ve been able to have on hundred of thousands of people. Sometimes people hesitate when they hear the word “love”, and that’s because of its deep confrontational nature. Love has the power to light all our shadows and to birth us into a new state of being. Now is the time for this to happen. In 2020 mental illness is set to be the world’s leading epidemic and the biggest health epidemic in history to date. Suicide is now the leading cause of death in under 45’s in Australia – more than car accidents, cancer and overdoses, taking the lives of eight Australians a day. We have half of Australians battling mental illness at some point in their life”
So I wish to put forward the premise that a lot of this is caused by the way mental illness is treated, even the name mental illness suggests to me that we have the treatment of it arse about. My six-year bout was caused by extreme despondency and sadness, my treatment was medication to numb it and six visits to psych units because all it did was tried to hide what I was going through, not actually treat the symptoms. Don’t get me wrong, medication is a necessary part of some people’s treatment but what put me on the path to recovery was when my sister Ruth said something like the following: It doesn’t matter what you do to me, I will still love you. Through all the pain I heard this magnificent act of love and my healing journey began.
So using my formulae of writing about the subject on the page I open, on page 94 is the heading: LOVE HELPS PROCESS PAIN, INSTEAD OF AVOIDING IT.
What a radical idea, and how has the world processed pain over the centuries, let’s have a look:
1. All we have to do is talk to our mothers and the pain they go through at the conception of their beloved children. Very few choose to continue the suffering as soon as they see the bundle of joy that has arrived into their lives.
2. The old giving the power over to another trick, this works in the area of love too. Self love is self-responsibility: Who Says.
3. As with my experience, and also Nicole’s recovery takes a long time, and there are no physical signs that you are “ill” so often people make the assumption that all is well far too early.
4. All that efforting to not worry your dear ones that there is nothing wrong. What is we could use that energy to actually express our true feelings of pain and sadness and get the help we truly need: Stronger.
5. I love this outlook on the use of words : “I choose to choose few words each day. Yes! few words that count. Few words that can make impact. Few words that talk much. Few words that can make people ponder to wonder. Few words that are indelible. Few words that can leave distinctive footprints on minds. Though we may fail to mind our words, we shall never fail to mind the works of our words.” by Ernest Agyemang Yeboah.
6. What you cannot feel you cannot take care of – a revolutionary thought in our instant gratification driven society: Feelings.
7. As neither is an excellent life, you must deal with it all, the dark and the light, the pain and the joy, etc., etc.
8. Known as possibly the world’s greatest artist who suffered severe bouts of depression Vincent speaks to how being over zealous can have counter effects to what you are seeking: Vincent.
9. A question that we can answer about very few of the 7 billion humans on the planet. We come to most of our relationships with our box of what it will be well in place.
10. We need to build a bridge to get over and out of these situations: Bridge Over Troubled Water.
11. And they are out there, we just must make that journey.
12. I can write the words, but have great difficulty shedding tears, how are you with doing it: Teardrops.
Dale Harbison Carnegie spelled Carnagey until 1922 was an American writer and lecturer and the developer of famous courses in self-improvement, salesmanship, corporate training, public speaking, and interpersonal skills. Born into poverty on a farm in Missouri, he was the author of How to Win Friends and Influence People (1936), a bestseller that remains popular today. He also wrote How to Stop Worrying and Start Living (1948), Lincoln the Unknown (1932), and several other books.
One of the core ideas in his books is that it is possible to change other people’s behavior by changing one’s behavior toward them.
14. The pain of flashback, when we tell ourselves we are over him or her, but each time we see a reminder it comes back in all its glory: Papa Was a Rolling Stone.
15. All of it, The light and the dark, really!!!
Nicole makes three points in the chapter:
- Hold people in their pain, rather than rescuing them. When we are the hero. others become the victim.
- Endings are always followed by beautiful beginnings.
- The key is to celebrate the growth, rather than wallow in the loss.
It’s a special ove when you love someone enough to be with them in their pain, instead of trying to save them from their pain. To save someone from their pain is to rob them of a deeper connection to love. Allowing them their darker experiences whilst supporting them to work through them is the ultimate gift you can give somebody.
The playlist for this blog is truly a blast from the past. It begins in our current century with Selena Gomez and Kelly Clarkson but then retreats to the time of flares and quirky dancing with Andy Williams, Don Mclean, Simon and Garfunkel, Womack and Womack peaking with a Temptations classic. Here is the Youtube playlist for your listening pleasure: LIfe Is a Brief Intermission.
Namaste until next time we meet, my dear friends.