Today marks the beginning of Mental Health Awareness Month. It’s also the day after yet another shooting – this time where I live. At this writing, two are dead and four are injured who were in class at the UNC Charlotte campus yesterday when someone started shooting.
Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy.
I’m going to make a assumption here that you might not make, but it helps me make sense of such moments: the shooter is a desperately sick human being. Maybe the shooter is also racist/sexist/himself traumatized/uncontrollably angry. But his brain is broken. He is mentally ill.
I will share that I, too, am mentally ill. I deal with depression for which I take medication daily and I see a therapist almost every week. My illness is not the same as that of a serial killer or a white nationalist or a person with any number of other brain disorders. But the stigma of mental illness is a stigma for us all. And it shouldn’t be.
I’ve had cancer and I’ve had depression, but there is no CaringBridge for mental health issues. (And my cancer was so long ago that CaringBridge wasn’t a thing back then.)
I’m happy to wave at you if we run into each other at the counseling office because it means that both of us are taking care of ourselves. Self care is self care whether we are getting a mammogram, a colonoscopy, a six-month dental cleaning, or a massage. Or talking with a counselor.
We have a lot of work to do out there in the world. And we need to be in the best shape possible so that we can do what God’s calling us to do.