My poem was published in InJoy Magazine. This work is intended to remove the stigma of mental illness and promote a sense of love and a call for discussion. It was inspired by the tragic mass shooting that occurred at our beloved Capital Gazette in Annapolis Maryland.
I am unsure of whether or not mental illness is more prevalent these days, or maybe it is just spoken of more openly. Throughout history we have seen instances of mental illness and the dire effects that it can have on society. In the past it has always felt like mental illness came with a stigma, a scarlet letter… it was something to be hidden, ashamed of, taken care of quietly, or sometimes ignored.
Although it is still a difficult and sometimes taboo subject, it does seem that in more recent years people are willing to remove the veil of secrecy and stop suffering in silence. If there is one message I hope to pass down to my children, and one message that I hope as a collective society that we can pass down to the next generation, it is this; Do not suffer alone. Life is too short and too precious to not live it with joy. Rely on those around you and seek help when needed. Check in on your neighbors, friends, and family. Reach out to those who are hurting and lonely. Be a voice of peace and compassion whenever possible, and never forget how worthy each one of us is.