The Contributor’s Corner – @NonnieJules @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA #RRBC #RWISA

Welcome to THE CONTRIBUTOR’S CORNER! This month’s post is by contributing RWISA Author, NONNIE JULES.

 Nonnie’s piece was taken from her blogsite, WATCH NONNIE WRITE!  Since May is Mental Health Awareness Month, we felt it appropriate to share this piece.

“DON’T CALL ME CRAZY!”

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Several days ago, I receive a Twitter notification on my phone: Lee MacMillan, Instagram Influencer, Dead by Suicide at 28…

I am not an Instagram user and I wasn’t familiar with the name Lee MacMillan until I received this notification. Always curious as to the reasons people decide to take their own lives, I took a seat on my chaise to read through the story in its entirety. The more I read, the more I wanted to know about Lee MacMillan.

By all accounts, she was a beautiful young girl, who could have easily been anyone’s daughter — even mine. I watched her videos on YouTube, again, wanting to know as much as I could about this beautiful young flower who felt that the only way out {of her pain} was to end her life.

Since the pandemic began, we are hearing more and more about mental illness and how the loneliness and the “craziness” of it all, is driving many to make these horrid decisions. Never before have I focused so heavily on the seriousness of mental illness and how it takes a toll on so many lives – it is at crisis level with the younger generation.

You don’t have to be clinically diagnosed as mentally ill to find yourself in the throes of that kind of despair. You don’t have to walk around with the label of depression tacked to your forehead, to one day find yourself feeling that the emotional pain you’re in, is much too heavy of a cross to bear, or, that your family might be better off without you. You don’t have to be locked up in a facility with rubber walls, to realize that lately, you’re overwhelmed with feeling that life is simply too hard.

So then, what makes one “crazy”?

I willfully admit that in my younger days, when encountering those with “odd” or very strange behavior, the first words out of my mouth would be, “They’re crazy.” I now realize that when used in that manner, the word isn’t so nice. So, when I use the word “crazy” these days, it’s in a much lighter sense – my husband has done something “crazy” to make me laugh, or, my girlfriend has phoned me with a story so funny, that I say to her, “That’s absolutely crazy!” Although it was never used in a manner to cause anyone harm, it no longer carries that negative connotation of what it was associated with in my youth. Back then, it was just my way of expressing the way I felt about someone’s behavior that was different from what I understood as normal.

All people are different, and just because they are different from us, doesn’t mean that they are “crazy” – it means their normal isn’t ours … and that’s OK.

Instead of labeling those who we perceive as different, or whose behavior we find odd or out of character compared to our own, or what we feel is normal, let’s try and put ourselves in their shoes. Let’s try to step out of our “norm” and imagine what their norm must feel like to them.

-Maybe there’s a ton of pressure in their world.

-Maybe they are carrying an unimaginable burden.

-Maybe they are a young parent, unemployed and homeless, worried about how they are going to feed their young child, or keep them safe from the outdoor elements.

-Maybe they are confused and lost because they haven’t taken their medication.

-Maybe they have recently lost their child to death and they don’t know how to live with that pain. (I often say that if something happens to one of my babies, expect me to check out from life completely, because that is a pain I can’t imagine any parent being able to live with. I say this with all sincerity.)

Maybe their norm is always … just … hard.

Anyone living under the umbrella of any of these scenarios is under immense pressure, and stress is their constant companion; they can certainly do without the added burden of our judgment.

We’re living through extremely strange and chaotic times and many are finding it hard to cope, so, let’s do our part to ensure that when we encounter those we perceive as “crazy” (odd), we leave them with some semblance of hope to hold on, if only for just one more day. That next day just might hold the changes and the blessings that person needs to make the decision to continue on. Our world is hurting right now and mental illness is on the rise. You don’t want to be the one to send someone over the edge, especially by attaching a silly label to them. You want, just as I do, to be just what they need – a sign to know that life can and will get better.

Drop the “crazy” labels. Unless you’re referencing your dear hubby running down the street in only his birthday suit, yelling he loves you, everything else should be considered a serious hardship, not to be taken lightly or joked about. When you see or sense that someone needs help, please, by all means … extend your hand.

There, but by the grace of God, go I.

What are your thoughts?

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To learn more about Nonnie please visit her RRBC Author Page!

 If you would like to be a contributor here, please notify us at RRBCInfo@gmail.com!

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79 comments

  1. Nothing beats a story like this. This is what makes a great teacher when stude\nts return later in life to thank their teacher. As a teacher myself my children, I call them children, have never stopped sending me love.

    Like

  2. What beautiful memories to share, John! I know things like this are what keep teachers in the trenches when it seems you aren’t making any impact at all. This post is proof of the influence you had on students’ lives that might have turned out differently if they’d not had you for a teacher! Well-done!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Jan! I do cherish memories like these, and I cringe at some other not so pleasant memories also documented in the book. You are totally right that most teachers in the classroom don’t really know if they are impacting on the lives of their students… but they live in hope and that’s what gets them up in the morning! Thanks to Nonnie for honouring me like this in this month’s Pipeline Magazine!

      Like

  3. I just got around to checking out Jan’s Tarot Tuesday. I love it! I enjoy that it makes one reflect upon their day/week/month/life and find purpose or meaning. Plus, it’s interesting and fun. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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