Shout out if you’ve been criticized over anything and everything! Many people have been criticized for their looks, their fashion style, their parenting style, their name, race, sex, creed, and/or their illness. It seems like every time, I hop on social media someone will get scrutinized for something. For example, I’m not a Kardashian fan at all nor do I follow politics, but seriously, don’t waste your time criticizing them. It’s not worth it. Just let people be themselves.
So let me say this: No shaming allowed! Remember the golden rule: Treat people the way that you want to be treated? No one should criticize anyone about anything. I mean, anything. If you can’t say something nice at all, then don’t say anything at all. It drives me nuts seeing so many people hurt over comments that people have left on their social media accounts. I personally wouldn’t say anything negative to anyone at all. Of course, I’ve been guilty of saying not nice things about others. We all commit this sin. But what I don’t like is when people bully or shame people living with mental illness.
Any illness regardless of what it is, there should be NO shame. Would you mock someone with cancer or diabetes or with heart problems? If you’re smart, you would say no. Never mock anyone with physical disabilities such as mental retardation or other debilitating illnesses. One of the sad stories online that I saw was the death of a young boy who attempted suicide because he was bullied for being gay. Again, I tell you: It’s their lives and their own choices. If my child came out of the closet, I would be happy. It’s their choice and it’s what they prefer.
I can’t tell you how much bullying that I’ve experienced since I’ve been diagnosed with the Triple Threat Disease. People just don’t understand. Some couldn’t care less and think it’s funny to mock someone with this. One time, my mother came into my school and she mistakenly thought it was time to pick me up from school and got the time messed up. She said: “I’m sorry I thought it was 3pm. I have mental illness and I take too many brain medications.” As soon as this sentence slips out, here come the eye rolls or “She’s crazy” looks. Some students and faculty said: “Your mom is weird.” Don’t even go there! Don’t even say that. Another time at a new church, my mother slipped it out again while introducing herself to new parishioners and they gave her the same treatment. For one, it’s God’s house and there’s no judgment, period. Case closed. And two, that church lost a family of parishioners really fast. We stopped going after that incident.
Don’t shame something that you don’t know or have experienced yourself. One time, I saw a kid that had a huge tumor on his face. I mean the size of a basketball and I befriended him. He was relieved to have someone talk to him and not just stare at him. Turns out he had some form of cancer and it was hard for him to talk about it. Very understandable! I would be self-conscious, too. But I sat down and talked to him. He felt so much better. It was kind of like a veil had been lifted off of his shoulders. Another friend that I made in school was an albino. He was all white from head to toe. Many students were terrified of him and called him horrible names. I, being his friend, would always come to his defense and resolved the bullying in a non-violent manner. Some of the best people who I’ve met are the underdogs. Ones that most people would shut down immediately because they look like this or talk like that. Some of my favorite colleagues are ones that are criticized for their sexuality, their race, and other things that people think it’s so funny to mock. Turns out that underdogs are the nicest and the most down to earth non-judgemental people. I love every underdog that I’ve met. I can’t say enough good things about them. They don’t discriminate, they don’t judge, they just live their lives with an open heart in an imperfect world. They don’t care how people perceive them and have given me some of the best memories ever.
I know what it’s like to be different. To look and feel different. I was never part of the in-crowd or the popular crowd. I didn’t care. I just wanted to be myself and nothing more. Besides, most of the in-crowd were snotty rich entitled kids that were in my school.
I’m more of an underdog and that’s my forte. My superpower is being myself and not let people get to me. You can say whatever you want, but if you mess with me; then all hell breaks loose. If you disrespect me, then prepare to say goodbye. I don’t take bullying lightly nor will I stoop the level of violence. But you will hear my voice.
It’s nice to meet people who suffer from the same disease as myself. A lot of my colleagues and friends all have some sort of mental illness and they live their lives to the fullest. It’s not always easy and some days are better. But we form our own cartel together. Some days at work, I will sit and chat with them about their day and mine. It’s nice to have someone to talk to when your life is heading in the wrong direction. Many of them were surprised that I have a non-profit blog about mental illness. I’ve been told that I’m quite brave. Really, am I brave for spreading the word and making this world a better place? I’m not the only one living in darkness and will not be the last one. But take each day slowly. Take baby steps and take deep breaths. Talk to anyone. Don’t put up with any kind of bullying. Just live your life without shame. Be you and nothing better.