we are all connected

I don’t think she took any comfort in her child being in a wheelchair instead of something in the DSM. The tragedy is that the mother was probably diagnosable and treatable, but help didn’t arrive in time.

I don’t need to see wheelchairs or guide dogs to identify someone on the Autistic spectrum. Once it is a part of your life, you recognize it everywhere. Eyes lock and there is a silent look of understanding that is exchanged by the families of those who have been there and those who are still struggling to find their way. Parents who have spent time in the NICU, cancer survivors, people grieving, there are so many unspoken words exchanged with just a look of empathy. Take your eyes off the ground and receive those gifts that are being offered.

3 thoughts on “we are all connected

  1. Taking your eyes off the ground and accepting opportunities to talk or ask for help is easier said than done particularly if someone is bound by depression or feeling stuck in a hopeless state.

    First consider the stigmas of asking for help. I’ll use me for instance with some believable but fictitious scenarios.

    If I were to cry out that the pressure was too great and I couldn’t take working for myself anymore, then went seeking a regular job as a Project Manager who would hire me? They’d point at my “can’t handle the pressure” statement without considering all the factors and brush me aside for someone who could handle the pressure (or at least didn’t openly declare their humanness). A counselor would likely put that person on anti-depressants which would show up on your pre-employment drug screen or simply through the current lack-of-privacy laws. Ask a friend to lend an ear? No way. This town is too small.

    What if I were questioning my faith? Surely part of the position of our religious leaders is to counsel someone during times of doubt. But part of that is likely to be via prayer requests "John has fallen off the path. Please pray for him that he shall his way!" Alright, if John were me, I’d potentially lose the ability to be a Scout leader, an important role. Can’t talk to the preacher!

    Now, what of the illnesses themselves?

    A simple one: loneliness. Even in a crowded house a person can feel disconnected and lost. Sure we should be able to talk to our spouse but perhaps the feeling of disconnect comes from trying to talk the spouse and not feeling as though you’ve been listened to. Friends? Do older people with busy lives really have close, trusted friends? And even if they do, when one feels hopelessly lonely, you don’t feel like you have anyone to reach out to so you aren’t going to.

    Depression? Same thing as loneliness and it comes with all the stigma issues.

    I don’t have a solution but putting the onus on the person with the illness is not it. We have to take time from our busy lives to make sure we are connecting to our neighbors (remember? Love thy neighbor!), friends and loved ones. We have to reach out to them.

  2. Do you seriously think that people don’t know when you are depressed?

    I did not attack that poor woman. I put no blame on her. I do not tell anyone to do anything. I only encourage people to look outside of themselves and make eye contact with others.

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