Since publishing my book I have been embraced with the most incredible, encouraging and positive accolades. I’ve had people tell me how brave I was for writing my book, how helpful a resource it is for parents, teachers and children alike, how important a conversation I’ve started, how much the book speaks to them and countless other thank you’s. But this weekend I was quickly reminded just how much work is still left to be done in order to end the stigma surrounding mental illness.
Today I spent part of my day at a local library engaging in many important conversations about my book and Mental Health in general and then it happened, not once but twice. First an elderly gentleman in his 70’s approached me and wanted to have a peek at my book. He stood reading it as I continued my conversation with someone else. When he finished looking at it he interrupted my conversation to tell me that using the word Depression in a children’s book is wrong and inappropriate. He continued to say that I should have described mom as sad instead. I began to explain to the gentleman in terms that his ignorant mind could understand what the difference between sadness and depression are and thanked him for reminding me why I continue to fight to end the stigma. The woman whom I had been speaking with at the time cheered me on from the sidelines.
But sadly only moments later I found myself all alone and having to answer to similar criticism or as I like to put it, ignorance. This time a gentleman with two young boys ages 5 and 7 came up to me. His accent at first was quite difficult for me to comprehend him but trust me I heard his message loud and clear. He asked me if I was familiar with the children’s book series “Captain Underpants” and other similar books and then proceeded to tell me that children should only be allowed to read funny books like “Captain Underpants”.
Everyone is welcome to have their own opinions and I will never judge someone because we don’t share the same opinion, heck isn’t that what makes the world go round? But today left me feeling quite sad, quite angry and quite shook up by these two conversations in particular. They have left me in an even more vulnerable state than I’ve already been in recently. I know that my book may not be for everyone and that’s okay but today I feel defeated and left doubting myself just a little bit more and I don’t really know why I am even giving up space in my head for these two individuals when I should probably have held up a sign telling them SORRY, NO VACANCY! And then maybe said a little prayer for their families…
#endthestigmatogether #youareenough #startaconversation #itsoktonotbeok #timeforchange #youareenough #thisisreallife #ignoranceisbliss #depression #anxiety #mentalillness #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #wheredidmommyssmilego