Thinking Before Judging
"If you wouldn't judge the beauty of a candid, why would you judge the person in the picture?" -A Brooks
Please do not judge others.
Please don’t judge people based upon where they’ve come from, their stories, their choices, but above all, the things they can’t control. For example, when you hear about someone with a terminal illness in a hospital, people close and not so close to the person create a supportive blog, flowers and messages, half of which are from people that don’t even know the person well, resembling “I’m here for you” and “You will make it through” and the ever-present “Stay strong” flood the patient’s hospital room within weeks. However, when you hear about someone with a mental illness in a hospital, that blog isn’t a bookmarked website on your saved history of your laptop if there even is one, flowers are rarely presented during visiting hours and very few people outside of your family and immediate friend group deliver messages of hope to you.
I’m not in the business of comparing illnesses like cancer to depression. It’s not to discount the ongoing struggles that cancer patients endure, as I can only imagine what they go through on a daily basis and as I think about it, it saddens me greatly. However much like a cancer patient would experience physical pain and emotional pain, so would a patient with a mental illness, but definitely in different ways. Unfortunately, pain is still pain. Both types of patients are at one point or another faced with life or death choices. Some people decide about clinical trials while others contemplate suicide. Both types of patients are affected with physical changes. As one person loses their hair, another intentionally paints scars on their wrists. But above all, both types of patients deserve a fighting chance and a friend’s hand to hold.
I want whoever is reading this to know that their pain is real, their struggles are real and that at the same time, they can and will get through it. I also want you to know, reader, that if you ever need someone to talk to or someone to understand or someone to just listen, there is someone out there that can and will grasp your hand that is reaching out for help. If nothing else, I hope to be that person for someone else, as I have had so many friends and family members do the same for me. While I’m not trained to be that person to keep you alive, I am that person who can say something stupidly hilarious or inspirational and hopeful, but most importantly I am that person who can be your friend.