Monday, September 10, 2018

Music Mantra Monday ~ Suicide Prevention Day w/The Smashing Pumpkins

Today is a special day for Music Mantra as we are participating in doing our part for Suicide Awareness Day. Every September 10th, we light a candle (or however you choose to advocate in your own way) for those struggling through this themselves and for those who have lost someone. There are some places that campaign throughout the week, which we will be doing here each day, others simply take today.

For those who have been following me for a long time since the days we ran 'The Gift', you are already aware of my passion for helping youth, not just with special needs, but those who are struggling with mental health issues. Some may not realize it, but these two areas tend to tie together at times very closely. Allow me to explain.

A person who has special needs may often be dealing with a 'hidden disorder', rather than what we can physically see. Disorders such as SPD and sensory sensitivities, Autism, Aspergers, OCD, ADHD and several others aren't visible to the human eye. All an observer has to judge these groups of people are the reactions displayed by their inability to communicate what's truly going on inside of their bodies. What other people don't often take the time to understand is that these groups, especially children and youth, have to go through a tremendous therapeutic regimen in order to learn the words to explain their feelings and reactions (in other words, learn to advocate for themselves). Sadly, not everyone takes the time to reach that level of understanding resulting in these kids being ostracized, criticized, misunderstood, isolated and labeled as 'bad'.  Oftentimes, these kids will turn to self-blame, self-harm and feelings of loneliness when all they're trying to do is be a part of a society that isn't always as understanding or forgiving as they think they are.

The same holds true for those struggling with mental health issues. Depression, Bipolar Disorder, anxiety and other conditions are also invisible disorders that tend to bring judgment, making it difficult for these groups to feel like the effort they are making to get better and take control of their lives seem worthless.

Whether a person has an invisible special need, mental illness issue or both (because, as I mentioned, the two can mesh together at times), we all need to take the time to learn about these conditions so we can, in turn, understand the individual coping with it. Notice I didn't say 'feel sorry for them'. I said 'understand'. The more we focus on that, the less likely these kids will think there is no way out no matter how hard they are trying.

So, why did I chose today's song? When I was younger, I was judged a lot both for being 'different', as well as for who and what surrounded me. But I always had my music and my writing. This particular band was one I listened to and connected with on a deep level (aside from the Beatles, of course). I find it wonderful that my older kids have also connected with Smashing Pumpkins.

So, I ask you today to please not judge another by what you aren't fully seeing. Not only does this go against the very core of human nature to reach out to and care for others in need, it can create higher issues and loss. Be an inspiration to someone who may really need it.

And light a candle for those struggling, and those who sadly felt it was the only way.

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