A couple of weeks ago my psychopathology professor showed us a video featuring a man who had recovered from schizophrenia, and his viewpoint on mental illness. He said that recovery is about finding meaningful relationships and meaningful work. He then said something else, something that really stuck with me. He said that in Finland, mental illness is thought of as “going into monologue.” When someone begins to suffer from mental illness, their community is gathered around them in order to reestablish dialogue.
That floored me, the simple idea that illness is a monologue and recovery is reestablishing dialogue. Mental health is dialogue. It couldn’t be more true. “People caring for people is the best way to prevent psychiatric problems.”
I don’t suffer from mental illness, but like most people I do get very low sometimes. I have moments of discouragement, hopelessness, and struggle. I was feeling this way last Saturday night, actually. It was kind of a “nothing in my life is going the way I want it to and it probably never will so I might as well just stop trying” pity party. What I felt about my current life situation and my worth had become a monologue.
And then. Then on Sunday I got the chance to have a good heart to heart with lesleylloyd and wow, if I had forgotten how much I need other people this was my reminder. Everything about that conversation made me feel so much better. My struggles were still the same, but suddenly I was talking about them with someone who understood, someone who could say “me too” to so many of the things I was going through and feeling. Situations were still the same, but we could vent about them and even laugh about them. I realized that yeah, sometimes, most of the time, there’s so much more hope present in an honest conversation with someone else than there is in my thought monologue. That’s hard for to remember at times, as an introvert with a naturally tendency to say in my own head, but I’m so thankful for friends who help me to reestablish dialogue.