It’s the understatement of the year to say that it’s hard being a parent. From the moment you hold your one-minute-old baby in your arms, you become a changed person. A muscle that you didn’t even know existed within you bursts to life. It’s the muscle of worry, of terror, of hopes and dreams, it’s the muscle of prayer and a gratefulness that can bring you to tears.
I just read this post about dealing with mental illness as a parent. It’s a good read and very moving.
I’ve not had to personally deal with mental illness – I’m probably the most “normal” (is that even a word!?) person I know. I am positively mundane.
However, I have definitely been affected by mental illness, albeit indirectly. It saddens me to see how poorly supported sufferers are in this country – but even so, we have some of the best mental health support in the world.
That just goes to show that these conditions are poorly understood by most people even now.
The following quote from The Sorrows Of Young Werther by J. W v. Goethe, published in 1774, really captures how I feel about the subject:
Shame upon him who can look on calmly, and exclaim, ‘The foolish girl! she should have waited; she should have allowed time to wear off the impression; her despair would have been softened, and she would have found another lover to comfort her.’ One might as well say, ‘The fool, to die of a fever! why did he not wait till his strength was restored, till his blood became calm? all would then have gone well, and he would have been alive now.
Depression, for instance, is a physical ailment – “mental” health is surely a misnomer.
Anyway, read the article!