The Name is Pain

I’ve just spent my whole morning hanging out around the convenience stores near my neighborhood high school. That’s because my friend asked me to buy out medication so there wouldn’t be any for his kid to steal. My friend is what I would call a professional dad. He has been advocating for his kids for a long time. And my friend thinks he knows that his kid has a suicide plan.

I know a lot of people are hyper aware that we have a mental health crisis on our hands in this country. According to the CDC teenage suicide has increased by 76% in the last decade. The thing is I’m not sure that a person can truly understand suicide unless they’ve faced a crisis themselves. Suicide is pain relief. That’s the truth.

As parents we are pretty much left to handle everything on our own because our school system would rather not deal with these kids at all. And the schools do legally share this responsibility. The problem is everyone gets hurt when we advocate for the kids. Teachers get hurt. Families get hurt. Our kids don’t get what they need. It’s a terrible situation. Our school system has forgotten that education is a human service. I’ve been working in the system so I know what’s really going on. It’s a political business. It’s wrong.

There were too many products at these two stores for me to buy and people actually do need these medications, so instead I took it all off the shelves and got the store managers to agree to keep them off for a few hours. The people I talked to who work at the stores felt helpless. It’s scary. A person can end a life in so many ways if that’s what they set their mind to. Sometimes sick minds do sick things.

Luckily, my friend is relentless. And smart. He is a fighter. I think his kid is, too. I can tell. I’ve seen these kinds of things up close. I have kids and we have had a lot of sickness in our house. It would be an enormous understatement to say that it’s difficult to get the kind of help we need when we are sick these days.

And it’s not just kids. I know people are going through similar things with their aging parents. Suicide rates are climbing across the board. It’s just plain hard. It can make you feel helpless sometimes. Sometimes that becomes overwhelming. And the truth is that sickness can be contagious. That’s why it’s scary. I think we can all relate to that right now.

Here’s the thing. Can someone please call Oprah or something because I’m beginning to feel like a broken record and everyone needs to know. MENTAL ILLNESS IS NO DIFFERENT THAN ANY OTHER ILLNESS. Does it really matter if it’s your brain or some other part of your body that gets sick? It makes no difference. Sick is sick. Let’s just call it what it is. This is a pain crisis.

Published by stuckinmybra

First and foremost, I am a mother, but I am also an education lawyer and policy specialist, an advocate, and an activist. I've been told by my closest friends that I am a fighter. My practice area is disabilities and education, which is where I have been practicing since 1999, before I had my own kids who are now teenagers and are all educationally identified as twice exceptional. I write about what is on my mind, which feels like a messy file system of old and constantly new information. I think about my kids and the people they are and how to help them become who they want to be in this world. I write about issues that affect deaf people because one of my kids is deaf. I write about giftedness, autism, trauma, inclusion, mental health and chronic illness because those are all things that affect my family. I write about my own life and the people in it. I hope what I write touches peoples hearts and opens people’s minds because I think people in our world need to have more understanding and compassion. I'm here to tell the straight up truth.

One thought on “The Name is Pain

  1. I remember being angry with one of the DPS superintendents for implying ( via policy changes) that childhood obesity was the underlying factor for poor academic performance and general success on the path to adulthood. It’s possible that I read too deeply into that or saw something that wasn’t there, but I clearly remember being angry that physical wellness was #1, and mental well being was last… if even mentioned. Don’t get me wrong, physical well being (exercise/ fitness, improved diet/ nutrition) has made a huge difference in my self-esteem and overall outlook on life, but without my mental well-being…there was no motivation to achieve physical well-being. Anecdotally, of course, I truly believe that dealing with my mental issues needed to come first.

    I hope that this young man and his father get through this to see the other side together! ❤
    Thank you for reminding and inspiring with this post!
    -LiZ

    Liked by 1 person

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