The Sadness of Joy
by Herman Le Roux (Co-Founder of BSB)
For a lot of people that suffer from Bipolar disorder or other mental illnesses or disorders, Christmas and New Year can be a very difficult time. There are several reasons for this. Often people with mental illness do not have any friends because they fail at relationships and often families made the choice to have them institutionalized never to visit them again. A lot of people with mental illness do not work and have to come by on a meagre pension or grant. For hundreds of thousands of people the only friend on Christmas day is a computer screen and a keyboard. There will be no cake, no crackers and no presents. Some people in institutions are so ill they do not even know it is Christmas. Some had a life, with a family, maybe even children but due to circumstances beyond their control they lost all of that. Sometimes they lost their jobs and can no longer afford to enjoy some of the finer things in life. In some countries the mentally ill do not even have access to the internet and the Festive Season is a very lonely and depressing time. For a lot of mentally ill people new-year is also a heavy burden. They don’t see a way forward, they don’t see how they will carry on another year.
As is every year the case thousands of lonely and ill people will take their own lives because they cannot cope with the pain and loneliness anymore. Some will start the new year with a lot of hope only to have it crushed again. Some will remember last year’s promise that that Christmas would be the last one alone, only to have that become a lie again.
There is hope. There is always the chance of meeting that person that truly understand you. There is always the hope that you would become happy and that you would be appreciated. There is a chance for a new medication. There is a chance that out of the hundreds of millions of people on the Internet you will find a soul that will touch your heart and make it smile.
If you know a person that suffers from mental illness make a difference in their live. Make them feel loved and cared for. Make them feel wanted and accepted. There is nothing more healing than being acknowledged.
You can make a difference in someone’s life and also in your own life by knowing one thing. Somewhere there is someone that cares. Somewhere is a place for me.