May is National Mental Health Awareness Month and I never really paid much attention to it in the past. But now, I am aware of mental health every day and how it affects our well-being. Our sense of purpose. How we view the world. Ourselves. I have experienced mind-numbing depression and crippling anxiety firsthand. The ugliness that seeps into every bone and every crevice in your body. It robs you of your smile, your laughter and your light. It’s horrible and it’s not my fault.
One of my all-time favorite Disney movies is The Lion King. This should surprise no one; I am a crazy cat lady and lions are cats. My favorite song was “Hakuna Matata! What a wonderful phrase. Hakuna Matata! Ain’t no passing craze. It means no worries for the rest of your days.” Come on. You know you want to sing it with me. 🙂 I love the idea of a worry-free life. One where I’m not constantly gripped with anxiety and that trickle of fear no longer seeps into my every thought and action. But … I’m also realizing a worry-free life really isn’t possible. Nor is that a bad thing either.
I sit quietly at the table, feeling small and insignificant. My head is bowed and my heart heavy. My Mom sits to my left. Her arms crossed and lips pursed into a thin, tight line. My father sits to my right. He is talking, low and fast. So many words spill from his mouth but all I hear is “We are disappointed in you.”