So a while back I did an interview on CBC Cape Breton’s Information Morning. You might have heard it. And in it, I mentioned that the reason I moved home to Cape Breton from university was that I had had depression and had to leave school.
The very next day I had an email in my inbox from the folks at the Crossroads Clubhouse in Sydney, which is a non-profit mental health organization. “We checked out your blog and we like it. We’d love to meet you,” they said.
So we scheduled a meeting for the next month, which was July. They came up and treated me to a fine meal at Wongs in Baddeck. (That picture above is the table before everyone arrived.) I got to meet some of the clubhouse members and staff, and we had a wonderful meal together, talking about what the clubhouse is all about (it seems they do everything, from work experience to group camp trips, community gardening and meals), and shared experiences about dealing with mental illness.
I encourage you to check out their Facebook page and click the “Like” button to show your support for this fine organization.
Inspired by our meeting, I’ll be doing more posts about mental health in the coming months. Talking about medication, counselling, doctors, diagnoses, and most importantly, our own stories.
Basically, I believe that we are all affected by mental health, because we are all mental beings. We are all emotional beings. Therefore, we are all capable of suffering from mental illness. I didn’t think I ever would, until I did. And when I did, I felt firsthand the fear and stigma that surrounds mental illness, still, in our society. There is still a lot of judgement out there. It is still really hard to talk about these things.
I also experienced how difficult it is to get lasting, timely help in the public medical system, in a rural area.
And I also experienced the truth that is at the root of the Crossroads Clubhouse – that recovery and healing comes through human relationships. No matter who you are. It’s the other people around me who ultimately helped me recover.
Thinking about the strength, resilience and beauty of those relationships that we form with each other, as humans, honestly makes me want to cry with gratitude!
And that’s OK, too.
Have a great Tuesday.