This is a beaut. It falls into the same general category as “I know what you’re thinking.” Um, really? I was just thinking about how great it would be to kneecap the entire Republican judiciary committee. What were YOU thinking about? The boxers bunched up in your butt crack?
Given the vast universes inside each and every one of us, how varied and unpredictable our lives and emotions and experiences, the assumption that anyone else holds an exclusive insight into our inner workings — whether it’s our hearts or our health — is pretty arrogant. To say nothing of clueless.
In light of the wholesale demonization of mental illness as it relates to gun violence I would err on the side of keeping it private. However I am not you and it’s none of my beeswax. What concerns me is the combination of ignorance, fear, outright hostility or the condescension you write about. I share your experiences, at least enough of them so that this is just all too familiar.
This is a deeply personal issue (I know all too well) and it’s just a little insulting to be told to smile more, as though baring our teeth in a rictus of implied happiness can lift the dead weight of deep depression.
On one hand there is something of a knee jerk response, especially by men, who feel it’s up to them to offer a fix or a cure. On the other, the helplessness of others who realize that this really is a very private journey.
I wish you safe passage.