Be Harmless Not Helpful

EricaFeatured0 Comments

No doubt 2016 has been a tough year. I know it has been tough for me personally. Tough for my country. Tough for our planet. We have lost amazing individuals. Suffered deep losses. Today Debbie lost her daughter, and I can’t stop thinking about Elvis.

The neuro network of our brain is sophisticated in it’s utter simplicity. I have loved Debbie since the first bars of Good Morning. She and I are the exact same height – 5’2″. Her daughter Carrie was an inch shorter.

And I was born on Elvis Presley’s birthday.

Confused yet?

I promise there is a connection.

Talent? Yes. Celebrity? Indeed. Mental Illness? Unfortunately so…

I say unfortunately so – not because I believe in the stigma associated with mental illness. I do not. But because I know how hard the yellow brick road of insanity can be. Both as someone who suffers from depression, and as someone who has loved people with various mental disorders.

Mental Illness can be beautiful. I would attest people who suffer from bipolar disorder feel the world more deeply, love the world more deeply than most. Those who are borderline see hidden connections and patterns. And deep depression provides enough contrast and clarity to unveil the artistry, elegance, and grace of life.

But mental illness is also something that must be managed. For some, this includes taking the right “cocktail” of meds and talk therapy. For others, symptoms can be managed with proper self-care (diet, exercise, nutrition, meditation). For most, I’d say a combination of the two.

When we love and care about someone and we see them suffering, it’s easy to want to step in and try to ease their pain. However, doing so can often lead to enabling, learned helplessness, or mutual destruction.

Instead, let us wear gray today in honor of Carrie and all the other mental wellness warriors fighting the stigmas against mental illness. Let us stand in solidarity.

Let us be harmless not helpful.


Sometimes even with the purest intentions, we make things worse when we do our best to make things better. Gregory David Roberts

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