I loved May Day as a little girl. In grade school, we usually made small paper baskets to hang on doorknobs, and on May 1st, when I got home from school, I would fill the basket with bright purple and fragrant blooms from my mother’s lilac bushes. Then I would go to a neighbor’s house, hang it on the door, ring the doorbell and run. I am sure the neighbors always knew who had left the bouquet, but at the time I thought it was a secret and one that made me feel good.
Speaking about secrets, it is no secret that May is Mental Health Month. I am in the process of sending pitches to editors about different issues involving mental health to raise awareness in any way I can. But just because I am an advocate for mental health, I am not always speaking from everyone else’s experience. Unless I am doing research, every idea I present is my own.
I write, speak, and participate in panels about mental illness. I also follow many other advocates. One thing that is consistent across the board is that I don’t agree with every article, every opinion or every experience I read about schizophrenia. I don’t even agree with the use of language that some advocates choose to use.
Not agreeing with everything is okay, though. There is no way that thousands of people can all be in agreement about everything. I just wanted to throw this out there, so that you know, you don’t have to agree with every post I make to support me, follow me, or think that I am making a difference, and I don’t have to agree with you 100% to think you are marvelous and changing the world.
With those concerns out of the way, I hope you get an anonymous bouquet on your door today, and I hope we can work together to change the dialogue about mental illness.
Happy May Day, and let’s work to raise awareness this month! Ready? Go!