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New Blog Post By Emily Braun – May 29, 2018

A New Normal- Don’t Just Watch the Boxes Burst

In a moment, we feel boxed in. Hands on the ceiling and we are kicking at the seams, trying to get one small breathe of air. It seems as if oxygen is allergic to us. The mind begs, whirling thoughts into one thousand different directions while the tongue spits out an alter ego and the body only wander to things that seem to feel good. What feels best in that moment may not be so good in the next— for the victim or the witness because flight is the favored choice over fight. Asses and ask, “If this is now, what’s next.” Each person who’s ever walked the planet has struggled with something. Wouldn’t that make struggle normal? It appears drugs are normal, alcohol is normal, bullying is normal, and in some ungodly way, school shooting became normal. This doesn’t seem to make much of good sense. To add reference, according to CNN news, there have been 288 school shootings in the United States of America since 2009.

Wasn’t this supposed to be a free country? Under God, the truth shall set you free. Why are we being held at gun point? Lack of emotional attention. What are the actual triggers of this mass destruction? It’s the load on the mind, leading to dark impulsive decisions that, again, only seem to feel good. This is an extreme matter, but this extreme matter is sadly becoming more common. Instead of skimming the surface of outbursts in the world, specifically in this country right now, the foundation of destructive decisions needs to be investigated. I believe that the root of some, maybe most, destructive decisions could stem from mental illness. This includes: genetic influences and chemical imbalances, sadness, loneliness, fear, change, anger, loss of self or another, and behavioral and cognitive matters. This darkness can be changed with the flip of one switch—the flip to accept, understand, and learn about people and mental illness, realizing that mental illness is just as hindering as a broken leg or diabetes. It’s real, chronic or acute, people are facing depression, anxiety, OCD, bipolar disorder, multiple personality disorder, schizophrenia, etc. If non-mental health victims of the world could take a deep breath of acceptance and understanding of emotion, those ill could take a deep breath of hope. And that deep breath of hope could lead to one less detrimental burst of emotion because the illness victim couldn’t find someone to lean on or confide in when they couldn’t even wrap their head around their own situation. That outburst could have been a suicidal act, alcohol poisoning, an overdose, or a school shooting. These major actions reflect on major problems, generally internal. It’s the inability to cope in various aspects. The first step of coping is talking. The world needs to understand it’s okay not to be okay because we are human, and nobody is perfect. Sounds cliché, but it’s the truth. If we take one small step towards someone’s mental illness box or bubble that they are trapped in, I guarantee the bursting rate drops.

Now just as it is hard for others to accept and talk about mental illness, those struggling have a tough time believing their problem. It’s the same with addiction, for you can’t just give up treatment. The key issue in self-acceptance of an illness is societal rejection. Those struggling don’t want to be deemed the stereotypical normality of mental illness: crazy, disturbed, unworthy, incapable. Mental illness is not a very good norm, but it’s prominent in this world, the free America. It could just be what’s holding the gun. So, let’s learn about it, talk about it, and make saving people from it the new normal. Being emotional is hard, but being emotional and compassionate, willing to fight not flight in all aspects of the human connection— to be successful at a job, to maintain relationships, to do well in school, to master a sport, to recover from an injury, to be a better follower in religion, to fight off cancer, to stop bullying, to save lives, to maintain mental illness is necessary.

Struggle is normal. Help should be, too.

Note: I am not saving mental illness is the root of all destruction, but based on intensity, it can be an influencer. This is not a reason to be more afraid. I hope this relation makes the issue more relative and shows how much attention it needs and deserves.

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