#BellLetsTalk Day is a campaign that gets people talking about mental health.
I love it.
But what I’m a little hesitant about is that “Let’s Talk” sounds a little like, “Just Say No”–the campaign Nancy Reagan started in the 1980’s around drugs. If it was that easy, the campaign would be unnecessary.
It’s hard. Really hard. Hard to say “No” to drugs when you’re in such pain. And hard to “just talk” when you’re in serious pain.
When you wonder if the pain or life will win–well, then it’s almost impossible to “let’s talk”.
Let’s make it simpler.
Sometimes “ouch” says it all:
Lessons from E.T. Such profundity. Such simplicity.
“Ouch” is enough to solicit care.
And even to give care.
And the harder your life is, the harder it is to talk about it.
I love that today, there is encouragement to talk.
Know that if life is hard for you right now–don’t feel like you have to put together complete sentences about it right now.
One word is enough: Ouch.
Look the other person in their eyes when you say it–so they can’t miss the Message. Put your hands on their shoulders. Say it with Meaning. Just a single word. Leave no doubt that you are in pain.
There is a chance the first person is so deep in their own pain, they may not be able to see yours. That will be hard.
It will make it even harder to find a second person to say it to. Extend compassion, give them the benefit of the doubt. It will be painful.
But…say it again. Find the most trustworthy person you know and say it again. You don’t have to say a lot. Just a word:
Just start there. It’s a start. An important one.
If you can manage it, do it. If you can’t, that’s ok. But don’t give up. Try again tomorrow.