So, we are finishing up this leg of the tour soon with the main focus being mental health and wellness and I found myself with many thoughts about this subject. While wandering around this city today (Houston) I had my headphones in, listening to one of my favorite records and suddenly realized that I had walked quite a few blocks without really recognizing my surroundings at all. I then realized how big everything was around me and looked up.
At that moment I saw one bird fly overhead and it hit me. In this industry it is easy for us to fall short. It is easy for us to make excuses for how we feel or how we act. It is easy to blame other people or the bottle for our problems but in the end, there are always solutions. Did you really have a bad day? Or did you have a bad twenty minutes? We all have bad times or hard times. We will always have them. So, in that moment I saw more than just one bird, I saw its surroundings and my surroundings and was able to see such a beautiful connection.
In a way we are all this bird sometimes. Flying around, alone, to our next destination. Sometimes we have people leading the way, other times they may follow. Even though you may feel like you are flying alone or maybe you feel lost, someone will notice you. Someone will be there to help you find your way, and someone will be there waiting for you. Sometimes, all you have to do is ask.
I’m going to let you all in on a secret. I see a therapist. There. I said it. Okay, now let’s talk.
With 1 in 5 adults experiencing mental illness in a given year (http://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-By-the-Numbers), it seems like saying “I see a therapist” wouldn’t be such a big deal. Like bracing yourself to deliver bad news, praying that the person on the receiving end isn’t too weirded out or disappointed.
In an industry where we are expected to work when we’re physically ill or injured (because how else are you going to pay the bills?) and we’re applauded for the number of clopens we can work in a week, taking time for mental health seems laughable. This business pushes you to your limits everyday, but taking a break is a sign of weakness. We often wear our exhaustion as some sort of badge of honor, but what are we really winning?
I put off therapy for a long time because I was worried about what people would think if they found out. I didn’t make my first appointment until it started to affect my work, which is super fucked up. But, what if its the other way around? What if the way we work is contributing to a decline in mental health? That’s what I want to talk about here.
How many people in your life are struggling, burned out, because they’re afraid of being out worked — or worse, being labeled as the weak link? How much talent are we wasting because we’re pushing ourselves and each other to do more in exchange for being well? There are many other factors that contribute to the decline of mental wellness (Hello, lack of affordable treatment options.), but I only have this one smoke break.
I guess what I’m trying to say is something I really need to hear myself. Go out there and crush it, but remember — whatever you don’t get to will be there tomorrow, get some rest and call your therapist.
Alright, smoke break’s over. Back to work.
#mentalhealthawareness #barinstititeecono #wejamecono