Mental Illness – A taboo subject (Part 3)

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I had attended a charity mini concert by one of my very good friend, Monique two weeks ago.  It was to raise fund and more importantly to raise awareness of how important it is for all of us in our community to understand the mental health issues.  In memory of her late uncle who passed away due to mental illness last year, I am dedicating my blog posts for the next few weeks to continue the message to spread awareness of this issue.  I would like to focus on young people and their vulnerabilities.

 

The source of such tragedy may well lie at the doorstep of mental illness, a once taboo subject now thrust into the limelight of Hong Kong preying eyes.  Depression and many other mental health issues, demand our community’s dedicated effort and focus, with a special focus on our young people.  The helplessness of these young people is calling for all of us, as a global community, in addition to having compassion and empathy toward them, we must fight, on their behalf, for urgent attention and action from the public health system.

 

We have to move the curtain aside and shed light on mental issues, so depression, along with other crippling mental health issues can become a public policy debate and not something to hide away from.  Every country has people who suffer from this, so this must be a global effort. As long as we fail to realize the impact it has on our communities, this silent, yet deadly disease will strike at those we love so dearly.

 

To All Our Beloved Children

 

Do you remember the dreams and wishes you had when you were little?  Do you still remember what you had promised us the day you had graduated from college?  Do you also remember what you had made us promise you before you and your new family moved on to start a new life?  Because we do!

 

We want you to remember when you were young and strong; full of life, aspiration and motivation.  More importantly, we want you to know that you are still that same person. We know because we are looking at that very person now, despite how life has treated you so far.

 

As you embark on the daunting new phase of your life – adulthood, it will feel as though the world is suddenly much bigger than what it used to be.  Your responsibility to yourself and to the community is much heavier than it was before when you were still under our wing. We know what you are going through because we were there once ourselves.   We know what it is like to break up with the one you love because it happened to us too. We also know how difficult it is for you when entering a new phase of life, starting a new job, facing life challenges because we went through them too.

 

We, as your loving mothers, are here to tell you that life is never meant to be easy, challenges are part of the deal.  But don’t neglect that life has another side too – a beautiful and wonderful side. Nothing in life is just black and white; you don’t have to see it as “like it or leave it “.  Remember too that there is more than one side of a story and there is more than one answer to a problem. Nothing in life stays static; you don’t have to pack your bag and go just because there’s a rain cloud over your head.  We all know that a stormy night is always followed by a sunny day.

 

I am sure you could still remember how much fun you had when you were young, in the theme park, bouncing upside down like an uncontrollable yo-yo in pure excitement.  Life is just like that roller-coaster, full of excitement, yet nerve wrecking. The ups and downs, the twist and turns are all part of the very essence of being on the roller coaster.  The physical and emotional highs and lows set off a unique sensation: the conflicting sensation of wanting to get off but also wishing it could go on for a bit longer. But really the most comforting and assuring to our hearts is that it will come to an end eventually. The start and the finish of the roller-coaster have been set, just like the determinations of your life.  You were brought into this world and given a life. When you have been given this untainted chance at life, why not make the most out of it? You are set out to do from the very start, which is why it is your choice what you make of it. Your mission is to live your life as long as you can, as happy as you should be and as fulfilling as you can make it.

 

Our dearest and most precious children, there’s nothing that cannot be resolved.  Do you remember how determined you were when you insisted that we buy you that toy?  Do you also remember how clear-headed you were when you insisted that you knew exactly what you want to study in college?  You do have the innate ability to face, to resolve and to rise to the challenge. You just have to believe in yourself and also remember that you are not alone in this journey.

 

Throughout your journey of life, there will be many crossroads come your way.  There are many purposes to a crossroads: first, it is a sign to take a pause in whatever you are doing, much like a roundabout on the road, we must pause to look and wait for your turn.  Its second purpose is to solely present you options. Even for the hardest problems, there are always choices between options. Take it, embrace them for options are a sign of hope, precisely because it is possibility.  Lastly, when standing at a crossroad, know that all those options lead to open-ended roads. A crossroad does not have dead ends because there are no wrong answers. The choice you made was the best one because YOU made it.  Equipped with the wealth of intellect, experience and heart within you, you cannot make the wrong decision in your crossroads, only a different and, hopefully, adventurous one.

 

Life is a journey, and you are the explorer.  Be bold and walk this adventure. Be brave and explore the road less traveled,   Be relentless and venture out your own comfort zone. Despite the discouraging feeling of the unknown, be confident in yourself.  

 

Don’t cut short your journey, despite the temporary headache or miscue.  It will pass because nothing stays in one place forever. Do so, and you will miss out on many heart-filled things later in life.

 

 

 

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Sandy Sinn-Hussey

Motherhood has been a long journey for me. Being a single mother for twelve years, I have learned the importance of mother and child's relationship. Raising children is a lifelong career and require patience, perseverance and love.

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