Sidekicks and Advocates

I’m a big fan of finding your tribe of kindred spirits.

Peers should not attack each other or be jealous of each other.

A woman wondered why I identified as a person with a diagnosis. The insinuation was that after a person recovers they should go on their merry way and forget about everything having to do with illness–and that is peers too.

I see things differently. A lot of so-called normal people are crackers and people with mental illnesses can be model citizens.

The idea is also that if you’re doing well you can’t possibly have this diagnosis–and I don’t buy into this either.

With a lot of people the diagnosis is an icebreaker. After that, you have to prove yourself. Yet I’ve found that a lot of individuals with mental health challenges are some of the kindest, most thoughtful and humble people living on the planet.

I have a Sidekick. We make the rounds with him wherever we go. Others are Advocates.

In this season where not everyone’s in good cheer I say: throw a party for your friends. Even if you simply order the best pizza in town and watch a movie all tumbled on the couch. Shoes optional.

Again: I say steer clear of peers who would attack you or be jealous of you.

Each of us is just living our lives doing the best we can with what we were given. An Internet quote tells us: “Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is facing some kind of battle.”

Here’s the deal: Just Ask. If memory serves it was a comedian who was lauded because her kid asked others at the playground: “May I play with you?”
Better yet: teach your son or daughter to ask other kids: “Would you like to join me?”

Respect goes a long way. There’s something to be said for asking permission.

It’s why I don’t identify real people’s characteristics in any of my blogs. I might say “A friend said” or “a guy thinks.” That’s about all.

This season I do wish for peace on earth and a little more good will to all humans.

Happy Monday!

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Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She owns a resume writing and career help business. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and a fitness buff.

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