It’s too much to ask you to be understanding of everyone and everything. I don’t know that it’s humanly possible – it is, at the very least, excruciatingly difficult.
But if you understand one thing today, let it be this: some people are sick, and need to take medication. And that is okay.
By sick, I mean suffering from mental illness.
And yes, I am aware that the word ‘sick’ may not be how you are used to hearing mental illness described. But that’s what it is – being sick, having an illness.
And if someone with a broken leg can take Nurofen, someone with anxiety can take Xanax.
It is not your job to judge them. It is not your job to have an opinion on whether taking medication is right for them. It might be keeping them alive. It might be getting them out of bed every morning. The only thing you need to know is that it is something they need, and that is okay.
Taking medication for mental health issues isn’t usually glamorous. My friend Zarlo Cooman described it to me once as, “feeling the same at someone’s funeral as you feel at their wedding.”
Which is awful. But it’s better than feeling like you want to be at your own funeral. I imagine that is not a great feeling.
Medication for mental illness isn’t a cop-out. It isn’t recreational drug use. It isn’t to get high or stoned. It’s there to make people feel like people.
You job is to understand that. Your job is to respect that.