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A Different Kind of Veteran

This post is for all the unsung veterans of mental illness, both those who have suffered with the diseases the brain deals out and those who have had to live with and love those who are struggling with brain illness.

I salute the people who have flashbacks from a particularly painful threat of suicide they witnessed and I salute those who have had to face suicide head on as the unbelievable but so very real outcome of brain illness.

Today I honor all of those who have had to deal with the “all about me” aspect of depression which excludes everyone, loved or not, from the picture, leaving only the depressed person as the person who counts. I recognize the loneliness, anger, and sadness that the “all about me” aspect brings to the caregiver.

I acknowledge all those who have to deal not only with depressed and angry spouses but also with children who don’t understand what is happening in the house. They are the ones who cuddle and explain and help all those around the depressed one realize that it IS an illness.

I remember today the chairs and couches and beds that have been the sites of a once again recitation of concern from a loved one regarding the terror they feel from the brain illness that is engulfing them.

I honor all those people who have had to handle all the finances and often spend their nights worried about money in addition to the already long list of things in the treatment of their depressed loved one.

I salute all those people who suffer from some sort of brain illness, those people who are not afraid to seek treatment, who are willing to share their struggle with another, and who are working to erase the stigma surrounding their illnesses.

And I remember and honor all the people who live with, care and love these people, and the professionals who understand these diseases and tirelessly work toward an answer to dealing with brain illness.

These are the veterans who serve day after day after day and too often they are overlooked, underpaid, and unacknowledged. Let those “veterans” in your life know that you appreciate them.

– Bernadette


3 Responses

  1. Really great post 🙂

  2. Fantastic. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. Reading this is the first time I’ve felt like someone knows exactly what I’m talking about when it’s always about him (“all about me aspect”) I have been constantly living that.

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