My grandad is a funny man, probably the funniest man I know. He is always positive, and I’ve never seen him say a bad word about anyone. A true role model and he also happens to be quite old. Fast approaching 90 years old – old. He also happens to be very tired.
This is largely due to other peoples expectations – principly that old people die. So every time he doses off on the couch or takes a nap, he is woken up to a mass of hysterical people who think he has just died. ‘Are you ok!? Are you ok!?’
The expectations for mental illness have a similar effect.
You see, what happens is that once you have revealed your illness, the people who know about it, see you in a different light. They don’t see someone gazing at a beautiful landscape*. They don’t see you peering at cliffs, reflecting on a beautiful moment. They don’t see you staring into the vastness of the UK’s Great Lakes in wonderment.
What they see, is a mentally ill person staring into the depths of their soul, about to jump off a cliff, or a mentally ill person plotting the best way to drown themselves in the lake at the first opportunity. Resulting in the familiar – ‘are you ok?’
Today was a beautiful day. We (my ex-girlfriend and I) spent the day in the lakes for her birthday. I love this area of the world. It was a peaceful and happy time. Rare moments of true mental peace in a typically stormy world… ‘But really though, are you ok?’
It is genuine care, which I fully appreciate. But I now understand my grandad – sometimes he just wants to enjoy the moment. No but, really, just tell me, are you ok?
P.S Still travelling around – normal posts resume on Friday.
*You can see on instagram.