I believe in the power of words — to release truth, to stir hope in tired hearts, and to transform perspectives. Lately, however, I’ve been even more stirred by the sobering converse — the lethal power of our silence.
Silence, when wielded as a form of denial, can be crueler than the harshest criticism. It confirms our shame, drives us further from the surface and deeper into the throes of what we fear and loathe. It is a sick state of affairs that, often, what we most need to address is what we most desperately smother in silence.
And we collude together, it seems, in some unspoken, collective pact of denial. Our conventions of avoiding the uncomfortable, complicated, or controversial reduce our conversations to shallow and safe waters. We flow in familiar, sterile channels, as we forgo the healing relief found only in the deep.
And few topics are so enwrapped in silence than that of “mental health.”Desperate to appear constantly and completely competent, we hide behind brittle veneers and fashion smiles that say, “I’m fine, fine, fine.”