I was busy with my usual hectic work schedule the other day when I started getting phone calls and messages from friends telling me that Kate Spade passed away. Most people who know me are well aware that I am a huge fan of her designs and own everything of her's from purses, shoes, clothes, jewelry and even dishes! The news made me sad but also got me thinking.....
One of the reasons I love her designs is because it instantly makes me happy! I see all of the bright colours and cute novelty items and I can't help but smile! On the surface, this can make people think that she was a happy person who liked to spread that happiness to others. However, the surface of a person does not show the true story of what they are going through. It was later reported that she suffered from bipolar disorder, a very serious mental illness.
I then realized that the compartments of my life were merging together, my passion for helping people with mental illness and my passion for Kate Spade designs. It was time for me to get back on my computer and write about it. It is so important to learn from everything that crosses our paths. So what can we learn from this tragedy?
As I write this to tell you what we can learn, the message really becomes clear as reports come out that Anthony Bourdain has just passed away, also from suicide. We are hearing their stories because they are celebrities but just think of how many more people are struggling that we don't know about.
The lesson should be clear to you by now. There should be NO stigma when it comes to mental illness. It is NOT a weakness or something that a person can control! It is just as important as any other illness and should be taken seriously! We need to shift society's judgements and make them understand this by speaking out about it with no fear or shame. We need to take time from our busy lives to look after ourselves. Life is already very short, let's all try to live our lives to their fullest!
If you are struggling with mental illness and/or thoughts of suicide, please seek help. It is not your fault and you deserve the help!