Mental Health - Your Mind Matters

By Anonymous 

Dearest daughter,

    I am hoping that by the time that you are more than the light in my eyes, the world will have grown stronger. That we, as a whole, will have become more understanding: open to not the pursuit of, but the lifelong journey that we call happiness, and the idea of freedom.

    Now, I am not talking about the kind of freedom we read about in our history books or hear in the news - and honestly, baby, these days, the war on freedom never ends - the kind of freedom I mean is the type within ourselves. The freedom to accept who we are as individuals and how we interact with the world around us. Because we’re different, baby. All of us.

    Because your mind matters.

    See, as you grow, you’ll notice me. You’ll see my marred skin, my tired eyes, and wonder what goes on beneath. I will remind you day in, day out how important your mind is. I will teach you that we must take care of our minds as we do our bodies, and to feed them healthy things like books and laughter and love. I will explain before starting school that if you feel sad or overwhelmed, it is okay to take a step back. I will also explain that it is okay to take a leap forward. Hard work, baby. You better believe you’ll learn what that is.

    Don’t roll your eyes at me; I can hear it from here.

Perhaps you’ll wonder why I do this. Why does mom care so much about your mental well-being? It’s a brain. It tells you the right answers in school, when to eat, and when to sleep. The brain is a fantastic, amazing organ capable of performing tasks beyond anything we might comprehend. It could never hurt you, it is your brain! And then one day, you’ll ask.

What’s that tattoo for?

As you may have learned over dinner (for the 99th time this week - oops!), in grammar we have this beautiful, tiny little symbol called the semi-colon. For most English teachers, it is considered the bane of our students’ grammatical existence. For me, it is the promise of continuation; that despite the struggles my own mind has thrown at me, I will keep going. You can’t pause life, my dear. I’ve tried. Some people, they got close. The commas were in place, but the sentence - fragments. Never finished. But this tattoo - this promise I made to myself, baby, is yours as well.

I promise to always be there for you.

No matter what the reason, if there’s a reason at all, I will be here by your side. I will be strong for you, but I expect you to be strong for yourself too. We get tossed around by life, sometimes our own minds, but I promise you will get through it with a smile on your face. Even if the world seems like it’s against you, do not let your mind do the same. I promise to give you the freedom you deserve.

I promise you, your mind matters.     

Tomorrow, my dear

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Mom