Yesterday was World Mental Health Day.
A week ago I traipsed down to the local dog park, macro lens in tow, intent on photographing a magical mushroom Ian had told me about earlier in the day.
Actually he told me about two mushrooms, one phallic shaped and the other a perfect flower. A low to the ground mushroom has its advantages. By the time we returned to the spot, the penis shaped mushroom had been trampled on whereas the rose shaped one was left intact.
I spent twenty blissful minutes photographing the flower mushroom, arranging and rearranging various fall leaves around it into a perfect flat lay.
Not once in that mindful twenty minutes was I aware of the black cloud of doom that had been hovering over my shoulder for the past six weeks. I stomped on eggshells (avoiding the mushroom, of course), erected boundaries (that included my vignette) and didn’t give a whit about World Mental Health Day.
Alas, our perfect mushroom was too good to be true. What the lens didn’t pick up, the editing process did. That perfect flowering mushroom turned out to be a polyester doodad, planted by some jokester, likely the same one who trampled the young shaggy mane.
Which brings me back to the dark cloud. Sometimes a distraction will successfully blow it away. Other times it’s about saving yourself when you are too exhausted to do any more for someone you care about.
It means turning away from the blame, the anger, and the shame and shifting the weight of responsibility that comes with being the eldest child/third parent. It’s asking someone else to carry the load for a while and if there is no one available, just leaving it there.
I envy the people who can just be open about it. Those who can vent and rant and rave. ‘Cause that’s the other thing about World Mental Health Day: nobody really wants to talk about it, at least not in a way that’s personal. Memes are okay though.
So here are my contributions a day after World Mental Health Day: one mushroom and one doodad.