stress of being social
I’ve been thinking lately about stress of being social. For me, there’s an investment, then hopefully a return. Especially with radical mental health.
Being social is really hard for me and takes so much energy. But love and connection are what I live for. So if I can muster the courage to show up and risk trusting others, I can get a really good return of community, friendship, and meaning.
Radical mental health meetings can be so difficult for me to attend, but I really believe in that project. So I do whatever I need to, so I can show up and try.
But sometimes I have nothing to give; I can’t find a shred of trust. It takes energy to believe I’m ok to show up however I am. When I most need it, I can’t do it.
I love that radical mental health is preventative medicine. I see it as a work of mercy. Togetherness, care, learning how to be vulnerable, healing some pain. We’re connecting and remembering how to love.
That can help prevent someone from becoming homeless. Being interconnected and interdependent with kind people keeps us safer. I prefer if we don’t need to become homeless, hungry, imprisoned, or very sick before help arrives. Preemptive care can prevent a lot of pain.
I feel so happy when friends spend the hour and a half of a radical mental health collective meeting doing something good for their own well-being and the well-being of others. Friendship one-on-one is my favorite, but I also like in a group, doing work together, and seeing someone in multiple contexts.
I need many kinds of support and valence shells of community. There’s the mini-fam of me and Ming, the Las Vegas Catholic Worker community that he and I live in, Las Vegas radical mental health collective, penpals, zine friends.
There’s imaginary community also, that can form and dissolve, like “the queer community,” or writers. More of an idea.
I like to have my eggs in many baskets. If something fails, there are other good choices.
There’s a permaculture design principal about that. “Backups for your backups,” my dad would say.
These carrots are from the free box. Speaking of diversity of support.