Strength Does Not Depend On How Invisible Your Struggle Is

Before I begin this post, I’d like to say that perhaps I’m incorrect in how the following is portrayed. Perhaps it’s just how it seems to me and no one else has ever noticed this. I’m honestly not sure. Still, this is an issue that has been on my mind for a while, so I’d like to express my feelings.

I’ve seen and heard a lot of people categorize their anxiety and other mental health issues as ‘invisible’ because no one can see that they’re suffering. I’ve also seen a lot of people telling these sufferers how strong they are for suffering and holding in such a difficult issue to deal with. That’s perfectly fine and I agree – struggling with something and not expressing that you struggle because you can’t find the words, etc, is hard and an individual is strong for going about their daily lives and trying so hard to stand up to their fears, etc.

What bothers me is that it sometimes seems that people put too much energy into labeling holding in ones struggles as ‘strong’. To me, that makes it seem like a person is strong because the illness or issue is ‘invisible’ or because the person chooses not to express their feelings.

Here’s the thing – anyone who lives with a mental health issue (whether invisible or not) is strong. Period. Strength is not dependent on whether or not you can ‘see’ the issue.

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Advice to Stores and Other Businesses

Hi everybody! I hope you’re all doing well.

Today I went shopping with a relative and did really well. In addition to having a great time, I ran across something that I thought would make a perfect blog post – it’s a topic that I’ve thought about on several different occasions.

The store that I went to today had chairs to sit in. While some of these chairs were for sale, there were also some chairs near the front of the store for customers to sit in, I assume so they can rest while shopping. I know what some of you are thinking – ‘so what?’.

To me, the store having these chairs to sit in was a big deal and an incredibly smart decision on their part. I’ve often thought that every establishment should be required to have some sort of seating – some way for customers and even workers to sit down if they need to. Whether one needs to sit because they have anxiety or struggle with another health issue, are elderly, or just need a break from shopping, etc., I feel that there should be a place where they can do so and not feel uncomfortable or as if they’re being judged for doing so.

I’d like to say that I understand that businesses cannot always accommodate every single person. I know that it can be difficult to do so. However, I don’t think it would be unreasonable for most businesses (if not all) to have chairs for their customers and workers to sit in if need be. Not only is it good for the people shopping, working, or doing whatever it is they may be doing, but it is good for the employers as well. The more people visiting an establishment know that they will be comfortable, the more often they’ll want to visit.

So here is my advice for stores and other businesses: please put some kind of seating in your establishment. Customers, guests, and workers deserve to feel comfortable and have a place where they can rest at times. To those places who already have chairs for people to sit in if they have to, I commend your decision. You are the places that make life enjoyable and make those of us who struggle feel like we’re valued and respected.