The Mental Health Law of Motion

Some of us might remember the laws of motion we learned about in physics class. I’ll admit, physics was far from being my favorite class, but I still remember the law of motion that says that an object in motion stays in motion and an object at rest stays at rest, unless acted upon by an outside force. Don’t ask me to remember what number law of motion it is, but I understand the concept. And as it relates to this post, you guessed it, it makes me think a lot about the mental health laws of motion.

You probably haven’t heard of them, admittedly because I just made them up, but I think they mirror the physical laws of motion. In the darkness of depression motion from me requires an outside force. Sometimes I get it from someone in my support network, most often a family member. But without it I am going nowhere.

And even when I am not in the midst of a depressive episode, my anxiety, my fear of failure, will make it seem downright daunting to start a task. Yet like any object in motion, I find that once I am going, I go. At least until acted upon by an outside force, such as a lack of spoons.

I say this because it is an important reminder to me that sometimes I just need to start. And more importantly, it is a reminder that people who battle mental illness aren’t slow or lazy, they just don’t have the internal energy to move them forward, to push them through the darkness. They need an outside force to pull them from their darkness, to dislodge them from the devilish grasps of their demons. So next time you see someone struggling, ask yourself (or if you feel comfortable ask them) how you can be the outside force that gets them into motion.

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