Tag Archives: mental health

A Pair of Silk Stockings by Kate Chopin

I thought that the author was harshly judging the main character of this story for her selfish thoughtlessness, but then I started to see that there is a tone of compassion for people who give of themselves so selflessly that they become deliriously starved for self nurturance.
Read by Grace Buchanan · A Pair of Silk Stockings by Kate Chopin

This short story was originally published in an 1897 issue of Vogue Magazine, and was then included in the author’s book, “The Awakening, and Selected Short Stories“. I like how the author’s voice trips along from one scene to another.

Please be careful as you tend to the needs of others, especially during this pandemic, to make sure that you are tending to your own creature needs. Please keep in touch with your sense of comfort, peace, and wellness.

Read the entire book “The Awakening and Selected Short Stories” at Project Gutenberg.

Listen to all the work that I’ve done for LIbriVox.

This is a LibriVox recording. All LibriVox recordings are in the public domain. For more information, or to volunteer, please visit: librivox.org.

Image credit:
Kate Chopin Portrait, Photographer not credited / Public domain

This story was included in the LibriVox Short Story Collection 86. It is #17 of the 20 stories.

Mental Health Athletes

I greatly appreciate writers who share ideas for attracting readers, for example, at Twitter: #amwriting #amreading; and at Google+: the Saturday Scenes and Writers Discussion Group communities.

Here are thoughts that I would like more authors to consider when sharing what they write about mental illness.

I often perceive an “us and them” way of thinking, for example when a writer claims, “it’s very easy to tick them off.” I suggest that we all have triggers that are easy to spark; people with a specific issue aren’t unique in that regard. The quote conjures visions of a herd of people with the issue, wound tight like springs, ready to attack. With this image in mind, I can see why some people try to keep a wide berth between “us” and “them.” Remember that all people are people. Attackers attack, resilient people bounce back, doormats are trampled, and so forth, regardless of specific issues.

Attack

Fiction can be better at building understanding than nonfiction. Novels can make challenges and solutions vivid for the readers. I’m thinking of Hamlet and Don Quixote, Sybil, and more recently Cut, and The Silver Linings Playbook.

Mental illness is like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes: all can be addressed with preventive measures and therapies, and all are invisible to most of us.

A person who is not dealing with a mental health issue, but is writing about a character who is, is like a male writing about a female, or a European writing about an Indian. It is like being a real person writing about someone who is not. A key is getting feedback from people who have similar characteristics.

The most enthusiastic readers might be those who recognize something in common with at least one of the main characters. Therefor, reaching out to people who have an illness that is similar to the fictitious condition should be effective. However, main characters have more to them than just one issue. Draw on those other similarities as well.

Consider that the only difference between someone who has a mental health issue, and someone who doesn’t, is that one is seeking treatment. Everyone deals with mental health; the people who are working on their mental health issues are like athletes who are working on their physical health issues.

Healthy-Athlete

We are all working on putting our best foot forward.

P.S. I found more guidelines for writing about mental illness, for people who are looking for more specific advice. What are your favorite resources? Which resources have you discovered recently?

 

Image credits:

Woverine vs. Hulk, by Marcel Trindade.

Fields Squats, Fields Prosthetic, and Fields Runs 200, by Tim Hipps, FMWRC Public Affairs.

All images used under Creative Commons License by-2.0.