"There are bright places even in the darkest times. And if there isn't, you can be that bright place with infinite capacities." -All the Bright Places

This movie covered a variety of mental health issues and I can’t imagine there’s anyone who couldn’t relate to it in some way. It’s one that’ll make you smile and cry. It covered heavy mental health issues in heartfelt, creative ways.

Let’s take a look at a line from the movie, “People don’t like messy—or different.” That’s true; we don’t like things that make us uncomfortable. However, life is messy. When we’re out of our comfort zone, we’re clearly uncomfortable. We may also march to the beat of a different drum than others—that’s ok! The different approach that’s best for an individual may make others around them uncomfortable.

When I was being treated for grief, depression and PTSD over a sustained period, I was doing my best to follow the counsel of the therapist and doctors treating me. Part of the guidance was to be authentic, feel all I could feel, and follow the needs of my own heart. However, that made others uncomfortable. They wanted to help me, but said things like: I “should be over it” or “was ruining my life” or “in serious trouble.” In hindsight, they needed to have their own perspective shifted. It took me a long time to figure out how much my recovery process made others uncomfortable.

Mental health issues are uncomfortable and predictably messy for all impacted. “Uncomfortability” is a natural part of any healing process. Rarely are things clear or straightforward. There are guidelines, but no “cookie cutter” approaches; everyone is unique. There are frustrating times in the journey for the one suffering and all those in relationship with them. On top of that, it’s definitely a marathon not a sprint.

To all those effected (first or secondhand) and regardless of all the challenges, we can’t lose sight of all the “bright places with infinite capacities” inside ourselves. Hold on tightly to the truth that there are bright places in, and around, you—even in the darkest of times. You may not feel it’s true when in the darkest moments, but it makes it no less true!

Cheri Thomas

Cheri works as a Peer Support Specialist for RI in Arizona. She has experienced loss and grief which has led her to write for the masses to bring voice to those in similar situations. Cheri possesses a deep passion to share with, encourage, and inspire others on what she calls the Journey of the Heart.