April 28th…Super Hero Day…who knew?!
Given the recent almost far-reaching daily amount of random “holidays” that now exist, I almost dismissed this day as yet another preposterous day, but realized I would be remiss in doing so. Why? Because I am one of the lucky yet rare individuals who has the distinct honor of having a real-life super hero in my life.
My Super Hero does not have the typical characteristics that most Super Heroes are endowed with. My Super Hero does not wear a cape. My Super Hero does not fly. My Super Hero does not have the powers of invisibility, super speed, or mind reading. My Super Hero doesn’t even have their own emblem.
Rather, my Super Hero walks around in disguise. My Super Hero is a human being with an angelic heart, a real life person that I can reach out and touch. My Super Hero is a person who has touched my heart and accepted me wholeheartedly. My Super Hero is a person who has seen and believed in me what I can’t see or believe about myself. My Super Hero is the person who has stood by me, supported me and encouraged me to develop my natural talents and abilities into something bigger and better.
Despite the many reasons listed above, which still fall short of accurately depicting the interpersonal qualities that my Super Hero bears, the best thing about my Super Hero is that my Super Hero has been my an unconditional friend in my life who has helped me to begin to rise above the stigma of having mental illness. My Super Hero has been a person who has learned of my struggles with mental illness, but has not let that knowledge taint the way that she sees me. This Super Hero has penetrated my deep seeded stigma and through unwavering support, belief, and love and has slowly helped me to begin to tear through the devastating chains that mental illness stigma can unfortunately bring. Because of my Super Hero, I have been able to slowly be more comfortable in sharing my story with trusted people. Because of my Super Hero I am slowly becoming better at reaching out for help during times of relapse and darkness that can unexpectedly occur when you live with mental illness. Because of my Super Hero I am learning that my mental illness does not define me, and that even the road is often dark, there is also hope.
So you see, not recognizing and celebrating this newly created “Super Hero Day” would really be a great injustice to my Super Hero who has with human qualities made a more significant impact in my life than anyone flying around in a cape ever could.