I love this quote, from Landon Donovan, on the stigma of mental health. He said this while addressing his recent hiatus from soccer. And, while I’ve always respected Landon as a player, this has turned me into one more of his fans.
“I speak to many people often that I love and care about and love and care about me often. Not just during this time, but I’m constantly speaking to people to try to be a better person and be a better player. Unfortunately, in this society and many other societies, we have a sort of stigma that being in a difficult mental place is not acceptable. We should pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and fight through it and it’s a little peculiar to me that whole idea, if someone is physically hurt we’re okay with letting them take the time to come back, but if someone is in a difficult place mentally, we’re not okay with allowing them to take the time that they need to come back.
“Hopefully, there’s a few people out in the world who can relate to this and can somewhat be inspired. That doesn’t mean that everybody should be lazy and take as much time as they need and do whatever they want in life. Obviously, there’s points in life that are difficult, but if you’re really at a place where struggling mentally then we need to be more compassionate and understanding of people in all walks of life and understand that they might need time away too. That was certainly the case with me. I had the added physical element where my body was exhausted, but if I didn’t take this time off, I would have been useless to everybody this year in a professional setting and probably a personal setting as well. I absolutely needed it and I’m very glad that I did it.”