Fume has found its way through the shadows into our homes, and it’s ruining lives. One or two love ones aren’t their former selves.

They have drawn away. We have no clue what is wrong. There are no physical signs. Naturally, we react to what we can see and act accordingly. That’s what makes this fume so destructive. It is invisible… Silent… Fatal. So response is unexpectedly, although unforgivingly slow.

We are under attack. Someone should be ringing the tower bells of King’s Landing. Not one of surrender. But one of a unified attack. But no! In our subconscious, stats mean nothing. We are govern by sight.

Even the neighbor next door who lost their kid to suicide has no clue how to fight or what they could have done differently, so what qualifies you the not-yet-a-victim as a knight.

As a race, we have always fought anything that threatens our existence… when we see it. That’s why we spent over 100 billion fighting AIDS, marshaled the whole world against a Nazi threat, ended slavery and minorities around the world have fought for their civil right.

So this, invisible villain is allowed to live amongst us under-opposed. That is the level our apathy and ignorance. Ignorance that is through the ozone and apathy that is larger than our hearts.

The Mask

The real faces of mental illness plays hide and seek with us, the mask is taken off when the door closes and it ugly face never gets revealed. If we knew as much, we know isolation is how this life destroyer operates. The pain is internal. It pierces. It saps joy. And the sufferer is forced to fake a life. He is doubtful of how he would be received. Already, he is been told that it not a big deal. There is no test to prove it. It makes no sense even. At least, that what his own rational sometimes tells him. So he keeps mute and suffers in silence to his demons and the cancer eats him up until there is nothing left but a zombie walking around every day cursed with a life he would rather not live.

Supposed invisibility has led to mass apathy. Plain apathy. It’s not me, they reason. Besides its not infectious. And we sigh with shameful relief, ‘The rest of us are safe.’ Those who know feel powerless. The problem seem so daunting, so we would rather bury our heads in the sand. Even the government isn’t winning that war. In truth, the governments aren’t even fighting the war.

Apathy is followed in the chain reaction by ignorance. Ignorance that says I don’t know and I don’t want to know. Ignorance so ridiculous that not knowing that your child needs a measles shot could be pardon. Well, we can’t argue that because on one hand, measles has more visible signs and there is a clear vaccine. On the other hand, mental illness is mostly invisible and there isn’t any cure.

Blind, not invisible

However, when we think about it, mental illness is not so invisible. It looms large in our faces. It presents signs every day and everywhere. Behavioral signs which we dismiss as the choice of the victims. It feels like everyone goes through that. We call it a phase. And there too is the stories we hear. The lives lost. So much of it every day to the point where the news don’t even want to report it anymore. You won’t ask me why, would you?

Some though among us genuinely want to do something but have no idea where to start. Pardon me, but that too is called ignorance and you do to darkness what you do to ignorance. Knowledge is light. And with light, we can see clearly. It makes what once seem invisible visible. It turns apathy into empathy. Empathy then fuels our rage against this enemy and brings us all together to fight this losing war. This may not be AIDS, but it still exists. And the cry for help is deafening. Don’t kill the invisible with ignorance and claim you had no idea what to do; because you do.