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From Human Doings, To Human Beings

Reflections on MentalHealth4All online support group

Written by Jessica Horton, April 2020

Photo Credits to Jessica Horton

The people became human beings, instead of human doings, when they were told to stay at home, as if naughty children sent to their bedroom to reflect on what they’d done. And during the pause they read, they painted, they danced, they played with their children doing PE with Joe, but up to a third of them also felt very sad and anxious. They watched too much news and worried about possible tragedy.

More than just a few faced their shadows as their usual coping mechanisms were unavailable to them and unresolved trauma bubbled to the surface. As they painted and played many of the people felt like they must be failing, as Facebook was full of the funny moments, as it was not made clear to the people that difficult feelings are part of an entirely normal human response to an abnormal situation.

And when the people returned to ‘normal’ they found others changed, for they had seen their defensive layers peeled back too, they were more real as humans, more raw and not playing old roles. They found the importance of deep love and connection, missing for so many for so long. For many, the small things became the big things, a tree became a majestic beast of beauty, not simply just a tree and a bird singing was a moment of joyous delight. Schools embraced natural curiosity and developed ways of meaningful learning, as parents had realised ministers had created a ridiculous curriculum for their little human beings. Jobs were lost but careers changed as the pause gave time to reflect on what was important and new directions were sought. The earth was cleaner as governments were forced by the people to face the sickness they had been inflicting on the planet.

Much healing did take place, but more than a few remained immensely distressed, needing help with old hurts, trauma and to understand how human beings respond normally to an abnormal situation.


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