Living life through the cracks

Cracks are funny things to talk about when you are autistic and have mental health problems.

People who are mentally ill are referred to as crackpots, or just cracked. As individuals and increasingly as a society we talk about the cracks that people fall into as we become more complex individuals and block contracts become less appropriate.

All the references to cracks I can find in Western culture focus on being broken.  Split apart. No longer whole.

A fairly sad state of affairs for anyone to consider.

Japanese culture celebrates a different kind of crack.  Kintsukoroi means ‘to repair with gold’. Essentially, repairing pottery that has fractured and celebrating the breaking.

Understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken [and that it is possible to make whole again]. 

This is such a great concept to apply to people. Mental health recovery should be about repairing the cracks with silver and gold; the preciousness of kindness, compassion and shared responsibility. Of services being the gold or silver. The supporting and binding structures that are able to change with the needs of the person. So services and professionals need to be able to change their working and approach across individuals, groups and also the stage of recovery.

As the metal is liquid, so it can be applied and then hardens to leave a beautiful historic record. In the same way, the mental health support people receive always staying with them, imprinted in their history. Sometimes you get your cracks repaired with silver and gold but more often than not it is mud. Dark, dirty, and brittle and weak over time.

I want to learn to apply Kintsukuroi to people.

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