I couldn’t wash the dishes without crying on Labor Day.
Sardi’s Chicken is a healing space.
Frontwoman and guitarist Adrienne Smith, of the blues/rock band The Dirty Middle, briefly said much of her songwriting is inspired by depression in her 72 Hours interview.
All of this is related. Just follow me for a second.
Due to stigma, mental health is pushed to the periphery of our discussions, though mental health affects almost everything we touch. Stigma means crying in bathrooms and by kitchen sinks out of a sense of failure for not being able to live a normal life. But what is a normal life if millions of people don’t talk about their mental illness? Doesn’t that make mental illness normal?
Stigma also means I can’t cry in the middle of Sardi’s because their chicken gives me the will to live and love again. I can’t say to a Sardi’s employee that I come to their store as an act of self-care when depression makes my life feel unbearable. I can’t say that their green sauce makes me want to inquire about part-time positions for an infinite supply of Sardi’s. No, I just devour my rotisserie chicken in silence and try to contain my happiness.
Artists who speak out about mental health bring the joy and pain of living with mental illness into view. The Dirty Middle’s Adrienne Smith used just two sentences for her revolutionary act. Any statement, no matter how short or long, undermines stigmas and promotes the truth that mental health is not an afterthought.