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That Fake Chance the Rapper Tweet Is Actually Great Mental Health Advice

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OK, I retweeted it. That fake tweet from a Chance the Rapper parody account that has been retweeted more than 206,000 times. I was so touched by the tweet — so into it — I didn’t even stop to look for the blue checkmark that would prove its authenticity.

It read, “Canceling plans to read is ok. skipping a party for the gym is ok. staying home to cook is ok. lets encourage it & respect self improvement.”

The statement is simple, but it was exactly what I needed to hear this weekend after passing on a Labor Day party to stay in. And it was powerful coming from someone like Chance the Rapper — or so I thought. But alas, it wasn’t him

Not only did Chance the Rapper not tweet this (the real Chance the Rapper is @chancetherapper), this parody account wasn’t the first one that did either. Tweets with these exact words have been tweeted since July 25 of this year, with the first tweet going back to the account @dani_kroll (as least as far back as Twitter would let me go).

When I Googled that statement, the first thing that came up was the fake Chance’s tweets and then people retweeting the fake Chance’s tweets.

As easy as it is to roll your eyes at viral content, whether it be a video, a news story or a tweet (especially when that content is copied, which is another problem altogether) — content typically goes viral for a reason. There’s a reason that many (including myself and other people who regularly tweet about mental health) retweeted or pressed that heart button so quickly — it hit home.

“Canceling plans to read is OK.”

When you live with a mental illness (or even when you don’t) there’s sometimes conflict between what you need and what others expect of you. When you’re afraid of disappointing people, it’s easy to put others’ needs before your own. But every once in a while, you’re allowed to choose yourself. It’s OK to say no, and it’s OK to respect what your body and brain are telling you.

“Skipping that party for the gym is OK.”

This depends on your relationship with the gym, but it is true that you don’t have to do something just to keep up appearances. Many people who live with mental illnesses feel like they have to put on an act or “pass” as normal — when that’s not the case at all. Just like we shouldn’t let anxiety push us around, we shouldn’t let peer pressure bully us into doing something either.

“Staying home to cook is OK.”

Not everyone has the same needs. Some people prefer relaxing with friends. Others need alone time at the end of a long day. Pay attention to what makes you happy, what makes you anxious and what makes you feel down. Although we know anxiety, feeling of hopelessness or other symptoms can arrive for no reason at all, you — as a person — have likes and dislikes and preferences you’re allowed to honor, regardless of what others think.

“Let’s encourage it and respect self-improvement.”

None of this means we should never push ourselves, or never put ourselves out there. It just means we shouldn’t be judgmental of what other people need to do for their mental health. Instead we should be encouraging everyone’s individual journey and not assuming we know what’s good for them.

So yeah, I was disappointed to find out this tweet wasn’t from Chance the Rapper, but even if Chance didn’t say this, I’m glad somebody did.

Lead photo via Chance the Rapper’s Facebook page.

Image via Creative Commons/evolverphoto

Originally published: September 5, 2017
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