It’s strangely un-nerving blogging about some of the most difficult times in your life. It’s been asked of me, why I’ve chosen to talk about this emotional journey in such a public way. The answer to this has bounced around in my head on many occasions, and it has actually stopped me in my tracks at times. I’m sad to admit that it’s also stopped me from blogging at some point during the past week. But that is where I stand up and say NO. No more to barriers that block awareness of mental health. No more to stigma. No more to hiding away from what is real. No more discrimination. No more to mis-understanding.
It’s time to talk.
If I felt that this blog, would in any way, damage, hurt, confront or confuse the people I love, then I wouldn’t have written it. If I felt that this blog, in anyway could have a negative effect on anyone I love then I wouldn’t have published it. The thing about this blog, is that it is purely, selfishly for me. Just for me. Sure, I can hear what you’re saying, ‘but this is a blog, it’s public’. Yes, it’s public. I’m more than happy for anyone to read this, and I encourage people to read this. But I WRITE this for me. I write this to thrash out my own ideas through the creative form of writing. I share it publicly in the hope that one day, through talking, generations won’t be afraid to talk about, and be actively aware about mental health.
A quote I stumbled upon today on my Instagram feed and this couldn’t sum it up more:
“To Learn, Read. To Know, Write. To Master, Teach” So, here I am.
We need to remain physically healthy. We eat the right food, exercise and stay active. We sleep. We drink water. We indulge – we live. If we don’t look after our physical health, we can begin to suffer.
The same applies for mental health. We need to fuel our minds. We need to exercise our minds. We need to rest our minds. We need to hydrate our minds and we need to indulge our minds. If we don’t – we suffer.
As with physical illness, there are things that happen to us that we can’t control. Cancer. Heart Disease. (I’m really not going to list these – I’m pretty sure you get the idea!) And so with mental health.
My mental health suffered a bashing for a bit. I neglected to look after it. I tried to tuck it away in hopes that it would go away. It didn’t. I caught up with it in time and here I am. On the other side of it, smiling, living my life as the best version of me.
So why is there so much stigma attached to mental health? Why is there fear? I can’t answer that for you, because it’s not me who has the fear. I’m not frightened of this, this is not my forever and it certainly doesn’t define who I am as a person and what I can contribute to this world I live in.
As a community, we need to stick together to say
‘Hey, it’s ok to have a bad day’
‘It’s ok to lean on your friends and ask for help’
‘Let’s look after our mental health as much as we look after our physical health’.
Break down the barriers that can cause so much misunderstanding. This misunderstanding can cause those who really need the help, further pain. Don’t be part of the problem. Be part of the solution, open your heart, minds and ears to those around you and ask ‘Are you ok?”. Be ready for the answer and be there to show your support.
Fortunately I’m incredibly lucky to have amazing people in my life who did just this. And to those beautiful souls – I leave you with this song.
From my favorite TV show of ALL TIME… and a song that you’ll be singing ALL WEEK because of this! Enjoy… and start talking!
These Days are My Days and I have WONDERFUL friends.
And, just for old times’ sake… here’s a mini clip of my favorite, all time TV show… I’m watching my own son grow up, thinking about his future, and his, Wonder Years…