I was drinking my cup of tea this morning reading some tweets about #WMHD15 and thinking that I should do a bit of an update. This blog started with me talking about my experience of mental health for Time to Talk day in 2014 if you missed it https://custardon.wordpress.com/2014/02/ I added a little update to it earlier this year.
Since then life has changed again and I am volunteering within the mental health sector running Anxiety Cafe IOW with a lovely lady (Kerry) who I met after talking about anxiety on twitter. We have built a friendship, a community group and are no longer talking but shouting about mental health! More details about Anxiety Cafe http://www.facebook.com/anxietycafeiow if you want to learn more, join in or chat!
Being involved in Anxiety Cafe has reminded me about how far I have come on my journey, allowed me to share my experiences and hear about other people’s experiences. It has highlighted to me that although we all fall under the same definition ‘anxiety’ we all have different symptoms, attitudes towards it, reactions to it, medications for it, experiences of it. It has affected all of us differently but we all share the scars of fighting a battle others cannot see.
For me at this point in my recovery, my biggest fear that one bad day (because we all have them) will lead to a bad week, will lead to a bad month and then back to where I was ten years ago. With this illness there is no insurance policy to stop it coming back, you are in remission but you never get the all clear, it looms quietly in the background. It catches you unaware sometime, you might be having a coffee, on a bus and that twinge of anxiety leaps at you, hits you on the head and runs away screaming at you. I still have to fight not to run away from that screaming anxiety to my safe place, to hide under the duvet. I believe strongly that talking about this fear will help keep it at bay, because when you talk about it, the anxiety becomes smaller, it only has great power when I am alone. Talking about it to my friends, in a tweet, in a text, in what’s app, on facebook, in my blog, to a work colleague, at Cafe Anxiety, helps it shrink and mean much less.
Today on World Mental Health Day send that text, write that blog, compose that facebook post, reach out to friends you know might be isolated by the fight against their own brain. Crawl under the duvet with them (metaphorically or literally) and just be there, even if there is nothing to say. The feeling of not being alone might be the helping hand they need to get through today.
Be kind to yourself, you are good enough, you deserve good things, you are worth everything to somebody – even if you don’t see it and you are not alone, promise.
I am dedicating this blog to @crazycakeladyK – Kerry. You are such an inspiration, I am so proud of you and how far you have come, I told you a few months ago it was time for you to step out of your chrysalis and become a butterfly. You are beautiful and I love watching you spreading your wings and learning to fly (but not in a weird creepy way, in a proud to be your friend kind of way!!)