I’m not sure when the last time I wrote on this blog, I write a lot but not all of it gets published or it’s more suited to another thing I am working on but Time to Talk day always pulls me back to Custard on…
This year it seems more important than ever to talk about your mental health, the world seems a much scarier place than this time last year. There appears to be more uncertainty and there is so much change in the air. Whatever your political persuasion you can’t doubt that the news from the last few weeks is a little unsettling and the unknown is a scary place. Especially for people who don’t fit the traditional mould, it feels to me that we have gone back to being a minority again, and current politics doesn’t seem to like minorities very much at the moment.
I am don’t have to conform to being a mental health patient anymore, it’s been more than five years since I was discharged from the service but I still carry my Anxiety around in my handbag, always with me, just lurking. I have better control of Anxiety these days, it doesn’t creep into my every waking moment, but it still stalks my vulnerable moments, keeps me awake at night with the what ifs and the maybes. It has been hanging around my home a lot over the last few months as we are in the throws of moving house, I wonder if I can leave Anxiety behind in the loft when we move out? That would be nice, but I doubt it. I am sure it’ll climb into the box of ‘first night essentials’.
As those who have read this blog before will know, I have always been happy to talk about my mental health. It was great to have a little chat in my office today about mental health. I was saying that I was a bit stress and feel a bit like all the adult responsibilities were weighing heavy on me at the moment. My colleague was saying that she was feeling lonely (her relationship ended quite recently). Her comment was ‘well you were worrying about all that, and I was just feeling a bit sorry for myself’. Whatever your worry, big or small, I hope that you can find someone to talk too about it. Talking has been the best therapy I could have, knowing that those I am surrounded by everyday understand me and the challenges I face. Anxiety is in my bag under my desk, but it stays there most of the time, and if it gets out, the people I work with understand. I know I am so lucky to have this support, I honestly believe that it is because I have been open and honest about Anxiety, that I have been better understood and accepted in all the positions I have held.
I was pondering the other day how often when someone says ‘How are you?’ do you reply ‘Yeah I’m good’ when actually you aren’t. I have tried over the last few months, when I have struggled more to actually say ‘I’m not so great today’ or ‘struggling a bit’ or ‘could do with some support’. I’ve not said this to everyone, but to my friends I have been much more honest than perhaps in previous difficult times. I have been overwhelmingly supported by everyone, from our Anxiety Cafe group, folk at work and my friends and family. Thanks.
Keep talking. It’s time to talk, it’s time to change perceptions of mental health.