In recent posts I have tended toward the scientific. Truly, one cannot sit at a laptop screaming into a void about their feelings and expect it to be interesting for very long.
But by god do I have feelings.
And so, my focus this (soon to be) past year has been to discuss how to improve mental health in natural, therapeutic, and usually academic ways. They require practice and patience. Generally just to read my long-ass articles!
So today, as November blusters on about us, I am taking off my sexy librarian glasses (I have 2 pairs) in favour of a T-shirt that says “Me, Me, Me”.
Well not quite (I do have a tendency toward the dramatic), but I promise this diatribe has a point that is more inclusive than it first seems.
So here goes…
I have never been diagnosed medically with a mental health disorder. Or any form of long-term illness, psychological or otherwise. Well, there was a stint of severe Eczema after leaving University that had me in A&E for an afternoon, but that was down to severe stubbornness and also what I am now realising was an physical reaction to the emotional strain of leaving University. That and having a twat of a boyfriend at the time.
Having said that, I have had long bouts of psychological downturns that can only be described as depression, and am blessed with a brain that will think itself in knots and predict the worst possible outcomes. Spoiler alert: the worse you think a situation will come out, the more likely you are to think that thing into fruition.
Just put that creamy tub of icy negativity you are currently digging into down—and the spoon. Step away. It’s for your own good.
This has happened at various times in my life, and with varying results. It has often lead to some pretty big bust-ups with family and loved-ones as I try to navigate a life that my mind is telling me is full of people out to get me. It has taken a lot of work to get me to the place I am today, where I can rise above the tumult of my crowded mind of negative Nancys and into a positive state of surrender and generosity to those around me.
But I have never been diagnosed with a psychological condition. And so I am in turmoil with myself.
When I started this blog, I had a dream. One in which I created a safe and beautiful space where people could talk freely about mental health experiences, and support each other. Where pain and sadness bares creative fruit that helps to nourish others into a more positive mindset. Where we collectively laugh at the shadows we carry around with us, making them smaller, less significant. More manageable.
To create a well-rounded space where people can read about others experiences, requires more than my voice. It requires many, many, many different people to raise their voices loud and talk with courage and pride about what experience. Good, bad, ugly, terrifying, hilarious. It is all good. More than that, it is necessary.
So here is the thing… the thing that I ask of you if you are reading this and have something to share.
Give me your words. Give me all of your words and let me—and the world at large—see what you have to say. It may help as a cathartic release. You may be helping someone else, someone who needs to believe that they are not alone. That what they are going through will end, change, and improve.
I am calling on anyone out there who would like to share their thoughts. Specifically about mental health issues and experiences, but if you can create a tenuous link and go on a ramble, I accept you with open arms. I want you to give me your articles, poems, song, paintings, scribblings, your perceived understanding of whatever it is you have survived, or are surviving. I want to know how you did, why you did it, what you hope for the future. More than that, I want you to express yourself in any medium that helps you feel free.
I want to create a community of thinking feeling individuals who share their stories in a safe and well-meaning space. Where others can come and share in the knowledge that life is not prefect, but we are all fantastic individuals with our stories to tell.
Lend me your stories and I will publish them for all to see. We will start to heal from the inside out by sharing our truths and feeding each other whilst formulating and testing strategies that build more fulfilled lives, from the ground up. Lives where we aren’t afraid to raise our hand and say were having a hard time. And others aren’t afraid to say, “I’ve had a hard time too, try this. It might help.”
I am not a medical person, but I have a wealth of experience in managing bouts of depression and anxiety. I know that my feelings alone have had have been hard, and my mind has tripped me up in various ways. Yet I know equally that this is not the only story that needs to be shared. Mental health looks different to everyone, and one flimsy voice screaming into the void is not enough. A chorus however, that always sounds kinda nice.
So please join the chorus. Let us share stories and build something great.