Hi to old friends, new friends and those not yet convinced.
Apologies for another stalled attempt at posting regularly, but perhaps this time I’ll actually succeed.
After several unsuccessful attempts at completing a new post, I’ve realised that It might be a good time to repost something that I wrote four years ago on another page. I came across it while trying to re-aquaint myself with the ins and outs of using WordPress. Seeing it took me by surprise, I’d forgotten all about it. It seems very poignant, that after the inflated high that I was experiencing at that time, I’ve hit the ground, hard, and am currently clawing my way back up.
As most people with any experience of mental health issues know, complete recovery is often little more than wishful thinking. I had convinced myself that all I needed was willpower, (which I lack at the best of times). Unfortunately, life had other ideas and saw that I needed a lesson in humility, which was then doled out in spades! However, with this lesson, there was a carrot as well as a stick. By meeting so many wonderful, genuine people. I’ve been suitably rewarded for pulling myself out of the hole and not just throwing in the towel.
The following post was written in 2016. That was then, this is now, yet still the words are relevant. Re-reading it has been a good reminder for me.
When my companion was a kitten, he enjoyed contorting himself into weird & wonderful situations. However I didn’t. As far back as I can recall, I’ve felt out of place, uncomfortable. I just didn’t fit, wherever I happened to be – that is until now! Now my life is very different. My journey has been a very long, lonely one, filled with a maze of twists, turns, dead ends & feelings of entrapment. The fact that I have survived this long has been reason enough to want to tell more about my story. It is one of bleakness , yet somehow I have come out of it, at the age of almost 64, smiling, filled with contentment. Unfortunately, not everyone is so lucky. Far too many people can’t admit they have a mental health problem. It’s not surprising. There is still a huge amount of stigma attached.
Living with mental health issues is the cause of huge daily stress. Finding the strength to keep going, attempting to ignore the stares, sniggers, finger pointing, nasty comments and worse. At times it feels insurmountable. They are forced to deal with their demons alone, often putting on a mask of happiness, rather than admit what they are coping with.
In the difficult world of people living with poor mental health, waiting & hoping for the time when we are no longer regarded as second-class citizens, feels little more than a utopian dream.
Although things are moving in the right direction, it is painfully slow. It seems that the only way to make change happen, is to start it for ourselves – each & everyone of us. Whatever our social standing, whether we are affected or not, we all need to chip away at the stigma that exists. We need to be offering friendship, understanding, empathy and compassion, not just to those closest to us, but to EVERYONE!
Let’s all work together to be a kinder, more understanding community.
We must all do our bit, not expect someone else to instigate those changes.
Put in a simple mantra: “LET IT BEGIN WITH ME”
Yes, I sound like one of the hippy, peace & love brigade – because that’s exactly what I am! I make no apologies for it. Kindness empowers us, spite & ignorance certainly doesn’t.
I try to practice what I preach, quite often I make a massive mess of things, but still I keep on trying.
How about you?