Refreshing. That’s what today was. Refreshing.
It was a beautiful sight to see so many friends sharing positive messages about Mental Health. It made such a change from the dirge of Coleen Rooney and Brexit. People opening up and having real conversations. It was refreshing.
I picked up my latest prescription of anti depressants and friends with an unusual spring in my step as I spent my time waiting in the pharmacy, scrolling through Social Media to see so many friends posting about this important day. It was refreshing.
I’ve not been having the best time recently but just about keeping up appearances. Being silent isn’t being strong. So I’ve opened up to a few new people including a new Psychiatrist on my troubles. It was refreshing to unburden myself.
The best way I can describe my recent moods is ‘meh’. I’ve, unbeknownst to me, lost interest in a lot of things, lots of can’t be bothered. But talking has helped. And those friemds hopefully know who they are and have helped me more than they know. So im not as miserable as I was. It’s refreshing to feel normal again.
So please, talk, share, laugh, love, hug and look after one another. You never know when being nice to another human is making a huge difference to them.
Now, I’m off to refresh my news feeds to see what other positive messages I’ve missed.
Let’s get this straight.
Don’t just tolerate
My mind it castrates
Thoughts burn and berate
Let’s get this stuff off my plate
I don’t want your sympathy mate
But your time you can donate
Ease my burden mate
The dark, it fixates
I’ve opened the flood gate
I know I frustrate
But it’s just my trait
For so long, I can’t backdate
my heart rate
My problems I’ll narrate
My mind prison, I’m the only inmate
Not today, not a playmate
I might migrate
Escape, fall or just stagnate
Tried drugs, hugs
Tried to walk, to talk
But all I wanna hear is
You need to activate
But I can’t concentrate
I formulate that
I need you mate
Real life I imitate
Expel my hate
I self medicate
Day by Day I orchestrate
You Alright mate?
I don’t innovate
But it’s not deliberate
Will you be alright mate?
But don’t discriminate
Carry on and I’ll seal my own fate
But wouldn’t it be great, to hear,
All I need
Is alright mate
I can recuperate
Eating sulphates, nitrates
I won’t deteriorate
Affects my metabolic rate
With time, I can invigorate
Is it a temporary state?
My psychological state
Light after dark
Alleviate your affiliate
With an alright mate?
Help me navigate
I will illustrate
Change my state
Conversations we update
To start with a genuine
Doesn’t take a lot does it? Just to check in. To ask how someone is feeling. And if they feel like telling you they will. But double check. That’s one of the key messages coming out of this year’s World Mental Health Day….and I love it.
For someone in the midst of a difficult time, as I am at the moment, the simplest question can be so very powerful. So with that in mind, I have recently been experimenting with poetry – it actually pre dates this crisis, but the message remains the same.
I donated a poem to an album of music which was released today, details of which can be found below, you can buy a digital copy of the album or stream through Spotify.
So please, have a listen, and check in on someone today. It worked for me. Someone has genuinely asked if I’m alright, and it’s made my day.
Ever wake up in a bad mood? For no apparent reason? No idea what’s causing it but nothing helps?
Well this has been me for the last few days. Stuck in a high level of grump. Every little thing annoying me. Snapping at family and friends when they’ve done nothing wrong.
And this is where my vicious cycle kicks in.
So I’m grumpy. I hate it. I’m largely a happy go lucky chap. Keep smiling. Keep calm. Carry on kind of exterior. But this is rubbish. I snap. I feel worse. I grump. I feel worse. I then end up feeling down because I’ve upset (or feel like I’ve upset people).
So how does it stop? At the moment? I have no idea but i don’t like where it’s heading. But knowing this is happening, and knowing its not all me but a large part of it is out of my control provides a crumb of comfort.
Trying to snap out of it? Easier said than done. Depression has some powerful weapons in it’s armoury. It’s ability to isolate me is huge. Because when I feel like this, i feel i want to be alone, but that doesn’t help.
And thus my vicious cycle continues until something changes. But what is that something and when will it come? Perhaps It’s a bereavement reaction to events of the last week? Who knows.
I wish i knew
Ever heard the analogy about stress and beer? Well if not, it goes something like this – imagine your store of a stress is an empty beer barrel. The more stress we experience, it drips into our barrel and unless we let some stress out then it spills out everywhere – and no one likes spilt beer.
With this in mind recently i’ve been going through a fair amount of stress like many people do on a daily basis but ive been imagining that beer barrel getting pretty full this past few weeks. Dripping away like a leaking tap.
The awareness is key here. Knowing that im getting stressed and not enjoying that feeling – i know some people who say they never get stressed, well i envy you.
Having an outlet, being able to pour some beer out before it over flows and causes a health and safety issue is paramount. But what can you do? How do you prevent things from reaching crisis point where theres beer everywhere?
Some turn to alcohol. Which is a depressant, which can make you feel worse. But whatever works for you works for you. There is no prescription for what you can do. I personally love video games. I like to immerse myself in another world for a little while and calm my over active brain down.
I also depend on my family. They are everything to me. I have a daughter. A little tiny (sort of) one that depends on me. I can have a terrible day. The worst. Stressed up to 11. Within 5 minutes its forgotten.
There are so many things that have helped me on my journey through depression, relapse and recovery. Expressing myself through doodling and art helps.
Take some time for yourself. Tell people your struggling. Speak out. This week marks the start of Mental Health Awareness week. Be aware. Have conversations. Break down stigma. Stigma’s most powerful weapon is itself. If we no longer fear talking about depression and mental health wecare taking huge steps as a society.
Its time to change. Check out this link and be part of something incredible.
Time to Change
Times they are a changing, that’s what Bob Dylan said, and when it comes to mental health awareness he’s right.
So long the taboo subject of society, mental health has reported in the media would have you believing that every diagnosed person is ready to kill you or themselves. This is quite clearly not the case, but fear-mongering sells papers.
The tides are shifting towards real movement and acceptance, groups such as the ‘Semi colon project’ have provided a creative output for those of us who have felt that they are out of options. Indeed this year BAFTA have recognised a mental health documentary – ‘life after suicide’ – incredible viewing by the way – for shortlisting.
If you are struggling or know someone who is, talk. Talk to someone. Tell them whats going on. Since opening up about my mental health, I’ve found nothing but supportive voices expressing my bravery. Im not brave. Im scared of moths. Im not even close to brave. I just want to write, talk and listen. I want to help others have these difficult conversations which will enable small changes inhow they are feeling.
The power is in your hands. You can carry on to shun those who are different or those we do not understand. But we cannot continue to shy away from mental health issues.
This is everybodys business and we should all be involved. Get involved. I challenge you to have a cuppa and a chat about mental health.
What happens might just surprise you.