I was listening to my favourite radio station, Radio 6 on Saturday morning and I caught the end of a poet talking about writing his poetry. Surprisingly he said it was a wrenching difficult job for him because it had to be about the truth. He opened himself up to the world with his words and sometimes it led to criticism but he went on to say that’s the place we need to get to as human beings was that we need to face our truth.
Sometimes I think we live in a world where it’s a bit like having backache. If something isn’t right and we have a pain many people take a pill and the pain goes away. But the cause of the pain hasn’t gone away. It still there. We don’t face the issue. The truth.
When I wrote my blog two weeks about my mental health I was really scared and I only skimmed the top of it. It’s hard. I was worrying that people would look at me different or maybe a potential employer would Google and think oh dear she’s had anxiety. Steer clear. And then there’s the uncomfortable truth that you’ve kept this big part of you away from people you’ve loved and the biggest part is letting the world know I’m not perfect.
To say I was overwhelmed with the messages after I wrote it doesn’t cover it. Some people messaged me with their own secrets and stories about their quiet suffering and others opened up about their own concerns about loved ones and there was stories of overcoming really difficult bouts of mental health issues.
The main factor in these stories and mine is we are all different, different ages, gender, background and also we are not just surviving but we are living. We are all doing stuff. I manage an organisation that serves a population of 11000. Just because I have anxiety issues doesn’t mean that I can’t hold down a demanding job or have a fabulous large bunch of friends. It doesn’t mean I can’t have a meaningful relationship. It doesn’t mean I can’t deal with stress and it doesn’t mean I’m going mad. It doesn’t mean that I’m not dependable. It doesn’t mean I miss work. It doesn’t mean I’m down a lot. It doesn’t mean I’m weak.
What struck me most when I wrote that blog was that people were shocked. You? But you’re strong? You’ve got a good job. You’re always laughing. You never said anything. And I am all those things and so are most people with mental health issues, we just need to stop skimming around those two words like they’re an infectious disease. Reality is we all have Mental health and sometimes it can be good and sometimes it can make us poorly. Mental issues does not mean failure, in fact when you face it… You move away from the cloud you thought was protecting you and finally begin to live and face your truth .
It was really important to me to write a second part to that blog and I want to thank you for your support and also your bravery x
Lots of love this Sunday x