So, I managed to forget my password for my previous blog and couldn’t retrieve it so it has taken me a while to sit down and start a new one but here goes. I’ll be putting my old blog posts on here as well and may even start a website!
It’s amazing how much I have missed blogging, it is almost a kind of therapy for me and, whilst it was scary at first to put my thoughts out there, the benefits far outweigh the scariness!
Since I last wrote, my mental health has improved so much. It’s weird how CBT didn’t seem to do anything for me at the time but I have started to implement the techniques and I definitely feel calmer.
Having said that I did have a wobble earlier this week. I felt very unsettled but didn’t have the energy or inclination to do anything or go anywhere. It took a friend asking me whether anything had happened to make me feel unsettled to make me really think and realise that this month is the first anniversary of my nan dying. I don’t know the exact day but I know it was June. First anniversaries are always difficult, first anythings are difficult I find after a bereavement, first birthday, first Christmas, first anniversary.
I still get teary when thinking about my nan which is why I still think I need some more support. I expect I’ll always get teary but I find it difficult to think of my nan at the moment as I’m at that stage where I just miss her and can’t think of the positive things that she did and contributed to.
I don’t know my gran’s anniversary either although I know it was January as I had just started my job. My mum’s anniversary is etched into my head. 10th August. I prefer not to know as I prefer to have those moments of remembering popping into my head anytime rather than on a fixed date. I think that’s part of the reason why I still continue to struggle with ‘coming to terms’ with my mum’s death. I’m still angry. I don’t even know what I’m angry at sometimes but the feeling is there.
I still get anxious if my husband doesn’t come home when he says he will be home and I still automatically think he has been involved in a car crash and died if he is late home by more than an hour. It’s not a great way to be but he has learnt to give me the latest time possible he will be home. That way he is always early.
I read somewhere that grief never ends but neither does love. I guess some days it is easier to remember the love rather than the grief.
I was thinking about a subject to blog about tonight and remembered it is World Mental Health Day tomorrow. 4 words for such a massive and wide ranging topic. Mental health is something that I feel is starting to push its way forward as an issue to talk about and that’s amazing. There is a long way to go but I feel a buzz and momentum about mental health that has not been around for a while.
Mental health is something that really interests me mainly because it seems to affect people in so many different ways. I have known a few people who have been diagnosed with mental health issues and the only thing they have in common is that they are all amazing people in my life and I could not do without them.
My earliest memory of someone who was diagnosed with depression was someone who was extremely close to me and depression was triggered by a bereavement. I don’t think I have ever gone back to that person and spoken about that time in our lives and I may never do but that experience of mental health shaped my entire view that mental health can and does affect everyone. It totally smashed my misconceptions that people were not ‘strong’ enough to cope with what life had to throw at them if they were diagnosed with mental health because the person who was diagnosed is one of the strongest people I know.
Since then I have been made aware of a number of relatives and some really close friends that have been diagnosed with a number of mental health issues including manic depression. The main difference since my first experience is that I have been fortunate enough to volunteer as a counsellor which again completely changed my perspective about mental health. Things I have ‘learned’ about mental health? Firstly, everyone who experienced mental health issues were those who I would categorise as ‘strong’ people. One friend in particular is someone who is so inspiring, confident and friendly it did take me aback at first when she was diagnosed with depression but it made me really challenge my own views when that happened which I am grateful for. Secondly, it’s difficult to understand what each individual is going through because every circumstance that triggers ‘mood changes’ is different. Thirdly, everyone chooses to cope differently. Some people are creative, choosing to write (!), or draw. Others choose to run and feel free within a running environment. For others it is about talking.
Someone once tried to explain depression to me as a black hole and the depression acting as a mud bog sucking them in and being unable to see out of the black hole. Coping mechanisms were described as ladders to get out of the black hole and the beautiful surrounding landscape out of the black hole related to friends and family.
I once wrote something on facebook and I’d like to say this as an end to this rambling blog post
“For those of my lovely friends and family who may question why they are here and what they mean to people, you make my life so much better being part of it and I thank you”.
Mental health can affect anyone and does. It challenges my misconceptions every day and I welcome those challenges.