It's Good To Talk, Even Better To Listen
As someone who has suffered with ups and downs in her own mental health, I know firsthand how hard it is to speak up. Sometimes I found it hard to even identify in myself that something was wrong. I’d just navigate my way through the fog thinking that was just my norm.
As the fog got thicker I would withdraw from the world, but it happened gradually. I stopped communicating with people, I wouldn’t want to go out and slowly the world around you becomes quieter, darker.
Luckily I have amazing, patient and wonderful friends who do not think that me not texting them or failing to make it out to drinks, AGAIN, is a sign that I don’t like them or want to be around them. Instead they knock on my door and watch a film with me. Or invite me round for tea. Or keep texting me funny pictures they know will make me smile.
They hold me up when I’ve drunk too much because I’ve still not managed to control the urge to get wasted in the darker times. And they wipe away the tears and remind me that it’s OK to feel what I’m feeling.
So this isn’t a post to encourage you to talk about your mental health, because you might not even realise you need to talk. This is a post to all the amazing people out there who stand by their friends and family and push through those walls even when their loved one is building a new one.
It’s only when I come out the other side of negative spells in my mental health that I realise just how bad I was. It makes me so appreciative of the people I have around me. I’m humbled by what they’re willing to put up with for me.
I want to show all those people how much that means to me, but my struggles with my mental health makes it difficult for me to express myself and my emotions. So in return I want to be that same good friend and hope that I can spot the signs that someone might be struggling rather than turn my back on them.
This week is mental health awareness week; this isn’t just for those who suffer, it’s for all of us. Be aware of the signs that someone close to you might be suffering with their mental health, look out for changes in their character and behaviour. They might not know they need to talk, but they sure as hell will appreciate knowing your ear isn’t too far to hand.
Mental health charity, Mind have loads of information in stopping the signs and how to get help. Check out their website for more details.