Monthly Archives: February 2012

Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own

That’s a song title, but it’s also very apt in describing life.

Sometimes we just cannot make it on our own, and we have to seek out other people to help us with things, be it something to do with our finances, or even just some work, we often rely on other people.

So then, I put it to you that you are perfectly entitled to ask for help with whatever it is you are going through. Depression, Anxiety, Bullying you name it, there’s help out there and you ARE ENTITLED TO IT.

A little anecdote for you, which I hasten to add is true.

I’ve been struggling with my mood for a while now and there are many reasons for it which I won’t bore you with, but thanks to talking to my friend I can manage it. I stress about University as I have to write 5 essays this semester and they’re all fairly difficult. I stress about my social life, or lack of and I stress about transport (I know right).

All in all, I get uptight about a lot of things that affect me even more so when I’m feeling low and alone anyway. I went into uni today and attended my seminar on Capitalism Connected. I tend to miss a seminar for this every other week as I haven’t been finding it at all useful and have been desperate for more sleep (despite going to bed at a reasonable hour) which is obviously not particularly good because I’ve paid £3000 a year to be at university and I want to make the most of that opportunity. Quite often I battle with my body when I awake to my alarm as to whether or not I will go in, face the hassle of an hour train journey which is inevitably delayed, consequently meaning I miss a connection and have to wait for 20 minutes for the next train and therefore making me anxious and irritable before the day has properly begun.

I was on my way home and something triggered my self-hatred, then I was listening to my music which is very much based around my moods and how lyricists capture what I feel so beautifully.

The truth is, when I was on my way home I sent a text “Ich hasse mich selbst” to my friend as I know a little bit of German, and she is good at German as well. I wanted to get out how I felt and let someone know. The trouble is that I do honestly feel bad sometimes for talking about how I feel. We’re human just as you reading this are, and just because we keep tweeting positivity and letting you know it’s ok to talk, it doesn’t mean that at some points we don’t doubt ourselves.

Life is difficult and I’m by no means having the best of it right now, but I take strength from my friends who have been so wonderfully supportive of me, even those who I’ve not talked to for a while.

Further to my anecdote, I was bullied at school pretty badly. I was one of those guys who didn’t really know what fashion was with regards to how to wear your school tie at a ridiculously short length, or not to wear a blazer etc. I was one of those guys who didn’t want to get into trouble and would just put my head down and do my work. Unfortunately this led to bullying from people who called me various names. In addition, even my friends began to insult me and bully me, and it lasted until year 10 when I finally became perhaps begrudgingly accepted by the majority of people.

I found that the best way to deal with it was to talk about it, who to, well that’s a more difficult and subjective area. I’m not going to suggest anything because it’s all down to circumstance. However, don’t be afraid to stand up to your bullies and let them know that is what they are, don’t be afraid to use words in an imaginative way (I don’t mean swearing) and don’t be afraid to speak out against them.

My point here, is to say that sometimes we all need a bit of TLC, and we all need to share our feelings with people at times. Don’t be afraid to so, and don’t be afraid to think that you don’t want to talk about your feelings because your friends/others will not want to hear it. The truth is that most people will be ok with you talking about how you feel so please if you are in a bad place, let someone know.

Another point is to say that we are both at university, despite our mental health problems so don’t let anything hold you back, don’t let depression/anxiety/bullying stop you from succeeding, let it drive and spur you on to be the best you can be.

Today is not just a leap day, it is also 1 in 4 day. A day to acknowledge that 1 in 4 Britons will at some point in their lives suffer from mental illness. Let us not judge them, let us help support and reassure them instead.

Sometimes keeping your mind occupied on something progressive can really boost your mood. Love and compassion are crucial to our moods. Love your friends and let them know it, they may be more understanding of your feelings. Don’t let anything hold you back, don’t let others dictate your life, take control and seize the moment.

It’s ok to talk.

Seek Out Happiness

Tonight we want you to realise that you can search and seek out happiness. You don’t have to wait for it to come to you, as you may feel like you will wait forever.

“Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed” MLK JR. You have the right to DEMAND your freedom from depression and mental health problems, it is an unalienable right to life and you can tell yourself that you want rid of this feeling.

Of course, we know it won’t go away just like that but it’s a start. The more you believe in yourself and don’t be afraid, the closer you are to getting out of that despair.

Don’t be scared of rejection, for it strengthens us. Embrace it and seek out those who will embrace you for who you are! Those who willingly listen to you, they are your friends. They may not know what to say, but if they love you then they will listen.

“Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling.” – Margaret Lee Runbeck

Many, many famous people have suffered from depression or mental health problems but they have still succeeded in their lives. Don’t feel like your feelings are a barrier to success, use them as a catalyst to change the world!

Don’t let depression hold you back!

It Takes Courage

So, I feel rough and raw but I am 19 and in theory, in the prime of my life.

This isn’t really going to be about me, per-se but about “it” and not suffering alone because it’s ok to talk, and how do I know that for sure tonight when so many times I question it? I know that because there’s a girl (young woman) on twitter who has set up an account to let adolescents/teenagers realise that it is ok to talk about depression and just feelings in general.

Why is it ok? It’s more than ok, it’s good to talk about how you feel. We have this thing as humans that stops us from opening up to people for fear of their reactions, but if they react negatively then it’s not our loss, it just means they don’t understand properly and therefore cannot be sympathetic in any way. We must take from this, and learn things. What must we learn? Well, we don’t have to learn anything, but it’d be great if we could see that it’s not the fact that we’re talking about it that is the problem, but the fact that some people just aren’t prepared to listen or to understand.

I talk as though it is an inevitability, which it really is not. I speak about it on here, and show it to my friends. Recently, I came back from Wales and was struck hard by a wave of overwhelming sadness and general emotion. My body and mind could not cope, and all that was left was to search out for someone to understand. In a desperate attempt for someone to come and hug me and just make me feel better, I tweeted “Really worried about my mood, like seriously, if you love me let me know”. A couple of people came back to me, including one from someone who I really care about saying “love you, stay strong” and then a couple more inquisitive but supportive ones. I responded truthfully, and as the conversation developed more people became involved and wished me the best etc.

What does that anecdote tell you? Well, hopefully it tells you that not all your experiences are going to be negative, in fact, most will probably be at least neutral if not positive. You have nothing to lose by sharing your feelings because there is ALWAYS someone out there for you, even if you don’t see it or realise.

Talking about my feelings made me better to put it simply. I sought out counselling because I opened up to someone who all I had in common with was the support of a football club. Gradually I began to realise how much I could gain from being open and talking, and I went to see a professional. I never gave up and although I’m not bursting with happiness, i’m stable and recovering.

I leave you with these lyrics that a friend liked and shared with me. The song’s a bit rubbish but the meaning behind the lyrics is one which we should all look at.

It will take courage, my love, to walk through this life; to cut paths through the bastards who’ll strain to devise nefarious methods to strip you of your hope. It takes courage to not let go. And then as your family fractures and your friends disappear, or, out of self-preservation, chain you to their fears…as their fictions and addictions drain the last of your will, it takes courage to love them still. It will take courage, my love, to refuse to heed the cramped imaginations of those who would lead. And though you can barely see past their consuming fires, it’s your courage that is required. To wrap your fists around what you’ve found to ward off their lies, to manoeuvre past hearses and to curse at the night. To pick up a tape off the floor of the van. To sing with it as loud as you can. Oh dearest, I know, you can’t see a light. But dearest, don’t you know, you have one inside. And now obstacles tower without and within; disease angles closer, your words lost within. But as its muscular wings rip the skin from your bones, oh, my love, you are not alone. Because it takes courage, my love, to assess what you are; to see what surrounds you and to be humbled and small…and to still find the strength to fight for these slivers of truth. So I take courage, my love, from you. I take courage, my love, from you.

It does take courage, it takes great courage to talk about ourselves and our feelings. Everytime someone talks about their feelings to me, it makes me feel a little better inside because I can use what I have learned through talking to help them. Now you don’t have to do that, but I want you to realise that if you talk to me or someone else about your feelings then it is a good thing. It’s ok if you feel unable to at times, or don’t want to, but if you do then it’s great and will be beneficial for you and for me.

It takes courage, my love… so i take courage, my love, from you. I take courage, my love, from you.

Live and Love, Talk Away

It’s ok to talk.

We know how you feel.

We understand.

Honestly, we do. We’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt! We want to help you to realise that however you feel, you needn’t be afraid to talk about it. Talking about your feelings is great for you mental health.

I’ve never had anyone react badly to me when I have opened up to them and spoken about my feelings, in fact I’ll tell you about a positive response.

I currently study at university, and was going through a period of much self hatred and unhappiness prior to christmas. This was my first semester as an undergraduate and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had put down that I had a mental health problem on my university application and thanks to my friend I got the idea of speaking to the disability people at the uni and they really could not have been any more accomodating.

That’s the end of the story. You might be interested to hear the beginning and the middle. Bear with me. No, I don’t mean the animal!

So, one week I was particularly struggling to motivate myself to complete the worksheets we had been set for our seminars, and being me I was concerned about how I might be coming across as disinterested to my tutor. Consequently I decided to approach my tutor and tell him that I suffered from depression. The reaction was one I did not expect, as I was allowed to hand the worksheet in whenever I felt able to complete it, and the offer was there to TALK to him about how I felt.

Spurred on by this, I did the same for my other module, this time approaching the module leader. The module leader was excellent, he didn’t patronise me, he didn’t try to be a counsellor or say that he understood and knew what I was going through. What he did do, was make me feel comfortable, and asked me to keep him updated, not because he needed to check up on my work but because as one human being to another, he CARES about me. Just like I CARE ABOUT YOU.

People are out there, and if you suffer a bad experience remember that it is their loss for being ignorant and not understanding. Remember that there are ALWAYS people out there willing to listen to you, no matter how insignificant your problems are, whether you suffer from a mental illness or not, people want to help.

So come on and share it with someone, it’s ok to talk.