Monthly Archives: March 2012

Talk Out.

Such a random/uninspiring blog title eh? Perhaps, but maybe we should look at it in the way that we’re trying to look at life: in a positive way.

Talk Out. What do those two words actually mean? Well, to talk is to express inner feelings and combine feelings to make words whether it be spoken or written. Out means to express yourself in a way that other people/the environment around you is able to see/hear. So to talk out means to express yourself externally, rather than keeping everything inside of yourself.

We want you to know that talking out about your feelings is just an ordinary aspect of life. It can create friendships, it can create happiness, it can just be a huge relief. The more you treat talking about your feelings as something that isn’t ‘normal’ or is strange, then the more you re-inforce the idea that it isn’t a good idea. So combat that, and when you feel down or when you want to share your feelings with someone just ask and share away. Of course you may not get a positive response both at the initial point (so when you ask) and following talking out. However, what is more important, what will make you feel better? Removing that crippling anxiety/concern about whatever it is you are feeling and POSSIBLY (not certainly) getting a rejection, or having that inner feeling cripple you and control you, absorb your energy? Personally I think it is the former, you may have other ideas and that’s ok, but the important thing to remember is that what other people think is not necessarily a reflection on you, moreso a reflection on them.

Yesterday (thursday 29th) I gave an interview to BBC York about self harm. It can be listened to here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/p00q1jbx 1 hour 10 minutes in. Prior to the interview I was nervous, but when I was speaking it was just natural and I actually enjoyed it. It is almost natural for me to talk about self harm/depression/anxiety or mental health now. I am spending the time that I have spare relaxing, but also supporting others, and trying to raise awareness of mental health stigma. My friend who also runs the account with me is also a great support, and despite claiming she is “lousy” and doesn’t help much, doesn’t realise how much her support helps me to tweet and blog. I will not rest until stigma is eradicated, however hard it may be, however long I have to spend, I am passionate about this, it helps me as well, so I will never give up.

It’s crucial that we act as though this is the norm, talking about self harm, depression and mental health is just like talking about a physical illness. If you think it’s minor, why does that make a difference? We say “I’ve got a nasty cold” or similar things, but we’re afraid to say “I feel really low this morning”. Why? If it’s because we think people don’t want to hear about how we feel then we shouldn’t tell them we have a cold. In reality we could do with telling them when we are both physically and emotionally unwell. However, it wouldn’t be right if we didn’t let them know we felt good though would it? Let them help us alleviate our pain, and share our happiness. There are, believe it or not, a large number of people out there who are willing to talk about their feelings, and listen to yours. Sometimes if we feel low ourselves, helping someone else can take that away, it gives us a focus and something to concentrate our minds on.

The more we talk about mental health, the more it becomes in the public eye, the more support we can get for people, the more funding we can get for supporting people, the more we can get people talking at a younger age to help prevent future mental health issues, the more we can reduce the need for capital to be spent on treating mental illness, the more that can be spent on PREVENTING mental illness and most importantly, improving everyone’s quality of life.

Do not be afraid to talk out, do not be afraid of anything, take fear by the scruff of the neck and shake it out to be replaced by positivity.

It’s all going to be alright in the end, and if it’s not alright, then well, it’s not the end.

Matt

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Never Give Up

Usually, we wonder what on earth we can do to make this feeling go away. What can we do to make ourselves feel better? That can sometimes lead to more and more self hatred when we realise that actually, we’re not really helping ourselves at all. All in all, it leads to a vicious cycle which we then come back around to asking ourselves “will this ever end?”

The answer is, of course, yes. Yes it will end. When you feel that way, it can be so difficult to see that you will come out of the darkness and back into the light. Never ever ever give up on fighting for your happiness. Don’t fight to be rid of depression, anxiety or any other mental health problem, fight to be happy. That way you achieve two things at the same time.

There are ways to improve your mood. A few examples. When I get anxious, I tend to talk about it to someone, but we understand that not everyone feels able to do that. So an alternative if no-one is around for me, is to go and splash cold water onto my face, get a drink of water and get some fresh air. Sometimes going for a walk on a warm, sunny day can make you feel so so so much better. Try it, if it works then great, if it doesn’t then you haven’t lost anything.

The most important thing to remember is that you aren’t ever going to be alone in this. Not just because there are millions of people who are similar to you in what they are going through, but because you will always have people like us, willing to help, willing to support. There are some wonderful people in this world, they’re called friends, and they won’t judge you, or look the other way, they will make it easier for you.

Essentially, the times when you feel most like giving up, tend to be the times where you see just how much you want to live, how much you want to be happy. I know this is a generalisation, but nonetheless it can still be true. Failure only happens if you choose it. You didn’t fail, you just found 10 ways that didn’t work. Who is to say the number 11 will not see you emerge from that dark pit of despair into a blossoming spring, where your mood will gradually improve.

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

The easiest way to make yourself happy, is to choose a positive mindset. Yes it is difficult, but you are strong enough to change yourself for the better. Focus on that goal, be determined, be courageous and take that step towards a happy future for yourself by sharing your feelings, and by knowing that thoughts are not wrong, it is how you act on them that determines whether they are right or wrong. Change your thought process to be more positive, and change your actions, and you might well find yourself refusing to be beaten.