It Will Take Courage My Love
I actually wrote this on my personal blog, which I oughta try and resurrect, but it is a good piece that I wrote and it needs to be shared.
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 (this was in february) 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 following an incredible experience. I watched my team, Crystal Palace in a cup semi-final, and despite losing (on penalties) I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. A friend from a site I joined to help me with my feelings and self harm, kindly let me stay the night at hers, and I enjoyed her company greatly, however I was struck hard by a wave of overwhelming sadness and general emotion on my way home. 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 @MattWoosie, 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 (us) 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.
The thing is, talking about mental health can lead you into a friendship. A friendship that doesn’t have to consist of “I feel shit” or similar phrases, but a friendship with mutual support, that branches out into a friendship whereby you feel confident to chat about less intense, everyday things, that is when it turns into a really great friendship, because you have that level of understanding, you know each others’ barriers and you know when to probe and press, and when to sit back and give some space. You learn a lot through talking about things.
*You can follow her @itsokcampaign she was the inspiration behind my decision to create this account with my wonderful friend, Steph and we are both thriving on it, so thank you May, thank you very much 🙂
**Yes, that is my personal twitter, you can send me a follow request if you so wish and you’ll probably get accepted.