Mental Health and new Experiences

I can see I wasn’t ready to get out and about for quite a while, so I’m not advocating getting out and mingling until it feels good to you. But I knew when I was ready and just pressed GO. And I’m loving it. Actually for most of the last year I was so insular and feeling so low it didn’t even occur to me that I could just ask for help. I thought it was my job to be tough and get through it on my own.

I’m amazed by the difference in my mood since I started attending different meetup groups, talks, meetings, therapists, coaches, courses, and little seminars. Talking to people basically on an honest level.

Yesterday I went to a business and life meaning seminar, then across town onto a talk by a guy who was about to commit suicide and then asked for help. That’s what attracted me, when I was feeling low and very anxious, it was asking for help that changed everything for me. And what an army I have assembled!

Here’s a photo from the business seminar which is quite insightful and helpful.

And here’s an article about the guy who asked for help at the second talk, it’s a really interesting read. He is on a mission to get people, men in particular to talk about their feelings and try and reduce the suicide rate. Beautiful soul.

I’m choosing groups where I can expect a level of authentic honest communication, which is what works for me. There’s the Self Love Club Authentic Connections club which take up my Thursday evenings. I’ve for an hour with a Therapist and a coach on other nights, the Happiness course for the next 6 weeks on a Wednesday, and next Saturday an all day Creative Rejeneration Workshop. Tonight I’ve got a singing an chanting workshop for an hour! And on Friday I’m going on a date to see a folk singer.

Why are these things helping me so much ?

  • It gets me out of the house, away from screens
  • I enjoying the company of lovely open minded people and learning from each other
  • I’m meeting potential new friends
  • I feel less lonely
  • I feel more purpose and meaning
  • I’m learning how groups are run, which I may end up doing in the future, who knows!
  • I love the intimacy and honesty experienced in the type of groups I’m choosing
  • I’m enjoying meeting people in business whose success I want to help and who also want to support me
  • It’s great to have a therapist, a person outside my family and friends circle. Sometimes it can be hard to share our suffer g with those closest to us as we don’t want to cause them distress which we will then have to manage too as well as our own!
  • The coach helps to organise and motivate me and keep me on track
  • The doctor that offered Citalopram, though I hadn’t taken it. She was trying to help in her way.
  • The private doctor that gave me diazepam that sits as an emergency back up if I can’t sleep.
  • The lawyers dealt with my legal troubles efficiently, glad I asked them for help as 8 was drowning in stress there not knowing Anything about my legal rights. It was reassuring.
  • Daylight light therapy – got it on right now
  • Having this journal here to talk to has helped hugely, thank you for reading it and being here with me though this

Basically I’m mingling with those who are on my side and whose side I’m on too. Support. Glorious necessary reassuring support. I haven’t felt the need to take the citalopram the doctor gave me. I will if I have to though, no shame in taking antidepressants I’m learning. I’m finding out that several people I respect hugely are on them, including the guy I mentioned above. I think they can break well worn negative patterns used temporarily for some, and others need them as a survival and that’s very very okay.

I’ve also got other supports in my life which are a huge help including my mum and uncle. My son too and a couple of old friends. I don’t go into how low I’ve been but it’s been pretty obvious that I’ve had a year of feeling down with the dog dying, son leaving, a couple of really nasty difficult clients and the litigation situation with another. And now it’s difficulty getting through our work in difficult weather. The latter is more of a normal manageable stress.

I’m not exactly feeling overjoyed bliss though, but life feels more manageable. By putting groups and classes in place I have some things to look forward to every week. That raises the mood and I feel slightly more optimistic.

Also letting go of a few habits, like not drinking alcohol should have a mention here. I don’t feel good doing that on my own, it was needless empty calories and not good for my health. I feel ashamed about it and also it’s a depressant. So the odd social drink now for me only. And letting go of a few people too. It’s just a fact of life that people can sometimes grow apart and maintaining these friendships well, we can end up not being ourselves, not being honest just to keep things going. Letting go with love is important to me, and I do still love these people and miss them at times and wish them the very best in their lives.

I have let go of being too close to those who strongly identify with political positions too, who seem possessed by their strong opinions about what’s wrong with the world and how to put it right. I see many of my old friends have their identity quite strongly interconnected to their political opinions and so any disagreement can lead to enmity quite quickly, as it’s often felt like a personal attack to them. I want to be around those who are genuinely asking and open to new answers and changing ideas. Almost went to a Marxist Meet up the other night or the sake of being open to new ideas, but I know for me Marxism isn’t the answer so didn’t.

I particularly miss Michael but just wasn’t in a strong enough state to handle and be helpful with his mental health illness. One which he barely admitted too, well he did on and off, which made it more difficult, trying to pretend he was just normal and his anger was justified etc. Just can’t be kind to myself and have that. Also feel compassion that it’s part of the illness too of course.

Oddly 2 activities which kept my head above water for so long I have dropped temporarily, swimming and walking in the woods. I just want to be cosy and warm under a blanket indoors in this horrid weather. And I’m allowing myself that too. Today it’s windy cold and wet out there, heating is on full, beautiful music playing, candles burning and flowers right in front of me.

So today it’s a lazy one on the sofa listening to electronic chill, endless cups of tea, lots of reading and an outing at night for singing. Something I have not done before, exciting! I like the idea of exploring the body centred ness of singing is and of the heart too, brian and heart working together.

So I’m now a big advocate of asking for help as you can hear! There is so much more of it available than I ever imagined. I am reminded of gratitude when I think of how much I’ve been helped, thank you.

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