Wow 2016

It’s been a helluva year hasn’t it? Trump is President elect, UK voted to leave the EU, the world of music and entertainment have lost the most incredible people; Lemmy, David Bowie being the two that make me most sad.

There have been major highlights for me though. I saw AC/DC – albeit with Axl instead of Brian but it was an awesome weekend in London. The atmosphere was incredible and considering Axl’s previous form (online scathing reviews) he was bloody amazing!

I moved house. Stressful but we’re here and making it our own. My fiancĂ© and I started new jobs and my teenage Son started a new school to complete his A levels. In all, it’s been a rollercoaster year for emotions.

After seeing a post on LinkedIn earlier today about Suicide, basically asking for people to put forward their experiences, I’ve been in contact with the post originator. WTH am I doing? I know when I talk about things I get emotional so why am I doing this?

I guess, I need to. I’ve allowed myself this cage for a great deal of my life. Disabled my voice so that others aren’t uncomfortable whilst burning up inside with pain and torturing myself more because of the accompanying guilt for reaching out. I cannot do that any longer. I’ve got one life, even if that seems like based on what I’ve just written, I wasn’t that concerned about but hear me…. I am. I’m still here. Regardless of what has gone before. Regardless of how I felt or was overlooked, ignored, shamed, taunted.

I will go on in 2017 because no matter how bad you feel the time has been before now, the fact you can still reflect, means your pushing forward, pushing through. So farewell(ish) to 2016 and hello 2017. I welcome the rollercoaster, even if I’m still afraid of the height….

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Be the difference

There are few things in this world that make me truly sad for humanity. I believe that we all have the power to change; what we see, do and hear that is wrong or unjustifiable. We can take the time out of our busy lives to make a real change to just one person.

However, we can also treat one another with such distane and distance ourselves from what is the core of what makes us human to such a point that people stop reaching out, stop asking for a lift out of their dispair, close themselves of.

Today is #WorldMentalDay. I’ve seen inspirational posts on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. People opening themselves up – transparency of the extraordinary kind – and the support given to these individuals has been astounding, it really has.

In the run up to this, I did see a few, likewise posts from people I follow (rather than those whom I call friends) on FaceBook. A particular post caught my attention and requested people to add a Twibbon to your own profile pages. I am not good with sharing my own dance with depression but I did indeed, add to my own image and shared alike.

And what was the response? The first and only comment, from a ‘friend’. A shirty, passive aggressive remark that shattered my confidence and I remained stuck in a downward spriral for the remainder of the day. I did respond. In what I feel was a far more open-minded and enlightened way, remarking that I would actually be a good poster-girl for the MH campaign as I am proof that you can come through this. I felt empowered and also fraudulent simultaneously. For you see, if I truly felt that was and had the power to believe I had reached the other side, why oh why did I become so upset?

That, my friend, is the crux. And the point of this monologue. To make joke at the expense of someone, or a group, or a cause, is what scares me about the human race. We have the power to be there and give someone a lift when they may (or may not) need it but all too often we use a joke as a bullying tactic to humiliate and bring someone down for our own benefit; be that make us feel better, to genuinely make someone feel bad or just to project what we ourselves are feeling at that moment in time.

Whether you understand from first hand experience or have empathy for those alongside you in the (forgive this) journey to the grave, be kind people. Trolling is one thing, being just mean spirited can ruin a perfectly good day.

 

I’ve decided that in order to to help myself grow from my past, there are some areas I want to revisit. This may seem counterintuitive however I loved to draw when I was much younger and throughout school. It was time I looked beyond the rubbish and put pencil to paper.

This weekend was a conscious decision to start drawing again. Well, attempt to.

Walking in the art supplies aisles initially made me feel like a fraud. Why? Possibly a an instilled desire to be accepted and told how good I am is clouding my vision of what being me really means. The first couple of stores and with fiancé in tow, I made excuses and found reasons to be somewhere else, find something more important, be anywhere but there.

The following day I forced myself to return. Even then, it was beginning to feel like self mutilation until a dear friend called me just as I crossed the store threshold for a second day. She talked. I listened.

As she spoke, I meandered through the store, faking interest in supplies but intently of her. She spoke of her own experiences with depression, specifically since her bully of a mother passed away. Talking of guilt and a life lost in pain, she was reaching out, whether she knew this or not. I wanted to be near and hold her. In a futile way, I too want to feel this but I don’t share. Or at least I’m not particularly good at it.

My friend is amazing I tell you. We’ve known each other for over 14 years. She is one of those people that being kind, generous, funny and happy comes naturally. We met through a common interest and a want to make self-improvements. An evening course in what was previously my old school. Not art, ICT. We just clicked. No pun intended.

I love getting her calls. She can talk forever. What a talent.

 

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The first time. I was 9

My memory is just awful these days. I mean really shocking. Honestly, I thought (and still do) perhaps that I had some signs of early onset dementia. Recall is something best left to my son. He has a mind like a steel trap – and I’m thankful for this (at times).

However, some recollections are just as strong as if the event has just happened. My first panic attack *shudders* is one such memory so vivid, I frequently revisit at the behest of this baffling brain. Continue reading