When I started writing this blog I couldn’t have imagined how therapeutic I would find the process, as well as the continuous reward I feel from the feedback. After reading this recent article by Hilary Wilce on Rachel Kelly’s website I realise I’m not alone in how writing makes me feel. http://rachel-kelly.net/the-amazing-power-of-pen-and-paper-how-writing-can-help-us/
I guess you can say that I’ve taken my approach to life, i.e a problem shared is a problem halved to the next level by sharing it with what is technically the world! Some people may say I’m bonkers for sharing some of the things in my head, after all, we’re not all as open as I think I am, but as we’re all different I think it’s important to find a way that works for us individually.
I’ve always been the type of person to talk to my friends about my problems, when I’ve questioned decisions I’ve made, or just when I’m not feeling myself and I’m finding it hard to work out why. This tends to be less so with my family, but that’s not a personal reflection of the relationship I have with them, but just like many people I find the right friends offer a different kind of support.
I wear my heart on my sleeve, perhaps I care too much, or I’m too sensitive, which increases the likelihood of being let down, but I guess that’s something I’ve accepted about me, and not something I really want to change. One of the benefits of being open about my feelings and things I’m going through is that I seem to lean on those closest to me to help manage my way through difficult times. Hopefully, I learn from past experiences (albeit sometimes very slowly!). I know I’d really struggle if I was the type of person that didn’t open up. I’d find myself turning problems over and over in my head until they become unmanageable, which would lead to them having a negative effect on my day to day life.
I’m embarrassed and slightly ashamed to say that when I was growing up I thought people that committed suicide were selfish. This view definitely came from a lack of understanding and naivety on my part. Unless you’ve ever experienced any mental health problems I don’t think you can begin to understand people’s state of mind leading up to suicide and I’m not even going to attempt to shed any light on this, as I have no experience or knowledge of these complexities. However, I can’t help but think if more people felt they could talk openly without being judged fewer people would be suffering.
I wonder, is it a coincidence that men generally seem to talk about their problems less than women and the male suicide rate is so much higher? The Samaritans report that male rates remain consistently higher than female suicide rates across the UK and Republic of Ireland – most notably 5 times higher in Republic of Ireland and around 3 times in the UK. https://www.samaritans.org/about-us/our-research/facts-and-figures-about-suicide
We can all be guilty of being wrapped up in our own bubble that we can sometimes forget that those closest to us could be suffering in silence. Sometimes the smallest gestures go along way, calling a friend that you’ve not spoken to in a while, instead of using Facebook or Whatsapp. When was the last time anyone just popped around to visit a friend, or even sent a card to say hi, I’m sure we could all put our hands up that we can be a bit blinkered from time to time.
It’s not a coincidence that Talking Therapies are recommended for mental health problems, but even if you don’t suffer from any deep mental health problems, a quick chat with a friend can sometimes be the lift you need.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s important that we all look out for each other and most importantly look after ourselves.
I’m dedicating this post to all my friends that are always there for me, through the tears and the laughter – you know who you are!