Today I want to talk about ‘Perception’, having written a very personal piece for ‘Mental Health Awareness’ a couple of week’s ago, and then following that article up with an update, I almost wrote elements of this one straight away.
But with everything something stops you and holds you back.
For me, I’ve been better, a lot better, as recovered as I could be, despite always acknowledging that depression would always be there.
I know my triggers and I now know how to counteract them so they don’t become huge overwhelming issues.
But with it I have always said that I crave routine.
Very recently that routine stopped.
I’m back to square one, looking for work and even though I’m genuinely alright, I feel flat, for no exact reason whatsoever.
I know I’m going to be alright, I have confidence in my own abilities, but for some unknown reason to me, I’ve allowed myself to shutdown.
A lack of routine does that to you.
No reason to be anywhere apart from under your covers and in bed.
That’s where I’ve mainly been for the last couple of days, and today something has been postponed, and I hoped it would be so I didn’t have to go, and pretend that life is great.
That’s where perception comes from.
People, all people view not only their own lives, but lives of others based on perception.
What they think they believe is real.
One of the main things that got me through my struggles with depression was the courage to open up, leaving everything bare for anyone to read.
But I feel I can’t be as open to do that anymore, because the perception in my own clearer thoughts is; people, family, friends will think I’ve had a setback, when in reality I haven’t.
Things aren’t good I know that but I also know that I’m still in control, I just don’t have any purpose or reasons to function like I have been doing, because my day to day routine has changed.
Working plays a huge part in your continued progress, without it you have to find something within to keep going, and sometimes it’s hard, really hard.
A friend who has and continues to struggle with depression and anxiety shared an image yesterday.
This image was a list of points that you should consider doing to help anyone you know who is struggling with depression.
Based on someone’s perception of what mental health issues were.
Not always the truth.
But one of these examples stood out to me like a sore thumb.
“Try to convince them to go for a short walk with you. There is a good chance they will feel better for it”
Perception is go for a walk, you’ll feel better, let me tell you now, or if you choose to ask and then listen to those that are suffering, going for a walk rarely helps.
The struggle to climb out of bed, your safe haven, even though many times you struggle to sleep in it, the anxiety pangs at just the thought of leaving your house, it’s very real, believe me.
But the second part of that example is: “try to convince them to go for a walk with you”.
But next to no one says do you fancy going for a walk with me.
That’s why I want to talk about ‘Perception’, I almost wrote this next part straight after my update article.
I wouldn’t say it annoys me but it does to some degree, but definitely frustrates me is this.
Mental Health Awareness Week?
What chance do those people who are struggling with and without support get?
One week of awareness!
Thousands of people sharing or retweeting a message that has no direct meaning to them, and now it’s forgotten about.
Those absolutely and pointless posts of “if you need to talk, I’m here”.
In my article whereby I spoke openly about suicide for the very first time, I mentioned this:
Mental Health matters and to address it, people need to talk about it, so those that suffer can get help and support, and others to understand it.
It’s not only about those that suffer who should talk, it’s about society talking, every single day about it, to acknowledge it, to understand it, and by doing so it helps to lower the stigma about it.
The hardest part is opening up, especially if you are seeking help for the very first time.
For anyone to post a pointless message of “you are there to help”, instead of doing that reach out to someone yourself, make them feel worthwhile.
Because I’ve sat many times previously in floods of tears, looking up and down my contacts list and being at a total loss of who to contact, a loss of not being able to ruin someone’s day, or if the person I chose would even understand or be able to help.
Which also brings me onto a charity support group, (who I won’t name).
I know without any doubt this charity does amazing work, it’s another Facebook status post that I see shared too willingly around.
“If you are going through hard times, depression, suicide, ring this number for help and support”.
For the people who share it, they think they are helping to create awareness, again your not.
For all this is an amazing charity, who support many, many people, they aren’t allowed to probe, they are there to listen, the first step has to be taken by the caller.
And how do I know this?
Because I’ve called that number on a night where my world was falling apart all around me.
I phoned that number multiple times, as the courage I first found to call it, I no longer had when I first heard a voice on the other end of the line.
But when I did manage to say hello back through a chokehold full of tears, they couldn’t help me.
They asked me what was wrong and I didn’t know.
Many people who are diagnosed with depression, don’t even know they had depression, so how can you tell someone what is wrong when you can’t even explain it yourself.
You’re desperate for reassurance, someone to tell you everything is going to be okay.
This article is about ‘perception’, what we think is real may not be as real or as truthful as we first thought it to be.
What we need is to be more empathetic towards each other, to be more open and understanding towards the conversations that may scare us, but really do need to be shared and talked about.
And each of these conversations start with us.
Don’t be that person who will say you’ll be there, be that person who is.
Mental Health matters and to address it, people need to talk about it, so those that suffer can get help and support, and everyone can understand it.