World Mental Health Day

It’s World Mental Health Day i.e. my time to shine!

How great is this?! Every radio station I’ve listened to, website I’ve been on and Instagram story I’ve seen today has been on mental health and encouraging people to talk. Naturally I got involved and chucked my two cents in because mental health is my bag, sharing a post about needing to be ok with not being ok and focussing on talking. It really is wonderful see people of all shapes, colour and creed humming the same tune for a day and wanting to make a change.

I’ve received work emails about numbers I can call if I’m struggling and groups I can reach out to. I’ve seen giant companies sharing initiatives on how to improve your own mental health. The best thing, I heard on Radio 2, stories of attempted suicide and methods people used to get them through the dark days.

Hopefully, and this is everything crossed, looking up to the sky as I count my lucky stars, it continues. Typically speaking, humans are creatures of habit, we resist immediate change and I know one day of let’s all talk isn’t going to all is a sudden cause an onset of sharing. But it’s a start at least, the fact that it was so prominent in the media means that here in the U.K. at least we’re taking it seriously and beginning to bring it out in the open.

Lots of people come to me to share their mental health concerns and it simply shows how many people it affects, the variety of people it affects and how so many of us bury it deep out of shame or embarrassment. I’m hugely ashamed of my OCD, I hate the illness with every fibre of my being and will clam up when asked about it. However I know that being ashamed and embarrassed is not going to change things, I’ll still have OCD whether I shout about it or not. Just shouting about it makes me feel better so I’ll only get louder I’m afraid.

As ever, my message is one of talking, in whichever guise suits you. I find talking through my hands to a blog is the best way for me to express my mental health concerns. Yours may be speaking with a friend, therapist, writing it in a journal, just get it out somehow. Find what works for you and express yourself. You matter and you are not alone.

I am always happy to chat and you can drop me a message on the ‘Contact’ tab however I am not a mental health professional and if you would like this support please see the ‘Support’ tab.

 

 

Doubt

OCD is known as the doubting disease as it causes you to doubt everything you think and feel, it permeates your every thought, do I really think this? What does this thought mean? Do I really feel like this? How do I know it’s real? You get used to a niggling feeling that ironically you do not doubt.

I thought of this today as I heard the words, ‘If you look for doubt, you will find it.’

Rarely do you hear words more true, it’s true that as someone with OCD, I, without thinking, seek out the doubt in my thoughts, seek out the proof  to the thought, look for evidence and try to rebut it. A thought enters my head and I doubt it, but doubt isn’t enough, I look for evidence, doubt this so I seek out more and more, endless on my quest to find the right piece of evidence that will finally hush the beast. But I don’t, I continue to doubt.

The next line I heard, ‘If you look for sunshine, you will find this too.’

Again, this is true, difficult sometimes, but true. Think of it this way, have you ever learnt a new word and then suddenly you hear it everywhere, it’s not that this word has only now started being used, it’s because you notice it, because it’s new and you’re looking for it. Seek things out and eventually, they’ll appear.

I try to listen to these quotes not as a hope that they will be a miracle cure, because it shows at least as these quotes are mainstream, doubt too, is mainstream and that everyone has them.

It relaxes me in the same sense that understand everyone has intrusive thoughts relaxes me. At least I’m not crazy!

Understanding that everyone has doubts and intrusive thoughts does not make this illness any easier to live with but it does make it certain that it could happen to any of us, and the research and work that goes into attempting to cure mental illnesses is vital. As is us talking and sharing, getting it all out in the open so that when someone reaches out, scared and confused, they’re welcomed by people who know what they’re going through and not met with the disdain that so many of us were met with.

If you’d like to chat, feel free to reach out on the ‘Contact’ tab, however, I am not a mental health professional and if you would like this support, there are some resources on the ‘Support’ tab.

Request

Morning all, how are we? Sleeping well? No, because it’s so hot here in the UK, bored of the consistent sweating now thanks.

So, other than all that, I’m working with my local mental health organisation Talking FreEly and we have a blog, which we try and feature guest bloggers each week, now if any of you reading this would like to write something to feature then feel free to drop me a line and I can sort this out for you. We will of course promote your blog in the piece also so you’re getting something out of it!

Now for a personal request, does anyone follow any groups, individuals or hashtags on Twitter and Instagram that they would recommend, looking to get involved in more conversations and help raise awareness as much as possible so if people have any then do let me know!

Finally, feel free to request the same of me, happy to write introduction to OCD pieces, or OCD coupled with anxiety and depression if you need anything for your local causes!