I was trying to explain to someone how I try to manage aspects of my mental health. One of the ways I do it is via this blog. I strive to fight the stigma that is attached to mental health issues. The stigma is huge, and stale and will take so much chipping away at.
It has formed over time, and now has so many layers, each like a layer that has to be removed. Some are like limestone, some like shale; others like composite rocks - opinions and prejudices that have all gathered together to make one larger established opinion.
If I can reach some people through my blog then they can help me chip away at a layer; then they mention mental health to someone else and that chips away at another layer, and so on.
This relies on me feeling positive enough to post on the blog though. There are days when I really don't want to and I wonder what the point is. Those are the dangerous days, which I have to plan for on my good days.
You see, even on the days when I am not struggling, I am having to prepare for struggles; and I have to accept they will come. It's not being negative, it's taking back some control.
I have a notebook that I keep. In it, on a good day I will jot things down. Just bullet points as I do things, and I leave it on the side.
Entries have included:
- Went to Sainsburys.
- Had a shower, it felt good.
- Drove to town.
- Didn't comfort eat.
Then, on bad days it's in front of me; and while I may feel like I'll never be able to do those things again, it was ME who jotted them down, so it is like a sign from ME that I might just be ok.
I don't know if that makes sense?
I named this post in honour of an amazing woman I know who is currently undergoing chemotherapy. She always encourages me to take baby steps, and highlighted this morning that my diary is one of them. That is why I felt I'd like to share what I do, just in case that baby step can help others.
This lady pointed out today that we approach our illnesses in similar ways, even though hers is more physical than mine. What a wonderful thing for someone like me to hear. Here I am trying to remove the stigma attached to mental health, and someone in the throes of a most crippling illness highlights that we are choosing to work through it all in a similar way.
Both of our illnesses are crippling in their own way, and both deserve support and understanding. The point I made in response to this lady, is that I feel how we choose to battle our illnesses is what defines us deep down. The illnesses affecting us are parasites that try to stop us being us. The illnesses try to define us. They take over us on our bad days, so it's up to us to build defenses on our good ones.
I'd like to finish by asking you to think about real baby steps, whether you are ill or not I think there is a point here that is valid for us ALL in life.
We can't remember it, but we fell so many times when we were learning to take baby steps. Heck, I still fall over now! So it's ok if we seem to be making progress with something and then stack it. After all, we all got there in the end with the walking, didn't we?
Thank you for reading, and take care
BuBakes is committed to reducing the stigma attached to Mental Health, and personally donates 25p for every order received to MIND. This is kindly matched by two generous supporters, meaning a 75p donation is made per order. If you would like to find out more about MIND, or make a donation you can do so here.