One of my good friends contacted me this week to say he was doing a fundraiser for a charity called Mind. A charity, if I’m honest, I had not heard too much about myself. Of course happy to help him out, I had a look at their website to see what they were all about. This is a mental health charity – A topic I feel that isn’t spoken about enough. I think everyone at some point in their life will either suffer from mental health problems, or will know someone who has. Many people fight on a day to day basis with depression, anxiety, extreme mood changes, stress, worry – just to name a few. Why is it that we seem to place more importance on physical health over mental? We are taught to look after our bodies – but why don’t we practise mental first aid?
Mental health awareness isn’t just a way to right wrongs and to stop people judging and ignoring. It’s a great opportunity to help all the people who feel like they’re suffering alone.
One of the best things you can do for someone in this situation is to listen to them, or if you are the person having trouble, find someone you can talk to. Don’t feel silly or that you might be judged – know one thing, you are not alone. It is important to share these emotions and feelings, what you are going through doesn’t make you strange or mean something is wrong with you.
I would like to share a part of my life where I can relate to the feeling of being a bit lost and not quite myself. I was going through a very rough patch in my life and I became very obsessesive, and strangely over one thing in particular- recycling. Now, I had always been good at recycling where I could – but when I hit this blip I went overboard. Anything and everything that could be thrown away I would have to check if it could be recycled. If my recycling boxes at home were over flowing, I would have to take them to a recycle bank before the bin men collected. If I was out and about, rubbish would come home with me so I could recycle it properly. If friends came round and put things in the normal bin that I felt shouldn’t have been in there, I would take them out when they left. It was a daily thing and although very good for the environment, it was not great for my mental health. I started telling myself if I didn’t do it, something bad might happen. To the outside world I’m not sure I carried myself too differently from normal, I got on with my day to day life with a smile on my face. But underneath I felt I had become very out of control and couldn’t handle my emotions. I felt quite alone and all over the place. I didn’t want to talk about it, I didn’t think I needed to – and even if I did, how do I even start that conversation?! It all seemed a bit ridiculous, and I was embarrassed. At the time I didn’t see what or why I had become this crazy obsessed recycling lady but I later realised that with my obsession, I had a system. It was neat and organised. And I felt I was in control of it. It gave me some sort of satisfaction that although the rest of my life at that point felt very much everywhere – this one part was controlled for me and I thought it made me feel slightly better. I was extremely lucky to meet 4 girls at work, who happened to invite me to a get together they were having one night (to this day I do not truely know what made them ask, but I am so thankful they did) and that is when I realised I wasn’t going to be judged and maybe they could help. It was simple, they had identified I was having some issues and simply asked if I was ok. That was it. And it was then that I realised I wasn’t OK, but I finally was ready to talk about it. All the emotion, how I was feeling, just came out over time. Nobody laughed at me, no one judged me, they had moments they could relate. I didn’t even realise I was fighting OCD, until I started to talk about my problems. A weight had been lifted and it felt so good. I found great comfort in these girls from then on (and still to this day!) To say they were a help to me, is the biggest understatement ever. I found the more I spoke about my problems and fears in my mind, the more free I became of the voices in my head. I was relaxing, becoming me again. The recycling became less of a worry, I still do take care of the environment of course, but I do not think of it the way I did then. I hope by sharing this that it helps people, even if it is just one person, to see you do not have to be frightened to talk about what you are feeling.
A picture of me and the girls from 2012 ❤️ (in animal onesies for a New Years party!)
If you can do one thing today, ask someone if they are ok. How they are feeling. If there is anything you can help with. And if someone asks you any of these questions, respond in the best way you feel you can at the time. It isn’t easy, but it is all progress.
If you are in need of someone to talk to and you aren’t sure who to turn to, the fantastic charity Mind are there to help give the support you might need. Please click here to visit there website
As I mentioned, my friend Dan is fundraising for this incredible charity. He will be completing a 12 hour badminton session on the 16th December. I can barely stay awake for 12 hours let alone play a sport for that long, so I tip my hat to him. This is a very important charity for Dan and for many others, if you could in any way support him with his fundraising this would be greatly appreciated.
Please click here to visit Dan’s JustGiving page
Alternatively, you can text a donation – Winston has given the details of how to do this below:
Here is a pic of Dan and I!
No one should have to suffer in silence with Mental Health. Help someone out if you can. A great link from the mind website if you want further information of how to help someone who has a mental health issue Please click here
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog ❤️ Happy Friday, and have a lovely weekend ❤️
Love Lisa & Winston 👸🏼🐶