#TimeToTalk

It’s #TimeToTalk day and annoyingly I’ve been in bed, feeling pretty ‘not so good’ all day. That being said, I’ve been able to keep up to date with all the awesome stuff that’s been happening across the UK to mark the day, and to help encourage people to join the conversation and start talking about mental health.

For me, having the space, and the chance to speak to others about my experience of mental illness is so incredibly important, and even though I have a fantastic support network there are definitely still days where I feel that I’m unable to speak about what I’m going through. I often struggle with feeling unable to ‘struggle’ because I usually speak so openly about my experiences, because I’m often helping others and talking about my own recovery means that I do, at times, feel incredibly ashamed when I am finding things particularly tough. Recently I’ve been battling with stigma that I think I’ve imposed upon myself – I’ve somehow managed to create a set of expectations (which may or may not be true), these expectations are what I’ve perceive or think others feel about my mental health. By this I mean that I (more often than not) find myself thinking that others are fed up with my mental illness, and that because I blog about my mental health then others assume that I’m able to handle the ‘tough days.’ I’m not. I’m 100% not.Β 

My mood has been so unpredictable lately, and I’ve been growing more ashamed of my mental illness because, instead of ‘getting better’ I am slowly noticing the intensity and difficulty of my past, my present and (sigh) my future. I’ve dealt with a lot of stuff since over the past few years, from extreme highs to horribly extreme lows, but apparently no in between. I’d somehow managed to start managing in a way that meant I wasn’t continuously beating myself up about things, and finally things started to feel ever so slightly bearable. But, there’s been an annoyingly horrible, stressful and pretty soul-destroying shake-up in my recovery lately, and I’ve found myself back in that “who would want to be around me”, “I’m useless,” “I will never get through this” and “I have no idea how to get through this” mode.Β I’ve started a new stage in my therapy – EMDR – which is most likely the reasoning behind the increasing intensity (or decreasing ability to cope) in terms of my mental health.

But, the support I’m getting from my psychologist is brilliant, and although I’m struggling I’m willing (even if ever so slightly) to keep trying my very hardest to move forward. Just getting to this point has been incredibly difficult, and I have a number of wonderful people who have been so important to my recovery that I honestly don’t think I could ever thank them enough. And, one of the weirdest parts of my mental health journey is that I now work in a role where I’m able to try my hardest to encourage others to get help, I am able to signpost them to further support. And, I’m able to those who’ve helped me continue to help others – and that’s pretty ace.

Time To Talk day has been fantastic – especially over on social media, where #timetotalk has helped get the nation talking and help break the silence that surrounds mental health.

In a weird way it was almost like I’d preempted being ill today, as we had one of our Time to Talk events on Tuesday. I work at a university, and being able to encourage staff and students to talk about their wellbeing was something that I really did enjoy. Plus, the free Time to Change tea bags went down a storm…

Ella Robson Time to Talk.jpg

Other departments across my university held Time to Talk oriented events today, and the photos all look fantastic. That teamed up with the rest of the nation’s discussions, including politicians, companies, emergency services and more makes me feel very proud of the efforts of those who have worked so hard to encourage others to speak about mental health. What an ace day for tackling mental health stigma, and what an ace day for those who have joined in with discussions. Talking about mental health can be challenging, and a little scary, but it is so so important.Β 

Advertisements

11 comments

  1. I’m totally with you, got exactly the same feeling of being unable to ‘struggle’ as you say and feeling like people are tired of hearing about my illness (why would they care anyway?). But your blog looks so amazing, I think what you are doing is so vital for normalising mental illness. πŸ™‚

    Like

  2. Hi Ella, this is all so very true. I’m further ahead down the recovery road but can relate to much of what you say. You have a great degree of self-insight and the support you mention will help you use that to make things better. And they will get better, believe me!

    Many thanks for finding me and following my blog. I’m happy to return the compliment 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ella – I’d been meaning to remind you how inspiring you and your work are for others – and here you are with another heartfelt and outreaching blog post. I think most of us who write honestly about our experiences can recognise the vulnerability of that and how hard it can be to keep writing through what can feel like ever decreasing circles (at least that’s how it feels when we are in it and not so much when we have a more bird’s eye view). How do we keep connecting when shame feelings dominate, which make us want to crawl under a duvet or perhaps a stone? Even though I have been feeling in good spirits recently from making positive changes, I also feel some shame and stigma about going through a divorce and I have been finding it hard to know how to write through that, But what I had been meaning to tell you was that you brought home to me recently with your writing, how when we need it most we tend to think of self-care through a kind of ‘pull yourself together’ and ‘stop bothering anyone’ way. When we are not struggling this seems odd to us because we feel connected, we see how others receive us and we understand the bigger picture. You made me appreciate that ironically ‘self’-care is far from a solitary activity and part of the skill is to understand how very embedded we are in our communities and networks, that we borrow kindness and nourishment from one another when we lose it a little in ourselves and that it is rarely difficult to be kind to one another, so there’s plenty to go round, and all we have to do (and it’s a lot to do sometimes) is keep connected. So here you go courageous and inspiring co-seeker – some kindness for you my friend.

    Like

    • Hi Emily – thanks for this, I really really need some inspiration right now, and you certainly just threw a lot of it at me in one go. I am incredibly humbled that you’ve been able to get something from my writing – and you simply commenting on this post and stating how I’ve helped you helps me in more ways than you can imagine! I’m sorry to hear that things have been difficult, but I’m glad that you’ve been able to deal with things, and that you’re making positive changes!

      I 100% want to crawl under a stone, rock, my duvet, or just curl up into a ball forever right now, but just reading comments like this really really help inspire me, so thank-you so very much! (I’m always saying thank-you to you, but I really am grateful!)

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s