Today is Time to Talk day. A day which aims to break down the silence around mental health. At a time which is always a little tricky for me it has been an interesting and slightly emotional day. This is not a blog piece about adventure but it is about what built An Adventurous Girl.
Time to Listen
Time to Talk day might not be the day that someone breaks down to you. It may not be the day you feel like talking. But it may just open a little conversation on mental health which has a butterfly effect on the future.
At work a stand was set up. One lady did an excellent job of encouraging conversation on mental health with quiz questions. And as we spoke and chatted over cake one man spoke up ‘I used to be anorexic and I don’t mind talking about it’. In that one open and frank conversation the importance of the day became clear.
By telling his story he normalised talking about eating disorders. Nobody gasped or ran away. I’m betting he wasn’t the only one there to have gone through something similar. Maybe next time another person will think ‘Hey, the world didn’t end when my colleague spoke up. Maybe it’s time I did the same.’
And yet for once I did not feel I could open up about my experience of the consequences of mental health problems.
Oh, hi February
After four years I really should have this worked out. Yet here I was on February 1st wondering why I felt flat, anxious and unable to concentrate. Running, swimming and walking were helping but they weren’t having that fantastic perk up effect they normally do. Really I was just refusing to acknowledge what my brain was trying to tell me. You can’t dodge the little tendrils of grief.
On February 4th 2014 my partner took his own life. Speaking to a friend two weeks ago I declared that I thought I would be fine this year. And I will be but only if I am honest with myself.
The great outdoors is my salve but I cannot rely on this alone. Tonight, as I walked the dog and admired the stars and distant town lights, I cried. I cried for myself and for what you cannot get back. And I cried because I can enjoy all the beauties of life but someone I loved cannot.
Time to Talk
At that moment I realised it was my time to talk. But not until I had given myself a little time to grieve. Once I was ready I called a friend and admitted I am struggling this week.
In the time I have been writing this another friend has text to ask if I’m ok. It is a question I think we should ask people more. ‘Are you ok?’ It’s a question that I know has saved lives.
If today isn’t your time to talk just know that you can do that any time. There will always be someone ready to listen. Even if it isn’t the person you expect. Even if it’s a random person who writes a blog you read!
You can find out more about the Time to Talk campaign here.
As I started to write this piece my music collection threw up a song which seemed very apt; Runrig – In Search of Angels
Too many seas to cross, too many roads~You leave me with my higher need~This one horizon in our borrowed hour~Such little lives we lead
Tonight the skies are red~So red they fill my eyes~Sundown on barren words that can’t describe~Your island paradise~But I know that all’s well with the world~Don’t worry anymore~Don’t worry now~Another sun will rise