I have been a little bit quiet on social media and a bit introspective (I am told) and quiet in real life over the last 24 hours. The thing is this: 9 March is the anniversary of the day I had to face my mental problems and admit I had a problem. Doing that had some flow on effects that continue to effect me to this day. I remember that day two years ago when I faced what had been a building storm for a long long time like it was yesterday and the remembrance of it effects me no doubt. So that is why I have been a little quieter than usual.
Let me be clear here: this is not a “pity post” and I am not seeking sympathy. 9 March might have been one of the worst days of my life BUT it was also day that shifted my life for the better and was the start of the changes in my life that have helped me deal with the depression and anxiety that had crippled me. There will continue to be periods when my “black dog” is barking, some which will be longer than others, and I am resigned to the fact that I will have moments of anxiety daily that I will need to deal with BUT without 9 March 2011 I would still be mired in the undiagnosed black hole I had descended into.
I write this because it is important to reflect on the past and it is equally important to learn lessons of said past. The biggest lesson that I have learned is that it is important and cathartic to talk (or in this case write ) about ones problems. It certainly helps me to talk and I certainly wish I had have talked about my problems sooner.
So it is now one of my missions in life to advocate at every opportunity that anyone who has a problem, any sort of problem, talks about that problem. It can be through talking to a family, talking to a friend, seeing a professional or calling one of the help lines that are available. No one should be scared to talk about their problems like I was for so many years. Equally, if you are the recipient of one of those conversations, you should not be scared to engage with the person you are talking to: they will feel significantly better for having articulated whatever it is that worries them.
I implore you people: speak up or listen. It may be the best thing you ever do. I know, despite all of the difficulties that invaded my life having done so, that speaking up certainly is the best thing I have ever done.
Only 364 days to go till 9 March comes around again.