Time to Change is an organisation which was set up in order to break the stigma with mental health so that nobody suffers in silence.
Today is Time to Talk Day. What that means is, is that you take five minutes out of your schedule to talk about your experiences with mental health problems or simply check in with a friend or colleague to make sure they’re okay.
I’ve already posted pictures on my Facebook page to raise awareness of Time to Change and to get people to think about breaking the stigma. I think this is highly important as there are people from all around the world who suffer in silence. Nobody should have to do that.
To contribute I am going to share five things that I’ve learned while living with depression and anxiety and possibly other factors that are yet to be diagnosed fully.
1. To be compassionate.
Not only towards other people but also towards myself. We’re all guilty of calling ourselves when we miss that all important meeting or if the dinner gets burned while the attention’s elsewhere. All it does when we call ourselves bad things is make us sad and we take a little piece of ourselves each time. It’s even harder to be compassionate when depressed or anxious but it is something that I am trying to adherence to in every day life.
2. To meditate every once in a while.
When my semi adoptive mum first suggested I try meditation I imagined humming, sitting cross legged in a dark room and occassional chanting of ridiculous words. To my surprise though, meditation is nothing like I thought it would be. I sometimes take a walk while listening to a guy telling me what to pay attention to and how it feels. It feels strange but it clears the mind of everything and gets you back to you and not the hustle and bustle of family or commitments. It reminds me that even though I’m ill I’m still a person and that I can enjoy the world around me.
3. That friends remove themselves.
Not deliberately. With my illness I tend to be negative and sometimes it can be draining to be around someone who is constantly putting themselves down or hating the world around them. I know since I revealed my illness to them they have been absent from my life and my struggles. I had an extremely tough few months last year and as I came out of it decided to contact a friend and she said ‘You haven’t been in touch for months. I didn’t know what to think.’ I have tried repairing bridges but they don’t want to know. I wish them every success in life. Sometimes people can’t understand the illness and see things as black and white. You either call or don’t call. They don’t call they clearly aren’t worth bothering with. Mental illness is much, much more complex than the absence of a voice.
4. To learn new things.
I’ve always liked learning things. Before my illness consumed me I was studying with the Open University towards an English Literature degree but sadly I couldn’t concentrate and felt it best to leave it until I was better. I’d previously studied creative writing with them a couple of years before and passed. There is always something amazing to learn. The world is full of mystery but we can’t appreciate it if our eyes are closed.
5. To love.
Depression and anxiety will only be temporary but love is a twenty four seven thing. Love, as they say makes the world go round and we can all play a part of that.