As I drive this new road, sharing the ups and downs of my mental health experience, I’ve discovered something simple yet mind blowing.
On the opposite side of fear, we usually meet acceptance.
More often than not, when I share how I’m feeling or talk about the emotions I’ve experienced in the past with someone I trust, the person I am telling opens up about a time they felt the same or experienced something similar.
I am aware that the freelance lifestyle I have carved out, and am still continuing to mould, allows me to be more open and I guess, that’s why I started steering this way in the first place – so I could be more me.
Five years ago, whilst I was still an employee in the education sector, I would never have felt comfortable discussing my own mental health issues for fear of whispering in corridors or worse, job loss. In fact, I was so ignorant about mental health that I rarely even said the term out loud, having grown up hearing the word ‘mental’ used only as an insult.
And as I talk to more people about their experiences, I realise that most of us are in the same boat and I’m aware that freelancing is not for everyone so how can we nurture a more accepting society?
Some people’s fears are so loud and convincing that even the most open of minds find it hard to reveal how they really feel, what they really want and need, even to themselves.
Maybe they are a mother of young children worried that authorities will deem them incapable or maybe they’re a CEO of a major company too scared to show their emotions for fear of losing the title they strived for all their life. Whoever they are, whatever the barrier, their fear will cling onto what’s important to them and say something along the lines of ‘You’ll lose your job.’ or worst ‘They’ll take the kids away from you.’
As I said in an earlier post, these lies are to stop you from living your best life and it’s time to shine a spotlight on them, fight back and watch as they shrink, shrivel and die the gruesome death they deserve.
So how do we remove the stigma and help people to start talking?
There’s definitely more information out there than there used to be and as I look for help, the more I seem to find. There’s a treasure trove of people and resources just waiting to help us and this blog will be my way of sharing all the incredible stuff I find.
I really want to reach the people who don’t yet know they are struggling. The people among us whose fears are so filled with lies that they don’t even know they are suffering, have just accepted it as the way life is.
That’s who I was and I was lucky enough to have many people stretch back their hands to help pull me through and now, this my way of paying it forward… by stretching backward! (are you still with me?!)
Consider this blog a stretched out hand pulling you forward into the light, and hey, bring your sunglasses, it’s bright over here 🙂
For today, here are just three of the many campaigns/people who are helping to rid the world of these fears and shine a light into the darkness;
- Prince William, Kate Middleton and Prince Harry’s Heads Together campaign (click here for more information)
- Matt Haig’s incredible book ‘Reasons to Stay Alive’ (find out more here)
- Our incredible NHS who strive to help every single one of us no matter our background (Click here)
P.S. I endeavour to make this blog as valuable as possible for everyone who wants to live their best life yet! If you want to receive these blogs straight to your inbox, please sign up below.