I started this year with an idea to keep a journal / daily blog post of positive things achieved that I could look back on in lower times. After a major drop in mood I stopped blogging and came off online generally but have started to reemerge again. I have continued to keep a journal and will report back from time to time. At the end of each day I choose a symbol for :
Glass full day
Half full glass day
Spillt water day
Smashed glass day.
Yesterday, Sunday 19th February was the 50th journal record in a go consecutively. I have recorded points everyday and the overall sub totals to date are:
Whole glass ( 35 ); Half glass ( 10 ); Spillt ( 4 ) and Smashed ( 1 )
I am very encouraged this and I know there will continue to be negative slots in my mood. The exercise of seeking out and recording the positives though generally has led to a much better mindset. Every fortnight I take my journal along to my depression support group and others can look at my examples if they wish to.
I wasn’t sure about the idea but it’s a strategy that I would now recommend to others to consider.
An ego boost? Data that almost taboo subject currently. No this is a screenshot from this blog and the amazing response I have received over the last two days. I decided to be open about my situation. Some online colleagues are aware of my propensity to depression as it is a topic we have discussed previously in supporting each other at low times. We don’t always see the causes, but that is not important when supporting a friend / colleague, this time I have opened a potential can of worms.
Comments including one from my wife have used terms like “brave” and honesty. The latter is clearly true, I have tried to dispute the first with some, if this is bravery then yes I am brave but that is not my motivation. Nor do I seek sympathy, this series of recent posts has been my cathartic way of confronting,challenging and ultimately finding a pathway through my life to restabilise my mental health so that I can return to my full professional role. For some it has been a shock, for others it has expanded on points that they were aware of, most importantly it has shown that we each have our personal stories and they mould who we are and how we act.
I work in a profession often derided, politically we feel like a football kicked this way and that at the whim of politicians at a bewildering changes of pace and direction. We live in a society where the young “grow” far faster, they may not be able to cope with the pace of this change, I know many adults who find the pace of change in our lives hard enough and they often know a wider range of coping strategies. In Twitter (@aknill) posts over the last two days I have stated a desire to stand up for mental health, I am inspired by writers like Robert Crampton in The Times who has always been honest about the stabilising effect fluoxetine has in his life. I am male, therefore supposedly I am meant to find emotional outpourings to be hard but as colleagues and friends can confirm I am a big softie.
I offer no solutions but seek a raising of the taboo that many follow In discussing mental health. I intend to continue to do this through my blog posts and tweets. I intend to offer Teachmeet presentations that look at this topic, I am willing to be quoted in discussions in the workplace.
Let’s make sure that mental health is not a can of worms, a trip hazard, just a factor that some of us need to work with in our daily lives. Sometimes we will slip up, work with us to reduce the associated risks and lost time where individuals are unable to cope in society.
If you agree, disagree tell me. Do not voice these opinions in private, behind closed doors bring them into the public forum that is social media. Let’s learn from each other.