So it’s World Mental Health Day – a fact I only realised late into this afternoon which makes me wonder why. Is it my own ignorance or has their not been enough focus on this day in general?
Whatever the reason I feel it is more than apt that today is that very day as for the past week I have been feeling rather anxious and filled with doubts over starting this blog and my twitter account. Yes I felt brave and assertive writing my first entry, however almost immediately afterwards I felt a sense of unease and tension that I just couldn’t shake off.
Am I doing the right thing? Is this is bad idea? Do I really want to do this? What am I letting myself in for? These are a selection of the thoughts running through my head. I could only think and focus on the negatives and the consequences they would bring. I’ll admit that I was (and still am) scared. I’m scared of being open, I’m scared of being honest, I’m scared of voluntarily putting myself in a vulnerable position where people will know my darkest secrets and see me for who I truly am. Would I be opening myself up to scrutiny and judgements and would I forever regret letting my own personal friends and family in on the truth?
With this negativity and paranoia circling in my head, I was all prepared for taking my Twitter account down, or at the very least take away any mention of myself personally experiencing eating disorders and never, never, would I put any links regarding my blog on my own Facebook page.
But then a few days ago, I read a small article written by Tom Freeman who attended an Open Up campaign at the Scottish Parliament and it encouraged me to look at my problem from a different, more positive angle.
What if sharing my thoughts and experience helped just one person? What if my reluctance to talk about my own mental health is simply adding to the problem? Silence encourages only more silence and what kind of example would I be setting, furthermore how could I expect anything to ever change if I cannot own, admit and share my own problems?
It’s World Mental Health and to me that means encouraging each other to talk about what goes on inside our heads and how it makes us feel. It means no judgement, no scrutiny and no scepticism. Instead it means to promote and practice acceptance, empathy and a willingness to understand. And as scary as it may be to jump feet first and do it, I rather be a part of it than shy away any more.