Keep the conversation going

It has become clear to me in the past 12 months that I have to look after myself both mentally and physically. There have been a lot of reminders of the fragility of life that have taken their toll on my mental wellbeing. So as people post about Time To Talk day, I am reflecting on how I have managed to navigate through the intense moments I have experienced.

My life has changed radically since the sudden death of my Mum and the difficult decision to say goodbye to my horse after 20 years together. Last year was a series of losses that made me reconsider where I was, what I was doing, and what matters to me. I still have many dark and difficult days, the moments when I want to close the curtains and just curl up on my own. But there are many more when I wake up ready to take on the day.

Having a strong network of friends that I can talk to, and who also check in to see how I am doing, has made a huge difference. They have been there to pick me up, to just listen, and never to judge me or tell me what to do. I have never realised how lucky I am to have that until this difficult year. But I have also made use of other services provided by Mind and others. The volunteers on the chat facilities have been there when I have felt unable to talk to anyone else.

But I have also developed a self-care regime. I am starting to recognise those dark moods as they lurk on the horizon and take steps to deal with them. This may be getting away from things, doing something I enjoy, carrying out some repetitive tasks, or to lift my mood journaling about what I am grateful for. It has taken me a few years to get to this point but the hard work has definitely made the difference.

We all have difficult moments in our lives. It is how we deal with them that matters. And avoiding catastrophising and worrying about things before they happen is something I am still trying to get control over.

This Time to Talk day reflect on where your support comes from, who can you turn to, and who are you available to provide support to. And finally, thank you again to all those friends near and far for the help in the past year.

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