Post after post on social media is providing some insight, advice or guidance as part of Mental Health Awareness Week. The past year has shown how important our psychological wellbeing is and how we need to build our own resilience. The words are fine but it is the personal experiences that do much more.
We could all experience pressure that pushes us to breaking point, no matter who we are or what we do. It only needs a set of circumstances and events to happen that together can push you to the edge. I know because after years of feeling invincible I found a series of events led me to a very dark place.
That was two years ago although it feels like another lifetime. At that point in my life I could see no way out of the pressure that I was under. I had very dark thoughts and there were many more tears than smiles. It was only the animal companions I have that gave me a reason to get up some mornings. It felt like there was a dark cloud above me and it never went away. Not only did this seriously affect my life but it had a huge impact on those around me. My family went through the terrible experience with me and were frustrated that they could not help me.
I have said before that when your world caves in you have to accept it and then work with friends, family and experts to find a way out of the dark pit. You also need to make sure you don’t step back into it. This takes some time and care.
All this is important. You have to identify ways to help yourself when you are under pressure. You need to build your personal resilience. But you also need to see the positive in the situationsyou encounter when they threaten your wellbeing. There is only one way to do this and that is to change your thought processes. I am writing this blog for anyone who is going through family issues, bereavement and pressure at home. Don’t think your life is over it has only just got going.
One important piece of advice that has remained with me is to recognise that the only way to deal with things is to move forward. Seeing the demands of the situation at hand and keep updating your plans to address it. People said I would look back on my terrible circumstances and in time see the opportunities it had brought me. I didn’t believe them but now I do. I can see the difficult time has taken me to a much brighter place.
Here I am two years on and I feel strong and in control of my life. I ensure that I recognise even the smallest of achievements. I try to keep focused on the moment rather than rushing ahead with partial information. I have been able to establish a network of amazing people who are always around for support when I need it the most. I have written each day of the things I am most grateful for in my life. All the focus on the negative has been replaced with a drive to find the positive and celebrate it.
There is hope. There is a way to deal with the negative thoughts and move on. And if you find yourself at rock bottom then you can rise up from it. I am just one story among many and hopefully these real stories may help others particularly during this week.