So I’ve haven’t blogged in a few months. I could tell you’ve I’ve been crazy busy, which would be true. I could tell you I’ve been working on other projects, which would also be true. The real truth however is that I simply haven’t been feeling it. That is just where I’m at.
I have never been one of those bloggers who has stuck to a posting schedule or has any particular plans for turning this into a career. I do it because I enjoy it and when I’m not enjoying it, I don’t do it.
This evening however I find myself home alone, having lost the internal battle with myself to go to gym wanting to write something, and so I am.
At the start of this year when I wrote my post about the Happiness Planner, I was not in a great place. I was struggling with the big questions we all wrestle with. What do I want to do with my life? What is going to make me truly happy? How do I dig myself out of this rut?
I was pleasantly surprised that some friends and acquaintances of mine that I did not even realise read my blog, reached out of me to let me know they had been through similar things, wanted to let me know they were there to talk or just wanted to say hey, I hope you’re okay. That meant a lot, so thank you.
I’ve learned a few things about myself and mental health in general over the past few months from putting a public declaration of “so I’m not feeling so great” out into the ether that I thought I’d share.
1. It’s okay for me not to be okay sometimes.
This might sound inconsequential to some people but to me this is huge. I want to be solid and reliable and the rock that other people can rely on 100% of the time. I pride myself on being a tough, independent and positive person and I like that other people see me that way. But you know what? I’m not sure anyone can be one type of person 100% of the time. Attempting to let others see the insecurities or vulnerabilities that I was feeling was just piling more pressure on top of a mound of issues whirring round my brain. Clicking the “publish” button on a post that wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows had a very liberating effect. THE WORLD DIDN’T END. It also didn’t change the fact that I am a tough, independent and positive person; that identity wasn’t suddenly eradicated. I just gave others the invitation to say “hey that sucks that you’re not feeling great right now, let me know if I can do anything to help”, which was kinda nice.
2. We shouldn’t be scared to talk about mental health.
Our staff conference at work this year was all about well being and conversations about mental health naturally occurred throughout the day. My observation from this was that there was a palpable shift in talking about people with mental health diagnosis, to a much broader conversation about how to take care of your own mental health and be observant of those around you. Before the start of this year I had never really give this much thought, but through that conference and my own subsequent research, I now have a far better understanding of my own triggers and the habits I can build into my weekly routine to hopefully stave off some of the disruptive behaviours that had gotten me to a bad place a few months back.
3. Co-dependence is the dream.
So I recently listened to the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey and in that book he describes a transition that humans go through to get to the point of being a fully functioning adult, mature member of society. From being a child utterly dependent on others, to being independent and learning to make it on our own, to the last stage which is co-dependence the ability to function properly in mutually beneficial relationships with other human beings. Again, not rocket science, but for me it rang alarm bells that I had unconsciously routed myself in the independence phase thinking that that was the ultimate goal and putting up blockers against any scenario in which I might have to depend on somebody else. So I’ve been attempting this new thing where I ask people for help and advice once in a while. It’s baby steps but being more conscious in not shutting myself off from my amazing support networks is going pretty well so far.
4. Nobody has everything figured out.
I think we all know those people that appear to have their whole life together. They are killing it at work, they’re working on some cool side project, they are in a really awesome relationship, they are on their way to achieving their life goals and you 100% believe that they will probably make every single one of them come true by the time they are 30. Guess what I discovered… they are making it up as they go along, just like the rest of us. More and more I’m having conversations with those people. I’m like “it’s ok for you, your life is pretty much sorted”, and they’re like “you have no idea, I’m just making this sh*t up as I go along and it terrifies me”, then I’m like “oh crap, you’re not some super human mutant whose cracked the code to existence” and they’re like “duh”. All you can do is make the best decision you can at any given moment and hope it pays off in the long run and have the faith that it will.
5. Nothing is permanent
That might sound like a scary statement for those who thrive on security and routine. What I’m saying is probably more accurately stated as, “nothing is permanent, if you don’t want it to be”. Your job, your relationship, where you live or your state of mind – any of it. For want of sounding like a motivational speaker, you do have the agency and ability to change stuff up and try again until your happy with the cards you are holding. The fact that I’m the one in control and that my happiness is a direct result of my choices and actions was a terrifying thought a few months ago because I’d backed myself into a corner where I thought one wrong move would mess up my whole life’s trajectory.
Then I moved house without really thinking about the consequences and it gave me a completely fresh perspective. It was not the final decision I was making, only the next decision. I’m capable of making the next decision. Where do I want to live next. Where do I want to work next. The change from thinking about permanent life choices to just thinking about the short term future helped to de-paralyse me enough to at least make a decision. Like a giant game of stepping stones rather than the long jump and that seems far more manageable to me.
Wow, turns out I’m in a philosophical mood but there it is, where I’m at right now – I’m alright. I’m feeling more positive and I’m thinking about my next few moves.
So, rather than thinking about needing to build, write and maintain a good quality blog, I’m just going to think about my next post and hopefully that will mean it won’t be five months before I click “publish” again.