Well I can’t quite believe it’s Easter Day and that this challenge is at it’s end.
Firstly, a massive thank you to everyone who has contributed to this blog by sharing your story around mental health or wellbeing. You have been both courageous and generous with what you have shared and a real blessing to those who have read your story. I’d also like to thank all those who have followed the blog in any way; it’s been really nice to hear that you have been encouraged in some way by what you have read here. This blog will of course remain open and I will always aim to publish your story if you feel you are ready to share it. I’d also like to say at this point that it is now safe to subscribe (below) to this blog without fear of a daily bombardment of email from me!!
Lights in the Darkness
I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the recovery process when it comes to mental health. There are so many hurdles, so many treatments, still so much taboo. When we think about recovering from mental health we may quickly think psychiatry or getting a combination of the right medication with the best talking therapy. Or perhaps we think about getting into the right “head space” with techniques such as mindfulness or learning a new self – help technique. Perhaps we think group therapy. Or perhaps we seek healing spiritually, in our faith community.
All the above are really important. But perhaps the one area we often overlook is our own role in the recovery process. If we know someone who is struggling with their mental health, then we need to reach out. You see, we weren’t designed for isolation, we were made for community. Mental health will often try to lock us in our own private prison which is why we either need the strength to reach out ourselves, or the wisdom of friends to reach out to us when are too tired or broken to do it ourselves.
Being in that place can be really dark, lonely and frightening. Hope may seem all but lost. As I write this I am aware of the poignance of today being Easter. It’s a day of hope, of new life, of light overcoming the darkness. At the very least, this time of year reminds us of the changing seasons and that nothing stays the same forever. I am so fortunate to have witnessed many, many people come to terms with their mental health, learn to live with it better, even come through the other side. I have also witnessed the devastating effects it can have on individuals and their families.
I write this to encourage us all to remember that people have often lost the strength to reach out. I write this to encourage us that whatever we may be going through right now, if we have the strength ourselves, then be that person who reaches out. Reach out to someone who may just need it. Spend five more minutes talking, pay a visit, listen without interrupting. Just be there when others may not. The small things that can pierce someone’s isolation are more significant than you may think. Like the light streaming through a small crack into the dark cavern, signifying life outside, the smallest gesture may well remind someone suffering that there is hope and life outside of their prison.
Whoever you are, and whatever may be happening right now, please don’t give up. Please reach out, because recovery needs you. Together we can all be lights in the darkness that is mental health.