Yesterday was World Mental Health Day but I couldn’t find words that I wanted to write for it, I endeavour to make every day mental health awareness day so there can be a pressure for me to produce something ‘epic’ for it. So I didn’t.
Anyone who knows me knows how much I love Caroline Flack.
When the news broke in February of this year I was heartbroken.
Caroline was vivacious, wildly talented, charismatic, loyal, funny and kind. I felt a connection to her from the moment I laid eyes on her many years ago.
The thing with mental ill health is that nobody is immune, it can come quickly and hit you right between the eyes.
It can creep up slowly and take you on years worth of pain and distress whilst also experiencing moments of joy, laughter and success.
We can experience a transition or trauma that triggers something within us, that causes our thought patterns to spiral and a loss of control to occur.
It can lead anyone to suicidal thoughts.
When I look back over the years, my traumas and my behaviours I can only be thankful that my life wasn’t reported about in the press. That I wasn’t vilified but scooped up, loved privately and able to work through and rebuild. I lost ‘friends’ who judged me, who assumed they knew my story and pulled away when they discovered they didn’t. I was used along the way. I also kept the friends who could see past the drama and saw my heart and loyalty. They saw me as human, we aren't one dimensional, to quote Sirius Black, "We've all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That's who we really are."
The key word is ‘assume’. We make assumptions every day.
Don’t judge, don’t assume. Be kind. Ask questions.
It has to start with you.
Look after yourself, fight back from shame, open up to someone you trust or talk to a helpline.
Only when you can be kind to yourself can we move away from making harmful judgments of others.
Love each other, even your enemies, don’t hate on them.
YOU ARE LOVED.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
We have all the tools and skills we need to save a life, and we are going to need them more than ever.
If you are having thoughts that you feel are spiralling, capture them and share them. We have these thoughts, the same that others have, it doesn’t make you weak or not worthy, It makes you human. Please talk, you are valued in this world, it gets better.
We can’t turn back time, we can’t get Caroline back, but we can ensure that we commit to making a change for the future. We can look at emotional wellbeing as a WHOLE. From BIRTH. We can parent, love and live in a way that joins the dots towards good long-term outcomes.
We owe it to ourselves to make a change and we can all do our bit, because one small step at a time leads to huge leaps towards a better, more loving planet.
I love you Caroline