I have just spent the entire train journey home from work thinking that I had absolutely nothing interesting to write about today. I worry about these kinds of things. What people think about me is, sadly, very important to me. For example I have just looked back at the past few sentences and wondered if I used the word “I” and “me” too often. Erm, yes, it’s a blog Mel, you’re supposed to write about yourself a bit…..
Well, let me get a few other people involved in today’s post instead. How about 1 in 4 of all people? Because that is how many people are affected by mental illness. It’s probably a hell of a lot more than that, but as we’ve recently seen with the sad death of Gary Speed, there are more than a few people who are suffering in silence.
I am a strong believer in talking about mental illness. I have had depression since 2000 and I would be willing to tell anybody about it, especially if I thought that it might help them. The more people share their thoughts and feelings, surely the better?
But there is still a lot I keep hidden, especially my insecurities that are caused by self esteem that makes a rollercoaster look boring. So, I shall practice what I preach and share them on here. Not all of them right now otherwise we could be here a while….!Maybe if I share here, I might find out that some of the other 1 in 4 people have the same insecurities. Or maybe someone will read this and be relieved that they are not the only one having these feelings. I don’t know.
So – Insecurity number 1: Sometimes I find it very hard to find anything positive to say. And sometimes that makes me scared to share my thoughts on Facebook and Twitter in case people think that I am a moaner. I’m not moaning, I promise. It’s just that, occasionally, the depression takes over and those dark clouds are really hard to see past. All of that puts me into this crazy cycle of thinking: Am I just being paranoid? Maybe nobody thinks I’m moaning. Maybe they are sympathetic that I’m having a bad day? Or have I just ruined their day by putting a negative post online???!!! Yeah, as you can see, it’s all a bit of a jumble, hence this being the Number 1 insecurity!
This morning, as I listened to Richard Bloody Madeley (can’t say his name without the Bloody, sorry) on Radio 2, he was discussing Sarah Harding’s sleeping tablet addiction and wondered why she would be talking to the papers about it? My boyfriend said that she was probably just looking for publicity. Maybe she is, but I’d like to think that, by her having spoken about her addictions, she could be helping somebody else out there. Which is why I am so full of admiration for people like Freddie Flintoff, who has spoken openly about his depression. And when Dame Kelly Homes opened up about her self harm, I actually cried. Go to the papers, celebrities! Get everybody talking about these issues!
Which brings me to the wonderful and inspirational Ruby Wax. Ruby has set up a social networking site called Black Dog Tribe (http://blackdogtribebeta.com/). It hasn’t launched fully yet, but should be doing so this month. On the site, you can find your own tribe, set up a blog, talk on the forums and find endless resources to help with mental illness. Sign up! Shout about it from the rooftops! This is amazing and it WILL save lives.