Monday, 2 February 2015

Let's Talk About Mental Health

I feel like I go round in circles a bit on this blog. Sometimes I cannot contain all of the words I want to say. I review everything I read, analyse various aspects of myself, and generally have posts coming out of my ears. Other times, I feel like I have nothing interesting to contribute. I try to write posts anyway during these moments cos like, how else am I going to get back to that bit where I feel eloquent again, but generally I feel pretty dissatisfied with the things I create in this time. I think I'm having one of these moments again.

I uploaded my last few book reviews because I wanted to have something up, but I don't really think I said anything very interesting in them. I think a couple of them are alright, but generally they just feel a bit empty.

I finished The Shock of the Fall recently and it was so good and it really made me think about a lot of things, but I'm holding back from reviewing it because I just don't think I have anything relevant to say. It was an insight into something that I know very little about and I just feel like my voice isn't really relevant to the discussion.

I really don't know a lot about schizophrenia, which is something I want to change. A while ago I posted on my tumblr generally asking for recommendations on resources to educate myself on a whole range of stuff, mental health being just one, and people were really helpful which was great! But I still don't feel like I've done enough yet. 

Being educated on mental health is just something that I think is really important. So many people close to me have struggled with different mental illnesses which is why I started trying to educate myself on mental health, but it just seems ridiculous that we were never taught anything about it at school. I just can't help but feel like it would have made things a little bit easier for my friends if they'd actually been taught something about mental health at school, rather than having to try and figure out what was going on by themselves. 

Say what you like about tumblr, but I know for a fact that spending time on it has educated me on so many subjects that were just never covered by my formal education. I have learnt so much more about mental health, sexism, racism, and so many other topics, than I ever did in class. I think it's really great that people can go online and read about other people's experiences and learn so much about topics they didn't know about before, but it is also so important that we start to bring these things into everyday life and start teaching about them as a matter of course.

This post has really morphed into something other than I intended it to be but I think that's probably cause I finally started catching up on youtube yesterday and watched this video:

And also this one from Bree Bacon which I can't insert for some reason but is really worth checking out. However, there are loads more videos by so many different youtubers all discussing different things to do with mental health.

I just think it's so great that there are so many youtubers who are taking the time to talk about stuff like mental health. It brings this previously untalked about topic into the spotlight and it causes a whole bunch of people who might not know much about it to learn more.

This post is taking me forever to write because I'm really aware of the fact that I don't want to talk over anybody. I've never experienced any mental health issues. I want to help raise awareness of mental health, I want to help take away the stigma surrounding it, I want to continue to learn more about it, and I want to be able to help my friends whenever they need me. But I don't want to overstep and I don't want to speak over other people.

I started trying to educate myself on this stuff because I had friends who were going through some really shitty times and I wanted to understand better so that I could be there for them in a way that would actually help. Later, when I started my tumblr, I just wanted to create a space where people could go if they needed a bit of positivity in their lives and where I would be able to continue to learn more as well. I now find myself with more followers than I ever expected to have and I feel like I'm part of this really incredible tumblr community, and I guess I just want to make sure I'm good enough for this. (Might have made a bit more sense to write all this on my tumblr, but here we are!)

Maybe I should have waited until I felt articulate again, but I wanted to be able to get this down while it was real. I don't have my tumblr in order to gain lots of followers, that's not my priority. However, reaching 500 followers this weekend kind of blew my mind a little bit and is something that I still can't entirely comprehend. I know in the grand scheme of tumblr there are people with so many more, but I genuinely cannot believe that so many living breathing people decided they liked bodypositivityandglitter enough to click follow. Like, that's a lot of people. So I just sort of wanted to make a bit of a pledge to you guys.

I promise to take responsibility for myself and continue to try and educate myself on things, but specifically on mental health.

I promise to amplify the voices of others and not speak over them.

I promise to be there for you if you ever need someone. I'm not a professional and I'm not going to be able to fix your problems, but I will be there for you. If you need someone to listen or to offer you support then I will be that person. My ask box is always open and I will reply privately to anything you want to talk about.

I also promise to continue to fill my blog with lovely things that can hopefully make you smile a bit! And if you don't want to talk about the shitty things but just want to have a chat and make a friend then I'm also there for that!

My essential point that I'm trying to say is that you are not alone. Okay? 

I will also repeat my earlier request of asking for recommendations for reading materials. Whether it's fiction, non-fiction, youtube videos, anything! I will of course be taking the time to find things myself. I'm not relying on you guys to educate me, but your help is always appreciated.

I'm going to stop now because my lunch break is up and I need to get back to work! I'm not entirely sure what I wanted to express so I don't know if I've been successful or not, but hopefully I have! I know that not a lot of people read this blog but I still felt like I needed to say all of this because I don't just want to be passive, I want to get involved. I'm gonna shut up now.

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