Today started off with freezing fog. And finished with fog. Today would not be a contender for ‘The Good Weather Day awards 2017’.
I’m not sure if the grey weather was the cause, but I’ve been feeling quite downbeat today. Nothing major, but I just felt flat.
It’s accompanied by the sort of unnerving feeling I sometimes get; Is this the start of another low period? I’ve done reasonably well over the last 6 or so months, helped by improved medication. But there’s always that nagging fear that a big low may just be around the corner.
With all the festivities of Christmas upon us now (1 week before Easter Eggs will hit the shelves) and all the joy (real and manufactured), it can make the period very difficult for those of us who have lost people close to us. A picture is painted that ‘everyone is happy’ and through extensive media, it can leave you feeling very isolated. Not least as all the people you might ordinarily see around are taken up with their own family events. Which is great – for them.
Whilst I see my own family over Christmas, the whole thing is tinged with a ‘what it was like’ before Mark passed away. And there is still an expectation that we should ‘put on a brave face’ and ‘get on with it’; that whole aspect of not wanting to bother others with what is bothering us.
I’ve long felt guilty of ‘burdening’ others with what is troubling me. It’s why I started to blog back in 2012. Just to give an outlet to those thoughts and get them out of my head. Usually the emotions are a jumble and it’s impossible to make sense of them without transposing them in some way. No amount of saying ‘it’s OK’ will make the countless sleepless nights going over and over conversations and situations trying to find the ‘correct’ outcome, go away.
A bit of a rant about social media
I probably shouldn’t be as angry about this as I am. On Twitter there is a hashtag #MyMentalHealthIn5Words. I’ll explain why is this annoying me.
Why the heck would you want to express this? Is mental health suddenly this simple to categorise? Or is it that the world is so stupid that the only way for people to understand mental illness is to break it down into a 5-word sound bite? FFS, why not make an emoji for it while you’re at it?!!
Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s extremely important that people talk about mental illness rather than feeling they have to hide it. I’m a big advocate of talking about mental illness. But I feel that doing something as shallow as this cheapens the whole debate. It makes it seem like it’s something tiny and easily fixed with a one-line solution.
Anyone trying to express their feelings is unlikely to give a representative answer; in fact those that have managed to provide an answer in 5 words really ought to be talking to their GP about it rather than tweeting it. Getting the help they need rather than essentially playing a game with strangers, leaving themselves open to abuse and generally exacerbating the problem.
Meanwhile in another trending topic, it appears that a young Japanese pop star had taken his own life. Devastating that anyone should feel so helpless that suicide appears to be the only option. I don’t know anything of the background of him, so I’m not going to comment further.
Anyway, whilst I was running today, I was oblivious to all of the above, save for the rubbish weather. It was a run where the planned route was almost entirely unplanned. The length of the run was ‘some miles’. I just needed to get out and away from people which, on a murky day like today, was quite easy. The route itself was a collection of bits of other routes I’ve done before, mashed together into 8 miles with some slower bits and some faster bits.
I was going to offer some form of apology for the downbeat nature of the post. But that would be somewhat hypocritical of the subject matter I’ve covered! Mental Health is a serious topic and whilst it’s good to get a discussion going, that conversation needs to be constructive. By which at the very least a level of support is made available. Trivialising it helps nobody.
Tomorrow is a big day in the Challenge. I’m looking forward to it a lot!