Friends – I’ll be there for you

Have you read the title above and got the song stuck in your head??? Hehe

Last week was the worst part of my annual Easter Blues. My last post about Mental Health pledges was meant to be a small part of this one but sometimes when you need to get some feelings out you just have to go with it. However they blues are wearing themselves out and I can see the happy horizon once again and there were some good happenings last week; mostly due to the power of a good friendship base.

Tuesday was just general drinks with my good friend and a chance to have a catch up, have what she calls “drinky bup bups” (no I’ve no idea where she gets it from! The actuality was 2 bottles of wine), some nacho’s and just a general gossip. As per usual just an hour turned into 4 hours but as a chance to have a good chat and relax in good company you can’t beat it. We talked about a whole range of things from work nonsense to family including my newly rebuilt relationship with my mum. It’s an interesting discussion as she lost her own mum when she was 28 and finds it still painful. She has often asked the question is it better to have loved and lost your mum or to have your mum alive but estranged from you??? Philosophical questions that can only be answered as you work through the bottle of wine!

Wednesday was the first get together after setting up our little book club (and when I made my pledge). And a first for me as it was to be recorded for the radio station. The last time I made any recording (other than my voicemail) was as a teenager when I had to do some research for a Media Studies course. That one was slightly more serious than this one as it was around perceptions for bringing back hanging!! To Kill a Mockingbird however bleak a story was much lighter in the discussion. I soon got over my fears of being recorded possibly due to the arrival of several sponge cakes J I think again though it’s being in the company of some good people that can help with any fears. Although I was conscious of having a microphone hovering nearby it was easy to ignore it to concentrate on the discussion itself.

As for the book I enjoyed it but found it hard going. I was surprised to realise the figure everyone knows – Boo Radley – wasn’t the one standing accused. The same went for the others reading the book. Funny how certain characters will stay in your mind long after the others and indeed the story itself have long faded.

Thursday was the worst day of the Easter Blues and I would have much rather have spent the day in bed hiding from the world. However I went to work – more in body than spirit and ended up then being talked into a meal I’d said ages ago I didn’t want to attend. Work was horrible. My last breakdown came whilst working at a different office (the one with my meal buddies) and so they knew me, knew my triggers and knew how to spot the signals that things are not quite right. In this job, while I do like the people, I haven’t got the same bond and while they may have a feeling something isn’t quite right they don’t know how to vocalise it and I don’t know how to tell people I have an issue. My manager did try. I was asked if I was ok – I said no. I was asked what was wrong and I kind of blew the subject off with I’m not feeling well. Is there anything he could do? No. Did I want to talk about it?? No.

An ideal opportunity then to discuss mental health issues. He is actually aware of my past and as he is the liaison with our companies’ health partners it should’ve been easy to talk but it wasn’t. So while I’m very good at talking about my issues after the fact, I seem to be like thousands of other people that can’t say “Help I have a problem” while it’s actually occurring. This is something that I should work on but where do you start? How do you come into work and say I’m having a depressive occurrence, it’ll wear off but in the mean time I’m a bit weepy and would like to be left alone to get on with it”??? Easy to type it though. Maybe I should have note cards made! Several times I wanted to call in sick that week but that came with the same question. Can I realistically say I’m having an episode and can’t work or lie and make something up like flu?!? I have my work annual review on the afternoon of typing this so I will try and ask the question.

If I don’t how can I possibly stick to my pledge to challenge stereotypes and break stigmas? I wish there was an easy answer but there isn’t.

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