Mental Health Awareness Week Part 2

Dear Dazai,

It’s been a good week.

It’s been a good week because I’ve had the chance to catch up with people that I haven’t seen for a while. Some longer than others.

It’s been good because I noticed that because of this blog, because of these letters to you, we were able to be more honest with each other about the struggles we normally wouldn’t mention. Those days when we feel a little worn down, when we don’t want to talk, to see someone, or the days when we feel anxious or depressed.

These things didn’t dominate the conversation, there was lots of talks about travel, cats, food, religion and art. Those things in our lives that have an impact on who we are and how we interact with the world.

I even (potenially) signed up a new guest blogger for (Sol)Ace in Art.

The relaxed way in which people talked about their struggles was what really got to me. The honesty was palpable and there was no judgement, no ‘helpful’ suggestions, it just was what it was, a conversation on how these things happen, on how we each deal with them.

There’s never going to be a day where we feel we can be this honest with everyone, and perhaps we should never be as well, but there is a freedom that comes with this. That the expectations that others have of us, or that we expect them to have of us, aren’t as frightening as we might believe. That we might make a more meaningful connection with others when we are able to talk about these things.

In my adult life, I’ve detested people who I felt weren’t genuine with me, probably as a reflection of my own inability to be honest with people. It was something that I felt isolated by and especially hurt when it was people I knew weren’t like that ordinarily, or hadn’t once been.

That was who I was though. I wasn’t being honest with people, not really. There were genuine moments, but they were carefully curated and I didn’t want people to know too much about how I was feeling. Vulnerability has, before now, never been something that I’ve welcomed.

So I’m so grateful for this week.

For these moments.

And for you, for allowing me to express these things in a manner that helped me and helped people reach out to me about it.

xx

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