17/02/13 Ok, it’s a fair cop…

There’s a thing with your mental health malady – at the very least it’s a pain in the arse.

I’d had a lovely couple of weeks walking – meeting all kinds of interesting folk, enjoying the almost eerie peace of the flora and fauna around the floodplain that edges southwest Scotland and the northern extremities of the Cumbrian coast.

The stillness in the air, the haunting

calls of the curlew..

…it’s another world…at times a fantasy….

Occasionally real life comes along and rattles my cage – in this case it was something financial from the past – something I scold myself with thinking that NORMAL people deal with on a daily basis without experiencing a crunch of their gears.

That’s not terribly useful though. It is what it is – and, of course, it will pass – it always has, it always does, it always will…it’s good to have folk around me just to remind me of that simple fact.

So I’ve been off the road for about a week, returning to Cumbria’s northern coast on Tuesday.

But what’s the message? At times of madness I seek silence – there’s enough noise going on inside, thanks very much, to even consider the world outside. I can appear cold and distant to those around me.

There are adverts on TV, encouraging us, me, you to talk to folk with a mental health problem – reach out…show people you care…it’s not rocket science…

What happens though, if the potential recipient of your kindness wants you to fuck off? They’re not grateful of your touchy-feeliness…what then?

Do I, you, we think, “Well I tried – I know I shouldn’t have bothered – thankless bastards…” ?

Or do you think, “Perhaps now isn’t the time?” or, “Maybe I’m not offering the right brand of care?”

For me, the worst time to work out what to do in a crisis is during that crisis. I plan outside these times – I take time to look back to think of the simplicity of it all.

It’s during the times of mental quiet when the best thinking can be done. Even during these times it’s easy to scream at yourself “WHY CAN’T I BE FUCKING NORMAL!!!?”

This is the time to talk. Not during the madness when thoughts can be skewed – but during the times of peace – the floodplains.

Don’t take it personally – it’s so easy to say, but to really mean it, now there’s the challenge.

Plan, observe, review, plan…don’t lose heart if/when it doesn’t work…

Listen. Work on trust. Work together. Don’t do for – do with – side by side.

With this as a backdrop DON’T TAKE OFFENCE.

Use your carefully constructed foundations to build on…

Folk on both sides of this particular equation may say things that offend or upset…but if we can have…if we can show…faith and trust then we will move forward.

This simple truth stands for friends, family, carers, professionals and punters…

If folk reject your help – if folk offer the wrong assistance – if there’s a foundation of love and trust then it is easier to see it might be the wrong support or the wrong time for the right help…

If you can separate the behaviours from the person then the future looks promising.

Just because someone does something that doesn’t help at a given time doesn’t make them an unhelpful person.

Just because someone doesn’t want your help at a given time doesn’t make them ungrateful.

From my experience on the sacred ramble people want to help and people want to be helped.

It’s just a question of faith.

Walk a mile

Chris

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