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Over the last few weeks, possible five, my posts have ranged over associated subjects that read in isolation do not directly appear to relate to the mental health of my family and I. This is the dichotomy: mental health cannot be divorced from individuals, or families in the same way other medical conditions can – let me explain.
A broken bone can be plastered, a skin cut dressed, elective surgery has predictive objectives and outcome; all can be traumatic. Relevant to me; cancer can be cured (please don’t flame me). Those around you observe your recover as plaster is removed, dressings removed, recover takes place; crass I know; I am still alive.
For mental health sufferers only those who know your problems are in a position to detect change. It’s all hidden behind cloths and bravado. So the great public in the street, shops, busses etc. can’t detect your anguish that preoccupies your daily life. They just witness your current manner, posture, body language and facial expressions.
In my minds eye, many conditions may cause temporary depression, which in an otherwise healthy person will fade with time, the love and support of people around them.
In my opinion mental health suffers retain this load and it becomes accumulative and creates another layer of ‘hurt’ that has to be assimilated into their very isolated perspective and takes effort to manage and longer to shed.
In my situation, father, I worry deeply about my families health, physical and mental health at the moment.
This is the third cafe I have sat in today typing frantically to express my self. Absolutely no one knows what I feel and the load I carrying. Not even my family who I know unreservedly support me. I am their rock that I hope they have anchored their feelings to. I am their unquestionable support that is there for them 24/7. I am the provider of moral encouragement. I unpick and unpack what they can’t understand or comprehend and return it in bite-size portions of understanding.
Please, I am not saying I can’t cope, I have to, but I have my own mental health issues to resolve as well.
So, this is getting around to say: if you see an individual person in a busy cafe, or sitting on their own in a busy park, don’t panic. They may well be just passing the time while waiting to meet someone, but they could also be wanting to be amongst people and not sharing anything. They may be wishing someone is going to acknowledge they exist. They may be grieving for someone, (death is not the only thing people grieve for.). They could be wanting to see a change in someone in their life. They may understand exactly what they feel they need, but is out of reach. They may not be getting the level of support they have been promised.
How strange – a chap just sat opposite me and acknowledge my existence – that is a good feeling, I need no more.
Take a introspective interest in them: that’s not befriending them for the sake of it, just be compassionate in your thoughts; they could have a perfect life with no concerns, (great) but yet again they could be suffering in silence on the inside.
Getting back to my wayward blogs: all events in life register somewhere in the brain and wriggle around there to make connections. Some remain unconnected and unresolved and create problems like PTSD – for me earlier in my life. Those that are connected are either good, bad or indifferent and affect every connection there is – this is not scientific, just my feeling, including your mental health.
I had the all-important telephone call … come in it’s time to talk. But first …
It has taken a great deal of time to get this counselling; this is not the fault of the lady who I was scheduled to meet, but the system, which if you break that down further comes down to resources.
When resources are short, it is, I think, a natural instinct to try and cope. This applies to life in general not just this situation: look to reduce waste, look for better ways to process information, try and cut-out unnecessary activities, redesign activities and process etc. When these have been exhausted, future options become difficult.
All my working life (could be 40 years – can’t be bothered to calculate it) I have tolerated politicians of all persuasions saving me money on the services I have to use. Time and time again ‘… we need to reduce wastage. Yes, on the back of the last bout of waste reducing policies we just made and have not yet completed.’ Services I have paid for, services run by people who are dedicated through and through to public service with compassion and humility – good people who don’t subscribe to profit at any cost. Let’s make it clear, that is not the same as being anti-capitalist at all. We have all benefited from capitalism regardless of political persuasion and I do not want to offer this forward as for speaking for everyone else, but I am against rip-off-capitalism.
Our Government, I believe, do not have to publish accounts to prove what they are saying is true and correct. They all stumble between projections of what they want and shortfalls made by previous post holders.
Austerity is just a rouse through which the Government use to put a veneer over its hidden agenda of privatising everything through rip-off-capitalism; the great British public are not supposed to have any common sense at all, through another set of policies in education, to be able to see the bigger picture that in general is profit orientated – capitalism of the rip-off variety and not compassionate service based.
So we are in a situation where the first past-the-post system of representation allows about 25% of the populace to have their way and dismantle society without being challenged. BUT the people who are doing it don’t have the balls to tell people the truth.
I felt it necessary to say this as it is why I feel my appointment was, I would think about three months late.
There was an administrative mix-up about venue which we resolved. I felt very comfortable talking to the lady, who reassuringly was able to interject with facts that we had talk about over the telephone, possible two months previously. I felt she had taken the trouble to research my predicament and understood what I had been through. We discussed the process I was going to go through and with a layman’s hat on it made sense. I say process as I think I have to unpack things, unlearn things and repack only what I want to move forward with. Even having gone through various things over the last three months and felt happier, note happier, not happy, I still have reservations about the ethics of letting go of the suicide victim. I am happy where I am, but I know I have to revisit that aspect.
On balance I feel this accident was the opening that exposed a vulnerability to my true feelings that had been there, possible since the previous train accident, which I had not addressed. It may sound trite but it may be a man thing. ‘It’s my duty to be a man, cope, ignore it and it will go away.’ It don’t.
I was given a form to complete that recorded my emotions to daily successes and failures. I appreciate what it is for but I don’t see my life in this way. My job involves ‘designing’ solutions to problems. I regularly go through failures as that is an intrinsic part of the process. I have my work peer reviewed and questioned daily, that is not failure or success, it is a professional way of working. Well, it was the arrogant removal and substitution with unprofessional people in this process with people who do not know the difference between hay and a bulls foot that was the trigger at work for me to stand my ground. (Read unprofessional in attitude and not professional qualified to do such work.)
My thoughts on how I handled the situation have changed since I was off work for a month: I am far less benevolent. I have witnessed many other people being treated in a similar manner to myself and have seen similar responses. Four people have left the company, I have moved to another group and two more are on the verge of leaving. In summary 280 years of experience reduced about 10 year’s. In my opinion a real masterclass in constructive dismissal.
I do think regularly about my situation and while it has been just over two weeks since my last blog entry my thoughts are about ‘where am I’ are not negatively biased but more around, ‘I can change whatever I want’ and ‘where do I go to get out of the mind set I am in’, and critically ‘where do I want to go, what do I want to be, what type of person should I be’. I an still trying to understand me and my normal.