Well it has been a little over a week since I published my first post and the reaction has been generally positive so I might have to keep this thing going.
Thank you to those who have shared intimate feelings and experiences in response to Black Dogs & Blue Skies. If this is the first time you have opened up and shared your challenges, then you have made the first positive step and I encourage you to keep the conversation going.
One thing I have noticed is the proliferation of Facebook posts asking for friends to share/copy/repost. I’m not sure if they have always been around or if it is a bit like when you’re first expecting a baby and all of a sudden you notice pregnant women everywhere.
Here is an example…
I am always around for anyone who needs a chat! May I ask, would three of my Facebook friends please copy and repost? I’m doing this to prove that someone is always listening. #SuicideAwareness
I’ll be honest, it can be confronting hearing what some people have experienced. Before asking R U OK, have a think about why you are asking and consider the array of responses and reactions that may result. Are you prepared, or as prepared as you can be, for the scenarios you may face? You don’t need all the answers, but if you can weather the initial storm, or calm, you can just be there. Lend an ear or a shoulder, be a sounding board or a rock. Just be there, and try.
You may well say or do the wrong thing, Lord knows I have; keep walking and doing.
You may look, and feel, awkward and unsure; don’t worry, this is life, not a fashion parade.
You will likely stuff up, but please, whatever you do, please don’t ever give up.
I made that promise to myself – I will never give up on myself and I will never give up on anyone I care about. I was even thinking of a tattoo to remind myself but I am not a fan of pain and needles, but it may go well with a 2016 Western Bulldogs premiership tattoo…
I will never give up.
I will never give up on the young lady who has made multiple attempts to take her own life, who currently has her head above turbulent water.
I will never give up on the courageous man who bared his soul and simply takes life one day at a time, one step at a time. You are a good man and rewards will come your way.
I will never give up on the fine lady who recognised the need to leave an inhibitive and demeaning environment before she spiralled back down into the depths for one that gave her hope and lifted her spirits.
I will never give up. Full stop.
What I will do however, is leave you with a rather interesting response I received from one ‘admirer’ following my initial post; it was a rather ironic statement questioning my sanity (cos that’s never happened before).
What was being questioned is he fact that I have started a blog around mental health issues, my mental health issues, when I am actively seeking employment. The concern was that employers may see my posts and not consider me as a result.
Despite the initial flood of indignant thoughts, it is an interesting question to ponder, and it is certainly not something I gave any consideration to.
Maybe I am naïve, but am I have full confidence in not only my capabilities, but also that I am, as I have been, strong enough to work through any demons and contribute in a very positive, collaborative and effective way to any organisation that is fortunate enough to have me on their team.
If a company is going to forensically analyse my social media and decide my mental health is a deal breaker then, to be honest, I am not sure that company fits with my core values of honesty, integrity and trust.
And, you know what… they wouldn’t deserve me anyway.
Never. Give. Up.