After having nearly a week to reflect on the wellness fair I attended last weekend, I look back on the experience with a sense of pride and achievement. Once the dust of anxiety settled and the accumulated symptoms of PTSD have subsided, I can honestly say that I look forward to future events similar to this one; I enjoyed the opportunity, despite the difficulties it presented for me.
Feelings of a successful day aside, what is parked most predominately in my mind are the real-life personal stories of those who stopped by. Each had their own mental wellness journey they were on and once they knew it was a safe place to talk, told of how they struggled with depression, grief and loss and how their anxieties often hold them within its grip. Its an honour and a privilege to have complete strangers confide in me, I love hearing their life scripts. Thank you all for sharing.
See, we all need help from time to time and we all just want to be heard, even if that’s all it is. Lending an ear in fact, listening or active listening as it’s known in the world of counselling is a very powerful tool. Therapists understand the value of silence and being attentive. As a trained counsellor myself, I can testify to the power of actually hearing what someone is truly saying. It opens up the door for them, they quickly become comfortable and as a consequence, they begin to talk and bare their souls.
This is why it’s such an honour to be an active participant in the upheaval mental pain produces; it’s no easy task, to carry the weight of mental illness with you where ever you go. The fear that you will be judged or perceived as weak is huge. This fact is not lost on me and because of this, individual mental health conversations should be held in the strictest of confidence.
Being struck with mental health challenges myself, I really do understand the weight that tightens up the shoulders, the anxiety that makes one’s jaw clench and they inexplicable sadness that cultivates within. That’s why I believe that we also need validation for our interior pain, a pain that is very real, often chronic and not just mentally either, a mental health condition can produce physical discomfort to a very unpleasant degree. It’s very tiring and often defeating. Symptoms of mental illness
The good news? If we have an avenue that we can be heard and have our troubles validated with genuine and sincere concern, without the fear of being judged or stigmatized we can ease this pain, minimize the fears and start to move forward. Just think of the progress we can make. Think of what a better world it could be for everyone.
if you are suffering from PTSD or another mental illness, please reach out. I thank you for your service and you are still worthy and mean something. I believe in you!