Do you know what sucks most about other people’s attitudes towards mental health?
The assumption that because you can cope some of the time, you should be able to cope all of the time.
Today was a day off. I worked bloody hard all week and had some spanners thrown in from all over the place and felt weak and shabby. Despite weariness, I hit all my deadlines and had tons of fun with the kids. Yet I still felt that I should have been capable of more, should have achieved more, should have been more.
That, my friends, is the bullshit created from the expectations of others. The pressure to achieve, be productive, not let your illness get the better of you (insert rolling eyes emoji here).
Mental illness is debilitating. Long term mental illness comes in many shapes and forms, but many vary wildly in their severity from day to day or week to week with little rhyme or reason. My anxiety tells me shit is gonna get bad while my depression tells me there’s nothing I can do about it. I am helpless and worthless and living in disparity.
I know I’m not. I know I am enough. I know I am loved, and love. But mental illness (of some types) takes that knowledge away and replaces it with these dark feelings that feel like the overruling authority in your life.
I don’t have any startling insights here or any answers. Dealing with either anxiety or depression or similar is tough, it hurts, and can be even tougher during periods of isolation. I just want to raise awareness of how tough it can be, and that those who don’t understand or experience mental illness should be accepting and caring.
You don’t have to understand what someone is going through to be kind.
And just because someone can cope some of the time, doesn’t mean that they can cope all the time.
Wishing you all a wonderful first harvest weekend, whether you celebrate Lúnasa, Lammas or Yorkshire Day! All three have meaning for me, but Lúnasa is the festival I celebrate most. Click the link for a poem named for Samildánach, one of Lugh’s epithets.
A little look at how the fair folk’s influence seems to have sunk its teeth into modern politics.
…we learned to hang iron, throw salt, leave out butter and cream…
Don’t you want the clink clank of gold…?
This poem is available in full on my Patreon. Please consider supporting me for as little as £1 a month, for free poetry, music and more!
I’ve spent a lot of time over the past 48 hours being super anxious about lockdown easing. Relaxing the lockdown restrictions is great for those businesses that need to get going again and people’s livelihoods, and more importantly people’s mental health which will be boosted by being able to see more people that they want to, return to familiar or beloved settings, and feel a renewed sense of freedom. But of course, covid-19 hasn’t gone away. And I’ve been panicking that folkx won’t do the right thing, that they’ll get plastered, crowd together, pile into pubs and shops maskless and laughing and risk a second wave like no other.
However. I’ve also realised that whatever happens… it’s out of my control. How strangers behave is outside my influence. So instead, I’m wondering what’s made your Saturday super? What’s been awesome? What’s made you smile?
The highlight of my day (all spent at home!) has definitely been charging around the garden with my two year old, spotting snails and berries and laughing at the sky.
It’s a Friday evening. I’m cuddled up next to my toddler who is drinking milk and getting ready to sleep. I feel something, a sense of nostalgia for something I’m that isn’t happened yet; a familiar yet inexplicable feeling. Then the clouds start to part and a streak of moonlight whitens the sky, somehow adding myriad colours with its pale beauty. I realise the moon is nearly full; I lost 13 days since darkness, and where did that time go?
The trees obscuring the full spectacle suddenly sigh aside in the wind, and I gasp at the spectacle. That round face, as familiar to me as my own, basking in creamy clouds and making silhouettes of us all. The light washes over me like a cool shower, one that quickly becomes reality as the clouds gather back in, hastily burying the moon’s light under their watery bushel.
Such a short-lived moment, yet I’m left smiling for ages afterwards. Minutes stretching onwards like the wet, bumpy roads, walked with a lighter step than before.
Image via Unsplash
I’m doing a short set over at DocStoc 46, in aid of Make a Wish foundation. Playing at 3pm and tune in all day for more great music! Click the group link to watch the music and the just giving link to donate.
From the organiser: for the performance and support of docstoc 46 27th june for make a wish https://www.facebook.com/groups/284345259396828/ to donate : https://www.facebook.com/donate/2973417076087719/ and https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/docstoc46
15 acts from 11am to 8pm including dan sealey (formerly of ocean colour scene) as merrymaker and ric herrington as cash back.
There’s a page on the Internet
Says your stuff’ll go missing
Sharp things underfoot
Pens and tacks and pins
Bills and dockets
Gone for good
But I know
That sometimes a lost item
Is simply lost
Because humans are clumsy
And easily distracted
But the honeysuckle creeping
Through the back door
The creak of a window
Which was locked before
A dusting of feathers
From a murdered dove
Smears of butter
And the cream they love
These things aren’t good
These things aren’t good at all.