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Under What Grounds? / 29 November 2012

Telephone Clipart

Who would you talk to in a crisis?

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I’ve been thinking about a couple of posts I saw recently. Well, one on Facebook and one article in the local paper. Both were about suicide, and the one on Facebook in particular mentioned that the person who knew the man who committed suicide had no idea he felt that way.

Which left me thinking about why I, and others like me, don’t talk. I’m not going to go on about any male ego bullshit, I’m trying to come up with helpful answers. Stuff that I’m not 100% sure about, but may help people who want to understand.

I had my therapy appointment today at 10am, and this was actually something I was looking forward to, a space to talk about how my anxious feelings have been getting worse. This appointment was cancelled at 9.10am today. No apology, just cancelled with a phone call.

Which left me in a bit of a turmoil, because while I’m quite lucky in that I have others to talk to, I knew I would go through a number of excuses and thoughts and feelings before I made that call. And in the end I texted. Because it was easier for me.

So I’m wondering, on what grounds would people, who ever they are, not tell anyone how desperate they were?

I go through a number of things when I want to talk to someone. Standard thoughts of ‘I’m not worthy’, or I don’t know what they’re doing’, or I want to be in the right ‘frame of mind’ come up, along with feelings of being incredibly nervous and wondering, before anything happens, what the conversation is going to be like. I’m often thinking I’m going to run out of things to say, and that’s going to be just awkward.

There are other thoughts too, but they all boil down to feelings of self worth, and that maybe I am taking up someone’s time.

The truth is, of course I am taking up their time, but they wouldn’t have given me there number, or spoken to me, or known me all these years for that to be a problem.

This original quote has been attributed many times to Nelson Mandella, but it was actually Marianne Williamson who said it in first in her book ‘A Return To Love’, which I think is a good point:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?"

What that means to me is that you might help another person out by making that call. By sharing with others they may then go on to help you, or help someone else, because you've shared something personal.

So that other person who you connect could be more empowered - by you. In fact, who are you to not make that phone call. To not tell someone how you are feeling?
Latest update: My Therapist has been signed off for the next two weeks.

Keywords: access,art and mental health,barriers,depression,healing,health,mental health,mental health services,psychiatry,recovery,suicide,survivor movement


Gary Thomas

4 December 2012

Thanks for the comments, yes, I am glad for email and text too! I'm glad the article is helpful. It's also something we need to keep on doing as we meet different people.


30 November 2012

Your post speaks to me as someone who's had those experiences and some of the same thoughts.

Luckily I have close friends now who I can pour out my heart to, but the different bunch of friends that I needed back then mostly ran in the other direction fast, and the professional peeps were mainly, frankly, the pits. And often not very professional.

Thank you so much for the info about that quote - I've been using it for ages and had no idea that in fact it wasn't Mandela's. And for your thoughts on how we might use those words to both help ourselves and other people.


30 November 2012

I can identify with the phone thing and I am so glad for text and email! And also in writing it you have encouraged me to share my own "grounds" blog, thank you.

Colin Hambrook

30 November 2012

Breaking out of isolation is a difficult thing to do. There aren't any easy answers. It's a constant battle. The fear of others making judgements comes up all the time. You just have to keep on reminding yourself that opening up is actually quite courageous, in the sense that you are putting your convictions on the line.

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