Sunday, 18 December 2016

Blogmas #18: Thank you everyone from #TalkMH


At the end of the year, there's always a moment where you reflect on the past year. Sometimes you look at the shit things that have happened, but you also look at the things you are very grateful for. I'm very grateful for blogging and the people have met through it. This blogpost I wanted to thank everyone who I've met through the #TalkMH twitterchat created by Hannah Rainey.

I remember it very clearly. I was stuck, lost and contemplating a lot of things. Not positive at all. It was then that TalkMH introduced itself - Obviously Hannah introduced it lol - and I had no idea this chat would change my life. Everyone knows who the creator is and I'm forever grateful to Hannah, but it's ont only Hannah who has made the chat such a succes. It's everyone taking part, friends or not, you have all helped me and made this chat of such vital importance to me.


It's safe
One of the first things I noticed about the chat, is that it is safe. There's absolutely no pressure whatsoever to share your story. It's a very safe place. Everyone is so supportive of each other and will always give each other support and love. I really love that about it. For a fact, I know that some people don't feel comfortable enough to share their story or are ready for the world to know. But they do read everything and find comfort in it all. Perhaps they will take part in the future because of that safe environment. That's a great thing about it and I think one of the positive things about it.


Friends
By talking about your mental health, I believe you are vulnerable. But because it's such a safe environment and people all share their stories, it's a fantastic something to make friends. I can honestly say that the friends I've made through the twitter chat, have become some of my best friends and I talk to them every day. I think you all are so brave for sharing your story, helping other despite having your own troubles. I've never felt more included in a community or a family of friends than I do now and for that I'm so grateful. I can't wait to meet my pals.

I learn
I have learnt quite a deal about the mental illnesses and mental health issues I have myself. I was diagnosed with Severe Anxiety, Severe Depression, OCD, PTSD and Desensitisation. To be honest, I have learnt the most by talking in the chat, talking with fellow sufferers and reading about it on blogs. I've only been recently diagnosed and by talking with people who have been diagnosed years ago, I have created a greater sense of understanding of my illnesses and hope.

I've also learnt a lot about other illnesses and issues concerning mental health. It has created a more open mind and I'm able to help more of my friends who suffer. Sometimes I couldn't take part in the chats, but I read all of the tweets and it really helped me.

Giving and receiving advice
It's weird for me, but I've noticed that I also could give advice in certain matters or situations. Which surprise me, to be honest. But people value me and my opinion - at least that is what lead me to believe - and if I can help people by providing them with advice or offer my view on it, I will gladly do it. I also found that talking to the people from TalkMH has in some situations proved to be more helpful than therapy or counseling. It's great to hear from friends how they deal with it and from my friends, I know that they only have the best intentions.

Confidence
I've gained a lot of confidence the last few months. The point is that sharing your story, takes a lot of courage and confidence. I don't think we all realise that, but it makes you a kind of vulnerable and there are always people who have something to say about it. I've gained confidence by talking about it online, both on twitter and my blog. Sure some people have reacted in a manner which can be described as really negative, but the response has overal been fantastic. After years, I have been able to speak about my PTSD for the first time this week and that's all got to do with the fantastic group of people.

You are not alone
At first when I was diagnosed - well earlier actually - I felt like I was feeling like this alone. This feeling of being alone and feeling lonely was just something that applied to me. But the support of the people within the TalkMH chat has been amazing. It has made me realise that I'm not alone at all. I've friends who understand, who know how it is and will be there for me all the time. It's an amazing feeling. Sure, depression make you isolate yourself at times, but the support is there, always. And that my dear friends, is so valuable.


You feel understood
I think the reason of feeling alone has to do with feeling understood. For example, when I first talked to my parents, family and friends (IRL), there was this barrier. They had no clue and couldn't imagine, therefore it couldn't be that bad. I felt worthless, misunderstood and I was thinking I was just overreacting. But going online and meeting all these people made me feel understood and I wasn't alone. Feeling understood after a long time of not being understood, it's like a massive weight is lifted from your shoulders.


Talking about it
It's not easy to talk about mental health and it takes courage, especially because of the stigma. The stigma surrounding mental health makes it harder to talk about it, because people belittle it. I hate it. But the chat encourages to talk about mental health and it has started to spread awareness and breaking the stigma. By talking about it you not only do that, but it has scientifically been proven that by talking about your issues, you can take away some of the anxious feelings you have by not talking about it.


Life improvement
My life has improved so much because of the chat. I've made amazing friends who I love like my family and I will cherish them forever. But I've also felt my relationships have improved. By talking about my mental health with fellow sufferers, the frustration and irritation with non-sufferers has become less and my relationship with them has improved. Life is more appealing and I know it's kind of a paradox to say that when you are suffering from Depression, but the will to live has become greater thanks to this chat.


Raising Awareness
Mental health is just as important as physical health, I would say your mental health can lead to physical health problems as well. That is why I really talk about mental health. Not only to share my experiences, but also to encourage to talk about mental health. Raising awareness is so important, because so many people are uneducated about the matter and I think everyone knows someone with mental health problems. This chat has given me so much education and I feel only stronger in my desire to raise awareness.


Stronger together
As I've said, we are not alone. We are in this together. If there's one thing I'v learnt, it's that we are are strong together. We got each other's back, we are an army of mental health warriors. 


Feeling appreciated and loved
It's me feel appreciated and such a nice community and we all build each other up. So much appreciation, support, love and encouraging is to be found within this chat. I'm so grateful for every person on there who makes me feel appreciated and loved, because sometimes it's very hard to see your own worth.

Meet up
That we are not only a group of people talking about something close to our heart, can be seen in the fact that there's a meet up in April. IT's much more than that, we are a family of friends who I love talking to. I miss the people when I haven't spoken to them in 3 days and I'm so happy we are going to meet each other in 2017. Thank you all for being so awesome!

Thank you so so much for all you have done for me people, I love you all!

Marc


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