It's been a tough week.
So much to say, so little time. I think about Sergeant Calm a lot, especially when I can't write for the page. I'm juggling so much at the moment I need be extra vigilant about my priorities. If I had my way this blog would be No. 1 but, I have to hustle in the real world making money. Today feels like an important day to sit down and talk. I feel like we need to gather round the fire and mourn what we lost this week and more importantly, work harder on looking after each other. I'll break it up so I don't ramble.
Chris Cornell. The moment I heard I knew. An otherwise healthy 52 year, no mention of accident or illness and I lived it all again. Another important man in my life, in his 50s struggling with his mental health - gone. Of course it's possibly still speculation at the moment but, whatever happened I sincerely hope it doesn't get dragged through the press, unless it's a contained effort to promote mental health support. But, who am I kidding. The press are assholes. My take on this doesn't change though, I have a lot of female friends passionate about female 'wellness'. I love it and I'm part of it but, my real passion is everyone and anyone's wellness, especially men. I would hope (and I know a few already) that if any of the men in my life were struggling with anything, be it anxiety, depression, panic, OCD, addiction, insomnia, stress, anger or is just feeling desperately sad, that I would be a good place to start. I might not be able to get you well, but I damn well know where to start and where to go. I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again. Check your men. They're as vulnerable if not more so than women. Check your men.
Mike King. A well respected comedian and fierce mental health advocate resigned from the NZ Suicide External Advisory Panel this week. After a report written about what needs to happen to improve the mental health system here - was to his mind 'vanilla' and 'deeply flawed'. I didn't go as far as to read the report but, I could feel his pain in the resignation. I doubt very much anyone involved in writing the report has ever experienced mental health problems or, known anyone who has struggled. If they had then this goddamn problem would be taken as seriously as cancer. Which it is. We're losing people, people are dying and we have mental health staff on stress leave because they are overworked and overwhelmed. Why is this not a critical problem? Maybe because we can't see it? Can't see it - doesn't exist, right? But, what about when the motorway comes to a complete halt while some poor woman climbs over the barrier and attempts to take her life? Still think it doesn't exist? Still think it's 'all made up' and they are 'attention seeking'? Give me a break. I've been there, I've had my head go so low that I wondered if it would be easier to not be here. And I'm on the surface, pretty 'normal' (well I'm a bit nuts, but in a good way!). It makes me so angry and I was so worried Mike would walk away altogether but, he's promised he hasn't and I believe him, I know how it feels to want to campaign for this. It's a lifetime job and I'm committed.
Change. Adapting to change this week has rattled me. I won't go into specifics but there is a certain group dynamic which has been infiltrated and I can feel that I'm up to my old tricks of telling myself I'm a fraud. I hear it bubbling right at the base of my skull. You're not enough, this change is going to expose you and you'll be living on the streets before you know it. Yup, I go that far when I'm in it. Keeping my routine and taking my pills has meant that while I'm crumbling under the pressure of it all, I'm functioning and pulling through. The seasons have changed and so has this group I'm part of and I'm going to have to push through it. Push through the change and hope for the best, I can only keep my side of the street clean. Yoga has helped, I had a class this morning with my friend who got us doing lots and lots of forward folds. Let it go, let it go.
Cosmopolitan Magazine. OK, I'm not going dwell on this too long because a couple of years ago I might have had a completely different opinion of this so I don't want to verge on the edge of hypocritical. Also, I might be the only one in the world who thinks this is dangerous and I don't want to sound preachy but I'm putting it out there. Because people, this is f*cked.
This is a video of a woman hiding wine in various parts of her body/clothing. Fine. I understand that it's supposed to be funny. I understand that bars are expensive and gigs might not allow you in with even so much as a bottle of water, so from that stance, years ago I might have looked at it as genius. But, when you're drinking at your desk at work (hilarious) or you're drinking wine from a bag in your crotch while you stand in line at Starbucks (hysterical), you're long gone into a dark place. It's done for you and it isn't funny. Cosmo, apparently think it is funny and yesterday, actively encouraged it. I had believed it was a joke but i have since learned the items allowing the alcohol to be consumed are available to buy. Good luck with that, good luck with keeping it all under control when you're hiding your wine in your scarf. The narrative here needs to change, especially (this time) around women. Why are we more concerned with what's in our food or shampoo when alcohol is the DIRECT cause of 7 types of cancer, and if a woman consumes 3 5oz of wine daily, she is 50% more at risk of developing breast cancer? Not to mention how bad it is for your mental health at the levels of drinking it during the day while you're at work. In what world has this become ok for a big mag to be promoting and SELLING this concept???
Look, I'm not a prohibitionist by any means, all I'm saying is that this video is downright dangerous and it p*ssed me off. I was actually surprised it got past the editing team at Cosmo, but we can only assume they own the wine bags themselves...The comments on the video have restored my faith, the majority of people engaged in the discussion seems to be a collective 'NO!'.
All in all, it's been a tough week. I've felt frustrated, angry, worried and sad for the majority of it. Yet, I took some time to sit down this afternoon and talk to you. To talk about the hard stuff. To keep a dialogue open and try to make sure we all start looking at things in different ways. The whole point of doing this blog is to try and get us to look after each other, to have a safe place to go, to know that whatever you're going through, you're not alone.
I have to hunker down, I have to decompress but, I'm so glad I popped in, this place is important to me, more than you know.
At ease xxxx