Christmas and New Year can stir up a variety of emotions, some grateful or hopeful, but also some difficult. For some people, organ transplantation and related illnesses do the same.
Our mental health may need, from time to time, the trained healers. There is no shame in that, anymore than going to a podiatrist or a cardiologist. We need more of these services, and easier, faster access when they are there. But it also depends on so much more than the professional healers.
It all counts.
The shop assistant saying hello and giving a smile, someone helping us find street directions when we need them, a chat over a pot of tea, the thousands of ways the web of goodwill holds us together. Unexpected carers, who include us in their daily threads, weaving us back into normal life when we are at risk of feeling – or being – isolated.
Family and friends, giving space to listen, to speak, not making us fit a mould but allowing us to be ourselves, in our own different ways.
The networks of support for our very particular needs – like those groups in yesterday’s blog who, receiving kindness themselves, develop ways of paying it forward.
Those who share similar experiences to us and don’t need everything explaining, who know before we say, or recognise deeper issues when we scarcely have enough energy to give hints or clues.
It’s all about our mental health. And reasons to be grateful when it’s named, accepted, befriended, and talked about. Grateful for the skilled professionals, and for the space we give each other where we can breathe, slowly and steadily, while we regain our balance…