A little Friday story for you…
Anyone who knows me fairly well, will know that I’m into tattoos. I’ve acquired four in the last 18 months – mid-life crisis, who knows? I know that they are a source of pleasure for me and I don’t regret getting any of them. All of the ones I’ve had done so far have some sort of personal significance for me. The latest is no exception.
‘There is a light that never goes out’ is not only the name of a classic song by The Smiths (one of my favourite bands of all time), it also signifies the light at the end of the tunnel…..which, for me, is the light that never goes out. No matter how small the light may seem, it is there. It can be the tiniest of specks in the distance, but it is there. I was only really able to appreciate this after going through some very dark times, several years ago. Things that have happened in my life since have given me hope and shown me that there is always a pathway to recovery, if you can be shown the way.
I keep the ‘light’ thought in my head all the time, as I slip into depression from time to time and anxiety is a constant issue. It’s one way back or out.
Last night I attended a performance and talk that covered disclosure, among many other interesting and relevant issues. I have always been open about my mental health problems, virtually from the day that I was diagnosed. In the first instance, I disclosed my depression in work as I was worried that people would wonder if something was up, or affecting my work. I just wanted people to know – whether they cared or understood was up to them. Getting a positive reaction then certainly helped and it gave me the confidence to open up whenever I’ve felt the need to do so since. It helps me, I think it helps the people around me and I like to think it might indirectly help people who are / were in a similar position to talk about their own situation and get the help they need. I’ve rarely experienced the stigma that is attached to mental illness, so I count myself lucky and view it as an opportunity to get the issue out there in a way that some feel unable to.
I’m now working on some ideas for Making Minds, involving people that I’ve known for a while and some that I’ve only come into contact with recently, since giving the idea of Making Minds serious consideration. In 2013, I want to put on a series of events / experiences that will explore the issue of mental health stigma through various art forms. If you want to get involved or simply want to have a chat and find out more, comment on this blog post or send a message on Facebook or Twitter and I’ll get in touch.
I’ll leave you with the song behind the tattoo. Have a good weekend.