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Thursday, 24 November 2011

Reason to Smile- Help Is Out There

The whole impetus behind starting this blog and the 'charity in the making'- (the aims of which are to establish an infrastructure of emotional support for those who become disabled, whilst also providing support for their partners and parents who often become unwitting carers)- is the fact that I feel that I have personally received inadequate emotional support since becoming disabled.
My desire is that everyone should have the opportunity to receive psychological support- particularly in times of great change and disappoint; such as when one becomes disabled and has to say goodbye to dreams and expectations that they may have had, that are likely now to never be realised.
As a Reason to Smile post tonight, I am attaching a link to The Samaritans, who not only provide the support service at the end of a telephone, but have also moved with the times and now provide an email service if you'd rather not vocalise your issues and would prefer that physical and emotional barrier of typing an email.                                             http://www.samaritans.org/talk_to_someone/email.aspx      
The organisation SANE, ( who I have featured before in a Reason to Smile a few weeks ago-http://www.discoverdisability.com/2011/11/reason-to-smile-black-dog-campaign.html ), also provide an emotional support forum- the ethos of which is to provide mutual support based on responsibility, respect, empathy and acceptance.   http://www.sane.org.uk/what_we_do/support/supportforum/

These groups are making me smile today as it is wonderful to know that there is support of some form out there for everyone should they need it.
Everyone is different and people benefit from different forms of support. I personally prefer a face-to-face approach to emotional help- but at a time when I was not physically able to seek such physical support, (being that it was not being offered to me- as I am hoping it will eventually be through my charity's work)-  I now feel that had someone suggested these online services to me during this period of adjustment, I would've been helped to some degree, at a time when I was at a desperately low ebb emotionally

I feel it is imperative that we break down this ridiculous stigma associated with depression and mental illness in general.
There is so much emphasis in this country on being the best that we can possibly be and overcoming one's issues with great british stoic strength and decorum.
To some degree this is all very well, as in some people I beleive that this school of thought may induce an impressive strength to achieve: but the fact is, we all work SO differently and it is VITAL that emphasis must also be put on realisticly accepting one's limitations, ( be them physical or emotional),  and on encouraging people to support others when they are going through difficult hurdles in their lives for whatever reason- or indeed for no reason, as they are simply struggling to cope.
We should learn as a country to support, rather than to scrutinise and scathe.
Let's break down the barriers of this stigma of depression- or emotional weakness, as it is all too often dreadfully described!
I have personally really battled with depression and anxiety since becoming disabled. I am not ashamed, as I feel that elements of society subconsciously encourage me to be.
I am proud that I am dealing with the challenges life has thrown at me and I openly admit that even now, I regularly fall apart and end up with those endless cascades of tears flowing down my face, curled up upon my bed, and using my Barley dog as an over sized, four-legged hankerchief- all for no reason more than life is tough and I need to let out that pent up emotion.
Sharing some of our innermost concerns and problems, I believe can help both on a personal level and a social level.
I am smiling today knowing that there is support out there for me personally and for others!
Never be ashamed to ask for help or admit that you are struggling with life.
I believe there is more strength in asking for help than in living in denial and stubbornly struggling on in pain and difficulty.
Help yourself and help others.
Goodnight everyone. Sleep well.

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