Last week I discussed how I saw my alcoholic Mum, despite the fact she died some thirteen years ago. Within days, partly thanks to Mental Health Awareness Week, it became my 4th most popular post of all times. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for reading and sharing my blog and website - not only does it help fight stigma and raise awareness but every click helps my ad revenue. It might only be a few pence but it really does make a difference when you have so little income and no support from the benefit system.
Carrying on from last week, it took a few days for me to return to any sort of normality. I've been slightly low for almost a week but think I'm back to normal. Well, as normal as I can be. That normal is also about to change. I know it was only three-ish weeks ago that 'Blue Smudge' and I started dating but its just falling into place and clicked so well. So, I've asked her to move in. Having her around makes me feel like I share the burden of my life - she's so good at keeping track of me and organising things. Before my life fell apart last year (discrimination at work, stress and a suicide attempt) I had been lucky and organised enough to buy and run my own flat which I've really struggled by myself.
In other news, my Z-list minor celebrity fame is on the rise and in a good way too. I've had a few locals contact me or speak to me in person in regards to mental health in education and in the workplace. School Counsellors have been a 'norm' in the US for at least a decade but are only starting to appear here. I went to Chalfonts Community College where, through hard work and help from charity counsellors, I gained 12 GCSEs and 3 A Levels. I am ecstatic to hear my old secondary school now has a counsellor however, 1 counsellor for 1800 students is like climbing up a waterfall. It is the right direction and I truly think that a key part of preventing the crisis we are suffering from growing any further is education and early intervention and support in education. Given the chaos and stress of modern education is it any wonder when our poor students fall apart at exam time? Perhaps with better education more students would thrive into university than collapse. I would love to go into more schools and speak not just with students but also with teachers and staff about looking after the mind, in just the same way we have all been focused on taking better care of our bodies.
It is also worth saying that whether I am in #LollipopMan mode, or mental health blogger or just being Chairman of the drama club; I am always willing to openly and honestly talk about mental health and male suicide including my own experience - so never worry about talking to me. Come say Hi :)
Notice the segway there? Every Wednesday I have been directing the Youth play. My cast have been working really hard and seem to relish in fun and limelight having their own show gives them. The ideas and laughter have been great fun. I must also say a big thanks to Terry, Vikki with Conor, Josh and Les who have worked so hard with my amazing lighting, sound and scenery. Luda has been brilliant with the costumes, something I'm not good with! I've also had good support from Kiera, Carol and my pretty Girlfriend. The play is one of two being performed at my summer show - one by the Youth and one by the Adults. Both are really funny and have had a lot of work put into them. From my mental health perspective, sometimes drama is big cause of stress. Cast missing throws me and my plans into the air. However, it is always worth the fight as these youngsters deserve the benefits of drama and indoctrination into the big community spirit. Most of all though, they make me laugh my freaking buttocks off! The show is in less than two weeks and you can buy tickets now at www.ihdc.co.uk or direct from www.ticketsource.co.uk/IHDC
Before I wrap up and leave you with my media highlights (they are always at the bottom of my posts so please do have a browse!) I just wanted to explore how I feel about trying to return to work. It is something that has come up a few times with my parents and friends trying to encourage me back into a full time job and career. Perhaps I am being a slob but I really don't want to. I've touched upon this in past posts but I'm convinced I will fail. The moment a stressful day comes along I will break. I am broken. At the moment, if I am failing and falling I can just isolate like I did last week (see my last post) with minimal consequences or letting anyone down. In the world of mental health, people are a lot more understanding and forgiving of such failures. I know what you are thinking, failures is a strong word, but it is exactly how I feel. I wonder if I have typed this hundreds of times but, if I was hearing anyone else say that I would tell them they are not a failure and the daily fight against the black dog is a massive achievement. Why does mental health illnesses prevent us from seeing ourselves the same way? Given the chaos and demands of our modern world, is it any wonder when our minds fall apart from the shouting, stress and strain?
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"A soulmate is someone who appreciates your level of weird" - Bill Murray
Everything is good now but... Surely I will falter again?
As always, thank you for reading and sharing. Every share and ad click, subscribe and follow, means so much to me. Thank you. xx
This week's blog post is my 4th most popular post :) THANK YOU #MHAW16 https://t.co/3iLJPbllSr pic.twitter.com/8eeVeGVzET— Matt Streuli (@mattstreuli) May 22, 2016