Take the Long Way Home

Those of you who were paying attention yesterday will have noticed me not about, at all, for the entirety of Sunday. However, I am still here. I didn’t just need a Mental Health day, but just time away from the World. My planner, which is the normal barometer of how well I’m coping, is pretty much blank from Tuesday. I fought fires all the way to Saturday night and then, I just wanted to be on my own. So that’s what I’ve done today. I realised, somewhere around Friday afternoon, that living this set of events twice is two times too many. All I can think about is the conversation I had with someone who called me delusional for suggesting that if people want change, they should go out and do just that.

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I’m done with empty gestures. I’m going to put my money where my mouth is, and support the people who matter. I’m going to spend more time trying to educate and less energy being exasperated. Mostly, as someone on my Twitter feed said yesterday, unless you’re willing to wear a safety pin for four years, it is going to need more from people like me than simply the promise of help to make things better. That means a bit of reassessment, and I have absolutely no problem with that at all. In fact, if I’m not redefining myself as a result of the last six months, I’m probably doing something wrong.

I’m also looking at certain Americans that I follow on social media and understanding they’re really not coping at all. In fact, if the amount of ‘the sky is falling I warned you’ rhetoric is any indicator, there are a few people as close to having a mental health episode as I was back in June. Watching the amount of clear misinformation being circulated around is an exercise in Chinese Whispers, and as I mentioned on Saturday, and awful lot of people who really should know better are now using their platforms to throw blame. The thing is, we’re all responsible for this, at least in small ways. If you think the best way to change anything is to do nothing and hope someone else picks up the slack?

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I am well aware that some people’s offers of ‘support’ aren’t misguided or ill-conceived, that these people genuinely want to show they care and understand, but in the end the only cast iron means by which this happens is positive action. That means contributing to food banks, recycling far more stuff to people who can actually use it, considering donating time and effort to community projects… real, tangible changes that mean more to people than any number of symbols. I intend to do more of the former and less proclaiming support, but am mindful that you then don’t blog about it as a means to further your own ends. So, now I’ve said it, that’s my commitment into the Ether secured, and I know what happens next.

I just get off my fucking arse and get on with it, and you never know.