This weekend, I’m off up to the north of the county for initial training, so I can become a Mental Health Champion. I’m not sure about the last word in that title: most days, heroic is not a state of mind. To be that kind of person (in my head) requires an ability to self-believe, and after yesterday’s news that however healthy I may look and feel, the truth is some way from that… well, this is going to take a bit of work.
It doesn’t help that there’s been a bit of a struggle of late with what really matters as ‘important’ past family and writing. My favourite hobby’s taken a considerable battering in the last couple of months, plus I’ve had a fairly significant disconnect with socialising. It is all stress-related, a sensible brain rationalises, but now comes understanding that there’s more to it than that. My needs, undoubtedly, just do not mesh with the World.
I think this is what could be considered as an existential crisis.
The problem, undoubtedly, is trauma. Although it is reasonably simple to remove the physical vestiges of events, mental detritus requires considerably more effort. It means that in a group of people I don’t know, save for one or two people, it is sometimes impossible to function correctly… by which, to feel like anything except a total impostor. It’s also beginning to put strain on certain relationships, because I’m not ‘normal’ when it comes to reactions or actions.
Is this fixable? If you want to be a part of society, undoubtedly at some point, things need to change from the intractable. Expecting other people to accommodate your world view is largely unreasonable… except that’s becoming the way increasing numbers of people cope with their own existence. To be happy, maybe you do just ignore everybody else and do your own thing, even if it is to the detriment of others…
… except no, that’s not what’s wanted or needed to be happy. Sure, there has to be a level of self-promotion and self-belief to push yourself into a career where words matter, but honestly that can be done with one eye on other people and another on the matter in hand. If true happiness is the destination, then understanding shortcomings will really matter. Only by improving yourself will anything ever alter to the good.
This will, undoubtedly, put me in opposition with those who think and feel differently. It does, on a daily basis, if truth be told. Dependence and delusion in one person’s eyes can very easily be requirement and salvation in someone else’s, facts that are abundantly obvious whenever social media is opened. How others choose to deal with their own issues is up to them: you really don’t get a say.
Lots of people need to grasp that reality is accommodation and frustration combined.
As to how I deal with disparity inside me? Talking about it is really helpful. Knowing where in my brain requires a clear-out is a definite advantage, although it is not simply a case of shoving everything in a bin bag and dumping it at the tip. Some very difficult and painful memories remain to be unpicked, places and times finally rationalised. Undoubtedly, it is easier to do this with sugary and fatty food as comfort.
Maybe cold turkey is the best answer for everything right now.