I read a quote recently that said ‘be who you needed when you were younger’. I really resonated with that.
Today I have had such a productive day and I’m feeling pretty pleased with myself. I’ve been the the gym, done some shopping, popped into work, walked the dogs, cleaned up and now I’m typing a new blog post. Queue Wonderwoman music.
Usually on my day off I just lie in bed like a potato, eating and watching Netflix all day. Although I’m pretty pleased with those ticks on today’s checklist I have also done another thing, one which I’ve wanted to do since I was in primary school – volunteered to help children in schools with mental health difficulties. I’ve made another step into being who I needed when I was younger.
Now don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t exactly a child that dreamt of volunteering in schools, no. What I meant was I’ve always dreamt of being that person that can help people, people like the younger me. Now I have plenty of amazing memories as a child but I also have a few darker memories filled with confusion and fear over the thoughts and feelings going on in my head.
As an adult I now understand why I had tummy ache, why I felt sick or breathless, it was my mental health but children often don’t understand that. Especially if adults don’t teach them. I can’t think of a single reason why a child should feel confused or ashamed about their mental health and I honestly feel it is our job as adults to teach them the basics of human emotion. I feel it would be an amazing use of my time to try and act as an empathetic role model and show children that may be feeling confused and isolated that it does get better.
To be able to use my experiences and turn them into something positive is really comforting to me. Almost like the pain wasn’t for nothing. The pain I felt could be turned from a horrible experience to the ability to say a few simple words such as, ‘I understand’, those simple words could help to reduce some of the distress younger people are under.
It isn’t true that children don’t have worries, In a society that is becoming more and more invasive I’m sure children have more to think about than in my day, I mean when I was a child I had to think about which crazy bones I had in my persil bag. When I was younger I worried about deciding whether Ant or Dec were better on SMTV LIVE and yet I still had a mental illness.
Despite the lack of serious stress or strain I was still born with a mental health condition, because sometimes illness isn’t a result of your environment, sometimes it is chemical. Now that is something I wish more people understood, if your child suffers with a mental health condition that doesn’t mean it is a result of bad parenting – I mean my Mum is the best Mum I could wish for. Its just a chemical imbalance that couldn’t be helped.
And so I move to the children of today, let my illness be proof that mental illness isn’t unusual for children to suffer from. All children have a brain and therefore the possibility of being poorly. Lets show these children that it is okay not to be okay. It is okay to be poorly and lets all come together and point them in the right direction. Instead of ignoring these issues lets talk about them and deal with them head on.
Forget the fact I did a few lunges today or the fact I bought some more scotch eggs, today I made my first step into helping children that felt the same way I did. Lets support every single member of our society into being both physically and mentally well. Lets show every person in our community, young or old, that it is okay to talk.
For anyone that feels they need advice, here is a link to a site that may help. http://www.youngminds.org.uk/