Browsing through some images I stumbled across this photograph. This image was taken by my photographer friend Bri Mansys for the second MIND Charity Fashion Show. Two years ago Donna Maria Oconnor asked me to be part of this event. I didn’t have to think twice to say; “Yes”, as I believe mental illness, depression, anxiety, self-confidence issues etc still have a long way to go before that stigma will be lifted.
It surprises me the number of people who feel able to confide in me with the problems, worries and fears, yet can’t open up to their family, friends or work colleagues. They either don’t want to be a burden or maybe are (unnecessarily) scared of being told to “man up”, and not taken seriously. By putting a fake smile on and to just get on with things it might all blow over. However struggling in silence and ignoring inside battles could in the long term be more harmful. I am not a qualified psychologist but I think we all agree that a problem shared is a problem halved. That by sharing emotions and experiences with close ones will give you a feeling of not being isolated and alone.
I am so proud of Donna, organising not one but two MIND Charity Fashion Shows in Liverpool so far. I’m also grateful for have been given the opportunity to be part of this event, which has not only raised awareness and money for the Charity Mind it has also formed long lasting friendships between the people that were involved. Friendships where you are able to chat to one another when the going gets tough, when you have a bad day or are struggling with inner demons.
Seeing as most of us will have those days of hardship, struggle and worries, I’d like to point of, that you shouldn’t suffer in silence. Instead open yourself up for help and support. Knowing these kind of trying days will pass and most probably make you a stronger, more well balanced person. Just have a look around you and see if someone may be going through a hard time. You never know how powerful that one phone call or visit might be. How a kind word or listening ear can make a positive difference. Equally important look after you, take some time out to recharge, do something that you are passionate about and surround yourself with those that bring out the best in you.
Love and light always,