I think I was starting to lose my way a little with the blog, or at least in how I was thinking about it or what I hope to achieve with it. There has been so much going on over the last few months in terms of our mental health services nationally, and the more I think about it, the more frustrated I get. I’ve been trying to add my voice to the argument for improved services, but I’m not sure that I’m achieving anything. I’m just one person, and one small person at that. There are so many people working to exactly the same end who are in a far more prominant position and so are more likely to actually be heard. I’ve been allowing that frustration, that sense of powerlessness, to get on top of me and it’s been paralysing.
But if I take a step back and think about what I’m hoping to achieve with this blog, it has nothing to do with all of that. I started it primarily to help me. It helps me explore what’s going on in my head, and try to make sense of it. Over the years, and more so in the last few months, I’m starting to be aware that if I’ve felt something, been frustrated by something, struggle with something, then chances are someone else is in the same boat. So, no, there’s feck all I can do to fix the travesty that is our mental health service, but what I can do is continue to talk. It helps me so much, and occasionally it helps some of you.
I tried vlogging for the first time a couple of weeks ago. I took a notion (as I do) and ran with it without giving it much consideration. Or in fact, any really. I didn’t know what I was going to say when I started talking, and I wasn’t sure what to do with it once I’d finished. But since then, it’s made so much sense for me to keep doing it. It feels like a natural extension of the blog. One of the aspects of the current national conversation about mental health that really frustrates me is that it’s very one sided and focused on recovery (I get why, people need hope). But, and I only speak from my own experience, this isn’t enough for me. Chances are, this is true of other people as well. I’ve been writing about this for years, vlogging feels like the next step. There is so little point in giving out about the media portrayal of mental health issues if I’m not prepared to do something about it. I can’t give interviews right now, they knock me sideways, and even if I did, they wouldn’t be on my terms. But I can vlog. I can share the little successes (not having a complete meltdown when I saw Therapist 1.0 in town), the bad days, the days I’m overwhelmed, and the days I make wonderful discoveries like the fact I’ve been practicing a core dbt skill without even being aware of it.
I don’t script what I say, and I don’t rehearse or re-record. If you’ve watched any of them you’ll likely have noticed I generally look like poo (I rarely wear makeup so I’m not going to dress up for vlogs, it wouldn’t be me), and they’re all done in my car. This also happened by accident, but as it turns out it’s where I feel safest doing it. I also think quite a lot when I’m driving, so that’s often when ideas strike me. I’ve been really pushed to find time to write lately as well, so this helps in the interim.
You might look at one, think I’m completely cracked and never go near them again, or maybe they’ll make sense to you. Either way, I think vlogging is here to stay.