Why I choose to share my Mental Health Journey …

Trigger Warning: Suicide 

Here goes! I’m answering this question on its head today. As usual – in the last 8 weeks, I am sprawled in bed whilst Ted and my beanie looks after my morning can of juice, Diet Coke. I wake up to yet another day in Hergest ward.

There are very many people, far too much to name that have been massively supportive whilst I’m in here and read my blog daily. And there are others, who have faded away quietly; vocal in their absence that they don’t think I should be blogging daily. I accept that people deal with things differently, but for some to have the audacity to insinuate to close friends that my attention by blogging is in the wrong place, and that it should be on recovering I find is ridiculous, also astonishingly insulting! Writing is and has always been a part of my recovery. It’s cathartic whilst also giving me insight to how far I’ve come, what the real challenges have been and could I do something different if it happened again? I would never pass such harsh judgment without putting myself in another person’s shoes, which is practically impossible for us to do as humans. It’s all to do with empathic intelligence. If certain individuals can’t hack reading about it, they are more than welcome to unfollow and sever ties with the blog.

Why share my life the way I do? First of all, it’s my story to share. It will be different to yours and it will have peaks and troughs and I find that sharing helps. It helps me and it helps others who are experiencing similar battles. My story won’t change regardless of if I share it or not, so why not? After all, I’m living with an illness, something I cannot help and there is no shame in that.

Note the journey Writing is another way of noting my journey. The better/Orange days are much easier to write about that the blue days, but I wouldn’t be true to the experience or myself if I were to pick and choose which days I write about. There are days in here where I have tried continuously to end my life, I’ll share that piece of information but will never go on to elaborate on methods or the steps used to do so. I’d deem that unethical. I never lie … it’s just that I hold back on details regarding specific instances of attempts at my own life.

Why wash your dirty linen in public? If I had a pound every time I hear this, I’d probably be sipping cocktails in the Maldives by now. It’s an idea that infuriates me. To compare mental health to dirty linen is a huge insult – there’s nothing dirty about mental health and there’s certainly no shame attached to it. One should be able to discuss mental health indoors and outdoors, no stigma attached. Mental illness can affect 1 in 4 and probably will go on to do so. However, If I could wash my mental health gleamingly in public as you would a white crisp bed sheet, I’d do it without thinking twice – and then I’d lay it gently on the line to dry unblemished in the sun’s heat.

It’ll put prospective employers off This is a difficult one. By law, your employer or prospective employer Is not allowed to discriminate against you because you have a mental illness such as depression. But, it’s a weird thought that employers can read about your mental health journey online, especially if you choose to share your journey publicly, not under private settings. Lots of people are too scared to blog and share experiences because they’re scared that it will impact on their future career perspectives. Mental health is something we each live with day to day. A suffering individual can be both bright and flawless at work – regardless of a mental health issues. It is something that many individuals in employment have learnt to deal with meticulously so that it does not affect their functioning at work. I believe that employers should value honesty in such situations and see sharing as a strength, that can help the individual that’s doing the sharing, but also others who might be experiencing similar MH issues.

If you talk mental health continuously, others will know you as the mad woman … This statement I find deeply discouraging. The statement I think was born and developed out of the silence MH policies of the past. Some individuals continuously find themselves looking above their shoulder, scarred that others might perceive them negatively. We need people to talk honestly about MH, not just to tick a few politically correct boxes and move on. We know that there is more to each and every person on earth than mental health, but being able to talk about MH honestly will do a lot more good than harm.

Those who speak freely and eloquently about MH will be my ambassadors, not mad men/women.

6 Comments

  1. Haia Malan,
    Mae dy flog yn her gyson i ddarllenwr. ‘dwi ddim wedi darllen pob un o bellffordd, mae’r her weithiau yn ormod, a dwi’n rhy “brysyr” neu’n rhy “flinedig” neu os bod yn onest, yn rhy llwfr. Mae’n boenus, yn dorcalonus weithiau darllen am dy frwydr, ond wrth gwrs, fel ‘rwyt ti’n ei grybwyll, mae gen i ddewis: ei ddallen, neu pheidio. Hyd y gwela’i does gen ti ddim dewis ond ei gofnodi, efallai mewn ffordd o ddod i adnabod dy salwch, neu ei herio, wn i ddim, ond, am wn i nid meddwl amdanaf i yn ei ddarllen dros baned sydd ar dy feddwl wrth i ti ysgrfennu. Mae’r geiriau yn bodoli yn fwy na dim i chdi. Os ddysga’i ychydig am fywyd unigolyn sy’n dioddef iechyd meddwl bregus, a chael rhyw gip olwg ar fywyd ward seiciatrig, mae hynny’n addysg, ac yn wers bwysig.
    ‘Dan ni ddim yn nabod ein gilydd yn dda, ond wedi cyfarfod llond dwrn o weithiau mewn gwirionedd, felly mae darllen dy flog yn teimlo ychydig yn voyeristig. Dyma ddieithryn sy’n dinoethi ei hyn, yn fy ngwadd i edrych i’w chalon, a studio ei chlwyf, yn y man fwyaf sensitif. Ydi’r ffrindiau uchod hyn yn ofni dy fod yn rhoi dy hyn mewn man rhy vulnerable? Ai ceisio dy warchod mae nhw? Dwi’n siwr i mi dy gofio di’n crybwyll y feirniadaeth hyn ar dy flog o’r blaen, mae parodrwydd pobl i “wbod yn well” wastad yn fy synu. Y parodrwydd i gymeryd safbwynt heb ddeall natur cyflwr nac ychwaith y driniaeth. Mae delio ag unrhyw salwch yn broses bersonnol. Os ydi ysgriffennu yn rhan o dy ffordd di o wynebu, a delio efo dy salwch di, ysgrifenna. Ac ambell i fore mi fyddaf yn ddigon o foi i glicio ar dy linc a sbecian i mewn arnat o bell, a gobeithio cei wellhad yn fuan.

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    1. Diolch o galon i ti am yr ymateb yma Idris. Mae’n fewnwelediad i mi . Un gwerthfawr. Cofion annwyl atat a gobeithio medri di barhau i ddarllen os yw’n llesol, wrth gwrs. Fel arall, paid a mynd yn agos ato wir! Malan xx

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  2. Gwir pob gair Malan – POB GAIR. ‘d oes gan y garfan ‘feirniadol’ mo’r syniad lleia’ am yr hyn yr wyt ti’n ei wynebu naill fore at ol ei gilydd. Nid bore’n unig chwaith wrthgwrs – dim ond cychwyn y boen dyddiol ydi’r bore. Mi fydd rhai, mae’n debyg, yn methu deall sut y gelli wenu mor ddewr yn y mwyafrif o’r lluniau welwn ni ohonot – ‘d oes ganddyn nhw ddim syniad beth sy’n mynd trwy dy feddwl ar yr union bryd y byddi’n gwenu! Dal di ati i sgwennu – mae’n llesol i ti ac yn llesol i lawer ohonom ni sydd allan yn y byd ac yn delio efo eraill sy’n diodde . Mae dy ddewrder yn dangos cryfder dy bersonoliaeth – byddai unrhyw un gwan wedi colli’r dydd erstalwm. Dal ati!

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  3. Fe oedd fy niweddar wr Gwynfor yn diodes o bipolar , afiechyd cas iawn , oeddwn I yn gwybod ei fod yn diodda or afiechyd yma cyn I ni briodi , roedd wedi collie in wraig gyntaf o cancer ac wedi edrych ar ei hold a hefyd yn gweithio fel prif cfrifydd ffyrdd i Cyngor Gwynedd hefor holl waith yn yr adran a straen edrych ar ol ei wraig ai fab , fe fu farw ei wraith hn1984 ,, dwy fflynedd yn ddiweddarach fe gafodd breakdown ac fe fu yn Hergest am tua 6 mis . Fe gafodd er roi ar Priadol Lithium . Fe gyfarfodd ni yn 1987 ac fe briododd ni yn 1988 . Yr oedd yn dal I gael episodes Bach o mood swings ond roeddwn yn gallu ei helpu . Fe gafodd salwch erill hefyd fel trawiad ar ei gallon . Mis Awst 2016 fe roedd yn sal , fe aether mewn I YG , trwy gwneud profion gwaed fe ddargafnodd ei fod yn diodda o Diabetes Mellitus Nephrogenic oherwyddyr Lithium. 1mwen 25000 o bobol sydd yn diodda or afiechyd creulon yma Dr Murtaza oedd ei feddyg fe aeth ei bwysau Iawn o 11st i dan 6 st fu fawr yn Aran Ward wedi cael Pob chwareteg ar 30eg mis Medi 2016 . Fe gasglodd ni £1000 at Ward Aran ac fe brynodd ni bed chair I deulu oedd rhai oedd yn ddififrol wal . Ar ol darlled eich Hanes rhoddodd wmff i mi I ysgrifenu . Mi ydwi yn fam falch iawn Mae fy nwy ferch yn gweithio hefo rhai sydd yn diodda o Salwch Meddwl . Pob Bendith I chi yn y dyfodol . Mi ydwi yn Cofio tair ohonachi chi yn Capel Salem ach diweddar Mam a Nain ynbalch iawn ohonachchi xxo

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    1. Diolch o galon am rannu eich hanes Mair! Ddrwg mawr gen i glywed am amryw frwydrau Gwynfor. Yn amlwg, roedd o’n wr dewr a chefnogaeth arbennig ganddo. Mae cael y fraint o ddarllen eich hanes yn ddipyn o beth i mi felly diolch am roi’r amser i wneud hynny! Cofion cynnes atoch gen i a’m chwiorydd! Malan xx

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  4. Diolch am eich sylwadau . Ewyllys Gwynfor oedd dosbarthu ei lwch yn Avon Menai yn y Foryd lle fydd an ni yn mynd ar cwn am dro . Mae’r ty yn wag heb law am y ci Bach Ben . Fyddai yn hoffi mynd dros yr Aber ir Foryd a rhoi rhyw flodyn ar y dwr ai weld yn symud yn araf Bach yn Bellach a Mae hi mor dawel yna a cael amser I fyfyrio .

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