Breaking the stigma (part two)

When life gives you lemons…you now have lemons.

Many of you will have seen that I have been publicising that I am giving a talk on World Mental Health Day about my story with regards to mental health and facing suicide.

In advance of this I wanted to share with you all some more detail about what I will be talking about, how I will be presenting it and give you a preview of some of the slides.

Firstly…

You can find more information about the event at the eventbrite website. I believe there are still spaces available, so please do come along if you have the time and are interested.

I will be making all the slides and my notes available after the talk. The talk will also be recorded and we will hopefully find a way to share the video, so those unable to attend can still see and hear what I have to say; so nothing is lost in just reading the slides.

Thank you to Zainah for inviting me to talk. It is something I genuinely enjoy doing and if I can help just one person through speaking in whatever small capacity, then I have made a difference.

The juicy bits…

It would be wrong of me to not start with this (as it is indeed my first proper slide).

Mental Health is not visible.

It is not about crying and weeping in a corner…

…nor about being a Disney princess and collapsing on nearby objects…

…nor about staying in bed all day and wishing for it to end…

Mental Health can impact each and every one of us. No one knew how much I was suffering until I spoke out. My colleagues didn’t know, my friends didn’t know, even my family didn’t know. This isn’t because they were ignorant, it was because we learn to hide it; we internalise it. Mental Health in whatever form is an entirely personal experience and we all deal with it our individual ways.

To me, I am just some guy who had some bad luck and ended up in a pretty bad place. I’ve got a story like anyone else, no where near as bad as some and there will be people far more qualified to do this talk than I am.

I shouldn’t be doing this…

…But I am…

…and I am doing it to show that regardless of how happy, well adjusted, confident, outgoing and positive someone appears to be, we never know what is underneath.

I consider myself a failure. I have no confidence in myself. I have no self esteem.

I may not look it, but that is how i feel.

and then the kick at the end…

This slide comes towards the end of my presentation and I feel it is a message that most understand but few actually accept.

Life is inherently unfair…

…Disney lied to us…

…The universe does not owe us anything…

…There is no positive and negative balancing force…

We are all start from nothing and end up as nothing so regardless of any impacts of nature and nurture on our lives; we are here for our time and it will be what it will be.

But in knowing it is unfair, and imbalanced, that in itself is actually a positive. We have no knowledge of what the future will be, our past has no impact on what is happening in the here and now; there is no point in living anywhere but the present.

You may be in a bad place now, you may be struggling and it may feel like this has been forever, but you don’t know what’s round the corner.

Forget the past. Forget the future. What is actually important is now!

As usual…

I still live streaming on Twitch. I still break the stigma attached to mental health (in the workplace) by talking openly.

You can continue to follow my journey by visiting my website or store. You can continue to follow on Twitch. Come and join the conversation. You can support by donating to Just Giving or simply texting XMIZ70 to 70070 on your mobile phone.

You can follow along on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Discord.

You can do anything…

…so you go do what you want to do.

Andrew Salkeld

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