Movember – Final update
It’s now been 30 days since I started growing my ‘Mo’ and it was only 4 days ago I decided to give up dreaming of gaining the Tom Sellick look and I’ve officially settled for the Errol Flynn look.
I gave my ‘Mo’ a little trim the other day to try and give the same kind of classy look as this cinematic legend!:) What do you think? Separated at birth?:)
Myself and the team didn’t quite reach our £500 goal but I’m sure the money we did raise will go someway to help raise awareness and research for men’s health issues. A huge thank you to everyone who has sponsored us. If you’d like to donate please see link below.
Fortunately I have only suffered from one of the three men’s health issues which Moevember raises awareness for. I have managed to avoid prostate and testicular cancer but mental health issues and me still do battle on a daily basis.
I’ve said a lot about my experiences with mental health issues so I won’t keep banging on about it. I’ve attached a couple of links to blogs I have written regarding my own experiences with what I have described ‘as worse than both of cancers put together’. That says an awful lot coming from a guy who has multiple major operations and a ridiculous amount of chemo and radiotherapy.
Those of you who have also experienced mental health issues will also know that this is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
In the UK alone 6045 people died by suicide in 2011. Over three quarters of these deaths were men.
The basic truth is that men don’t like to talk about their issues. To a man being ‘manly’ means being able to cope with….anything! Admitting vulnerabilities or expressing emotions are not a mans strong point.
However admitting there is a problem is the first step to remedying it!
Types of mental illness
- Bipolar disorder
- Psychosis and Schizophrenia
- Eating disorders
To learn more about these please types of mental health issues please click on this link- http://uk.movember.com/mens-health/mental-health
Things that helped me
Talk to someone
There are loads of help lines and charities that can help. The first thing you should do is talk about it. You’ll be amazed by how many people will be experiencing the same thing.
Here was I thinking I was losing my mind three years ago and since sharing my story it turns out that an awful lot of people were experiencing the same thing.
Exercise and eat well
It makes sense that looking after your physical well being directly effects your mental health. Go out for a walk, run or a swim and then come back and have a homemade fruit and wheatgrass smoothie. I can guarantee this will help give you a well needed lift in your emotional well being.
Get in touch with nature (yes I am hippie!)
Go for a walk or lie down in a park. Hug a tree, go camping, walk barefoot on grass or paddle in the sea or a river. We are not designed to sit behind desks or drive cars. When I did these things it alleviated the side effects of chemotherapy and gave my mind time to relax and be visually stimulated by beautiful natural things. I promise you this does help if even for just a short while.
Have things to look forward to doing
I know not everyone can up and leave like I have done but even having short weekend trips or meeting with friends at the weekend give you something to look forward to. It is looking forward to doing things that I enjoy that helped me more than anything. Just planning this trip helped me get over the first major effect of my anxiety which was insomnia. Once I started to look forward to doing things my fear of the future instead turned into excitement.
I was never much of a writer before starting this blog but now I write all the time. I absolutely love it. I write mostly for the blog but also just for me. I find writing down my thoughts and feelings helps me reflect on the positive and distance my self from the negative. Try writing for yourself and then when you feel comfortable share it with family or friends. My dad didn’t agree with me leaving my job and going travelling. He never quite understood what I was going through. I wrote a business type plan explaining my reasons for needing to do this trip that helped him realise the true extent of my mental health issues. After he read this he gave me his blessing and finally understood. Sometimes writing things down can not only help explain things more clearly but also help others understand them better.
Remind yourself of all you have in this moment
Someone asked me recently if I ever thought of suicide. I have never thought of killing myself but I do remember wondering if there was any point to living anymore. If life was going to be like this then what was the point. I would then realise that in this moment all is well. What happens in the future happens but right now I don’t have cancer and I’m doing ok. This realisation would and still has to be reiterated three or four times a day but nonetheless it brings me back round to knowing that in this moment I am well and I have everything I need.
Whatever issues you are experiencing please know that there is help and you are not alone. Most of all please remember that there is a way through these dark times.
To seek support in whatever country you are in please type in ‘Mental Health support’ in your internet search engine.