Time To Talk

So last week saw a national #timetotalk day. I did type a blog but for some reason it kept failing. In hindsight this has been a blessing as I can now look back on what I had written and see it wasn’t coming from the best place.

For those who may not have read or seen my blog before I was diagnosed with Depression in August 2016 and subsequently with anxiety. I shared then about the difficulty I had about taking the time to talk about how I was feeling and what was going on. I want to give a bit of an update and few thoughts about the slight irony of #timetotalk.

Since my diagnosis and time off work I have been a whole lot better and then I went for an occupational health appointment where it was recommended that I undergo Cognitive Behaviour Therapy aka CBT. No to be honest I was very sceptical about this, I have heard a lot about CBT and what it does and to be honest thought I was doing those things however I have been pleasantly surprised and am finding them helpful and not as scary as I first thought (there really isn’t anything to be afraid of with CBT). Especially with following Lincoln City and the great season that we are having so far and the greater bond I have developed with my son by taking him to the matches including away days.

However this is not really what I want to focus on in this blog but something that I have struggled with for a long time and where the irony comes in for me. One of my biggest issue is that I use social media a lot, at work and at home in many ways it would be classed as an addiction which is why when I took time out I banned myself from it. Slowly though it has began to creep back in and I am grateful for a very understanding wife who does tell me when I get a bit (ok a lot)fixated on social media. You see when on Facebook and twitter I see posts of what people are up to and forget that they are just sharing a very brief snapshot of their life. I often find myself comparing my life to there’s and feeling a failure when I read and see some of the great things that my friends are up to. I will be taking another break from social media because I believe that it is healthy to do so. The problem is with social media is that people take the time to talk either in words, a silly video or photographs but it isn’t real as I have said. Social media is no substitute for having a good old fashioned conversation with a friend or friends. going out for a coffee, a cuppa or even a beer if you want to and taking the time to talk and importantly to listen. Often once I have shared with a friend (and yes this does mean your husband/wife) things often feel better and the outlook so much brighter. If you know someone is struggling with mental health issues or even life in general why not offer to take them out for the aforementioned drink and be that listening ear and really take the time to talk to them.

As a Christian I have a faith in God but often I forget to talk to him. I have had to re-learn to speak to Him and actually talk to Him and say hey you know what at the moment I feel pretty crap because of x,y or z (or any other letter of the alphabet not sure why x,y and z have priority)I am often reminded of an old hymn and one that isn’t often sung today but still rings true today as it did when it was written in 1885

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!

Please don’t struggle with life on your own please find someone you can talk to and if one of your friends asks if they can talk to you then please take #timetolisten

Jonathan

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