“For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” – Sir Isaac Newton, the Third Law of Motion.
Everything that happens has consequences because of it. Some are good, some are bad and some at the time seem meaningless. The simple act of holding open a door for someone could mean nothing to you, but to the person you hold it open for, it could mean a lot more. If they’re having a bad day the simple act of you holding it open for them may just help to put a smile on their face.
Everything has a consequence.
When I started this blog, I had no expectations for it. I thought a couple of people I knew would read it and that would be it. After a few months I’d probably get bored and stop writing it altogether. I never thought they would be read nearly five thousand times. I never thought of the consequences it would have, of it’s ripple effect. Sometimes if you knew what would happen as a result of your actions would you still do them?
The blog has helped me in several ways. For instance, it’s helped with my recovery from my last episode by me being able to talk about it and try to verbalise what I went through. So, on a personal level, it’s been able to become part of my ongoing therapy and also act as a diary of what has happened.
It’s ripple has also spread to other people. Within the first few hours of my first post going live in received a pm from someone I didn’t know. I’m not going to go into specifics but the person who messaged me wanted to thank me for writing it. A family member had gone through a horrible experience and my blog had helped them gain a small insight as to what they went through.
I was stunned. It wasn’t something I was expecting at all. I had to sit for several minutes before I could think of a reply to them. I took my time to thank them for the message and it meant a lot for them to trust and be open to me. It stayed with me. I couldn’t shake it even if I wanted to. The fact that I’d been able to connect with someone had been a major thing, especially after the episode is just had when I felt I’d become incredibly disconnected with things. I had a few other messages, comments and shares but that first one was the one that really affected me the most. I still think about it now.
After a couple of hours I’d decided to create a closed support group on Facebook as a result of that message. I wanted a place that people could go to and be able to talk to each other, to get support and a sense of belonging. At the minute there’s about eighty members, interacting with each other, offering support when needed, inspirational quotes or pointing people to articles they’ve come across. It’s been fantastic to see people become involved with each other that possibly may have never come across each other before.
Every time I publish a blog I’m thankful. Every time I publish one there are more ripples. People share it, interact with it, tell their stories. If you’d told me that six months ago is be doing this I really wouldn’t have believed you. It’s made me feel better in myself that I’ve been able to go and help educate people, to tell them that they’re not alone as they go through this. Each ripple means something to me.
The other week I was at a gig and had a few people come up to me, to talk to me about the blog. People I knew and people I barely knew. I felt a little embarrassed when someone told me that it’d helped them think about how they would respond now to friends with mental health issues. Embarrassed but also really good that it had helped changed their perspective a bit. These are the reasons now I keep writing, why I keep telling my story.
But it’s not just good things that can have a positive consequence, sometimes bad ones can be an influence for good as well.
I never thought that my overdose from years ago would have been such a thing but recently I found out from someone close to me that it had.
I was spending some time a few months ago with someone I’ve known for a long time. We were both talking about our current issues with anxiety and depression that we were both going through at the time. We’d talked about things for a while in the tones and words that only sufferers can have with each other. The talk turned to suicide attempts. They said that it had crossed their minds several times recently but they couldn’t take it any further. Their reason as to why they couldn’t was my suicide attempt from my late teens. They’d seen what it had done to me, the guilt I carried from surviving, but more importantly they’d seen the effect it had on the people around me, my family and friends. The people who couldn’t understand why I’d gone through with it, the people who felt hurt that I hadn’t been able to be open with them, the people who I hurt by attempting it.
They said they couldn’t go through with it because they’d seen the effect it had on those people and they couldn’t put anyone they knew through that.
Ripples after ripples after ripples.
It goes to show that these things can take their time. Not all of the consequences are seen straight away, some can take years to appear and can completely take you of guard when they happen. We need to welcome these moments and opportunities into our lives when we can and be thankful that we’re there to see them. Remember that the actions that you have will follow you for forever, so try to make your actions count. It’s better to try and do something positive, to try and turn something negative around and make it into something you can learn from. You can wallow in it but it won’t help you.
I also want to start telling the stories of other people, to get their views and perspectives. I’ve already had volunteers and I’ll be sending their questions out very soon. But I’d still like to hear more. So, if you’d like to take part please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear from you and help tell your tale. You can email me at that address anytime if you’d like to talk about things further. Myself and a few others have also created a closed support group on Facebook, also called The Order Of The Dog, where you can come and find kindred spirits. Also, please feel free to share this blog and it’s page with anyone you know, especially if you think it might be of help to someone. The more people we can educate the more we can try to help each other.