The Future Teaches You To Be Alone, The Present To Be Afraid And Cold

My left wrist, featuring some of the wrist bands I’ve been given by friends

Why do I conqtinue to write? Why do I feel the need to keep doing this? There’s only one real reason for it…..
Stories. 

Stories are important, stories are how we learn, stories form the ties that bind us all together through shared experience. 
Originally this blog was supposed to be a way to vent and inform (part of it still is) around mental health but recently I’ve thought that part had been explored enough. The well from which I drew that story from felt depleted and dry. Then I stood back and looked at it in a broader sense. When I did that I came to the realisation that it wasn’t just about that. It was becoming increasingly apparent to me that my main story isn’t yet done, and there’s others still left to tell. 

There’s also the fact that it helps me tell other people’s stories too. Being able to do that helps me and, I hope, helps them, allowing them some catharsis and some unburdening. An untold tale can burn away at a person, slowly consuming them from within. 

Stories are what bind us all together in this life. Most of us yearn to tell others ours whilst others prefer to sit and listen to what others are saying. In fact, the first thing we often say when we see each other is “how are you? What have you been doing?”. 

A few months ago I was thinking about if I was going to carry on writing here. I enjoy writing, something I’ve rediscovered since starting to write here a year ago, but I physically can’t write about my depression and anxiety every time I open up an empty blog page. I was thinking that there seemed to be more posts appearing from me talking about other things. 

I kind of felt this was cheating a little, this is supposed to be about my relationship with mental health after all.

It dawned on me though that my anxiety and moods colour everything. They have affected who I am and the choices I make now. My mental health issues continue to help define who I am (they aren’t the only thing that influences me though thankfully). 

No matter what I write, it’s all part of a greater whole, a bigger picture. I need to keep writing, if only for myself. 

Another thing that’s stuck me is how much I enjoy hearing other people’s stories, whether they be good or bad. They help me learn, they help me broaden my knowledge, others help entertain me. 

And it’s not just stories around mental health either. The act of telling someone your story is you effectively saying ‘I trust you with this, I trust you and allow you in to my life’. It’s the act of communication that allows us to form bonds with others, friendships are forged through the swapping of shared and unshared experiences.

Stories are versions of the truth, seen, experienced and disseminated by that person. No one sharing the same experience shares the same story. There are always things that are picked up differently, moments are interpreted from another view point. There is always a different understanding that is unique to the person involved. This is why we should always listen for stories, even if it’s a one you have heard before. It will always change, it will never be the same.

We are all bound together, so many stands run through our lives connecting us to others. Some ties can never be destroyed, others wear, fray and snap so easily. But connections still remain. We still tell our stories to each other and we still sit and listen to others tell theirs.

This is my truth, now tell me yours. 

The title of the this installment of my blog comes from the song “If You Tolerate This Then Your Children Will Be Next” by Manic Street Poachers. You can find a video of it on YouTube here Manic Street Preachers – “If You Tolerate This Then Your Children Will Be Next”. I’ve also now created a playlist on Spotify featuring the songs I include in my blog. You can find it over at The Order Of The Dog Spotify Playlist. I’ll update it every time a new blog is published.

As usual, if you’d like to chat to me further you can email me at theorderofthedog@gmail.com and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. I’ve created a closed support group on Facebook also called The Order Of The Dog. It’s there for people who struggle with mental health issues as well as people who want to support and get a better understanding. It’s a closed group which means only members get to see and interact with what’s posted there. Finally, please feel free to share this blog with anyone and anywhere you think it might help.

Cheers,
Scott
The Order Of The Dog.

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