“I was quiet, but I was not blind” – Jane Austen

“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” – Charles Spurgeon

Welcome to the latest (spellcheck actually changed that to ‘last’ – well spotted Audrey. Although maybe ………), slightly different view from the ground. Different? Well, sort of. This time, just this time, it’s less #TeamDuke; more observational – but still with my happy, sunny disposition sprinkled over it like fairy dust. Glittering in a late summer sun. Warm glow spreading like a warm glow.

Observational? Bu99er! Does that mean I’m going to have a rant? Nooooooooo.

However, as a bit(ter) of an experiment I thought I’d start with a bold title. Maybe to draw the nay sayers? Who knows – or should that be who noses? It can be an interesting experiment- to use a title which catches the eye, but has no real relevance to the subject matter.

Anyway, all welcome onboard, including those who don’t quite get it.

I guess I want this blog to act as a look at another subject that I have a deep passion about. Rugby league? Not today. Indian food? There’s a thought, but no. The ‘S’ word? I’m not sure that it’s appropriate in this media to discuss that. I’m aware that some readers aren’t interested in my obsession about Spain.

I read an article stating that up to 300,000 people a year in the UK leave their jobs due to mental health issues. That’s the population of a medium town.

I also read James Arthur state that he believes his success on the X Factor in the UK was the catalyst for his mental health difficulties. This is a man who has the world at his feet and he has the bravery, yes bravery, to discuss his mental health in public.

Now, believe it or not, there are conspiracy theorists who would state that the mass attention on mental health is the creation of others with an ulterior motive, maybe to strike fear into the hearts of the vulnerable population. Well, and I’ll try and be polite here ……………………… BOLLOCKS! TIME FOR THE TRUTH! Wake up world, mental health / emotional well being is a growing challenge.

The conspiracy theorists speak other ridiculous nonsense but let’s not go there. As I always say, everyone is entitled to an opinion.

It’s not new, but it’s growing.

But, the encouraging thing is people are now talking about their own mental health challenges openly – famous people and ordinary folk alike.

Mental illness / depression lives in a lot of people. Many find a way to combat it on a personal or spiritual level. But many refuse to recognise that those dark moments in life; those days and weeks when the battle to get out of bed is overwhelming; when all you want to do is close the door and be left alone; when thoughts stray into wondering whether your life is worth anything.

My truth is one of realising something was not quite right in 2004. I won’t go into the circumstances but I remember there being a slow built which manifested in mood swings – increasingly swinging from dark to black. I remember days of sitting in a chair in the house and growling at anyone who dared to speak to me.

The key for me though was realising enough was enough before I descended into the real depths. I initially spoke to a helpline but eventually, one day, got up from my desk at work and announced I was going to the doctor.

As they say, the rest is history. A short spell off work (2 weeks), eventual intake of medication (only for 6 months), and lots of talking about how I’d got to where I was.

The key was the talking. Family and friends were very supportive, as was my employer. Another key was to recognise this as an illness not a weakness. For weeks and months I constantly asked myself ‘what is wrong with me?’. I then worried about losing my job, and that could mean much worse. This all built up in my head to the point of being at the fork in the road – deal with it or slide into a place where I didn’t want to go.

And, through all of the above, things slowly moved back to ‘normal’.

But, actually, normal is realising that mental well being is always there and needs daily attention. The threat of depression wandering along and tapping you on the shoulder is always there.

It shouldn’t be feared, though, it should be recognised that it IS an illness. It IS real but it is something that – together we can combat and overcome.

It is so Important to know there is always someone to talk to. Someone who will not judge you. Someone who will not make you feel like you are weak. This was oh so important to me when I realised my depression had swept in again last year. Again, I won’t go into the why – although I think regular readers of the blogs will have a good stab at it. Am I bitter, no! At the time was I? Hell, yes!!

But, the depression did strike and, again, the realisation of the need to talk was critical. Friends, family, and my employer were all incredibly supportive.

I guess this time the cause was more obvious so the way forward was clearer. But, that need to talk was so important. That feeling of not being judged was critical in the self recovery.

And – through not being judged, that understanding it is all illness not a weakness was a relief.

Too many people are too ready to judge. Am I judging? Maybe I am. I am aware that there may be those who observe my observations with a critical eye. Obviously, I love the idea of as many people reading my blogs as possible. The aim is to help and, hopefully, entertain. If they cause any offence or if you read too deeply into my intentions – sorry. Maybe time to pick up a different blog site. I am so very grateful for the wonderful support the blogs receive and I hope for that to continue. If it gets to the point they are not achieving their objective, the View From The Ground will close it’s eyes and slip into a deep meditation for some time.

So, there you have it. The truth. Well, it’s my truth and I know we should all stand it our truth.

Take care. It’s a crazy old world. But, it’s in our hands to turn the tide.



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