Time to Talk Day 2018

Time to Talk Day 2018

Time to talk hashtag

Too many people with mental health problems are made to feel isolated, worthless and ashamed. Time to Talk Day is a chance for all of us to be more open about mental health – to talk, to listen, to change lives.

I’ve written several times about my own struggles with mental health. I’m in a good place right now, but I remember all too vividly the worst days – the uncontrollable crying, the inability to get out of bed let alone leave the house, the nearly irresistible urge to just run away from everything and disappear.

What I have decided to share for the first time, however – because I think I should walk the talk about being open – is that anorexia and body dysmorphia also form part of my history. I thought I should mention it because to me it feels more taboo than depression. That in itself is reason to talk about it. I find this interesting. Why should it be so? Maybe it somehow seems more superficial, despite my knowing that this is worlds away from the truth.

Wherever you are today, tonight – start your own conversation about mental health. Be kind, always. Choose your words carefully. Try not to judge. You never know what battles a person is fighting.

And if you’re battling right now, I wrote this poem for you. Hang in there. It gets better. I love you.

i looked at you today
when you were contemplating alternatives
to semblances of normal; stiff upper lips
and the notion that if it’s not ok, it’s not over

you were wearing your usual colours
blue, grey, black
— like a bruise, blooming
you turned to me, and i had a fancy

i could smell salt; you spoke
under your breath, soft,
as if navigating some provisional distance
to get to anywhere but here

and i wanted to wrap you up
in a cocoon
as if to say don’t touch, not ready
tell the world you’re tired

you’ll come out when you’re ready
i know you’ll come out when you’re ready

– Written by Natalie Snodgrass Tan, Quiet Space Ltd

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