Today is Bell Let's Talk Day here in Canada. This is a day that happens every year, where the communications media corporation Bell Canada promotes talking about mental health to erase the stigma and promote awareness that mental health effects us all. I chose today to reopen my blog because, simply put, I took the past year away from it for mental health reasons.
A lot of things happened in this last year. Big things. Stressful things. Things about life and family and health and career. And I found myself, for the first time in 55 years, without words.
You could call it a writer's block, I suppose. But it was more than that. There was too much happening, and not enough. I couldn't organize thoughts, I couldn't face deadlines, I couldn't say the thing I needed to say in a way that others would understand. I talked and talked and talked and said absolutely nothing.
I was overwhelmed.
I shut down in a lot of ways.
I found myself in a new community, alone for most of the day, in a great deal of pain, with no one to talk at. I withdrew into my own small space.
Then, in that little, quiet, lonely place, I found peace. I understood that talking and talking and talking...or writing and writing and writing...were not what I needed to do just then. What I needed was silence.
So I took some time to listen to the thoughts in my head, the words that were for me.
I took more time to listen to others, too.
Of course, I did not shut down completely. I did not take a vow of silence. I still talked to family and friends. I still wrote articles and essays. I simply slowed the chatter in my mind, curbed the need to let that chatter spill out. I started to think more slowly, to contemplate my words before I spoke them. Before I wrote them.
And I found a new voice. One that is kinder, one that is stronger.
I am starting to talk again. And I want you to talk, too. So, please, talk. Tell me your stories. Tell me your fears and your anxiety. Tell me what makes you mad and what scares you. I am ready to listen, without fear, without judgement.
I am ready to write.
(I make no promises that I will do so regularly, though!)