Anyone who knows me, knows I love a good analogy. Sometimes looking at things in a different light gives you the ability to understand them better
The above line is the best analogy I have ever heard for confronting emotions and feelings.
So before we get into breaking that down let me tell you a little about me. I work as a Residential Life Coordinator in Queen’s Accommodation and I spend a large majority of my time supporting students with all kinds of issues including their mental health. I love my job (most of the time) and I am in general an extremely upbeat and chilled out person. Which I believe is one of the reasons that I am able to connect with students.
I have my panic attacks pretty much under control, but they are still part of who I am
I am also a person who has had my own mental health issues which usually comes in the form of panic attacks. They are infrequent and I have them pretty much under control, but they are still part of who I am. I got my panic attacks under control by speaking to a counsellor and learning the correct techniques to use when I wasn’t feeling great.
I should also note that I absolute hate talking about my feelings! I mean I really loathe it. At no point in my life can I say that I have been comfortable expressing my inner feelings to anyone (my wife being the only exception). So now the question becomes ‘Why am I telling you this?’ That’s when we come back to the analogy above.
I know it I will start to feel better and suddenly my day to day life has become that little bit easier to navigate
For me I use this analogy to remind myself why I need to talk, why I need to engage and why I cannot just ‘leave it.’ For me doing this is just like getting a rotten tooth pulled out. I know I can live with toothache, I know I can still eat/sleep/talk and work. I know that its not stopping me from living my life, it is however stopping me living my life to the fullest. It is leeching joy and happiness out of day to day things. It is making everything just that little bit harder than it needs to be. So I have a choice to either walk around in pain every day or I can go to the right person, do the right things and get the tooth treated. Yes it will hurt while it’s being done but before I know it I will start to feel better and suddenly my day to day life has become that little bit easier to navigate.
So this message is for all those people who are struggling to engage or for those who have friends/family who they know are struggling. I want to say it’s OK! Not everyone is built to talk about their feelings easily. Not everyone will find engaging with support services as something that comes naturally. You are not alone in not wanting to talk about it. It’s just how some of us are. However, I will challenge you to remember that it might be hard and it might not be something you enjoy in the short term but just like getting a tooth pulled out, in the end ‘IT WILL HELP.’
Remember it’s not about giving up control but taking control of your life.
Mental Health issues can affect anyone at any time. But confidential, professional help is available through the University.
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