Wall of Kindness - Mental Health Awareness Month

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  • Tamara's Avatar
    Community Manager
    Hi everyone!

    May is the month of Mental Health Awareness and the past year has been a tough year on for a lot of people.

    When we ask our friends and family members how they’re coping, there’s a sense of solidarity: everyone was / is struggling in one way or another and a new willingness to connect and help those around us has emerged from isolation. Sometimes helping others could be a nice word, an act of kindness, giving advice or even just listening.

    I've called this thread Wall of Kindness because I want to ask each one of you to comment
    1. ​​​One thing you would want to tell someone who is struggling in order to help them feel better- it could also be one thing someone told you that made you feel better -
    2. An act of kindness someone has done for you or you have done for someone else


    I will then add it to this topic on one of the sticky notes below.
    *The first one's mine - I'm looking forward to adding yours too!


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    Let's grow this Wall together!
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  • 21 Replies

  • tmonther's Avatar
    Level 8
    There are more people willing to help you than you might know. The first and often hardest step is to ask.

    I don't have a particular story to tell, but I've always tried at the very least to lend an ear if someone needs it. I don't need to have all the answers or be able to fix all the problems, but the least I can do is give someone the time of day and have them vent and clear their mind.

    Talk to people, check in on them even if they don't check in on you.
  • Tamara's Avatar
    Community Manager
    Quote Originally Posted by tmonther View Post
    There are more people willing to help you than you might know. The first and often hardest step is to ask.

    I don't have a particular story to tell, but I've always tried at the very least to lend an ear if someone needs it. I don't need to have all the answers or be able to fix all the problems, but the least I can do is give someone the time of day and have them vent and clear their mind.

    Talk to people, check in on them even if they don't check in on you.


    Very true! Sometimes all someone needs is for someone to hear them out - I think that's very kind of you @tmonther 😊
  • MoriMoonpaw's Avatar
    Head of Community
    Lovely idea @Tamara!

    I can remember an act of kindness that a friend did for me when I was feeling down - they came over with a bag of some food and other essentials as they knew I was not feeling up for going to the shop. It was a simple thing but really felt super helpful, I appreciated it so much! 💛
    ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​☕ Hi I'm Marion and I'm part of the Legion Community Team!
  • Paty's Avatar
    Community Manager
    Whatever you are going through right now, it will pass, nothing is permanent, the only constant thing is change. I know that some days it feels like nothing will make you feel joy again, but I promise you, you'll feel joy once more.

    I was really, really struggling one day and a co-worker took me out for a glass of wine and a chat. We weren't friends then -we are now- she just knew I was going through something and gave me the gift of her time. I'll never forget it. Not much later, I was able to pay it back, and I did the same for another colleague.
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  • Wersus's Avatar
    Community Manager
    Always share your thoughts and worries with others. a small problem can seem insurmountable if you keep it within yourself!

    Sharing is the key 🤗
  • RudiVermeulen's Avatar
    Level 15
    Hi all,

    I've decided to share my own life experience and what happened with me in the past and what I went through. I'm doing this to reach out and to show others there's always hope and support when you need it the most. There's always light at the end of the tunnel in certain circumstances and never to give up.

    So here goes!!!☺

    Dealing With Sickness

    The past few years I was in a situation where all my energy and Empathic abilities were drained. Everything and everyone around me irritated me to a point of being not able to communicate like I used to.


    Times were tough and assurance and guidance from family and friends was no value to me. I started to become sick and lost a whole lot of weight. Deciding to see what is bothering my body I sought medical advice. Upon inspection, the results of my tests indicated my blood cell count was out of the ordinary and more tests must be done. A week went by and I was informed there may be cancerous cells in my system and I would need to go on steroid treatment to see if something would develop. The treatment went on for two weeks.

    Through this time a strange sensation formed in my jawline with an itch that resembled a mosquito bite. It started off with a small bump and I didn't give much thought to it. Another week passed and the bump grew bigger and bigger. The pain started to form in the region where the spot formed and also nausea came into play.

    At this point I became worried. Stress and anxiety set in and didn't know what to do. Not being able to go to a private hospital I had no choice to visit the government healthcare system. The waiting period to be helped takes ages and I had to put a whole week aside to sit in queues the whole day only to receive advice from a first-year student. This was not good for my morale and I fell even deeper into depression.

    Being sent away with only painkillers in hand, I was on the verge of locking myself in my room and never leaving the house again. I didn't need any sympathy from others. I was ugly, how would I be able to work and be in the same room with others staring at my disfigured face. Things became so hard for me I couldn't even look at myself in the mirror.

    This was a very hard time in my life and had no idea how to manage my feelings and how to deal with all these pressures. Time passed and things became worse. I stayed in bed and almost never went out of my own space.
    At this point, I knew a cyst was taking over my life and something must be done about it.

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    How I’ve coped with Illness and Depression

    People who are learning to deal with a long-term illness face many challenges. There is often uncertainty surrounding the illness itself and what the future might bring. People usually have to cope with a range of medication and side effects. People might worry about the impact of their illness on family and friends. Long-term illness can cause people’s lifestyles to change quite dramatically. People may feel frustrated because they can no longer do the things which they used to do, including the ones that gave the most enjoyment.

    Confront Your Illness

    Consider how you view your illness. What are your fears? How does your illness create stress in your life? How do you react to that stress emotionally? In what ways is the illness changing your life?


    Try to accept adjustment as a normal part of life and learn to cope with how the illness changes your life. Remember that every experience you have becomes a part of you. Recognise that you are not alone. Try to avoid personalising the illness. Instead of the goal to be cured, it might be worth asking yourself how you can learn to live with your illness and improve the quality of your life.

    “I have also learnt to rest when my pain gets worse. I take time out for me, which never happened before…I have a different outlook on life now.” “I became aware that relaxation and acceptance have an important role to play in allowing you to get on with your life, instead of focusing on your pain and distress”.

    Keep Positive

    It is important to keep a positive attitude and strive for satisfaction in life. You might want to practise turning any negative thoughts into positive ones. Spend time doing things that you enjoy. Adapt an old hobby or try a new one. Keep in social contact with the people you care about. Identify your personal strengths and weaknesses and try to make the best use of your strengths while compensating for your weaknesses. Consider ways in which you could make positive changes to your daily structure and functioning.

    “I have a renewed confidence which is allowing me to take on new challenges and I’m very happy with myself and life. Paragliding is my next goal!” “There are a lot more interesting things to think about and do, and life is so much more pleasant if you do just that, and make the most of what you still can do”.

    Reduce Stress

    Having a long-term illness is often very stressful. It is therefore important to try to minimise stress and anxiety in your lives where possible. This can be achieved by reducing the demands that are placed on you (by others and yourself) or by increasing the resources you have available. Don’t be afraid to accept the support of people around you or to talk to others about the kind of support you feel is most helpful to you. Learning to relax more can often be beneficial, using formal relaxation techniques or other methods such as prayer, visualisation, meditation, stretching or yoga.

    “I listened to my intuition and realized I'm not alone. There are people who look at me as if I'm some kind of monster but quickly saw they were of no value to me. I realized they are the ones causing me to feel unwanted. I accepted people who I never would have in my life and got rid of the wolves in sheep's clothing. This big step made a huge difference”.

    Foster Relationships

    Once the diagnosis is made or the onset of chronic illness is evident, relationships may change. Not only may it be a time of stress and adjustment but it may also be a time when you require an increased level of attention and care from those closest to you. This may be a time of extreme anxiety for you and your family. Because of the range of intense emotions for all involved, people sometimes try to avoid friction and pull away but it is important not to wall yourself off. While physical illness may be personal to you, the medical crisis is shared by all those close to you so try to keep communications open. It may help them to know how you feel “That was when I went to see my doctor. It seemed to be the last sane decision I was capable of making. My doctor was brilliant. Everything came pouring out and she listened.” 4 and for you to listen to how your loved ones feel. It is appropriate to experience anxiety, depression, anger, fear, frustration, resentment, shame, guilt and fatigue. Talking about it is a helpful way to find creative methods of dealing with such changes in yourself and significant relationships.

    “I recognise my diagnosis has actually been life-altering, however, I am learning to be happier with my lot and am finally moving forward with my life feeling more able to cope with the ups and downs. This is largely due to those who have helped me when I wanted help and to all those who realised that the best way in which they could help me was to treat me as they did before”

    Final Thoughts

    Tackling the difficulties posed by long-term illness and making positive changes is by no means easy, but can improve the quality of your life now you have an illness. As with any change, try to keep expectations realistic and goals achievable. It is also worth bearing in mind that tackling difficulties one by one and making gradual changes is likely to be much more effective than trying to change everything at once. Praise yourself each time you successfully deal with a new challenge. Above all, do things that you find rewarding and enjoy the moment.


    "Depression must surrender and not you".
    😉


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    - - - Updated - - -

    You're not stuck!!
    You're just committed to certain patterns of behaviour because they helped you in the past.
    Now those behaviours have become more harmful than helpful.
    The reason why you can't move forward is that you keep applying an old formula to a new level of life.
    Change the formula to get a different result.
    DracoTarot
  • Denverg's Avatar
    Level 7
    @Tamara Excellent initiative Tamara. @RudiVermeulen Your story was an emotional read, but so many positives. To have went to through all of that and still coming out shining. You are truly an epitome of how us humans persevere in the toughest of times.

    If you are out there struggling with bipolar disorder, dementia or any other mental health issue, talk about it. May not be the easiest thing to do, but sometimes all you need is for someone to listen to your story. The wealth of knowledge and understanding gained by sharing experiences is unfathomable.

    ​​​​​​​Don't forget to smile like the old Michael Jackson/Charlie Chaplin classic :

    "Smile though your heart is aching
    Smile even though it's breaking
    When there are clouds in the sky you'll get by
    If you smile through your fear and sorrow
    Smile and maybe tomorrow
    You'll find that life is still worthwhile"
  • RudiVermeulen's Avatar
    Level 15
    @Denverg. I'm glad I was able to share my story and all you say is true. It's important to remember and never to forget you as an individual are not alone and many others are going through some sort of fallback or difficulty in their life. It's all about expecting and trying your best to change the circumstances.

    People are sometimes cruel and may turn their backs to avoid wasting their energy on others but there are always angels who will give all they have to save others. That's all that matters.
  • Wersus's Avatar
    Community Manager
    @RudiVermeulen thank you for sharing your story! I really loved your conclusion:

    Quote Originally Posted by RudiVermeulen View Post

    "Depression must surrender and not you".
    😉
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    👏👏👏