Mental health has become a much-used phrase these days… but what does it even mean?! The word mental comes from the Latin word mens, ment – which means “mind” or “relating to the mind”. The word health comes from Old English hǣlth, related to “whole”. Whole meaning entire, all of, unbroken or in one piece.
So really, we are talking about everything to do with our mind and how we feel, act and think, but more importantly does the way in which we feel, act and think make us feel in one piece? To me, this is not about good or bad, right or wrong, more or less serious than anyone else or medication/no medication, it is about you, your brain and what makes you feel happy.
Everyone has a brain and therefore everyone has a mental health and probably spends most days moving through their own continuum of emotions, feelings and behaviours to find ways to live their life.
I have always been aware of the day to day struggles of those closest to me and I am someone who will always be there for my friends and family when they need, but I had never really considered myself to be someone who needed support on the blackest of days.
The ‘fear’, as far as I knew it back then, came out the blue and hit me one morning back in 2017. The only way to describe it was sheer and overwhelming terror that crashed over me like a Tsunami. I lost the ability to think straight, or focus on anything except the fear. It was like being stuck in a nightmare. It was over in a few hours.
There are times in my life that I find some of the ways I frequently think, feel or react become difficult, or even impossible, to cope with. This can feel as bad a physical illness.
That started an incredible “fight or flight” journey over the last 2 years with days where I could fight off the perceived danger, days where I wanted to run away from it and days that were “just days”. Life is very different these days and although I wouldn’t say it has gone and probably never will, I can honestly say that embracing it, learning my tools to manage it and knowing IT WILL PASS, help me to know it will never take over.
I want to do this ride not only because of the freedom and adventure of cycling, but if sharing our stories can help anyone else to open up when life gets hard, that can only be a good thing. Mind is a charity dedicated to supporting people who have the same struggles both Rob and I have had. Reading stories and tips from others makes you realise how common it really is and the more we talk about how suffocating it is, the more we can raise awareness.
I want to help spread the word that it is ok, whatever you are feeling, good or bad, high or low. That is who you are and that will always be enough.Thanks for reading and please if you can, share, like, donate, post… anything to help us raise our goal