Monday, 19 March 2018

Finding Out More

Hello everyone, I hope you are well?

 I'm sorry for the delay in posting since my last blog it's been a bit of a difficult few months for me- this blog is quite from the heart and took courage to write, so please be kind whilst reading it.

I wanted to write this blog about the value of finding out more, especially when someone has social anxiety, finds it harder to express themselves or talk about how they feel. Checking in with a friend or loved one and asking, "how are you?" or "how are things?" For a lot of people talking about how they feel can be challenging: maybe due to fear of rejection/judgement, finding it difficult to explain or finding the right words. I think it's about finding a balance however, so not to overwhelm someone by asking too many questions, personal questions, or making them feel under pressure.

As someone who has had fear of rejection from a young age and has never been an outspoken person, especially in group situations due to social anxiety/anxiety, I've always struggled to talk about myself and how I feel. In social situations, when it comes to my turn, finding the confidence for me to share my ideas or speak up or stand up in front of a group, can anxiety inducing and is a lot more challenging. It doesn't mean I don't have an opinion/ideas: it's just harder for me and it takes time to feel comfortable and relaxed with people.

One of the best things you can do to be there for someone who has a mental illness, condition or difficulty is to firstly listen, then take a little time find out more. Read blogs, watch Youtube videos, read information on Charity websites. By educating yourself you help to gain awareness not just for someone you care about but also other people. Whilst there is more mental health awareness around in current times, awareness and understanding of dyspraxia are still limited. It's more than just simply being a bit clumsy.

It's important to remember everyone has different challenges and deals with things differently. Just because your friend's friend /next door neighbour has difficulties with their mental health or is dyspraxic doesn't mean they will be the same as me. People can also find different situations more challenging than others.  My anxiety can take various forms: generalised, health-related and social. I can also experience panic attacks anxiety-based depression.

Some people like to use an "outsider looking in" approach to finding out more about someone, but for people who may have anxiety/mh challenges, this may be more tricky, as is the case also for any invisible difficulty. Sometimes you have to look beneath the surface. You cannot tell fully, no matter what someone puts on Social Media, whether they are having a good/bad day, so always try and show some kindness. Even though I've been blogging for a while now there are still things people may not know about me and chapters of my story not told.

But most importantly find out more to get to know who someone is as a person, to get to know their heart and soul. What floats their boat and  and what their interests and passions are.

Putting us under pressure to open up or do things, however, doesn't help, we need to be given time and empathy. Be in someone's corner, by showing your support, whilst it doesn't take away their challenges, it can mean that they aren't facing them alone. For many people, confidence and self-esteem are quite big issues which can go alongside other difficulties.  I know from my own personal lived experiences in my day to day life, words of support can mean a lot.

 Our lives are like a book but there may be chapters of the story which are untold. By taking the time to find out more you can help someone unlock their pages and help to write the future.

Until next time.......

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