Mental Health

Mental Health UK – Opening Up

I’m in my early 30s. I’m married and I have a son, alhamdulillah. I’m a solicitor. I have my own law firm. I live in a 5-bed house. I drive a brand-new Audi S5. From the outside looking in, I’ve made it. Yet, the majority of my time is spent living in anxiety, stress, emptiness and burdensome unfulfillment. Half the time it’s probably from feeling guilty for feeling shit given all the blessings I have. So here I am opening up about mental health UK.

Figured Out

The amount of times I’ve had people say to me “you’re doing it”, “you’ve made it” or “you’re smashing it” is testament to how it looks from the outside.

A couple of years ago when I was an employee at a law firm, I remember a time when one of my work colleagues came up with a challenge where each of us in the team had to say one thing to describe another. Something I absolutely hate doing.

As if being annoyed with the challenge wasn’t enough, I got “lucky” enough to have been given her as the person I had to describe. I’m a nice guy, always have been, so I couldn’t say what I was thinking: “you ask too many questions and talk so much shit” lol.

Instead I came out with “umm, you’re inquisitive”. It’s the first word that came to my mind, and I just wanted to get it over with. But she was delighted with it, boosted her confidence. Lesson in there, how you can make someone’s day by re-wording what you say.

But anyway, it came to my turn being described: “you’ve got it all figured out”.

Silent By Nature

I suppose that’s the effect of being a quiet guy. I’m silent by nature. Talking is something that requires a helluva lot of effort. So, I rarely talk to people. That includes friends and family.

In fact, when my wife was in Pakistan for almost a year, I think the total number of phone calls between us was about 3!

Yep, that’s not a lie or an exaggeration. She still doesn’t let me live it down now. But that’s just the way I am, and have always been. (Messaging and texting was more consistent, before you think I’m a callous prick – albeit it wasn’t enough according to her, but then it never is with women ha).

Being quiet. Getting on with things. Having achievements that show. Answering questions and opinions in as little words as possible…I can see why people would think I have it figured out.

But there’s a saying that goes, the quietest mouths have the loudest minds, or some shit like that. Or is it the quietest minds have the loudest mouths?! I don’t know, whatever it is.

Voices In My Head

Point being my quiet, calm, “figured out” outward demeanour contains a mind full of utter chaos, confusion and an orchestra of voices.

Yes, voices. I’m not crazy or mental, but I don’t stop talking to myself. There’s a loud conversation, or several conversations, going on in my head at all times. Be honest, you talk to yourself a lot too don’t you?

If not monitored, if not controlled, the effect can be destructive. There is no bigger enemy for a person than their own mind.



Recent Mental Health Issues

So after thirty years of being a social recluse, of keeping myself to myself, of keeping my thoughts private, what’s changed for me to decide to open up all of a sudden?

Well, there are a few reasons, but it included recent mental health issues such as:

This ==> http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-42903914

This ==> https://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/2017/01/10/half-young-people-have-many-emotional-problems-cannot-focus/

This ==> https://www.independent.co.uk/money/spend-save/uk-debt-personal-finances-household-income-spending-consumer-a8366576.html

This ==> https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/04/05/young-people-struggle-cope-setbacks-happiness-falls-lowest-level/

And this ==> https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/11362246/Just-three-in-10-people-feel-happy-with-their-lives.html

There are hundreds of such articles. The worst part…apparently 13 men kill themselves EVERYDAY in the UK.

I find it staggering that the levels of unhappiness, stress and depression are so high in a first world country, that probably is one of the strongest in the world in terms of amenities and living standards.

It seems that everyone is stressed, anxious or depressed about something. Most don’t even realise it or acknowledge it and end up doing stupid shit in response.

The facts and figures show that it doesn’t apply to a specific type of person or circumstance. It’s pretty much across the board.

From the articles above it’s clear to see that the young are struggling with mental health issues and emotional problems at an age which should be fun and carefree.

You, reading this, most likely have a whole host of reasons for being anxious and stressed init?

They say talking helps. I’m not sure. But I’m going to find out.

My Challenge

So the point of this post, and the ones that are gonna follow hopefully on a regular basis, is to use myself to help other people open up and deal with their worries. I encourage you to talk and share your thoughts, with me, or anyone else you think of.

It’s also a personal challenge for me to evolve and work on personal development. After being a wall for so long, it’s not easy being open…the fear of “what will people think”, “you’re gona sound like a pussy”, “people are gona think lesser of you” and what not is in full force.

But it’s a fear I intend to conquer, along with the fear of public speaking, however that’s a topic for another day. Contemplating whether to publish this article or not has taken much energy, doubt and thought, so that fact that I’ve done is a good first step.

It probably will help me too to help others. They say the best therapy is to help others. So if my words help just one person, I’ll be satisfied.

Sometimes it’s easier to talk to complete strangers. I know I personally would be too embarrassed to get in touch with someone I know and say “yo, I feel shit.”

Speak Up

That’s enough now for the first one. The plan is to go into more detail in further articles about the kinds of things that are causing stress and mental health problems in general, as well as publicly opening up about the kinda shit that is dragging me down, before then moving into discussing solutions.

If any of the above resonated with you, or if you have any stresses and struggles please do speak up. My messages are open if you wana keep it private.

Please also like, share and comment, it would mean a lot to me, and for my confidence in writing this.

Your feedback, about the content, writing style or anything else would be crucial too to help me write better articles, so please give it.

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‘preciate your time, until the next one…

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