So this is the end of Project Shandy’s first submissions call for Mental Health Awareness Week.
I really wanted to wind things up, as is always the case with me, with a song. But my stars and garters, this has been a really difficult one to find, in terms of the right song with the right message. This week has been an emotional rollercoaster, reading and sharing the pieces which have been submitted for Mental Health Awareness Week. People from all walks of life, dealing with all kinds of challenges, waging wars inside our own heads.
This call for submissions will be opened annually from now on. I hope that it continues to grow year on year. And between those times I promise to keep highlighting these issues, talking about them, giving a platform to other people to discuss their own experiences. Because we must keep moving forward. This is plan A, because there is no plan B. We must do more than survive, we must live.
But while we keep moving forward, we must remember where we have come from. We must acknowledge the darkness that we have walked through, and in some cases that we are still walking through.
To everyone who took part in this week’s awareness raising efforts, whether you were a writer, contributor, commenter, sharer or a reader – keep going and keep doing what it is you are doing. To the people who are battling mental illness and who are supporting others in their own wars against mental health conditions – Keep walking. Keep talking. Keep on sharing your experiences. Keep fighting.
Above all – Keep Living.
Every day that you endure this is a victory in your own battle for mental health, and a victory in the war against these illnesses. United, we are an army. And an army’s first duty is to survive.
The Song Of The Week to end Mental Health Awareness Week is ‘The Living Years’ by Mike and the Mechanics. It isn’t specifically about mental health, but it is about the difficulties of communication, about how hard it is to make yourself heard and get your points across. This song reminds me of the importance of listening as well as talking, and the importance of not giving up and not giving in. I hope that you enjoy listening to it as much as I do.
“So don’t yield to the fortunes
You sometimes see as fate
It may have a new perspective
On a different date
And if you don’t give up, and don’t give in
You may just be O.K.
Say it loud, say it clear
You can listen as well as you hear
It’s too late when we die
To admit we don’t see eye to eye”
*[Got something to say? Submit to Project Shandy]*