Bonfire of the Vanities

But it’s a brand new day, new opportunities what can I say
I plan to make my pay but put some away for a off key day
But it’s a brand new day, new opportunities what can I say
I plan to make my pay but put some away for a off key day

Dizzee Rascal – Brand New Day

It’s that time of the year again, where we make, sometimes break, but attempt to keep our New Year’s resolutions once more.

At GroundEd HQ we have decided amongst us that we will take part in our own version of Run Every Day (RED) January.  We aren’t just counting running though, we are counting all our physical activity in the month to see if we can cover a distance equal to the shortest route between all our houses (stretching from London to Northumberland via several other stops).

On a more personal level I am going to look after myself better.  In 2018 I started to notice signs that my mental health wasn’t its best.  For me to notice it probably means that others noticed before me and didn’t know how to tell me.  My work suffered as a result; I got behind with work and got found out as the result of a book scrutiny.  I’ve never faced anything like these feelings before but now is the time to do something about it.  I have an appointment with our local Occupational Health department next week.  Hopefully I can make some quick changes that will reap immediate benefit.

This raises questions for me though.  How many others are suffering in silence, the culture of fear not allowing them to display any “weakness” hence somebody use it as a weapon against them?  It’s important to recognise our own frailties at times but seeing situations where this is used against people when applying for jobs, promotions etc doesn’t fill me with hope that we can be honest with ourselves about our own health.

MH issues cannot be seen in the main until it is too late.  Most of us do a passable job at hiding our issues.  For me I act like a pressure cooker – it’s all kept in until, at some stage, the valve has to release.  This can mean I snap at people who don’t deserve it, simply because they happened to be in the wrong place, or say the wrong thing, at the wrong time.  It means I then spend time apologising for my actions without really explaining the reasons why.

What I do know is that it important to have people around you that don’t judge you if you are honest about the situation.  I’ve been lucky there this year, both in real life and online.  I’m blown away by the levels of support I’ve received and the messages I’ve had from others telling a similar tale to my own.

For this year then, my resolution is simple.  It’s to be a better version of me.  To see through the nonsense.  To think more, about myself and about others.

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