You may have noticed that I haven’t been posting much lately. There’s a very good reason for that, which may (or may not) come to a blog near you soon. I’ve been writing about it daily as a way of coping, but I’m not sure whether I’m ready to share it yet, or whether I ever will be ready. We’ll see.
The reason for my recent cyber-silence is not a mental health matter. I’m not depressed (I hope I’m done with depression) but I have been more than a little anxious of late. Regardless of anything else, this goddamn pandemic, the global chaos and uncertainty, the tragic loss of life and the ongoing pain of separation from loved ones would make the most serene person anxious, I would think.
Beyond Blue update
Speaking of mental health, I continue to work with Beyond Blue and was very pleased to be asked at the end of 2020 to write a letter to the Board to the mark the 20th Anniversary of the organization. The aim of my letter was to demonstrate to Julia Gillard, Georgie Harman and the crew, the importance of their work and the life-changing impact Beyond Blue has on ordinary Australians like me.
The epistle, which tracked my involvement with Beyond Blue and mental health journey as succinctly as I could, was so well received that I then became involved in a campaign to raise much needed funds for the helpline. Demand has increased by over 40% since COVID struck and, with no end in sight and so many people struggling, maintaining this vital service is more important than ever. It provided me with a lifeline when I was sinking fast, so I know from experience that it quite literally saves lives. Following some Zoom interviews, and numerous emails back and forth between Perth and Melbourne, I was super proud when the campaign launched in May and my story and photographs were sent out to potential donors nationwide.
Marketing, Sales, PR and Advertising
Speaking of campaigns, and even though it goes against my introverted nature, I’m keen to do some campaigning on my own behalf, build up an email list, garner some followers and sell some more books. I’m totally technologically challenged, and terrible at self-promotion, but I’m determined to give it a go. I can’t do it alone, though. So, if you or someone you know might be able to help me with all things marketing, sales, PR and advertising, please get in touch. And, if you know any enlightened souls (or souls in need of enlightenment and connection) interested in mental health, the beauty of nature, walking, adventure, self-discovery, love, life, the universe and all that jazz, and who might like to read my blogs or buy my books, please send them my way.
Happy winter to all in the Southern Hemisphere. And happy summer to all on the other side of the globe. May the changing seasons bring us joy, love and light and help us make changes in our own lives, if that is what we need. I certainly need that. I’m just trying to work out what type of change, exactly.
Talk of change and mental health is a timely reminder that my book Changing Lightbulbs https://suetredget.com/product/changing-lightbulbs/ is as relevant today as it was when published in 2017. The feedback I’ve received about its impact on people’s lives has been more than gratifying. When I wrote it, I told myself that if it encouraged just one person to seek help rather than suffer in silence, or helped just one person to feel less alone, it would have been worth it. And it was more than worth it.
Since I wrote Changing Lightbulbs, it has been heartening to observe that community awareness of mental health matters has increased and that stigma, while not completely eradicated, has most certainly reduced.
Whatever you think about the whole Prince Harry and Meghan Markle saga, no one could contest the fact that His Royal Highness is one damaged young man. Harry began talking publicly about the impact of his mother’s death on his mental health while I was writing Changing Lightbulbs – you will find a mention of him in Chapter One.
At the time, Harry’s disclosure encouraged me to keep writing. I figured that if mental health could affect royalty, it could affect anyone. That’s the thing about anxiety and depression. They don’t discriminate. They can affect people who seem, on the surface, to have absolutely no reason to be depressed or anxious, including, as we discovered this week, one of the world’s highest paid female athletes, Naomi Osaka.
And finally …
Until next time, try to be kind in thought and word and deed, tell your nearest and dearest how much you love them, stay safe and well, and, to quote Seneca, my current favourite philosopher, ‘associate with people who are likely to improve you’.
PS You can buy Changing Lightbulbs through this website https://suetredget.com/product/changing-lightbulbs/ or on Amazon https://www.amazon.com.au/Changing-Lightbulbs-journey-through-depression/dp/0987617168 and other digital platforms.
PPS The Beyond Blue helpline provides confidential mental health support with a trained professional 24/7. No matter who you are or how you are feeling, you can call 1300 22 4636 day or night to share your load.
PPS Big shout out to Fred Porter https://fredporter.com/about/ my very lovely (and super talented) website designer, for his tear-inducing kindness, endless patience (much needed, with me as a client) and for being an all-round awesome human.
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