No News

It has been three weeks now since I’ve seen the news. It has taken great discipline to avoid it. I have disabled all social media accounts, unsubscribed from various media apps, avoided the T.V. and newspapers. When I’m in a supermarket I sort of dance blindly past the newspapers and magazines.

The biggest challenge of course is to try and direct conversations I have with people. I am like a hawk looking for prey as I listen to the words people are saying to me. If I hear the words ‘Have you heard.’ I’m off my feet changing the subject asking how their back, shoulder, piles are. We all love negative news I was the biggest junky of them all. Is it the joy to piss all over someone else’s day? Is it knowing something you hope the other person may not and you can deliver it to them? Breaking news.

The hardest aspect of ducking out of mainstream life is sports news. Literally not knowing football scores can be hard for a supporter. For me though its been like a weight lifted. No one ruins my weekend anymore I have been able to reduce blood pressure medication. A matchday squad of 18 a first team 11 who get paid very well and can’t play for the team, the shirt, for the supporters. I wonder how much thought they give to the supporters after constant dismal performances.

I feel free. If there is something I really need to know which is about the safety of my family someone will come kicking and screaming to get me to listen. In the meantime, I have saved myself from some horrific stories of barbarity, sociopathic behaviours, death. Stories of people’s lives being changed forever. Surviving relatives are taken to a brink that many can never return. That is just the local news.

 I’m in a bubble and for now I’m staying here. It isn’t a cop-out it is a strategy. Strategies are vital for someone with a severe and enduring mental health. You have to fight or be overwhelmed. When I say fight, I’m sure you know I don’t mean hitting people. No, I mean life can be tough, a battle and you have to be on your toes, ready for anything that can affect your mood. Medication has its place, but the greater piece of the pie is self-awareness and ability to shift. For example, another strategy is keeping a mood diary, a simple number next to the date can tell you where you are at on any given day. If that number slides and continues to slide it screams ‘go and get some help’. Another strategy is to play music. Music lifts your soul play it loud. Other strategies I will discuss in further posts because it’s worth another 500 words, on another day. That said I have not done well as late I’m not doing what I should be doing, what I know I should be doing. The media blackout is just the start, but it is a big start.

Photo by Yvonne Blackledge

I turned to writing for therapy after a long period of ill-health. I have just returned to work. I am a researcher, writer, and Mental Health Advocate.

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