I realise that I haven’t posted here in a long time. Some of the reasons for that are about to become apparent – the rest of it doesn’t matter.
I wanted to write something about mental health and about getting help if your mental health is suffering.
Usually this sort of thing will start with appeals to look after your mental health and to seek help with it if you are suffering, and that is all solid and very sound advice. But there is a thing that often doesn’t make the final edit of this sort of thing – a person can be suffering and refusing help, not because they don’t want it, but because they haven’t the wherewithal right now or they aren’t ready. For a host of reasons, a person can just keep on keeping on not because they are stoic or trying to be unyielding, but because they literally cannot deal with the thing that is bothering them.
In some cases, the thing that is bothering a person might be so well buried that even they aren’t aware exactly what it is; they just live with it ticking away in the back garden; a hillock in the lawn that they avoid for reasons they can’t quite define.
For me, I ran from the thing that was bothering me. I was like a little steam ship trying to outrun the kraken that was chasing it. The bow waves from the beast and its tentacles roughed the sea and the little ship violently bobbed and yawed and pitched in the water and the people aboard were thrown about and badly injured. The captain called for full ahead and the engineers stoked the boilers up to full capacity and for a while they put distance between the ship and the monster. They even went faster as they burned all the fuel. Then they began to slow down, so they burned the furniture, the wall hangings, the curtains, the booze, the money in the pockets of all the passengers – anything to keep the little steam ship ahead of oblivion.
But no little ship can run forever.
I didn’t even know what was bothering me, simply that it was, that it always had and, presumably, always would. Until one day it dawned on me. There it was. That was it.
And sighting the kraken again at last, the captain and the engineer and all the passengers knew that they had burned through everything and that they could run no further. They had had a good run, they agreed. They would have toasted the moment but the alcohol had fed the furnace long ago. They hugged and shook hands and watched the beast in the water come for them as the captain turned the little ship to face it.
The little ship was doomed.
On the horizon there came another ship. The wireless operator aboard the little ship had finally done what everybody had tacitly agreed ought not be done – asked for help. Rescue was on the way. The people aboard the little ship just had to hold on.
If you are suffering, please ask for help when you are ready to face it. Help will find it harder to catch up to you if you’re still running; you have to be ready to turn to face it. The kraken is monstrous and cannot be survived alone. Get help.