Sunday, 10 October 2021

Let's be open about mental health: World Mental Health Day today

Mental health has been seen as a taboo subject for a long time, and is often swept under the carpet. I say it should not be, because mental health is just as important to a person as physical health, and often more important. It's World Mental Health Day today, and I urge each and every one of you to look after your mental health.

I don't mind admitting that I've had issues with my mental health in the distant past, particularly when I first had eye-sight issues over a decade ago. I also have PTSD from a past incident a number of years ago; not a lot of people know that but let's let it all out and lay the cards on the table. There's nothing to be ashamed of there, and if anything, one should be lauded for being so open as I'm being here. But please respect my boundaries if I don't want to discuss some things further.

I should add that I am not a mental health professional and I don't try to claim to be one, I don't run any kind of groups for it either, so I don't feel I can offer any advice on this issue beyond saying value your mental health. If help is needed, seek it from qualified professionals. I will speak (write) here only from my personal experience, which can hopefully inspire you to find your own path to mental wellness.

One of the most important things with my own mental health is to set positivity as a goal. It can be easy to get overwhelmed and find negativity in the slightest little thing. When feeling down, little moments of joy can add up. At one particularly low period of my life, sitting and meditating over a cup of tea, focussing only on the flavour as I drank re-grounded me to celebrate the good things in life instead of being overwhelmed by negativity. Little things like savouring the flavour of a good cup of tea helped me on my road to recovery a number of years ago.

It's important to remove negativity from your life if possible, or protect yourself against toxicity. One person I met had some rather nasty opinions on mental health; they were indubitably a toxic person, with opinions that would vary between saying that persons with mental health issues were just selfish, to saying that mental health didn't exist and people should just "man up". Naturally I didn't keep such people in my life. I am now surrounded on a daily basis by people and friends who promote wellness and positivity and support.

In conclusion, your happiness and growth is vital. Your mental health should be a priority. Your mental health is a necessity. Do whatever you need to do to ensure you can grow and bloom, and don't be ashamed of who you are. Be open, society has changed and those who are stuck in the past who want to try and shame people for speaking about mental health can get with the program and enter the twenty-first century. And don't be afraid to get help from the relevant qualified or trained professionals who can support you when you need it.

Wednesday, 6 October 2021

Music is important

Screenshot of diverse Amazon Music playlists
Music is important to me. Songs are poetry set to music. and can be powerful and inspiring. Music inspires me, and can be truly evocative. I often imagine music as a soundtrack to my life at certain points. For example, the day I left my crappy high school for the last time, I remember thinking about the final strains of "Nessun Dorma" with its powerful, overpowering "vincerĂ²!" to overcome years of unhappiness I had endured there, as I walked out and did not look back.

I am no musician, I cannot read music or even know the right vocabulary to describe it most of the time, but I appreciate what I like and the work of the artists that I enjoy listening to. I have extremely eclectic tastes, everything from classical, Welsh folk, queer pop, movie soundtracks (I love these in particular), 90s indie, 80s pop, German rap and rock.... I can never predict what I'll get into next.

Wednesday, 25 August 2021

2021 update

Picture of Damon Lord in front of a wall, wearing shades and a Superknova t-shirt

It's nearly September already, and 2021 is well over half-way done. It's been a hell of a year so far. The most important thing to say right now is to get a Covid-19 vaccine as soon as you can, and do your bit to protect your fellow human; wear a mask if possible. I've been vaccinated, and I was overjoyed to receive the jabs.

I normally travel a lot each year, but 2020 and 2021 were the first time in over a decade that I haven't been over Germany, I missed travelling, but it's afforded us the opportunity to explore the UK a bit more. These past two years have really brought it home how much we rely on each other and good friends and family who can support each other. It's been vital to ensure that any toxicity is excised. The everyday things around us, usually overlooked, are brought into sharp focus when travel and even outside contact is limited as it has been on and off since March 2020, and there is so much uncertainty about how even the next week will pan out.

On the writing front, I'm pretty much near done completing both a novel and a novella under my pen-name, with a view to publication possibly in Autumn 2021. At the moment, I definitely have to acknowledge I'm getting far more done when I'm wearing my pen-name's hat. I have a cover already sorted for the one, and the other is not quite ready, but is a radically different genre to what I normally write. It's been going well since November last year; before that, it was difficult to focus on writing. Meanwhile, writing under my own name, I entered a couple of poems to a competition, but did not get anywhere; never mind.

So I'm thinking: what next? Something I'd like to do is get back into regular writing, and maybe get back into blogging. Years ago, in my twenties, I used to blog several times a day on a now defunct blog, mainly on political issues, often from a centre-right perspective. As I've grown up and matured, my opinions have matured and now I see things from a mainly centre-left perspective. I have this website mainly dedicated to writing and sometimes movie and book reviews, but I guess it wouldn't hurt to pass comment on other things, so keep an eye out for things like that going forward.

Thanks for reading the update; I greet you and wish you all well.