It is now 6 months since I shared my first YYCDI post, back on the 5th May 2019 ( link here ) and, in the main, writing these posts has been really beneficial for me. There was some trepidation (dare I say it, a little anxiety…) before I published that first post though the response since then has been fantastic. There have been comments left on posts, comments via private messages and numerous in-person conversations where people I know have opened up about their own struggles. It is quite apparent that mental health issues affect far more of us than I ever imagined – people who I previously believed to be really strong and resilient have spoken to me about their own problems and that has proved really surprising, though it does reinforce my view that we never truly know what others are going through on a day-to-day basis. Never has the phrase ‘it’s good to talk’ been more important…
It hasn’t all been positive though. I was quite anxious prior to publishing some posts, certainly the initial ones where I described just how anxiety and low self-esteem / a lack of self-confidence affect me. Not all reactions have been completely positive – for instance, I know some of those early posts upset my mum (sorry mum…x) but, in order to do this blog justice, it was absolutely necessary to spell things out in stark terms. It can also be quite difficult and upsetting listening to the extent of some people’s problems. Whilst anxiety and low self-esteem are issues for me, they certainly aren’t debilitating or life-threatening. Nowhere near, in fact. If I was given a choice, I’d rather not have to deal with this but I learned to live with it quite some time ago and I’m in a pretty good place, generally speaking, whilst this blog has proved to be really cathartic for me. However, the extent of mental health issues, and the impact they have on lives, differs hugely and I’m well aware that some people are suffering badly. In that initial blog post, I stated that I need to share my thoughts so that they may help people in similar situations and that certainly remains a key driver for me.
So, where next? Well, it’s safe to say I’ve been bitten by the blogging bug so I’ll certainly be continuing to share weekly posts. As I set out in that initial post, the posts will continue to be a mixture of talking about the difficult aspects of mental health issues in addition to writing about more positive subject matter (self-development, positive progression, good health, sources of inspiration, understanding what we are truly capable of achieving). There will be more of the latter over the coming months, primarily as I desperately want this blog to be positive and filled with hope, belief, encouragement and support. I am really interested in what we are capable of achieving and I will be honing in on that within upcoming posts.
The YYCDI Facebook following is growing and now includes people from outside my immediate circle of friends and family. I’ll continue trying to increase the Facebook reach and I’m now at a stage where I feel I have enough content to allow me to reach out and interact with other people / groups / organisations addressing similar subject matter. I’m going to branch out into other social media channels and will soon be starting a YYCDI Instagram channel. I already follow a number of motivational pages on Instagram and, given that the platform is highly visual, that’s the route I’ll be going down. I’ll be creating a whole host of motivational / positivity images to share (yes – recoil in horror, those of you who can’t stand the good old world of motivational quotes!) as they work for me and there is definitely a wider audience for them. I’m also looking to incorporate my love of music in those with a few well-chosen song lyrics. I’ve produced the first few images (song lyrics aside, I’m creating my own words rather than regurgitating those which already exist) so I’ll see how that progresses over the next few months – I will have that Instagram channel up-and-running within the next fortnight.
I didn’t start this blog with ridiculously lofty plans; just a desire to write about this subject matter and see where it would lead to. That it has resonated with a good number of people thus far is pleasing and hopefully that will continue to be the case. If you’re reading this, I hope you’ve taken something from the posts over the past six-months and, whether you’re a first-time reader or a constant visitor, thanks for taking the time to consider my meanderings – I really do appreciate it.