Wow, I totally missed this… How that is, is a bit beyond me. My non-linear mind has just cracked open to the idea that I can write retrospectively. Why on Earth Have I not written about this before? After all Emotional Health and Emotional Landscape have been at the very center of my work for a very long time and yet I have never wrtiten a blog post about them. Isn’t that strange? Maybe not. I’m continually saying that I find it hard to keep up with the thoughts that I generate in my head. I’m sure we have all had moments when we couldn’t see the woods for the trees. My moment just seemed to last for five years or more. Finally this seems to be changing as my emotional wellness seems to be on the rise.
Anyways what’s more important that the acknowldegement of Emotional Health? Not much I reckon given that it is where everything positive starts. However there is probabaly a little more to this than might meet the eye. Why wouldn’t I write about emotional health for so long? It’s everything to do with my emotional landscape. It didn’t feel safe to do so and I’ll tell you why. In recent months and even weeks I’ve been beginning to understand all the ways that I have short changed myself by not being brave enough to speak my mind. You see I am what many might term as a dessentor. There are alot of things that I don’t agree with. And although you might find me in a pub near you having a very long rant about many or my beliefs and even insights, sometimes I find it difficult to put my money where my motuh is. Not because I don’t believe in what I am saying but like most people I recognise that what we put on the internet can have a life of it’s own. We never know when the thoughts that we post might sprout legs, get taken out of context or terrifyingly go viral.
So me saying things like I don’t agree with the term mental health open me up to all sorts of critism that my poor white priviliged fragile self may not be able to cope with and thus derail about a decade of healing. At the same time I have to be brave.
The thing is I don’t always agree with term mental health. It implies that everything that is wrong with us is in our minds, that our brains have gone a little wonky and all we need to do is change our thoughts, or our brain chemistry and we can change out lifes. Clearly for many cases this absolutley true and I would never peronally question any one person’s mental health history, mental health story or even journey. If your on medication and that is working for you then you are absolutely doing the right thing.
However it’s not always true especially when you look at mental health from a trauma informed perspective. That is my story and that is why I am sharing it here. For a long time I was written off work with Anxiety & Depression back in the day it was a cover all low impact diagnosis, that allowed you to be wildly off you head without having to deal with any, long term tricksy permenant diagnosis.
Now what I know is the Anxiety & Depression are symptoms of trauma and that Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD) are resposive illness rather than disorders. In other words there is every thing right with you. More than this there is increasing evidence that CPTSD is a systemic illness rather than a personal one. In short there is evidence to suggest that the systems within whihc we live can make us very sick in some very extreme ways. What I have come to discover is that it is all about feeling our emotions and recognising the states of my emotional health was key to that. What if we were to understand fully what makes us anxious or depressed? I know in my life that much of what I feel has either been supressed or repressed. Hence this very late article. All the things that I couldn’t say because it was not safe to do so. The more I deepen into this work the more I become fully aware that this is common. Most of us have not been allowed access to the full depth and breadth of our emotions and then we wonder why we are sick? If we aren’t experiencing our emotions fully then who are we really? So many of us are pretending, mainly pretending that the system in which we live works for us. That the parameters that we are given within which to live our lives is totally accepatable. That we must all enjoy our souless jobs, that we must all be grateful for our enslaved lives working to maintain the power of the elite. Obvioulsy it’s not as simple as that and your emotional health might be tied up in very different unmet needs like being able to eat. Ultimately though our collective emotional landscape as a species is really far out of wack and our emotional health holds all the keys to fixing that. What if we were to deal with our emotions first? What if feeling what is worng in out lives was the first step to healing the system? If we aren’t willing to look at what feels wrong in our own lives then how are we supposed to address what feels wrong in society. Emotional health has everything to offer us a a way to understand ourselves its also the key to embodying a more humane way of living
This article was written to accompany Feral Systemic Healing Circle.