During the first two weeks of September we explored mental health and suicide.
If you missed them, you can check out a write-up of our reflections by clicking on the links below:
Together we brought important human experiences out from the shadows where they are often kept hidden, into the light where they belong. Acknowledging the fact that we are far from infallible, that we are imperfect creatures with our unique idiosyncrasies, and none immune to suffering and great despair, is not always an easy thing to do.
Thank you for being brave enough to sit with me through this process.
One of the things we have highlighted is that mental health is in itself physical health, perhaps more specifically a subsection of physical health. As a Clinical Psychologist I have always been passionate about taking a holistic and systemic view of our over health and well-being.
Having to find my new normal this last 11 years due to chronic widespread pain has understandably greatly enhanced my passion to do what I can to, one step at a time, help us as a society to come together to acknowledge the true complexity of our common human experience. Bringing us together through our common humanity, and recognition for the beauty of our differences.
That is why last week I wanted to open our hearts to the associations the words PHYSICAL HEALTH bring to each and every one of us. Once again, your responses filled my heart with joy, sadness and connection.
A VIDEO OF OUR ONLINE COMMUNITY REFLECTION:
PHYSICAL HEALTH IS…
A list of everybody’s responses:
Physical health is priceless.
Physical health is something I wish I had.
Physical health is not to be taken for granted.
Physical health is extremely precious and fragile.
Physical health is as important as mental health. The two go hand in hand to complete health – you can’t have one without the other.
Physical health is undervalued by society. When we think of physical health we think of going to the gym and eating right. But actually it isn’t something we can always control. For many, despite our healthy choices, it is something that is taken from us and we have to learn to live without.
Physical health is exhausting. Physical health can sometimes feel like a ticking time bomb to me… it can feel like a death sentence at times.
Physical health really is something that people take for granted. There are so many people who can’t do what they want to do, because of their physical health but they get on with life because they know there’s no other option.
Physical health is a continually fluctuating experience integral to the essence of being alive. There is so much about it that we still do not understand.
Physical health is imperfect, constantly deterioriating as a fallen leaf lying upon the ground until we again become one with the earth.
Physical health is a glowing memory of happiness, running, swimming, running, cycling, running running running…
Physical health is an ever changing journey, the gateway to freedom. When physical health is good it enables everything. When it’s bad, in a strange way it’s liberating, because you find yourself laughing about symptoms or just getting on things you thought you’d never be able to handle and the whole experience takes you further and further from any kind of vanity or competition. What I’ve found incredible though is how the mind can still find a way to be in a very content and happy place even when the body is in chaos.
Physical health is something to be treasured & appreciated when we have it, as it seems it is often taken for granted until it fails. There are many lessons that come with a loss of physical health, that challenge us to rebalance in a new way, find joy & purpose in places we might not have thought to look otherwise, had the choice been ours. On one hand there are definitely greater challenges, but on the other hand, there is some level of emancipation from the physical, that sometimes is our greatest rut! Physical health is a blessing, not a guarantee. Enjoy it to its fullest while you’re able!
Let’s continue to build a community of experts by experience, experts by training, and as always simply human beings, whereby we compassionately give everybody a voice, feel free to agree and disagree, know that it’s okay not to know, and use this gift of the online world to learn from each other and create a more compassionate society.