Written by See Change Ambassador Lucie Kavanagh
A few weeks ago I had a conversation at a party that I forgot until very recently. It was a party that was incredibly hard for me to go to, but really important that I was there. Because of the overall effort at surviving it it’s only now that separate interactions are coming back to me.
An ex neighbour came up to say hello. When we first moved to Mayo and lived in pretty difficult circumstances she and her family were very supportive. Over the years we lost touch, only to gradually make contact on Facebook. We had never interacted beyond a quick like of each others’ photos. She started by telling me that she loved my blog and all of the blogs by See Change Ambassadors, that she had never heard of us and was so interested that such an organisation existed. She referred to my writing and interactions she had seen on Facebook between myself and other Ambassadors. She had come to follow stories we referred to and felt she knew a great deal more about mental health issues than she’d have had an opportunity to otherwise.
I’m not sure why this conversation immediately left my head. I know at that moment I had just about reached my limit and I knew I needed to leave. I also knew that I had to face the sympathetic glances of my friends and colleagues when I got up to leave far earlier than anyone else. I was lost in my head, angry with myself for my own limitations, overwhelmed with guilt and sadness at a situation I perceive is all my own doing no matter how much I would tell anyone else otherwise. My head managed to filter out the positive in order to keep me in that dark place for as long as possible. It likes to tell me that all I can do is survive and even that can be a challenge.
But today I’m thinking about that positive moment. I think of the situation I was in when I first knew this woman and how my inner voices might tell me that my situation today is equally bad, I know otherwise. Deep, deep down I know otherwise. I am proud that she saw a world that means so much to me and was open to entering it.
I realise that I need to remember something. I feel inadequate and disorganised and I want to do and help so much more. I start projects that I can’t follow through on. Some days reading and writing are way beyond my abilities. And yet, even in the silence people are listening and watching and taking what they need. Sometimes just by being there and being real in our lives we are still able to make a difference.
That fact has made a difference to me today.