My Friend Misery

Do we welcome misery or wave it goodbye? Welcome to My Misery. 

Can we really ‘feel’ misery…How do we know we are miserable? It’s asserted by the oxford dictionary that misery is a state of discomfort, a ‘feeling’ of great physical discomfort or mental distress… Now if we were in misery relating to our physical health,  we would feel comfortable talking about it, wouldn’t we?! Most of us do, it’s suggested by a Publication  below that  20% of us receive medical intervention related to Musculoskeletal  with a comparison of 12.1% receiving medical treatment for mental health, this suggests there is still a way to go to encourage people to think about getting help towards mental health.  We are encouraged daily to check certain parts of out body towards early intervention, why aren’t we doing the same towards our mental wellbeing? Are we checking in with our thoughts, feelings and emotions that may require emotional support or guidance.

How long do you sit with your low mood, anger, isolation, until you look inwards and think now it is time to seek support? Or a colleague or friend suggests the same? Do our colleagues know how to recognise how we might be feeling? How to ask, and how to respond? 

For some time, I felt miserable, I couldn’t pinpoint why, I was a new Mom, studying towards a new and fantastic career and that feeling of misery was present. Psychology has promoted this quest to be happy, positive and upbeat! Is it that easy, not always, no.

My grief of loosing my lovely Dad during my early stages of pregnancy compromised my happiness. Can you imagine my thinking back then, no I can’t imagine you can really. We don’t really know how someone is feeling until we ask. It felt like a yoyo of emotions that would stop, start, and spring back into play with racing thoughts and frequent withdrawal, into a downward spiral years after. I snapped, then I crashed!!! 

Clinicians have focused on the alleviation of extreme suffering, friends have suggested ‘get a grip’ and ‘get over it’, singer and song writers tell us; “don’t worry, be happy” it’s been three years now since that happened… In a sense is this necessary? Look around us, people are living in poverty and if a person from the third world were to be propelled into certain areas of England, they would think differently, they may feel an abundance of a newfound wealth and happiness.

If the 20th Century is a machine of happiness for humans, then it appears it has malfunctioned and …. It is crucial now, to look around and see what has happened, yet do we look around? We look around, but on our phones…do we really look into the eyes of other humans, after all they are the windows to the soul.  Can we all see sadness or misery? I dare say in my misery, no one, and I mean no one, recognised how unhappy I really was and I felt too guilty to say, because I was expecting my first beautiful daughter. 

Depression rates are rising, why? Perhaps we have broadened our awareness, and increased other people’s awareness to stop, spot and ask…and ask twice. Right?  We also have a better understanding of the definition of depression and other mental health conditions, yet are we encourage to let it be?!

My question is, is it OK to be miserable at times? I have heard and read, particularly in the field of positive psychology which is BIG on the idea of our individual signature strengths. In a world of plenty, for some that is, how have we become to be so miserable, is unhappiness our true signature strength, a strength that we admit how we are feeling, that we now talk about it, and get that help and support that really brings us back to a comfortable state of acceptance. My friend misery pops in now and again, and instead of resisting it, I sit with it, fearless to admit it I know, and fearless to say, if those who surround me don’t want to hear it, don’t want to accept it, FINE!… My friend misery visits, and we both agree now and in the future, it has now place for a permanent stay. 

Scepticism towards mental ill health hinder and supress a platform to talk, consider this; our lives are different, never parallel. Life can erode our happiness, contentment and enthusiasm at times. In the words of Walt Witman; ‘Be curious, not judgemental!’

The blog is designed to encourage some interactive, where I have put question marks feel free to respond here at Kerry.tonks@simpila.com

About the Author

Kerry Tonks, just a normal girl from Wednesbury…What is normal?! My normal and your normal, our windows in the world vary depending on experience, time and our own thinking, Right?! Loves the outdoors, tea, and the occasional faggots and peas!

Statistics from;

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/musculoskeletal-health-applying-all-our-health/musculoskeletal-health-applying-all-our-health

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/statistics/mental-health-statistics-people-seeking-help

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