Letters from Lucy: July 2019
This month Lucy touches on a very topical issue, mental health.
I was dropping off a customer’s order when they said to me “You look to be having the time of your life right now”. If I’m honest it shocked me. My instant thought was “If only they knew what was going on in my life right now.” If you were to look at any of my social media, you would tend to agree with her. I’ve won awards, bursaries and scholarships, been busy with interesting projects and of course have the most wonderful workshop dog ever. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about any of that, not for a second, but there’s plenty of things in my life you won’t see. The worries, the stress, the sleepless nights, the dramas and arguments. Life is a messy thing, yet when we look at others, we only ever see their successes and achievements.
We live in a digital age and the “person” you see online is just that. Entered data. You’ll see exactly what they want you to see, no more no less. To compare yourself to that is going to mess with your mind. Don’t go rolling your eyes when I mention your mental health either. Everyone would understand that if you broke your arm (god forbid!), your work would suffer but if your mental health has a knock you’re expected to go on as normal. You wouldn’t with a broken arm (although most of us would try) so you shouldn’t try with a mental health problem either.
We can all have a bad day as well. I have plenty of them. There are days I’ve had to down tools and walk away from the bench because my mind is in such a frazzle I’m more likely to cut off my finger than to produce a nice item. It’s when every day becomes a bad day that things need to get sorted out pronto. For me, it’s talking to mentors about it all. It’s much more than just saddlery and business. It’s dealing with family and friends, my health and even about getting my car windscreen replaced. Heck some days I just need someone to tell me I’m not a giant waste of space and to stop losing sleep because I can’t get an inaccurate review removed due to a fickle “policy” (and that’s just the stuff I’m willing to tell you about!).
This month please take out a bit of time to look after you. Talk to a friend, family member or a professional if something is on your mind. There’s also lots of free phone lines and websites which will support and listen to you. If you’re having a bad day, don’t worry about needing to stop to hug the dog or make a cup of tea. Little things can make all the difference to a day and you’re not a machine that should be productive 24/7/365. You need to look after you! But most importantly, forget about social media for a day or two, it’s all glory no guts.
Till next time