A DESIGN FOR LIFE

Hey everyone. I hope you’re all well and in good mental health. I hope you’re enjoying the easing of lockdown restrictions in the UK – I know I am. I don’t know what it’s like in other countries; I hope its easing up for you, too. Today I’m doing to talk to about an online group I’ve joined in the last month or so, about the man that got me to join, and how nice it’s been to have another support outlet.

My partner was selling her shed, and a man and his wife come round to have a look at it. My girlfriend was in the garden for a good hour talking to them, which was cool. When she came in, she said delightedly, “They’re really nice people!” It turned out the guy, Paul, has the same illness as me, and his wife has similar interests to my partner. When they came to dismantle the shed and we loaded up their van, Paul said he would send an invite to the men’s’ group he helps run. I said, “OK, that sounds good to me.”

At first I wasn’t going to accept or join because of my anxiety about meeting and talking to new people. I started getting negative thoughts, like “What if they don’t like me? What if I say something and it offends them? What if I say something and no-one responds to me?” I know this seems silly, but this is the joy of having negative thoughts. But, now I challenge them because I know negative thoughts aren’t true, and you can turn them into positive ones.

Paul introduced me to the group on Chat, and I got a nice welcome from everyone. The best thing was, the group is made up of people from all over the world. This made me smile: “It’s cool,” I thought, which made me feel at ease within the group. I posted a couple of times and got replies, and was slightly buzzing. Then I posted some of my blogs and they’ve been received really well. That made me feel that I wasn’t too bad at this blogging stuff! So, I just want to to say “Thank you” to the group for accepting me and taking the time to talk to me.

Paul is a top feller: he posts some amazing, positive pictures in the group. Some of them I look at and can really relate to, so I borrow them and post them myself, hoping that some people who follow me might get something positive from them.

And remember, take some time – any chance you get, be it 5 minutes or an hour – to relax, chill, recover and recharge yourself.

Thank you for reading this blog. I wish you all good mental health.

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