Believe it or not, when I start writing these pieces I usually have a plan. It starts with an idea, I jot down some notes and then go for it. This piece is different, however. I’m sitting here, in front of the computer version of a blank sheet of paper, with a matching mind. I know what I want to do, but not what I want to say: what I’m doing is writing something to welcome in the New Year and to share my good wishes for the year with you, but where do I begin?
I want to make this a positive message, looking forward rather than back. But it is difficult to look ahead without making some comparison with the past. So, briefly then: I know that I’m in a far better place than I was on 1 January 2012. I am now in recovery from my depressive illness, and the professionals are unanimous in saying that I’m doing well, although there are the occasional poorer days. But I am confident again, and have had a good six months since I went back to work.
Right, that’s that done. Now to look forward. As I have done before, I’ve drawn something from Twitter to share with you. This time, it’s one of my own tweets. I sometimes look at the list of trending topics and throw my thoughts in. A couple of days ago the top trend was for ‘My wish in 2013’ and here’s mine:
Regular readers (yes, I’m delusional!) and those who are Twitter friends will know that I suffered all of this a month ago, along with a campaign of lies and distortions. But that’s not my point. There is a general message here, and whilst mental health is near and dear to my heart I think the sentiment I expressed in that tweet could just as easily be applied to any ‘group’ of people who suffer the same things. Indeed, a Twitter friend pointed this out to me in the influx of messages I received after posting my tweet. He’s right: no one should suffer stigmatisation, mockery, bullying or abuse of any kind, regardless of their circumstances. So, at the risk of sounding like the Pope or the Dalai Lama, or of making this too full of saccharine, I’m suggesting that we all take a moment to think about someone whose life may be being made worse by any of these abuses, and consider what we can do to help, no matter how inconsequential it may seem. If everyone did that just once in 2013 the world would be a better place. And that just has to be a good, positive thought to take into the new year with us, doesn’t it! Although his song was about Christmas it applies just as well to a new year: in John Lennon’s words – let’s hope it’s a good one, without any fear.
Here endeth the lesson! I wish everyone a happy, healthy, peaceful, prosperous and caring New Year!