Tuesday, 25 February 2014

A listening ear and a silent mouth

Sometimes when I'm walking home I quite like to zone out a bit, get lost in my own thoughts. Sometimes I just like to people watch.

Anyway, earlier today I must have been in 'zone out mode' because I bumped into a guy I know, and could barely string a sentence together.
He has had a bit of a rough time in the past with depression or some other mental health issue, but is a very talented artist, and a really friendly guy. I first met him many moons ago when I was on a counselling course, and out of a group of about 10 he's the only one I remember.. or have seen since.

Back then I was toying with the idea of becoming a Counsellor, but when I realised that this particular style of counselling wouldn't give me the opportunity to talk... I knew it wasn’t for me.

I’m a listener, but at some point... ima gonna talk.
I might even want to say... now stop right there!
Anyway, after our pleasantries and an update on how he's doing I said

"Yeah... heart is ealing".
As soon as I said it I thought... what the !?!...
What I meant to say was " Yeah... Art is healing". Instead I ended up sounding like a drunk Jamaican.
I was ill prepared for a conversation

When I’m tired or zoned out, I'm not very articulate. That’s when I really need to be quiet.
Seems like tired or zoned out... I’d make a great Counsellor

Although it was a while ago, I find I do use the skills I learnt on that course... so it was definitely worth it

In the brief moment we spoke he did make me think though.
What he made me think about was mental health institutions. A comment he made, caused me to wonder if they (institutions) perpetuate poor/ill mental health... or promote healing. In truth he implied the former.

My question (if I have one) is, should we try harder to integrate those experiencing ill/poor mental health into regular everyday life... or continue to separate, enabling some ( often the very vulnerable) to live a parallel existence.

In truth I don't know.
I held that thought for 5 minutes.. then I let it go.. and went back to into my zone


  1. I suppose it depends on the level of mental illness. I had a friend who was a danger to himself and others and therefore I think it was better for him to be in an institution, only problem is that a great many of these places are awful.

  2. I agree if a person is a danger to themselves or others a hospital is probably best so yes.. you're right, it depends on the level of illness. One of the things he said was he wanted to take back control of his life.
    I think it can be a difficult balance for some mental health care givers to get right

  3. I agree with LL. I think it really would depend upon the level of illness.

    1. Definitely. I was walking past the mental hospital just yesterday ( day after writing this I think) when, a man lunged towards me and started running. I nearly jumped out of my skin!!. Turns out he was running for the bus. I wont repeat what I said out loud..