It’s good to talk – this is an expression that most of us know and agree with, but sometimes we forget that it isn’t always that easy. As a therapist, wife and mother there have been moments when I wished I could turn on a switch to get the talking started, particularly when I was sure it was what they needed to do.
However, more often than not the moments when I may have felt it was ‘good to talk’ didn’t always fit with when the other person felt it was ‘good to talk’. I have learnt over the years that those moments do not follow a set pattern, in fact they are often when you least expect them, as the courage to say those first words is not always easy to find.
Many of you will have watched that amazing talk Hugo gave at Marlborough and I remember helping him put it together which made us both reflect on how it had started for him and that the most difficult part was talking.
PG Tips’ recent #cuppatogether campaign teamed up with Samaritans, Time to Change, The Big Lunch and Re-engage to combat loneliness and mental health issues by encouraging people from all over the UK to reach out to others for a cup of tea and a good old natter.
When Hugo first showed signs of depression, it was his body language that alerted me, it was like he folded in on himself and wanted to disappear into the back of the sofa he was sitting on. I would try to get him to talk, but with no luck until one night I was sitting on the end of his bed in the dark and he started telling me how he felt… Later when we both talked about that time, he told me that it was because he found it easier to tell me about these difficult feelings when he couldn’t see me, which also explained why he had stood just around the doorway into our kitchen when he told us about his attempted suicide.
It takes great courage and sometimes many attempts to be able to talk to someone. So those of us that say it is good to talk, must also ensure that we are available to listen as those first moments of courage can often be fleeting and missed if we don’t.
If you do find that it is too difficult to talk it may be worth trying to write it down either as a diary or a letter, but that’s another chat.
Amanda Yaxley – www.ayaxleycounselling.com