What a month November has already been for Open Journal; truly celebrating both aspects of the BlogCast.
This month the podcast reached 200 episodes, or rather episode 200. I think I actually reached 200 episodes a month or so ago. But alas that's due to a few episodes being numbed on an old numbering system. It's all rather boring admin stuff, but basically yes; 200 plus episodes!
Making 200 episodes is in no small part thanks to the almost 100 guests that have come onto the podcast to share their insights, lived experience, expertise and passion for mental health and wellbeing. Hearing their stories and being able to share them has always been (and continues to be) a huge privilege and something I value massively; so a huge huge thank you to all my guests, and to those already booked in for the remainder of 2020 and 2021.
The podcast started because I wanted to have and advocate for conversations about mental health and wellbeing, that would be super hard without my amazing guests.
I can say that knowing it's true, because on a couple of occasions unfortunately guests have been unable to make our recording and I've tried covering points on my own, with mixed success. I enjoy sometimes being able to just sit there/ here and talk to my listeners, but it's definitely much harder when you were expecting to have a guest.
I love the podcast, speaking to guests and sharing our discussions. Hopefully they inspire others to go away and have their own conversations, along with informing and educating listeners on mental health and wellbeing, the lives affected by illnesses, those succeeding their personal challenges (regardless of illness/ diagnosis), along with signposting and discussing support, services, products and tools for wellbeing.
It hasn't just been good news for the podcast recently though. This October made the annual Top 10 Mental Health Bloggers list compiled by Vuelio, for the third time. Long time readers will know there's been slight branding changes in that time along with notable changes in the number and frequency of blog posts over the years. I think it may have been 2017 that I posted every other week (or something like that). Now it's much more an as and when posting schedule.
Blogging began for me because I couldn't verbalise what I was experiencing and I didn't feel able to talk about what was going on in my head and the dark thoughts that went through my mind. Writing at that time in a little notebook, with pen and paper was the only release for those thoughts the only opportunity for the slight release of those emotions, that pain, that sadness. It was the one releseasee that I had. To see where that 'notebook' is now, is something I don't think I reflect on nearly enough given the impact, importance and truly huge meaning that it has had on my life. It has at times saved my life...
To see that now be a source of happiness, of passion, of success; it is not even something I didn't think was possible, it would never have been something that I would even have thought about. It wouldn't have passed my mind that people would read this, that it could proved hope, insight, and joy for some readers. It was purely my space to be honest and open.
It is still that, but it's also something more. It's a place where I can connect and celebrate some of those successes, an opportunity to share, promote and signpost to other amazing blogs, projects, services, events that can/ do involve/ focus on wellbeing and mental health. It's an opportunity for me to bring mental health and wellbeing to some settings/ events/ projects where it isn't the focus, and again that's something I am so proud of.
I hope as part of my journey and my sharing I have shown a recovery journey is possible, that it looks different to everyone, that some recoveries have different aims/ hopes/ aspirations, and that while not liner a journey is possible and that you are worthy of support and of your own recovery; whatever that looks like for you.
This is definitely something you will hear if you listen to a few different podcast episodes, as every guests story is slightly different.
Thank you so much to everyone that has read, shared, supported and acknowledged my blog and in doing so, my journey and me.
Thank you to everyone that continues to support as the content evolves to include not just my struggles and experiences, but also the projects, events, services and facilities that I am now able to share/ signpost to.
If you would like to hear a bit more from me and get a 'blog insight' please check out my Blogger Spotlight with Vuelio, here.
In this post I mention some of those dark experiences I have had, if you feel like you are in that place please know there is support. One of the best places to go is Samaritans, they have a great listening service. If your looking for more longer term support you can find your local Mind (wellbeing service) in the UK here.
Thank you for all of your support.
Thank you for being part of the journey.