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  • Writer's pictureMike Douglas

What’s been going on?

Updated: Jan 21, 2023

I feel like I get asked this question a lot. And the thing is, I’m really bad at answering it.

I think I’m partly asked this question so much because I have a few different friendship groups and friends that are solo friends (we are not part of a larger group), and as some of you may know, I’m also not the best at regular calls or texts to checkin. We will meet up maybe have dinner, a board game, pool or maybe we arrange a phone call. These things I feel happen every month, three months, six months or so. I’ve also got some awesome pals that I maybe see once a year. It is fair to say there's gaps between meet-ups and good opportunities to ask the question "Whats been going on with you?"

Even with regularly being asked, I’m still bad at answering this question. After some thought, I think it’s because of three reasons.

Number one. I struggle with self worth and self promotion.

I imagine this is something that’s fairly common in the depression/ mental health world and so a few of you reading might be familiar with this feeling.

I’m sometimes unsure about sharing successes because they will be downplayed or dismissed, and keeping them to myself feels like I’m protecting those moments or achievements for myself and keeping them save.

There’s also other times when I downplay the achievements myself. I’ll tell myself it’s not something to shout about, no one really cares. Why would you bother them with this?

Number two. The way we often have friend or peer to peer conversations. This is a personal feeling, it’s not necessary what’s actually happening, it’s how it can feel to me. But I often feel the asking/ question isn’t really being asked. It’s just something to say. Much like “How are you?”, it often feels that this is part of a pre scripted conversation requirement. The person asking is expecting and desires an equally automated response. “I’m fine thanks, how are you?” Or “yes things are good” or “works been busy”.

Number three. Work. Work is a big part of my life. In terms of time, emotional investment, where I feel a sense of purpose/ achievement/ value. I believe and value in the core function/ purpose of my workplace and in the role I have. Even when I’m not working there’s often times I think of something or see something and email myself as a reminder to follow that up.

I also have a role that is involves being in public material meaning I’m very aware that in certain settings I could easily be recognised and linked to my workplace. Meaning I often feel like I'm working (inactively) when I'm not at work.

Answering “what have you been up to?” Is something I would like to get better at and work on. It doesn’t have to be all the time or with everyone. There’s always going to be conversations I’d rather have/ not have with certain people and that’s fine. But there are times I would like to be more confident, to feel more self worth and to talk about some of the cool things going on. And, to not always focus on work.

By way of a practice, here’s what’s been going on lately:

  • I was recognised as being in the Top 10 Mental Health Blogs in the UK.

  • I’ve just recorded the 245th podcast episode and I’m still loving every conversation.

  • At work (I know, but it’s a good one) we’ve just supported two of our biggest fundraisers.

  • I enjoyed attending Portsmouth Pride a couple of weeks ago. Even if we did get a bit too much of the sun.

  • The Mental Health Blog Awards planning for this year is coming together. It’s just over three weeks away now.

  • I had my hair cut! 11.5 inches donated and sent off to Little Princess Trust.

  • The haircut along with my running, which is going well, is part of my 2022 fundraising for a local Mind (mental health charity).

  • Hopefully we are having a new kitchen later this year. It’s not in the best condition currently.

  • Back in May I attended Portsmouth Comic Con as Media/ Press.

  • Spending more time with Laura outside of the house, where we are less distracted by the TV or things that need to be done at home.

There’s definitely more, but wow even going through those things. It feels good to reflect and to share those things.

On reflection I think I’m even worse at sharing struggles. So maybe there is another issue here, trust and letting people in? Yer, that wouldn't be a surprise.

How are you at sharing your successes, struggles and life updates? Do you have any tips? Send me your thoughts @Mike_Douglas_ on twitter and Instagram.


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