Mental Health Awareness Week blog series

You are good enough

by Michelle Rhodes, Pathways to Employment Lead

“Happy, fun, hardworking, loyal, energetic, loud, conscientious, kind, lots of banter”

These are just a few words that people have referred to me in these terms.

“Anxious, tired, grumpy, not good enough, frightened, nervous, unintelligent” – am I enough?

These are the words I use to describe myself on a daily basis.

I may look fine on the outside but often feel like the duck gliding along the surface but paddling furiously to stay afloat.

Being a mother, wife, a daughter, sister, auntie, team lead are all things I juggle with day in day out, always questioning my abilities and actions.

I have come to realise that I am my own worst enemy and am often not very kind to myself.

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and it is time to stop, take a step back, breathe and be kind to ourselves.

Instead of concentrating on the things that may have not gone so well, we need to concentrate and be grateful for all the good things in our lives – family, friends colleagues, laughs, smiles, hugs. I could go on forever!

Today is the third anniversary of the attack at Manchester Arena, which took the lives of 22 people, injured many others, and changed everything. I will always remember talking to my three young daughters after what happened at the Ariana Grande concert. They were so shocked and saddened and could not understand why someone would be so cruel. It really affected their mental health and wellbeing.

I had to explain that there are people in the world that do bad things and that bad things happen in life. But for every bad thing that happens there are millions of amazing things and beautiful people, and the aftermath of the bombing was the perfect example of how we can all come together and support one another.

I feel that same sense of community and support in these unusual times. The way that everybody is taking care of one another – family, friends, neighbours and strangers – with mental health at the forefront of many conversations. We don’t know what the aftermath of this pandemic will bring, but we’re all here to help one another, on the happy days and the sad days.

We also need to remember that happiness is an emotion and like sadness is fleeting. It’s unrealistic to strive for happiness all the time. It comes in waves and we are all different, complicated, amazing human beings that are trying our best.

Every day is a struggle in some way. Admitting that is a huge relief. I am not alone and neither are you.

I’m making a promise to continue telling myself I am good enough. We are good enough. In fact, we’re much more than good enough.