Today we had a small group. It was great to welcome a new member who was made to feel very welcome by the other members. Some members are going through quite challenging times at the moment. Once again, the members were so supportive to each other in dealing with the challenges life can bring.
Whilst welcoming a new member to the group, members were keen to express how safe this group and how they do not feel judged. We discussed how hurtful and tiring it can be to be constantly judged by others. We are very keen to promote tolerance in and outwith the group.
The group was quite informal and allowed people to really chat with one another about what is going on and to give and receive support. What transpired is that people are learning to be more self-aware and able to put support in place to look after themselves. People have also found strength to ask for help and to say “no” to things which are not good for them. With a good understanding of how we relate to others, we can adjust our behavior so that we deal with them positively. By understanding what upsets us, we can improve our self-control. By understanding our weaknesses, we can learn how to manage them, and reach our goals despite them.
One of the great things about groups like this is that it is one of the few places in society where people from different backgrounds can all come together as one to support each other regardless of social/ethnicity differences.
Today’s group was deep and very meaningful. Like many people around the world, we are still coming to terms with the tragic suicide of the much-loved actor and comedian Robin Williams. It further reinforces the fact that depression can affect anyone no matter what their circumstances are. You can be in a room with lots of people but still feel like the loneliest person in the world. We hope that all the publicity this has received will help knock down some of the stigmas around suicide/depression and encourage others to speak out about how they feel without shame or guilt.
Members continued filling in the group’s “good notice board” writing down all the good things that have happened to them during the week. As mentioned in previous posts we are encouraging members to “bank” these positive experiences. “Banking” these good times/achievements can help us maintain a sense of perspective while facing the challenges that life can bring.
We discussed the impact of parental mental health problems on children. Once again, all the group members listened attentively to each other’s point of view and showed an incredible amount of support for one other.
We had a nice small group today that looked at a range of topics. Following on from last weeks’ meeting we continued to look at how to keep ourselves safe from doing things for others that come at a cost to us. We talked about how it is perfectly natural to feel anger at certain times in our lives, but the way we deal with the anger determines how we can move forward in a healthy, positive way.
In the light of previous meetings, we further discussed how easily we can forget the good things we have achieved and tend to focus more on the negative ones. We have created the “Good notice board” where every week group members will have the opportunity to put up positive experiences that have occured to them during the week. People commented on how doing this helps give them a balanced perspective of their lives.
We all had a really good laugh near the end of the group adding Elvis “puns” into every conversation after we read an article about an Elvis impersonator. It was so nice seeing everyone laugh and smile as having fun is such an imporatant part of this group.
Today we looked at ways in which we can continue to help others whilst at the same time caring for ourselves. We did an exercise where members wrote down the last time they did something to help another person, and how that made them feel.
People agreed that they liked helping others. “Giving” is one of the five ways to healthy wellbeing.
While it is beneficial for us all to help others, it can be challenging if we do not look after ourselves too. Some members find it hard to say “no” to suggestions made by others in case this upsets them, even though they may feel uncomfortable doing something they don’t really want to. People can be very compassionate and helpful to others, so we looked at applying the same compassion and care to ourselves. This is a common theme many people struggle with.
People in the group have been going through a lot of personal challenges in their lives but felt a bit better by the end of the group having gained more hope, support and the knowledge that the group is there and holds them.