Self Help

Today on my acting course we tried an exercise; I wasn’t sure whether to write about this as ‘Mental Illness vs Acting Part Five/Six (I lose track…) or just to have it as an ordinary post. I decided on the latter.

So although the exercise was related to acting I think that it can be applied to anyone and can offer you a very interesting insight into your life and how you live it.

Step One: create a list of all of the hurtful things that have happened to you; or a list of the shit parts of your life. For example, mine contained: bullying, bereavement, depression, loneliness, self harm, etc.

Step Two: Identify which of those issues affect you right now; what do you carry around with you on a daily basis? What hurts have faded away into something bearable? For example, you may have worked through your grief of your Grandmother dying twenty years ago but not the pain and fear of when you were sexually assaulted last year.

Step Three: Identify which of those issues would stop you taking up opportunities or make you avoid things. When we did this exercise our ‘step three’ was identifying which issues would make us turn down jobs or affect our work. I’ve tried to tweak it slightly to apply to everyone.

Step Four: Identify one positive thing that has come out of each shit thing. For example; being bullied could lead you, like me, to become fearless about what other people think. I know that I now dress and behave the way that I want. After a good seven or so years of bullying I really don’t give a shit about what other people think of me.

Step Five: Pick out the problems that affect you the most and are having a genuinely negative affect on your life and think about ways that you can work through them. You may feel that you don’t want to deal with anything just yet. That’s okay, sometimes it’s just useful to identify what pushes your buttons. You may, however, feel that you do want to work through one or more of your problems. Now is the time to approach your GP and see what help they healthcare system can offer you. (And of course you can always try and work through any issues yourself if you feel that’s the best way.)

Once again, thanks for reading- hope that was helpful!

’til next time,

Wren x


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