A few years ago, pre Covid, I was with some friends at a pub in Temple Bar. Ooohh, when I look back at those halcyon days of freedom and light. Before I had gone to the loo we were talking about our individual experiences with anxiety and depression.
All of us had been tainted by both at some time or another and it was both liberating and sad to hear everyone’s experiences. Shame appeared to be a common trait among us. Even though awareness has heightened around mental health over the last many years, a pervading stigma remains.
When I returned the conversation revolved around an ‘Open Mic’ night. All the girls were excited and animated. I said to the girls ‘So who is this guy Mike and why is he so open with his feelings? Does it help people? ’.
One of the girls looked at me and said ‘Seriously’, I said, ‘Yes, when will he be coming here? . They all started laughing their heads off, a few were crying as they thought I was taking the piss.
I can be fierce thick at times but this was an all-time low, even for me. I soon realized I got the wrong end of the stick. I went along with it and started laughing as well’. Another said, ‘Oh, it was your straight face and delivery, priceless’.
I was asked if I would be reciting one of my poems. At this point I had noticed a poster outlining the details of the ‘Open Mic night’ and eventually the penny dropped. What a numpty eh? Needless to say, the night has not happened and may not for some time but I will be ready with my ‘Mic’ when it does. Who knows I may even meet a Mike who is open about his feelings?
That’s all for now.
Have a great day.