Thursday, 29 January 2015

Answering Emily

Me during my first year at university

She attended university in the year I was born. She raged against conformity, felt hurt, threw down words which the World deserved to hear. She was making a point before I could even hold a pen, and it is through people like her that  the rhythm was set for people to use the ink, express themselves. The world, my mind, now often appears to pulse under a typeface or keyboard – yet it was this Emily who spun the words like yarn to make the garments without which we would be defenceless. Ultimately, It is due to people like Emily Pykett and her blog that provide the hope that writing can, and does, make a difference.

I wonder  how she has broken through the glass box she mentions, surrounding her undergraduate self. But perhaps ‘broken’ is the wrong expression. For Emily’s words echo with a sense that has not ‘broken’ and does not ‘break’ – it beats on. Perhaps she put her hands against the glass not to crack, but to clear the condensation from the surface, and see herself, in the mirror, as she may do today. I hope she is proud.

Most days the mirror I see through is still shrouded in a kind of  clutter, but writing helps it to clear – it makes me realise that if glass surrounds me, it can assume the form of mirror or window and suggest possibility, clarity. This is what Emily Pykett’s blog has brought back to me. She is an inspiration.

I wonder if she ever knew  another Emily, back then. I wonder if she had to face the fear of the under-discussion of mental health alone. She fought to make the situation better  for an Emily of her future, and I hope she feels that. Emily is not alone. The continued writing and discussion of mental health awareness shows that the benefits, the inclusiveness, can extend to so many. So yes, Emily is not alone. Anyone, of any identity, from any background, should feel that they can express themselves, express their minds. I hope this gives people hope. I follow in her footsteps. I am Emily and I am not alone.

I am attempting to launch a campaign concerned with increasing the awareness of mental health issues but also changing the language involved within – increasing acceptability and interactivity. I will keep you updated.