The Power of Small

Our Digital Officer, Claire wrote about the small things making a difference in her life right now.

The last year has tested us all and put us all in the position where we have had to change how we communicate with others, as well as deal with diminishing mental health. This year Time to Talk Day is talking about the ‘power of the small’ and so I wanted to look at what are the small things that have been a lifeline for me in the past year.

I have bipolar with psychosis and it hasn’t been easy to manage in the past year, I live alone so don’t get those daily ‘in passing’ conversations but there are people who give me the boost I need.

My Niece
At nine years old my niece is probably the last person I would expect to want to spend time with her 40-something aunt. Surprisingly though, this year has brought us closer together. She will message me almost every day, usually wanting to play Minecraft together, but her contact is a life saver for me, helping me to keep going.

My Friend
I have a very good friend, someone who also lives alone and also struggles with their mental illness. We formed a support bubble when these were announced, allowing us to spend time at each other’s houses. We cook dinner together a few times per week and speak on the phone multiple times per day. We encourage each other to get out for a walk, over time we’ve started finding new places that aren’t so busy to have a walk and we use photography to help us cope.

Twitter Community
I have been part of the mental health twitter community for about 10 years now. There are people on there who I consider very good friends, people I can say “I’m having a really bad day” to and get understanding and informed suggestions on how I could manage those feelings. We all share with each other and find solace in knowing we aren’t alone. This past year especially we have leant on each other and got each other through these difficult times.

Dungeons & Dragons
I didn’t know anybody in my Dungeons & Dragons group when we started and being spread out around the country we have never met in person. We all work in the same industry so we’re able to build friendships around that and through our characters. By the time our Zoom call comes round on Sunday evenings, I’m so thankful for that human contact. Spending 2-3 hours working through our campaign, chatting, and laughing is such a boost. I’m also able to use my character to get out some of my fears and frustrations. She’s a bit ‘mad’ and there’s a reason for that!

Small Things
I was sent a message yesterday from someone who was telling me that another friend of mine had said they missed talking to me. That was lovely to hear and made me realise that someone has to make the first move!  If you feel someone is missing from your life, or you’re concerned that they may be lonely or struggling, they  would really appreciate you saying Hi. You could also maybe arrange to meet that person and go for a socially distanced walk, or maybe you get friends together on a Zoom call. These small regular contacts have kept me going, it’s amazing the power they have.  


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