Thoughts from the Founder.
Overwhelm and distress are ways of feelings which we are not taught about in school, or many places beyond the friendships we have known and the families we were born into. There is always a particular quality to these feelings of hopelessness and stuckness, or not really knowing why everything suddenly seems too much. It feels extremely personal and isolating and there is an odd sense of shame cast over these very human experiences of suffering. In this suffering exists a peculiar, yet profound paradox. When we give into these emotions that drive our panic, when we accept that we are allowed to stop and feel these manifestation of pain that we have avoided at all costs, we enter the realm of healing. We find the space that we needed all along. In not wanting to admit our pain, maybe because we think people couldn't understand, or the burden would be too great, we lock the door to the place where we are given relief.
We are afraid to cry, we are afraid to let go. Release is seen as weakness? Crying is one of the fastest and most effective ways for our body to stabilise itself and our mind to heal. We don't want to admit our struggles? We are afraid to seem as if we are complaining? The shared exploration of distress and suffering is something that has faded from our experience of everyday life. The less common the expression and acceptance of distress becomes in society, the more strength it bears for the individuals within it. In a desperation to improve and gain and in an endless seeking to be recognised as 'suitable' we have forgotten the thing that allows us to overcome our challenges the most.
By masking our suffering, by using the mask, we close ourselves off from that part of ourselves that connects honestly and authentically to our fellow human beings. The pattern is repeated and slowly we forget how important and perhaps how simple these acknowledgements of pain are.
States of Mind is an Organisation that was created to rewind and repair this process for the next generation. It exists to provide a space for the exploration of mental health problems or put differently, normal but challenging human experiences.