World Mental Health Day 2020: Dare to Dream…

Do you dare to dream?

I’m learning each day to dream a little more – finding, fighting, freeing my mind to really believe that big dreams are possible. For me personally speaking, I have so many fears and moments of doubt but they are alleviated by an unwavering faith in God’s love for me.

I feel this year mental health gets the spotlight and focus it desperately needs. We still need to be educated so much more but I feel the world has finally started recognising that mental health is a very real and integral part of life. I’ll be the first to admit that I did not give it the respect it deserves until my own world changed earlier this year – partly because I was always of the thinking that ‘things will be better in the morning’ and as an asian male, you just don’t talk about mental health. How very wrong was I – the fabric of everything you say and do stems from the mental state you approach it with, and no matter how you paint the picture, it will always show up if you leave it unresolved. I feel like each of us have our own ‘tumours’ to carry – whether that is physical illness, whether that is insecurity, whether that is loneliness… what I’m trying to say is challenges are challenges despite what they are called and they all have the potential to be destructive if we ignore them.


One of the first things my neurosurgeon and neurologist told me after my diagnosis is trying to maintain a positive mindset and attitude – it’s a bigger healer than any medication or technology that exists. Everyone is different and what works for some people won’t work for others but I thought it might be useful to share some things that I do to try and keep my mind at peace:

  • Immerse myself in God – this has been my anchor through the storm. I struggle to describe it but it’s as if every single problem and situation pales to insignificance when I hand it over to the big guy. It’s a personal choice but I have found so much peace in God’s love and I’m going to use this platform to encourage people to try as well.
  • Find the things that make you happy – sounds obvious right, but is it?… what maybe more accurate is find the things that relieve your anxiety… I’m talking about really work out what you need in a day to set yourself on a good path – Is that exercise? Is that reading? Is that rest? Is that spending time with a loved one? Two things I’ve worked out which really help focus my mind is firstly I need to spend some time with God and secondly spend some time in the gym! Random combo huh?! But when I break my day down, I’ve noticed a pattern – when I start my day with God, my heart and my head are calmer, my decisions are wiser and my attitude is kinder… similarly I get very anxious if I can’t get a workout in, the endorphin release just makes me feel better. So I’ve taken it upon myself to make sure I build these items into my day.
  • Talk to someone! This is really hard for me – I mean talking to people is not hard, I love talking! But talking about my feelings, my concerns, my insecurities… well I just don’t do that and I struggle – but I’m learning and trust me when I say it’s so much better out than in. Kind of like this blog – writing it down is not solving any problems as such but it’s an opportunity to face it and release it from my mind and potentially even get guidance/encouragement from someone who reads it.
  • Rest & recharge – again this is not always easy to build into our lives but we all need to learn to do it. I’m not saying be lazy or be a couch potato but it’s ok to take time to refresh yourself – quite simply put, a refreshed you is always a better you.

I just wanted to finish this blog by explaining why I titled it ‘Dare to Dream’ – it’s very simple. A few nights ago I had an impossible dream, I dreamt that we were expecting a 3rd child! It’s something which we’ve always hoped would eventually happen but something which after the 4th Feb became an unrealistic dream. Now before anyone messages me, that’s not me saying we’re all of a sudden trying for a baby!!! That’s just me saying I never want to stop believing that anything is impossible, particularly because I have God on my side – “If he is for us, who can ever be against us” Romans 8:31. So over the last few days I’ve been thinking of things I dare to dream… and I kind of wrote them down like a poem which I wanted to share and hope it may be a source of encouragement:

Dare to Dream

I dare to keep living
I dare to keep singing

I dare to say I'm already healed
I dare to say my story is just being revealed

I dare to say I'm stronger than before
I dare to say my illness is no more

I dare to be a testimony
I dare to be God's glory

I dare to be a symbol of hope
I dare to help others cope

I dare to never stop fighting
I dare to never stop shining

I dare to keep being better
I dare to never be a quitter

I dare to walk both my girls down the aisle
I dare to hold my first & last grandchild

I dare to always keep believing
I dare to always keep dreaming

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