Domme sits on the edge of a dramatic precipice overlooking the Dordogne river. On a clear night last week the temperature dropped and come morning the valley was filled with mist slowly evaporating in the morning sun. At 7am French locals were setting up the market stalls for the day working away in the mist as the sun rose. Oblivious to the beauty of the rays of light shining through.
CHW is Castlewellan Holiday week. A yearly Christian meeting at the beginning of August. The speaker this year was Patrick Regan – currently he is the CEO of a charity called Kintsugi Hope. Probably uniquely for a christian speaker in my experience Patrick focused on faith within the context of mental health. Emphasising that it’s OK to not be OK. His book “Honesty over Silence” has just been published and so far I have got to the end of chapter 5. It’s a very personal read and talks about his family experiences of physical illness, mental illness, bereavement and perhaps less obvious issues like perfectionism. Letting go is a common theme.
Patrick started the week talking about a broken vase being repaired with gold glue so that the defect becomes part of the object and in fact enhances it. An image of God’s healing made real because of his personal story.
In some ways all of us are broken or damaged by our experiences, whether we have ever had a diagnosis of a mental health problem personally. As the title suggests the book encourages an honest conversation rather than that the silence which our society so often encourages.