Mental Health and Wellbeing Matters: admitting you just don’t know

Coffee image for Film Stories' regular mental health column
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No magic answers in our latest chat about mental health, but an admission that sometimes, we just don’t know what the hell to do.

Hello and a very warm welcome to the spot on our site where we chat about mental health, and the things that may be affecting you, or people around you. This is a weekly column, and hopefully over the series of articles, there’s something we write that may be of use.

In truth, we’re not sure that this may be the article, though! Because sometimes, we find ourselves in positions and situations and it’s simply really hard to know what to do. Particularly as we get older, we’re expected to have more and more answers, and sometimes, well, we don’t.

Sometimes there’s a question that you don’t have the answer for. Sometimes, someone is asking something of you that, for whatever reason, you just can’t give. Sometimes, it’s hard to say yes or no. Instead, the best we can muster is a ‘don’t know’.

I think it was a line in The Sopranos, where it’s pointed out that sometimes you lose more by indecision than you do by a bad decision. I never really bought that at the time, and I’m not sure I buy it now. I get the idea, but it’s a difficult mantra to live by.

Still, it’s sometimes seen as some kind of weakness to simply declare that you don’t know. Not in the ‘I can’t really be bothered to consider the question’ kind of way, but a genuine don’t know. I’m not sure why. Why do we keep having to pretend to be bulletproof, or know-it-alls? Find me the human being who has the answer for all the situations they’re presented with, and I’ll find you the stench of BS.

Personally, I’ve had situations this year where I’ve just been at an absolute loss as to what to do. I ask for help, I defer to others who know more, but in the heat of the moment, I’ve had to throw my hands up and say I’m stuck. I can’t say it’s helped the situation concerned in some cases, but there are moments in life when you simply have nothing to give, no wisdom to impart, and you can’t even find something to try.

Sometimes, you just have to admit it: you actually, from the depths of your soul, don’t know. And I don’t think it’s a bad thing to say that from time to time.

Thanks, as always, for reading. This column will return as usual next week.

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