Mental Health & Wellbeing Matters: saying ‘when’

Coffee image for Film Stories' regular mental health column
Share this Article:

In our regular mental health and wellbeing slot, a few words on drawing the line, and finally saying when – and why it matters.

Hello, and a very warm welcome to the spot on the site where we chat about mental health, wellbeing, and things that may be affecting us or people around us. We run these articles weekly as a rule, and not everything we cover will be of interest or use to everyone. Hopefully though, there’s something in this ongoing run of articles that might be of some use.

Let’s start by going back to the early 1990s, and a movie.

Regarding Henry is not a film that’s generally thought of when people fancy a bit of a Harrison Ford movie night. Released in 1991, it was a reunion of Ford and the late Mike Nichols – after the hugely successful Working Girl – and it wasn’t a box office success. Truth be told, it’s not that great a movie either, but it does contain a moment that’s relevant to this piece.

“I’ve had enough”, says Ford’s Henry Turner – dialogue written by a young JJ Abrams no less – “so I am saying ‘when’”.

And that’s what we’re chatting about in this article. How’s that for a terrible build up?

I think saying ‘when’ is important. Judging just when to say it isn’t the easiest thing to do, but it’s a polite way of saying that there’s a finite amount of shit that any human being should be expected to take. And that sooner or later, you’ve got to do a bit of self-preservation and say enough is enough.

It can be tricky to do when you’re at the coalface of a difficult situation. That said, most of us know when our heads are dragging us down, or when it feels like the walls are closing in a little. As we get older, the telltale signs are a bit easier to spot, but even so, most of us will leave things probably a little later than they should. There does come a point, though.

Like many articles in this series, all of this is a lot easier written down than it tends to be in real life. That notwithstanding, it’s worth reiterating that human beings by their very definition have limits. We all do. And that whether it’s a friend, relative, work colleague or bully that’s wearing you down, you cannot be expected to take an infinite amount of crap. Most of the time, it won’t be someone else who intervenes on your behalf. You have to find a way to take control of a situation you’re in yourself.

How and when you say ‘when’ is, of course, up to you. Harrison Ford has to wait until he’s shot, gone through months of recovery, and then suffer two dimensional characters for a good half hour before he calls time. I’d recommend not doing that. But I’d also recommend setting some boundaries of the amount of bullshit and rubbish you’re willing to take, and to do your utmost to abide by them.

I fully accept life doesn’t pan out like a 1991 movie. But even in the midst of box office flops, there might be the odd useful life lesson hiding within.

You all take care. This column will be back after the Christmas break.

Thank you for visiting! If you’d like to support our attempts to make a non-clickbaity movie website:

Follow Film Stories on Twitter here, and on Facebook here.

Buy our Film Stories and Film Stories Junior print magazines here.

Become a Patron here.


Share this Article:

Related Stories

More like this