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A Bowl Of Irish Stew

I was honoured to share a small part of my story and my Mental health journey as part of this wonderful book.

A Bowl Of Irish Stew is a fantastic collection of stories filled with hope and courage by some very inspiring people.

The proceeds of this book go to a good cause too so it’s well worth looking in to getting a copy and reading more about the wonderful work being done by the AWESOME people that put this book together! You can see the website and where to get a copy HERE

Be sure to give them a follow and some love on Twitter too ♡♡♡♡

Along with my own contribution there are many other stories that just ooze courage, hope, resilience and pure awesomeness from people that have survived and conquered in some way.

Please do take a look and grab yourself a copy – it’s all for a great cause too!

Posted in mental health, Uncategorized

Who would have thunk it?!

So today I Did a shoot for Lloyds Bank #GetTheInsideOut campaign.

Who would have thought just as little as three years ago that I would be doing the things that I am for mental health awareness?!

Today I’m stood there being filmed and realised how far I had come and how none of us know what will happen.

Here’s why…..♡

#GetTheInsideOut

Talk to someone – Don’t be ashamed of your story. One day it will inspire others ♡

Posted in mental health, Uncategorized

To You On World Mental Health Day 2018

It’s World Mental Health Day 2018 and it’s great when these dates come around as there is so much more conversation around mental health which can only be a good thing.

It’s also important to remember however that mental health is something we need to be aware of everyday. For ourselves and for those around us. Mental health awareness needs to be there 24/7 the same as our physical health.

For people affected by mental health which is 1 in 4 it’s not exclusive to mental health day, it’s a day to day battle of fighting for ourselves and far too often, our lives.

With the success of my recent campaign “hearts of hope” with personal notes being an effective way of reaching people struggling, for those of you that don’t live local and so haven’t been able to go and get one of my notes and whom haven’t received Happy post from me I wanted to write you a letter here, to anyone that may be struggling and finding things difficult – This is for you.

Dear You,

To the person that feels lonely, scared, ashamed, hopeless and who is struggling today, I want to tell you that you are going to be okay. It may not feel that way now, but it will.

You see I have felt hopeless, lonely and had given up on my life once too. I planned to end my life. I was in so much pain with so much confusion that I didn’t know which way was up. I barely functioned and I battled my way through 15 years of trying to get the right treatment. That may be the last thing you want to hear. 15 years is an awfully long time but there were good times within that too and I battled my way through. It’s not like that for everyone, everyones journey and path is different. Even with the same diagnosis no two people are the same. For you, your journey will be different too, it wont go the way mine did – because you are you and that alone is something to celebrate. There is not another you on this planet – just you – one of a kind and you are all kinds of amazing.

You may be new to struggling with mental health and wondering what you’re supposed to do and may not have told anyone yet how you are feeling. Or like me you may be an old hat and more aware of what is going on and how to manage that better. Wherever you are on that journey however it still hurts the same when it hurts and the black is as black when going through a depression, the delusions are still as scary each time they roll around – Whatever it is that you are struggling with when it’s bad it’s bad and we all cope in our own ways as will you.

What I want you to know today is that I know what it’s like to feel hopeless, I know what it is to break in to a million tiny pieces and feel like it’s impossible to glue all those pieces back together to resemble something called life. I also know that is possible.

Now I’m not perfect. Far from it. I have moods that flail around at times, I have anxiety and that gets the better of me, I still check pointless objects at night as part of an OCD ritual to make sure they are still there. I still take lithium and quetiapine to keep my brain on track and throw in a clonazepam a day to keep the anxiety at bay. There is no such thing as a perfect recovery in mental health. It’s a process of management. Of learning about yourself, what makes you tick, what makes you break, your limits and learning to manage your life and your illness but do you know what? That’s okay!!!! if you’re not there yet then you will be.

You may be thinking “That’s great for her and I’m never going to feel that way” That’s okay too because that’s exactly what I thought when I read things like this, I thought it happened to “other people” and how great that was for them but that I was too broken.

This is why I created the hashtag #InBloomNotBroken which will also hopefully be the title of my book when it’s published because no one is too broken, we are simply in bloom. That means you too.

I nearly ended my life and quirk of fate stopped that from happening and now my god am I glad I didn’t!! I struggle but i’m better than I was, I do things that matter to me, I have a beautiful daughter to see grow up. I may not have the uni degree or the career…I’ve spent so much time in hospital and in the depths of mental illness that wasn’t possible but just because that’s what society tells us is success, actually it’s not. Success derives from happiness in whatever form that will take so screw what anyone thinks – If I have a period where I’m happy and healthy then I deem myself very bloody successful.

You have a purpose. If you feel you don’t then you just haven’t found it yet. You will find it. If you are struggling remember – This isn’t the forever you, it’s just the for now you and you will find the true you again, just give yourself time. Everything needs time, a cold, a flu, a broken leg – Mental Illness is no different.

You will be okay. I promise. Just be gentle with yourself, give yourself time, don’t push yourself to do what you think you should just for that reason alone, listen to your gut, take time for you, listen to yourself and fight for the right help and treatment – you deserve that, don’t put up with being lost in the system.

If you are struggling but haven’t told anyone yet please take the first step of doing this. It’s hard, scary but it’s vital. Holding it back doesn’t nothing but make it grow. Tell a friend, a family member or talk to someone in confidence like the samaritans who you can call free 24 hours a day on 116 123.

Don’t suffer in silence.

Don’t be ashamed to be you.

And don’t be ashamed of your story. One day it will inspire others.

Take care of you

Lots of love

Katie

xxxx

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Songs Are The Key To The Soul

I believe you can learn so much about someone from the songs that mean something to them. Those songs. You know the ones I mean. That get you in your gut, were almost written for you and stay with you over years that you always come back to.

I have quite a few but there are two that I thought I’d share….which is kind of like baring my soul a bit as these two songs have followed me through my teen years and beyond.

I used to listen to them all the time feeling extremely lost and lonely comforted but these songs somehow knowing that someone else must feel that way too to be abke to write them to begin with.

It’s funny, they’ve always had meaning but over the the years as I’ve grown, processed, and thought I realise as I get older why exactly they would have hit me so hard and they have more meaning as the time has gone on.

So …. if you want to hear my inner workings and what my inner self in music sounds like. These pretty much sum it up – especially the first one – I’ve always said it’s my theme tune but both have significant meaning to me and my life ♡♡♡

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World Suicide Prevention Day – A letter to YOU

Feeling suicidal is in a lot of ways indescribable. That moment of carrying out a planned suicide is something you can’t understand fully unless you’ve been in that moment.

This is a letter to YOU, the person who feels lost, lonely, and like life isn’t worth living.

You are stronger than you think, braver than you know. You can do this. Things can change. I promise.

Keep fighting.

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Quotes and getting through

I’ve realised I literally fill myself with quotes and sayings on a daily basis.

I use quotes and affirmations a lot as part of my coping.

I use it for others in my happy post but also daily in my own strategies.

I find words, lyrics, quotes and affirmations powerful and I use all of those things a lot!

It’s dawned on me today as I got dressed just how much I use these things externally to express myself or to help me through.

Today’s Outfit includes a “stop the planet I want to get off” sweater which very aptly describes my current state of anxiety and lithium levels that are all put of whack, a “there is always hope” quote ring, an “aim for progress not perfection” quote ring, a semi colon ring and a.”kindness” bracelet.

mental health quote accessories
mental health jewellery and accessories

I guess this is where my notes of hope come from, my happy post and most of what I do – I love quotes and words and find them very powerful and love my many affirmation based accessories!

Being an Etsy shop owner many of these beauties have been found in th wonders of etsy which when you buy you’re also of the knowledge that you’re helping a small business instead of the big stores so if you fancy your own uplifting clothes and accessories definitely head to etsy!

Like me you can be a walking quote 😂

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Katie Houghton’s Story

I am DELIGHTED to have taken part in this amazing project where the focus is on the positives of mental health. Please check out the open shutters project on facebook too for all the dates of the exhibition and show some support ♡

The Open Shutters Project

Katie Houghton photographed for Open Shutters by Lisa Marie Gee of Studio G Photography

Katie Houghton tells her story to Open Shutters and explains that if she were offered a magic pill to take her mental health problems away she wouldn’t take it.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/embed.animoto.com/play.html?w=swf/production/vp1&e=1536068489&f=85455VUnYYFhRcsK66c19Q&d=0&m=p&r=360p+480p+720p&volume=100&start_res=720p&i=m&asset_domain=s3-p.animoto.com&animoto_domain=animoto.com&options=

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