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Posted in anxiety, mental health, mental health awareness, mental health campaigner

Lord Mayor Award! Don’t Believe Everything You Think!

I had the honour last night of being awarded a Lord Mayor Award at the council chambers in Birmingham!

Lord Mayor Award Katie Maylea Birmingham

Receiving a Lord Mayor Award – Katie Maylea

I am so grateful for this as it has given me more confidence and determination to carry on what I aim to in regards to mental health awareness.

It has also shown me that we can’t always believe our brains telling us we are no good! I had this inner dialogue going on even as I was waiting to collect this award that was telling me I wasn’t worthy of being there, that I looked out of place…..So I know it’s easier said than done but don’t believe everything you think!

Be yourself and believe that you can because you can! Even when you tells you that you can’t it doesn’t mean that it is impossible – I am still working on this too.♡♡♡♡

Posted in Uncategorized

Life, Learning, Counselling Mental Health Displays & Mental Health Handmade!

So this last few weeks have been busy, tough, fantastic and a little messy all rolled in to a ball! Off the back of that tonights post is a bit of a chaotic mix much like the feel of my last few weeks!

First of all I passed my level 2 counselling course (YAY!) and have started my level 3! I hope to go on to the level 4 following this to become qualified and this is a HUGE step for me. I also want to show others that it doesn’t matter if you are late to the game and that fulfilling goals and dreams can be done when YOU are ready, at the right time and at your own pace! There is too much pressure on achieving NOW and with young people supposidly needing to know what they want to do immediately!

My mental health awareness displays at Birmingham New Street Station have had such a lovely response across social media and I am really planning on contacting other train stations to try and roll this out!

I have been having a bit of a pants time personally with having a lot to do lately, not being too well while waiting for an operation and also looking after a family member at the same time add to that kids, college, homework, my partner struggling to find work, money being tight, feeling like I have cabin fever with days out seeming like something of the distant past…..You know what it’s like – sometimes it just feels like being bogged down in crap and running from one thing to the next with no real break and I have been struggling with all of that recently. I have sat wondering why I do what I do, why I am what I am, where I am going, feeling like what’s the point really?!

I have also gone back to counselling myself for some personal sessions after some rather crappy family stuff which left me feeling really lost and quite frankly – really shit! There is no shame in needing to talk, needing to ask for help – even if you are training to be a counsellor yourself. Fun fact – counsellors have to have supervision ie someone to go to not only to ensure they are working ethically but also to go to for support and to get advice….

I know now however, that me now vs me then (Even back just a few years) is a big step forward. I feel these things but I trust in where I am going, or at least to attempt to follow the path which if nothing else is a bloody start vs me five years ago!

Sometimes thats all we can do. Keep the faith, hold to the hope and follow out current path and see where it leads!

As usual my two big distractions have been reading and craft! I LOVE books! They allow for real self care time for me and if you are not a “reader” I whole heartedly reccommend trying out some books, finding a genre you love (for me it’s psychological thrillers!) and giving it a go. It really allows me to switch off and be transported somewhere else.

I treated myself to a little second hand book case (£10!) Added some lights ans flowers and voila! A little prettiness to hold all my “to be read next books”

I have also been making new items for my ETSY SHOP – I make a lot of mental health related gifts as I find them fulfilling to make knowing they go to people who need a little pick me – Do feel free to have a nosey!

Sometimes life feels messy, sometimes it is chaotic, tiring, it feels upside down and back to front but keep going, ride the rollercoaster, do the things that work for you because while there are downs there are ups and somewhere along the line we will have an awesome ride and if nothing else an adventure along the way. Life lived is better than no life lived at all ♡

You’ve got this ♡

Posted in mental health, mental health awareness, mental health campaigner

Happy Post at Birmingham New Street Station!

So many people pass through train stations and with so many struggling with their mental health just think of how many that go through train stations on a daily basis are struggling with their mental health….

That was my thought process with my latest project.

How could I reach some of these people with a message telling them they are not alone? So I arranged to design some poster boards for Birmingham New Street Station that portrayed a positive message including helpline numbers in a colourful eye catching way and this was the result!

Happy post birmingham new street station
Mental Health awareness board – Birmingham New Street Station
Happy post at Birmingham New Street Station - Mental Health awareness
Mental Health awareness board – Birmingham New Street Station

I designed two in a collage style that incorporated my “Hearts Of Hope” project at my local park entrance that I have done a couple of times and one that incorporated my “Happy Post” project. I wanted to include some handwritten messages as I think they have a personal touch and I think that can make a real difference sometimes.

The other two I designed digitally including this one here

There is also another design which for some reason would not print on the day and so I will add this one once up for you to see!

My hope at the moment is to try and get more of these as similar designs in to more stations to reach more people, as you never know what someone is going through and in such large crowds within train stations the liklihood is that someone is going to see it that just really needed some positivity that day, to realise they aren’t alone and even encourage someone to use the helpline numbers and reach out for help.

I’d love to get things like this in different formats and different ways in to as many places as possible.

For local stations and places I can do the more collage hardwritten styles as well as digital designs and even places further away I can send digital designs to be printed when I may not be able to get there personally so there is so many possibilities here to get things like this in to a variety of places that is a little different from standard posters and designs and over the rest of this year I plan to contact more places to see what I can do! If you have an idea then please feel free to contact me!

Huge thank you to Birmingham New Street Station for letting me do this as sometimes it’s difficult to get large organisatins to agree to things a little outside of the box but it’s so important as if it works, helps and proves to have value it offers the opportunity for further things to be done in other places and the more mental health awareness the better!

Watch this space!

In Bloom Not Broken, my journey through mental illness available HERE

Posted in mental health, mental health awareness, mental health campaigner

The Scribblings Of Psychosis

Psychosis holds a lot of stigma, It also holds a lot of shame for those that experience it.

I have written about my experiences in my book In Bloom Not Broken and spoke about it in my last Vlog Here but I have never shared my scribblings and thoughts in this way. No one has ever seen these besides my psychiatrist.

There are pages and pages that could share but I have picked out just a few to try and highlight what happens in the mind of someone with psychosis.

I was ashamed about these experiences for a long time. I am in no way religious but my experiences have always had a religious spin and i found that very hard to get my head around. I was embarrassed and my last episode which these scribblings are from after it was over and I was recovering from the depression that ensues after the manic episode I would have flashbacks from this time that would stop me in my tracks and see me bursting in to tears. It was so powerful, so all encompassing that when that has gone and you are left the the depression that follows mania, it’s a confusing place and I found myself questioning who I was.

This specific episode started off the back of a lot of stress, exactly one year to the month from the previous episode of major depression that had landed me on hospital only 12 months earlier.

There was a lot going on and I was very busy. This built and it built quite quickly, I remember when it started. after a while of feeling a bit on edge and like I felt that there was something going on that I could’t put my finger on I was sat on the sofa and a white van pulled outside. I remember eyeing this van thinking “I wonder what they want, they are watching the house, they are trying to rig the house. You need to keep an eye out for these white vans”

And there it began.

I couldn’t switch off and I had this paranoia burning away at the back of my brain whilst feeling like everything was very bright, very HD like, things sounded louder and I felt like I was being sent a message from god. I felt like I was meant to do something and I just had to figure out what that was.

I was going to bed and would get a voice as clear as day right outside my ear saying my name or random words that had no meaning.

psych1

This feeling built. I was making Beauty and Beast style rose jars at this point and had started doing some Snow White themed ones with apples and felt that his had something to do with it all. I was making so many of them and was so busy fulfilling orders that I was fuelling the mania but I was unaware of this so continued with this feeling of adrenaline and paranoia corsing through my vains. Nothing felt enough, nothing was fast enough, it was all too slow. I felt like I could’t get the house clean no matter what I tried and starting to feel increasingly agitated. I felt like everything was too loud, like there was no quiet – It felt like everything around me was just buzzing,

psych5

The religious connotations then started to take over and I felt like everyone was plotting against me, I thought my partner was going to take my daughter off me and that everyone was planning to bring me down but if I completed this mission in someway, If I protected myself, the house, the world against this first it would all be ok.

I had become focussed on red being the colour of the devil and white being that of purity, I placed coloured related items in each of the rooms and towels of these colours over the doors of rooms, to me this was “biding time” until I could figure out what I was supposed to do.

psych3

I soon linked everything together with the roses and the apples to the Garden Of Eden and i really thought at this point that it was all coming together, that it was all starting to make sense and that I would know what I was supposed to do really soon and that is why this next one is starred. I remember feeling like I had had a revelation as to what was happening and that it was being revealed to me piece by piece.

psych4

It got to the point that I was jut so agitated but feeling like I had ants crawling in my brain that I would sit and write the alphabet out over and over again. Hoping that something would jump out at me and make some kind of sense.

psych2

 

This is just a really condensed snippet of what I experienced and how I felt, you can read more about it and my story in my book In Bloom Not Broken Here but I just wanted to share a few of these pages as there are many but I wanted to share just a few in this way as I want others to know they are not alone with having experiences d this. I felt like I was the only one to have these sorts of thoughts and beliefs and I found it extremely traumatising and shameful and just very difficult to accept that my brain had acted in this way!

I was embarrassed and even thought my psychiatrist would think I was crazy to the point I gave her all these scribblings in my hospital admission and I cannot tell you what a bit step that was and how nervous I felt thinking she was going to tell me that I was a freak. As it was she handed them back and just said that it was quite normal and it wasn’t anything she hadn’t seen before. I could have kissed her. I was so sure I was only one.

So I decided to share these to try and give others that may be feeling that I bit of how I felt when she said that to me. A little bit of realisation that you are not a freak and that you are not alone. We aren’t ashamed if we break our leg or our arm so why should we be ashamed if our brains broke for a bit?!

You are not alone in experiencing these things.

I do think there needs to be more support for psychosis AFTER it has happened as I found it’s not just the episode itself that needs treating but it’s very difficult to come to terms with and I think there does need to be more to support people with the feelings that come after this kind of episode as it isn’t easy. It’s not like just because the psychosis is treated and gone it feels instantly better. There is a lot of aftermath thoughts and feelings that go with it too.

If you are struggling please as always, reach out for help. You are not alone with this and it’s okay not to be okay.

 

Posted in book publishing, mental health, mental health awareness, mental health campaigner

Psychosis And Me – thoughts, experiences and stigma.

I finally got around to watching the amazing David Harewood Psychosis And Me documentary and I wanted to do a video as I realised I haven’t spoken about this quite so much.

There is a lot of stigma around psychosis and what experiencing psychosis actually means.

I have spoken about my experiences in my BOOK – In Bloom Not Broken and it is something that is definately tough to tale about but this documentary did a fantastic job so I wanted to touch on my own experiences in the above video and share with you a couple of my “scribblings” from the time.

It’s important that this topic is spoken about more so I am grateful to David Harewood and this documentary as I feel it is quite a hidden mental illness – one that carries a lot of shame and gets shyed away from.

It is a scary experience, it’s confusing and it is hard to come back from too – the procesing and feelings that come in the aftermath are in some ways just as difficult and I think there also needs to be more support post psychosis – not just treating the psychosis itself and this is important to highlight I think.

If you have experienced psychosis you are not alone and you are not alone in how it makes you feel and how it makes you question yourself. It’s okay to talk about this. Don’t be alone.

If you would like to read my story and journey through mental illness my book is available here.

Posted in Uncategorized

Gifts For Those Struggling With Their Mental Health – Mental Health Awareness Week ♡

As it is Mental Health Awareness Week I wanted to share a very small selection of my mental health related gifts in my Etsy shop.

As some of you may or may not know I have an etsy shop!

Creativity is a huge part of my being and always has been. I love to make!

I doubly love to make and merge that in to mental health a positivity related gifts so below is a small selection of examples of what I make and sell!

You can see my Etsy shop here

Feel free to have a nosey and treat yorself or somone else this Mental Health Awaress Week to let them know they matter and are thought of ♡♡♡♡

Posted in Uncategorized

Mental Health Awareness Week Hope

Mental Health Awareness Week 2019 13th – 19th May.

I decided to repeat the project that I did for World Mental Health Day last year and reattach “Hearts Of Hope” to my local park entrace.

I hand wrote around 200 hearts and tags with messages of hope and inspiration, adding the number for the Samaritans and SHOUT – the fantastic new crisis text line that I volunteer for.

This had such a fantastic response last year with conversations happening around mental health in a place and situation that it wouldn’t normally occur. People talked to each other in the street and I recieved such lovely messages that I decided to do it again for Mental Health Awareness Week.

The hearts are all removeable so if someone is struggling with their mental health or know someone that is they can take a heart of hope away ♡

Sometimes the smallest of things can make a big difference and I hope these hearts can help just one person who maybe hasn’t spoken out yet and finds the courage to or that it once again sparks converstation around mental illness.

It is so imporant to me to raise awareness and provide hope to others having struggled for most of my life with my mental health and I really encourage anyone to do something similar in their area as it really can help someone!

As well as my hearts of hope project , just in time for Mental Health Awareness week the paperback format of my book In Bloom Not Broken is now available on Amazon ♡♡♡♡

Katie Maylea - Mental health - In Bloom Not Broken
In Bloom Not Broken – mental health book – Katie Maylea

This is my journey through mental illness offering insight and hope.

It is also available in ebook format and as part of Kindle Unlimited if you are signed up to that 🙂

If you are in the UK you can get it HERE

If you are in the US or use Amazon . com you can get it HERE

I would be so grateful if you consider buying a copy and can support me sharing my story (It’s quite a scary thing to do!)

If you do decided to read it please do leave a review on Amazon, they mean the world to me ♡♡

Whatever you do this Mental Health Awareness Week make sure you take care of you and don’t be alone with difficult feelings – If you are struggling please do reach out. Samaritans, SHOUT – whatever organisation it is, there are people waiting to listen and help so please do use them if you need someone.

You are not alone.