I had the honour last night of being awarded a Lord Mayor Award at the council chambers in 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.♡♡♡♡
The video below (sorry that its blurry – it wasnt when I took it, so unsure what happened!) Is a little about the book, why I wrote it and what it’s all about ♡
A percentage of sales will be going to a childrens mental health charity and I hope that it helps to create a conversation with children about mental health, kindness, acceptance and how they might be feeling ♡
I’d love to hear if your little ones love it and the conversations it has created in your house! Feel free to contact me and let me know!
I also want to get it in to schools and am happy to do competitions where children can draw pictures relating the the story, send them to me and I will send a Felix themed package for the winner! If you are interested in this please feel free to contact me ♡
Remember you are awesome just as you are – Rock those odd socks!
See me sharing a little bit of the book and all about it at the link below ♡
Wow, it’s been way to long! I haven’t done any proper vlogs or blogs for sometime now. To be honest I kind of lost touch with everything for a while and am just starting to try and find some sort of path again.
In Summer last year We found out that my very special person ( for anyone that has read my book In Bloom Not Broken you will know her as the lady that I referred to as my “Nan” – she wasnt actually my nan in the technical terms. She was really more Mom, that would be a more accurate description but just not by blood, had pancreatic cancer.
She bought me up, gave me all of my childhood memories and was always there for me no matter what. There was barely a week of my life I went without seeing her plus phone calls during the week. I have never known life without her. She was my rock, my friend, my mother figure, my right arm.
She never was able to have children and she always said I was the daughter she could never have and she was the Mom that I always wanted.
Not long prior to this I cut contact with my my own (biological) Mom for various reasons and following a conversation that needed to take place even though I don’t think she will ever understand why.
When I found the diagnosis out we decided to get married so that she could give me away and be there, it was very important to me – I would have struggled to have got married happily once she had gone so we planned a very small wedding for ….Wait for it….Friday 13th September (the same day as the harvest moon! – totally unplanned lol)
She held on for that day and fought to get to it – we went to the malvern hills and on the morning say outside with a cuppa with a beautiful view and amazing weather given the time of year and then she walked me down the aisle.
I am so so grateful for these moment and memories of that day.
Following the wedding she declined rapidly and I was a whirlwind of work, looking after my daughter, college work as I was approaching the end of my level 3 counselling course, assignments and going to look after her and be there for her each morning and each evening.
5 weeks after the wedding she passed away. Those 5 weeks and seeing what I saw and hearing what I heard from the lady that was always my rock has not quite left my head. I’m not sure it ever will. It broke my heart.
The image of someone you love so much who you have never been without being there in body but no longer there and being wheeled away by an undertaker is something I think stays ingrained in your memory.
The day after she passed I went to college – I have no idea why – I think I went in to autopilot. I passed my level 3 somehow and completed all the work but it was very difficult and it’s pretty much been difficult since.
It’s funny when someone passes away – you get lots of “sorry for your loss” and “if you need anything”s but it almost seems that after a week or so people forget that you have lost the most important human in your world and that it must be ok now because you’re cracking on….What other choice is there? It doesn’t mean it’s gone away. In fact after the initial period it got a whole lot worse but I felt lonely. I was working on a childrens book (to be shared in next blog post!) But I lost pizzazz because Betty had kept asking when it would be done and now she wouldn’t see it, I lost oomph for my business because she used to come every week and ask what I was making now and now I had no one to show….The list went on….It still goes on. I am still struggling with this but I know how much she hated to see me sad so I’m doing my best to pick things back up and do my best which is all I can do.
I just want to say though if you know someone struggling with grief please reach out to them, dont always wait for them to come to you. It’s an incredibly overwhelming time and someones thought and time is appreciated. If someone has lost someone incredibly close they are already going to feel so alone – please make the effort and pop over, have a cup of tea, ask them to the pub, offer a day out – anything, it is really so important. Losing a parent or equivalent is horrendous. Really it is and if you are lucky enough to not have experienced that yet please just take a moment to imagine and then how much you would appreciate some time. Even 10 minutes. Reach out. Hold a hand out for someone that needs it.
I’m not back to normal – I don’t think I ever will be – too big a piece of my life is missing now and I’ve felt quite pressured to get back to normal (whatever that is) but we all deal with grief differently and I’m doing it the best way I can. Only my husband mnkws really just how much I’ve struggled and just how hard this has hit me and how I’ve coped (or not coped) but slowly slowly I will put my pieces back together.
So apologies that I have been away for so long but my path got a bit lost. I’m starting to get back on it though so hopefully things will get better little by little and I can figure out where I go next.
I’m here and a lot of that is down to my Betty who stuck by me through thick and thin ♡
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 ♡
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!
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