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Posted in mental health, mental health campaigner, Uncategorized

Publishing And Puppies!

Don’t be ashamed of your story it will inspire others.

Sharing mental health stories is powerful. There’s a lot to be said for one person’s journey resonating with other human and that is the reason I have wanted to share my story.

Today was a special day as I got the final manuscript back from my editor to pass on to the publisher ♡

It’s been emotional writing and reading and ‘re reading…and ‘re reading my own journey. It’s made me realise what I lost, what I miss but most importantly how far I’ve come.

Putting your story to the world for others to read is both empowering and terrifying.

It’s putting things out there there are personal, That you don’t speak of much, That others may not agree with and that may even tread on others toes.

For me if I was going to share my story. it had to be the truth. My version of events – regardless of who may or may not agree. I wanted it to be raw, honest, no heirs and graces. I didn’t want a fluffy story that sounded poetic but false. It’s about mental illness at its very core and so I wanted it to be real and I hope that it helps someone out there. That will make it worth while.

I have experience with more than one mental illness, a chaotic upbringing and multiple hospital admissions and so it was important to me to portray that messy and seemingly hopeless situation and show that it is possible to achieve normality…..whatever that is and whatever that means to the individual.

I will post updates when it is ready to buy and I hope some of you will read it and find some hope in there that you can relate to ♡♡

katie houghton mental health campaigner author
Katie Houghton -Mental health campaigner – author In Bloom Not Broken

This is something i’ve wanted to do for so many years and somehow makes all that has happened mean something. It’s given me a passion and something to say that I’m now in a place to be able to share.

On a different note today has been the best. Not only have I sent off my manuscript to be a real live book but I’ve been and bought a new puppy to be named Eddie who will be part of our family in four weeks time! I LOVE dogs and already have my 10 year old fur baby who is my best friend and also featured in my book so this little man is a welcome and fitting addition ♡

katie houghton mental health campaigner
Eddie the new addition to our family!

So between puppies and publishing it’s been a fabulous day!

Posted in mental health, mental health campaigner, Uncategorized

Notes Of Hope In Parliament

I was over the moon today to hear that the wonderful MP of Redditch took the issue of my notes of hope being torn down by the council to debate as she is backing this project ♡

This project was for both suicide awareness and suicide prevention and very personal and so I was devastated how it was handled.

This has shown me once again however to believe in yourself, your goals and your vision.

Even if people disagree, go against you and don’t share your goal. Those people are inevitable ….. It’s about finding those that do and will walk by your side.

Posted in Uncategorized

The downside of benzodiazapines

Benzodiazepines are amazing medications for anxiety and relieving symptoms.

But the likes of diazepam and lorazepam also have a dark side.

This vlog is my experiences with the dark side following being involved with a Grazia article.

These drugs do the trick and used properly and monitored correctly they really can make a huge difference.

However if not taken or monitored correctly it’s very easy to get drawn into addiction and become reliant on them just to get through.

These are my experiences and see the Grazia article here.

If you have found yourself reliant on benzodiazepines please don’t feel ashamed- it can sneak up on you unawares! Please do however speak to someone about it and don’t deal with it alone ♡

Posted in mental health, Uncategorized

In Bloom Not Broken Publishing Contract!

As some of you may be aware I have written a book “In Bloom Not Broken” based on my own mental health journey.

I wanted to write a raw, honest account on the reality of living with more than one mental illness whilst offering hope that it is possible to come through the other side.

Writing the book was both difficult and therapeutic going through all my old diaries as I wanted to add unedited diary entries and poems written at the time of hospital admissions, depression, feeling suicidal, anorexia, self harm, bipolar and psychosis.

My book aims to take the reader through all of these things in an honest, non flouncy way.

I wanted to create something real knowing that in the time of suffering This is what I myself wanted. Something real to connect to to.

So the fabulous news is that I have signed a publishing contract with the fabulous Eliezer Tristan Publishing 😁

I can’t tell you how happy I am knowing that my story will be an actual book that actual people can actually read!!!!

It meant more to me that that they have an awesome non profit Stigma Fighters as this book to me was to raise awareness and fight stigma by giving an honest account so I am delighted to sign with them for the publishing of my book and I hope this will further allow me to.use my experiences and my voice to raise awareness on mental illness and treatment.

I recently took part in an awesome project called The Open Shutters Project which was about the positives that come from having a mental illness.

We had to take along an object that meant something to us In terms of our mental health this was my portrait which has been in an exhibition in Manchester (Copyright Lisa Marie Gee)

My object was my manuscript as it was a marker to me how far I had come to be able to write 84,000 words about my own journey, go through multiple diaries and be able to do that without melting in an aim to help others and show they are not alone and so the publishing contract has meant the world to me!

I will post and update when its available to buy and if it helps one person then it will have been worth it. ♡

There is a lot to be said for books and relating to someone else’s story and that is my aim so please do keep an eye out for when it’s available to buy and let me know what you think!

Never give up on your dreams guys – You never know what tomorrow will bring. We never know what is just around that little corner ♡

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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