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 campaigner

My Book Is Now In Paperback!! Mental Health Awareness Week

With it coming up to Mental Health Awareness Week, I am super pleased to say that my book In Bloom Not Broken is now available in paperback!

There is nothing like writing a book and finally getting a real copy in your hands! That is made even better with it coinciding with Mental Health Awareness Week!

This vlog is a little about my book, why I wrote it and what it’s all about!

You can get a copy (ebook or paper back) HERE UK Or HERE US

My journey through mental illness including self harm, depression, anorexia, bipolar disorder and the battle for treatment. I wanted it to be honest and really resonate with people and so I hope you will support and grab a copy! Please do remember to leave a little amazon review as It means the world to know that people have taken something from it and that it has helped in someway.

Katie Maylea – mental health book – In Bloom Not Broken

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

Never did I think I would have an actual book with my story open for everyone to read. Never in a million years. It’s possible guys! If I can do it so can you!

Much love and hope for this coming Mental Health Awareness Week

Katie

xxxx

Posted in anxiety, mental health

Why You shouldn’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something!

It’s so easy to get caught up in anxiety and believing that we can’t do something, when actually we are capable.

This Vlog Is about why you CAN, and why you shouldn’t let anyone tell you that you can’t.

Sometimes we surprise ourselves! I have surprised myself recently and it’s always great when this happens as it challenges my often negative beliefs about myself, it gives me more power and determination to draw from.

As they say A journey starts with a single step……..

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

The Secret To Happiness!

What If I told you I could tell you the secret to happiness?

What If I told you I could give you something that could change your life in an instant?

One small thing and things would change forever, you’d be happy successful, rich…….

I present to you…………

The Secret to happiness.png

That’s right folks, I gained my glasses and found eternal happiness……Right?

Sorry….No.

I could tell you that these glasses are magic glasses, they are different to all the other glasses out there, they changed my face, my smile, my happiness, my life…..

They didn’t.

Obviously.

Photo one It’s midnight, I’m tired, i’ve taken my glasses off, I’ve had a shitty day / week / month, i’m stressed and getting ready to go to sleep. As is life sometimes.

Photo two its a reasonable time of the morning and i’m showered, dressed, make up on, fresh, going through a good period with no major stresses and I’ve put my glasses on.

The glasses made zero impact (apart from me being a little more blurry eyed without them)

My point to this blog is to talk a bit about the increasing amount of social media pages and accounts that are filled to the brim with perfect pictures, perfect people in perfect places, selling their perfect products or systems so that you can too, be perfect just like them……..To the cost of your soul.

It’s soul draining to see these perfect smiles on these people who have made a “six figure income in a month” and you can too!…… All you have to do is give them more money!

Or perfect bodies that have apparantly occured from drinking this one juice which you can have too if you sign up to their plan…..

I see so many accounts filled with perfect, pictures perfectly placed with colour co ordinating photos to catch the eye and make you wish that you were co ordinating just like them when in fact you’re sat at home in your pyjama bottoms wishing the washing up would do itself.

It’s. Not. Real.

There is so much pressure these days, this is especially tough for those of us that deal with mental health issues and don’t feel that we are enough a lot of the time, that wish we were different, that struggle with keeping up with life sometimes and it’s normal day to day pressures let alone these additional ones.

I often sit and wonder when I see these accounts what these people do when they have a bad day?

Because they do. Because they are human.

They can’t ruin their perfectly placed social media account and I always find myself wondering how these people cope when they have to deal with being not perfect, do they all have lots of people to turn to in the real world who know them as they are? I hope they do as It must be genuinely really tough and It seems such a huge pressure to put on oneself.

I understand people make a living and need to do just that, I understand that and admire those that have done this via social media and built something positive and have been able to drive an income from that. I have a real admiration for anyone that builds something from the ground themselves. However I have an issue with people selling “perfect” especially when it is to the vulnerable or those that are searching for happiness and more easily fooled. I believe that if someone has a genuine interest in helping others this is evident through other things that they do – actions speak louder than words. If someone has a genuine passion to do something to benefit others then even if they are to make a living from that very thing I believe there will be more to that than just generic messages, inboxes, photo’s and figures and how you too can have this money / body / happiness ……… (Fill blank as appropriate)

For example I am going to see a counsellor (Says the trainee counsellor ….. See – not all perfect!) due to some issues of late that I need to get on top of. Now thats her job and she needs to make a living. She has a passion for helping others as I hope all counsellors do. I asked her about concessions due to my current financial situation and she emailed me with an extremely reduced rate saying that her goal was that “counselling is accessible to everyone”

Now I’m not saying that a counsellor who doesn’t do this doesn’t care, of course not, it’s a job at the end of the day but my point is this shows true compassion and a want to make people’s lives better.

I recently pulled my book from my publisher and am self publishing it. This was for a variety of reasons but also as I wanted to have more control over the price as I felt it was too expensive and at the end of the day I wrote it to help others – not for the money. I wanted it to be accessible and affordable. I am not selling a story to make money from giving others hope, I wanted to share my story to show others it can get better regardless of what money I make from it.

These people that try and sell you happiness for your soul are selling perfection. Perfection is not achievable and i know from being a true diagnostic perfectionist that this is actually extremely damaging as you can never reach it.

I wanted to write this post to tell you that you are enough. Don’t get caught up in these pictures, social media accounts and perfect lives because the truth is most of them wont be what they seem. Nothing ever is. There is always more to a story. Especially a 2 dimensional one with varying squares of photos that are placed in a way to get as many followers and likes as possible.

We all do it, we all want out posts on social media to be looked at, shared and noticed. We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t but just don’t feel you have to live up to these “perfect” worlds. Don’t feel you’re failing because you don’t have a body like the girl who lost x amount because she drank a juice (When really that took a lot of time and work because they probably also work out and go to the gym and it wasn’t just down to the varying bottle they are holding in their hand)

Be Real.

Be You.

Be the best version of you, achieve that how you want to, go about it how you want and take as long as you need. Be kind to yourself. Show your strength by proving how you rise when you have fallen and do that for you. Not for anyone else. Do it to grow and build your own inner strength. Don’t feel you have to find that in others or by wearing “Magic Glasses”.

There is just one of you. Just one in this whole world and that is amazing. Perfect pictures that catch the eye don’t matter, Continuously feeling like you have to be living your “Best Life” doesn’t matter.

What matters is that you are living YOUR life. In YOUR way and being true to yourself.

That my beauties, is the true secret to happiness.

xxxx

 

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

Lord Mayor Award!

I am still in shock that I received this letter telling me that I am getting a Lord Mayor Award!

This last month or so has been a rollercoaster of some amazing things and some terribly stressful things.

In about a month I have almost completed a course I never thought I would have the ability to do, I have changed my surname by deedpoll for personal and emotional reasons, walked away from my remaining parent who I desperately wanted a relationship with but realised this was never going to happen, struggled to buy food due to job loss, had to talk to the council about social housing and possiblity of homeless registers, then had some amazing person pay my level 3 counselling course fees anonomously which blew me away then this dropped through the door!!

Talk about roller coaster!!!

Some terrible stress mixed with the most amazing things has left my emotions feeling a little all over! However I am so immenseley grateful for the good lately and these incredible moments that have picked me back up. I don’t know who paid my course fees but I don’t have enough words to thank them.

I can’t believe that the Lord Mayor believes that I deserve this amazing recognition but I am blown away and so so thankful and I hope I am able to use this to move forward and do even more in relation to my mental health projects because that’s what I do it for, to reach people and show it is possible for things to get better and to not give in to those thoughts of suicide, that one more step is a step in the right direction, even if it feels wrong because you are still here to fight!

I wrote my BOOK and shared my story to reach as many hands of people who feel they have reached their end of hope as possible to show that if I can do it, so can anyone out there.

I do the projects that I do to create conversation around mental health and also to show people that small things that we can all easily do – they do make a difference to people. To quote the Dalai Lama:

“If you think you are too small to make a difference – try sleeping with a mosquito”

We are all capable of change, we are all capable of creating change.

I am incredibly humbled and grateful for this award (even if recieving praise I actually find quite difficult) The letter absolutely lifted me when I was starting to feel quite down and doubt myself and I am incredibly thankful for that and eveyone who supports me here and online daily. It really does mean the world to me.

This just shows though it is possible to go from being gripped by mental illness, multiple hospital admissions and wanting to die and planning just that to holding on by a thread and going on to do things (even though I still struggle and cannot say it’s perfect by any means) that I never thought I should, could or would and have found a true passion and positive in the hell that once was.

So keep going my friend, don’t give up on you. Not ever.

Posted in anxiety, mental health, mental health awareness, Uncategorized

Never Give Up On You. Ever.

Never give up on you. Never give up on your hopes and dreams. It is possible to get through the seemingly impossible.

I wanted to do this vlog to talk about feeling like we can never achieve, never be who we want and never achieve our goals and dreams.

Anyone that have read my BOOK will know the blocks that have stopped me moving forward in relation to mental illness and I just wanted to tell you all why even when you feel like it’s impossible, like you will never be able to work towards your goals, like you will never get past just not wanting to be around anymore…..Why things can and do change and to say just never give up on you. Even when it’s all you want to do. I have been there. I may even go back to being there at some point because mental illness follows us around but I do know now that if I have got through it before I can again…and again….and again. It’s totally possible to find a space in your brain that will eventually tell you the same even if you don’t feel that way now.

Just don’t give up on you. Keep those goals and dreams close to your heart and don’t let them go, for they will keep you going.