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

The Distance Between Now And Then Can Be Further Than You Thought.

It’s easy to underestimate how far we’ve come – even when it’s all crashing down.

I haven’t posted for some time because, basically everthing started falling apart.

I had to cancel my event first and foremost because I didn’t feel I had enough support. Every aspect of the event was pretty much organised single handedly and It was a lot for one person. Add on to that one person that had been really poorly and I was desperately trying to bring it all together by myself. Add to this my partner losing his job, trying to catch up coursework that I had missed while ill and I realised that I just couldn’t do it anymore.

That was a blow for me, I don’t like admitting defeat and I had started out very excited about it but I realised that I was doing way too much alone and I was going to break. Then I realised how far I had come from the past in being able to realise this, stand up for myself and move on. In the past I would have carried on going and not said a word about how I was feeling, let alone stood up to someone I looked at as higher authority and not accepted the way I was being spoken to. The event may have felt like i’d failed but ultimately I realised I had made massive steps here!

Now to the current situation…..I will cut a long story short but my partner lost his job, the money I get has kept us in food….JUST. The internet, TV and my phone have all been disconnected at points and we have had to borrow money for food at times. He was contracting after he got made redundant a few years ago – therefore self employed – therefore told he cannot get Job Seekers allowance or any help (A nice screw you from the government there as this is someone thats worked since 16, paid tax and never been on benefits) So we have been on a countdown clock on him getting a job in time before we are forced to ask for an eviction notice, to be put on the homeless register to get housing help which will include temporary accommodation with a 5 year old who loves her current school and would have to leave, 2 dogs and furniture we can’t afford to put in to storage. We have tried and contemplated every other way but it’s just led to the inevitable which is coming ever closer.

To add to that I am 2 weeks off finishing my level 2 counselling course that I have waited for over a decade to do and was meant to be starting my level 3 in June but now cannot afford the course fees (with no funding help as it’s a small training centre) – That hurts a lot as this is my dream that I finally thought I was going to do but now is looking unlikely so all my classmates will move to level 3 apart from me and I am totally gutted.

Finally and hugely add to the shitstorm that I finally told my Mom how I felt about our relationship (I think after so much going on it tipped my balance of being able to continue feeling like half a daughter – not one that really mattered anyway) and ended up having a blow out on Mothers Day and we are no longer talking. This has caused a whole storm of emotions and has been really difficult.

Mix all that together in a nice big pot of what the hell and it’s safe to say it’s not been an easy time.

The reason I am saying this is because in times past I would have melted by now. I would have simply not coped.

Am I saying I have my shit together? HELL NO.

However I am more of a functioning human in this curent situation that I once would have been.

If we lose our home, if we end up in temporary accommodation, If my Mom can’t see past the end of her own nose and isn’t willing to change…..What can I honestly do about any of it? I have tried, I have thought, I have confronted and looked at the whole situation…What more can any of us do realistically about a situation?

I have realised over the the years that sometimes acceptance is the best policy. Accept yourself, others, situations – change what you can and leave what you can’t.

I’m exhausted and stressed and heartbroken…..But I haven’t broken…YET. That’s a million miles from where I once was. How far you’ve come is easily forgotten. Strength sometimes comes when you have no choice but it’s also possible in these times to see progress even when it may feel like everything is crashing down.

So even if you don’t feel strong right now – The chances are you’re stronger than you think ♡

My Journey through Mental Illness available on amazon – search “In Bloom Not Broken”

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

Why Having A Meltdown Is Necessary

We all, I think try and hold back emotions, our true feelings and selves sometimes but more often than not this will find a way of exploding.

Recently with the stress of having to cancel my event through what I felt what lack of support, understanding, ticket sales, my partner losing his job, health issues, and general life stress it all exploded in to a cluster fuck of shit. One big explosion of emotion that took my feet from underneath me.

I am still not 100% and the level of pure anxiety from the aftermath of everything recently is still lingering and while I may simmer for a while, it it is taking the smallest things to bring that back to the boil.

Everything is uncertain at the moment from where I am going to where I am going to live, the fact rent can’t be paid, I may not be able to continue on to level 3 of counselling course that I have worked so hard to complete level 2 due to funds, what is going to happen to us a family……It’s fairly overwhelming right now but one thing I have learned recently is to choose who I work with closely in relation to mental health projects and also that melting in to a million pieces is okay, it’s necessary sometimes. We are human, we all have limits – you have limits. Don’t ever think that breaking and crying and despairing is weak or isn’t okay somehow, because it IS okay, because you, me, all of us, we are in the words of Rag ‘n’ Bone Man “Only Human After all”

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

The struggle of New Year and mental health – it’s Ok to not know where you’re going!

New year is a time of new starts, dreams and goals but what if you don’t know where you’re heading? That’s okay!

New year can seem like an expanse of time, especially if you feel lost.

My final video of 2018 I want to aim at those who feel lost, like the new year isn’t worth going in to….. I know how this feels and I want to share why it’s okay to not know where you’re headed.

Happy Christmas everyone ♡ please look after yourself ♡♡

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

Words Of Hope Video – In Bloom Not Broken

I have put this video together to help and inspire others that may be struggling with their mental health and to promote mental health awareness.

Everyone in this video has personal experience of mental health issues and have all come together to create a video to tell others that it’s okay not to be okay, it’s okay to have mental health issues and to talk about it and most of all, things can and will get better.

I have done projects within the local community and I wanted to do something that was accessible to more people and available online to offer hope and inspire others especially as it is nearly Christmas.

While it may be “The season to be jolly” , the fact is that a lot of people, myself included struggle around Christmas and New Year for a variety of reasons and so I wanted to put something out there from people of different backgrounds, from across the world sharing pieces of hope from their own experiences with mental illness.

There is a lot to be said from hearing words of encouragement from people that have been there and so I hope people get some comfort from this video and will share it to offer hope to others who may be struggling right now.

 

 

follow me on twitter @KatieHoughton85

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 ♡

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

Posted in mental health

Hearts Of Hope – World Mental Health Day 2018

World Mental Health Day 2018 is on Wednesday 10th October.

In aid of this I made 150 handwritten hearts of hope to attach to the entrance of my local park ♡

The aim with this project was to raise awareness on mental illness and create conversation around mental health.

With the help of a few lovely humans who offered to help (who were very much appreciated as it was very cold and I was losing the feeling in my fingers!) We attached all the notes as well as some signs and also some pebbles that I had painted to decorate the entrance of Shirley Park in Shirley, Solihull.

The aim is that people will not only read the notes but that if anyone is themselves struggling with mental health issues or knows someone that is that they will take one or two away as they have been attached so that they are removeable.

 

I was very proud of not only how this looked when all the hearts were up but more Importantly that were people were stopping and reading them within a short space of time and shortly after attaching starring receiving messages about conversations around mental health that had taken place and a few people approached me and spoke openly and that was what it was all about so I feel hopeful for the week or so that they will be up that they will have a positive effect which is awesome and makes it worth while!

I do love a plan that comes together and I am ready thinking about what I can do for nearer to Christmas which can be difficult time for many with mental health issues.