Posted in mental health

Coming Through The Worst Times – Suicide Awareness

Are you ever too “broken” to come through the worst times and planning to end your life?

No. It may seem that way, even truly feel like this is it, this is the end but it doesn’t have to be. It’s possible for things to change even when you’re sure they won’t.

I’ve spoken about this before but I believe it’s an Important topic so I’m touching on it again with the the help of my manuscript.

Sometimes it’s only possible to see how far you have come when you look back. That’s a hard thing to do, but sometimes necessary.

Going through multiple diaries to write my story which I hope to have published was difficult but extremely therapeutic and made me realise what I have been through and just how far I’ve come. Not only that but that even when all hope seems to have gone and you’re utterly spent it’s possibly for things to change.

If you’re reading this and going through depression, anxiety, an eating disorder or a really impossible point of your life please know that things can and do change. You just have to hold on.

Posted in mental health

As They Say – Never Judge A Book By It’s Cover.

Judgements, assumptions. We all make them.

It’s part of being human but maybe we need to stop and think before we make an assumption of someone before knowing them or the full facts.

I know I have had assumptions made about me. I have been told I look “Bitchy”, “Unapproachable”

I was even told recently that i had not been accepted on to a counselling course due to my “vulnerabilities” All they knew about me that could possible have registered as “vulnerable” in their minds was the fact that I have bipolar disorder. Regardless of telling them all the awareness work I do etc etc I was deemed “vulnerable” – That is an assumption based on not a lot of information (Irony was part of the interview was talking about how counsellors shouldn’t make assumptions)

We all do it, it’s part of being human but I think It’s important to try to not make snap judgements about people and situations until we have learned the full facts.

As they say – You can’t judge a book by its cover!

This vlog is me talking about this and why you really can’t judge someone before knowing them first.

Posted in mental health

This Little Thing Called Life

I’ve just happened across a poem (one of many!) That I wrote some years ago.

Reading it back now it almost has more meaning than when I first wrote it.

I thought I’d share it with you here as it may resonate with someone.

I’ve written sooooooo many poems over the years…I have never really shared them due to lack of self confidence or being told they are “depressing” in my teenage years but writing poetry was always a huge outlet for me.

So here’s “A Little Thing Called Life”

I don’t know where it came from

But it got me where it hurt

Like a disaster zone

Everything on red alert

It snuck in from depths of darkness

Didn’t see it coming around

And that Demon, he got to work

Did his damage while making no sound

Me too, bound by it’s silence

In the dead of night

Inner turmiol and violence

With every battle and every fight

Constantly feeling like you’re skimming

The edge of a knife

But just about missing-

In this little thing called life.

Had the foundations to start building

But in the depths of darkness went the cement

So I lost all my shielding

It never turned out how I meant

And in those depths of darkness

Even that demon wasn’t around

I guess even he couldn’t stand the starkenss

Just emptiness and no sound

It’s like shouting in the shadows

No one ever hears your call

And like grasping at thin air

doesn’t save you from the fall

And then sharper is the blade

On the point of that knife

And further you have strayed-

From this little thing called life

But then suddenly things start to change

And you make your OWN cement

As you realise that is possible

And it doesn’t MATTER where it went

So slowly you start to build

And one by one fill all the cracks

As as each one gets filled

You start to follow all the tracks

find there’s been a beginning-

A middle and an end

As to any story-there were just some errors you had to mend

As the building comes to completion

To examine-you first, must step away

And find despite your emotional depletion

It had to be that way

The greatest of buildings start with nothing at all

And that first simple brick-builds the first simple wall

And although that demon

Makes an appearance from time to time

You’ve built your shielding so know you’ll be fine

So no longer do you feel you’re skimming over the edge of that knife

For you build the skills to blunt it

This little thing called life….

Posted in mental health

Hearts Of Hope – World Mental Health Day

It’s World Mental Health Day 10th October

So I decided I wanted to organise another little project to tie in with this so I came up with ” Hearts Of Hope”

Seen as my last project with the notes on the bridge was “notes of hope” and my group which is still campaigning against the council who removed them has recently been renamed “Midlands Messages Of Hope” I wanted something that would tie in with this.

I came up with the idea of making similar notes to those on the bridge but with more of a general “mental health awareness” feel rather than the suicide prevention aim of the notes for the bridge and hanging them all around the rails that go around the entrance to my local park in the aim of mental health awareness, creating conversation around mental health and also notes that will tackle mental health stigma.

To my amazement after the recent awfulness and fight with Worcestershire county council removing my notes of hope from the bridge and what has turned in to a campaign in fight to rehang them I was completely shocked when within 2 hours I had a response from solihull council regarding the hearts if hope project, permission and support! It was pretty amazing considering recent events and so I will be aiming to do this project on 7th October to tie in to World Mental health day.

The aim is to hang them, people to read them, create conversation about mental health but to also attach them in a way so that they are removable.

People with a mental health issue and those who know someone with a mental health issue will be encouraged to take a heart and keep it or pass it on. Hopefully after a week all of the hearts with have gone to hands that need hope ♡♡

You can join the group to support me here : https://www.facebook.com/groups/278903099335095/


Here’s to filling hearts with hope ♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡

Posted in mental health

Words Can Make Or Break.

Choice of words in mental health treatment have the power to make or break

These are just the tip of my mental health journey iceberg – specifically within my treatment for anorexia.

 

So I am currently in the process of having my book edited that I am hoping to have published – That’s the dream. Even if I don’t get it traditionally published I will be self publishing as my aim is to put my full mental health story out there to raise awareness in a number of areas, to give a frank account with no heirs and graces on living with mental illness but also to highlight and expose some of the treatment that I have received  over the years as I believe that I am not the only one to ever have had things said to them by professionals that quite frankly should never have been been said.

I believe it’s important to highlight this area for things to change and for better treatment to be given and for professionals to think about the words that leave their mouths. They are in a position of power where their words can make or break someone and too often it was the latter that happened to me. Maybe this is why It took me 15 years to access the right treatment and this is also the reason I dropped out of NHS services completely for four years as shockingly I found being under my local mental health team more difficult that dealing with it alone. A psychiatrist telling me after me giving him a private assessment report with a diagnosis of bipolar that my problem was that my life was “boring, empty and pointless” was the straw that broke the camels back for me and I then went on as diagnosed bipolar for four years with no help and no treatment,

The best treatment I ever received within the NHS was within the eating disorders unit but this was namely due to one psychiatrist who was what every psychiatrist should aim to be. However even within this service there comments that just shouldn’t have been made both by a psychiatrist ( One I saw before the amazing one mentioned above) and also a dietician within the inpatient unit itself.

I had more of these sorts of comments to come over the years which are all in my book that I am hoping to publish, this was just the start – but I wanted to put this out there, that these are comments that sometimes go on within treatment.

Anorexia is an illness filled with guilt……Unbearable guilt and so much confusion. At the time these comments I just believed, they fed in to what I was already feeling but looking back now I almost want to jump through my manuscript and grab hold of the person speaking these words to my former self.

These are the actual excerpts from my diaries at the time of treatment for anorexia.

This was while I was in day care for anorexia – ie 8am-4pm treatment which generally happens before inpatient treatment, at this point I was very poorly, very low in weight and surviving on next to nothing (very shortly after this and more drastic weight loss I was admitted as an inpatient at 6 stone)

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This was a conversation with the dietician within the day care programme. I was already wracked with guilt about “Rob” and generally felt guilty for even being alive at this point:

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Excerpt from my manuscript – Anorexia needs to be dealt with with so much sensitivity – words can literally make or break.

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Anorexia is far too much based on weight and numbers in regards to treatment which actually does nothing more that feed an already anorexic mind focussed on those same numbers.

A professional telling someone with anorexia that they do not currently meet “anorexic requirements” is a red flag to a bull.

I know from experience that it’s entirely possible for someone to experience the same distress, the same anorexic thoughts at a ” healthy” weight as at an “anorexic” weight and this needs to change.

The distress is still the same, except at a healthy weight it’s actually harder as you don’t feel validated and most of the time within treatment AREN’T validated unless the numbers are there.

Professionals need to be so aware of what they are saying. As I say, this was the very tip of my iceberg…Similar comments and worse continued throughout my fifteen year quest for the right treatment and it’s only now that I look back I realise how wrong it was of them. How the issue wasn’t me, I was ill.

It’s now I feel able to come out with my story, with all the things that were said that never should have been.

I hope to publish a story that people can relate to, one that is honest.

Always fight for the right treatment, don’t let professionals speak to you in a certain manner because they have “authority” always fight for yourself, stick up for yourself. It’s hard and it can be scary but always fight for what you believe to be right.

Posted in Uncategorized

World Suicide Prevention Day – A letter to YOU

Feeling suicidal is in a lot of ways indescribable. That moment of carrying out a planned suicide is something you can’t understand fully unless you’ve been in that moment.

This is a letter to YOU, the person who feels lost, lonely, and like life isn’t worth living.

You are stronger than you think, braver than you know. You can do this. Things can change. I promise.

Keep fighting.

Posted in mental health

World Suicide Prevention Day – Understanding Suicide.

World Suicide Prevention Day – Monday 10th September.

Suicide holds a lot of stigma. People don’t like talking about it. I talk here about the feelings that go behind suicide and my own personal experiences in the aim of suicide awareness.

A simple message can save a life.

I am proof of this. Talk. Reach Out. End The Stigma.

Please take 10 minutes to watch this, to understand why suicide isn’t “a cowards way out”, it’s not “attention seeking” and why something as simple as a message really can save someone’s life.

Never forget the importance of allowing someone to talk to you. For letting them know you are there.

Remember to send a message, a text, pop round, ask how they are feeling. Don’t be scared to ask. Suicide lives in silence. Most will be glad you asked, glad you care enough to have taken that time to ask about them.

It really can be the smallest of things that make a big difference. sometimes all it takes is a message.