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 anxiety, mental health, mental health awareness, mental health campaigner

Lord Mayor Award! Don’t Believe Everything You Think!

I had the honour last night of being awarded a Lord Mayor Award at the council chambers in Birmingham!

Lord Mayor Award Katie Maylea 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.♡♡♡♡

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 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.

 

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

Can You Help Me with My Dream?

Anyone that has seen my last blog post will know that life is currently not going in my favour to say the least.

I am determined to not let it all get the better of me, but I have to be honest and say that it is testing my metal, as they say at the moment!

As some of you may know I started my counselling training and am about to complete my level 2 which I have absolutely loved and it has not only taught and trained me in a field but also opened my mind personally and it has contributed to some very big changes within my personal life too.

Unfortunately with the shit hitting the fan in my personal circumstances I now cannot afford to move on to the level 3 as planned in June and am trying to hang on to hope and the possibility of losing the further training too.

As a last option I have created a Go Fund Me page to see whether I may be able to raise the funds to carry on my training.

Below is the Go Fund Me campaign details and link. I cannot tell you how much I would appreciate any contribution, no matter how small that would enable me to continue on my quest for counsellor qualification.

Massive thanks in advance beautiful people.

Contribute Here

quote

Contribute HERE

My name is Katie and I am extremely passionate about mental health.
I have battled mental issues for most of my life including depression, anxiety, OCD and bipolar disorder with multiple subsequent hospital admissions.
Due to this I never pursued education and missed out on a lot of general life feeling lost, incapable and unsure where I was going.

Over the most recent years and with finally getting the right help and treatment I have been able to move on with my life and make some positive changes.

I decided that I wanted to use my experiences for something good – take all that negative and instead of feeling bitter about it use it for something positive.

I started sending “Happy Post” to those struggling with their mental health free to just help people know that they are not alone and to make someone smile!
From there I built a website www.mentalhealthjourney.co.uk where I blog and vlog to raise awareness on mental illness by sharing my own story and talking about related issues.

From doing that I started to do my own projects out in the community to raise awareness and create conversation around mental health and some of these got picked up by the media and social sharing sites and so I have gone on to share my story through various media such as the Victoria Derbyshire Show, radio, RT News and various other places as well as being part of the Lloyds bank #GetTheInsideOutCampaign.

I also volunteer for SHOUT which is a text service for people that feel they are in mental health crisis and need someone to talk to.

I have also recently published a book about my own journey through mental illness to give others something raw and relatable with no heirs and graces to show no one needs to be ashamed of their feelings and also hopefully raise awareness of how treatment needs to change within the system.

Counselling is something I have wanted to train in for many many years but I needed to make sure I was in the right place emotionally to do it and also build up enough confidence to actually take the plunge!

I finally got the that place and I am a few weeks from finishing my level 2 course.

The next step is my level 3 which I am due to start in June and was hoping to move on with  my same classmates as it takes me a while to settle in to places and I finally felt like I was getting there. I have loved every second of my level 2 and was excited to carry on towards becoming qualified but unfortunately my partner got made redundant.

Without making this in to an Xfactor sob story which I do not want as it stands we may be on the verge of losing out home and having to go down the social housing route, living is a struggle to say the least and we are just about surviving on the money I get.
Because my partner was self employed for a while after being made redundant to try and help himself rather than taking from the benefit system, ironically he is not not elegible for any benefits at all and so we are just about surviving and  every way we are looking at the moment we are being hit my a brick wall.

While I am determined not to let this beat us and we will fight until the death – with so much going on I really don’t want to lose my course and my training as well as it has kept me going and given me a focus that I do not want to lose with the long term aspirations that go alongside it.

I have tried advanced learner loans, grants and the like but just met by more brick walls. The only other option to train is the local adult education centre but unfortunately I applied to them before where I am currently training. The interview was great. All was well and then I received a phone call saying that I wasn’t being offered a place due to my “vulnerabilities” (The only thing I had told them was that I had bipolar disorder!) So that is not a viable route for me.

I have exhausted all other options and so that Is why I am resorting to this page and seeing wether i may be able to raise enough to help me start the level 3 training in June.  I am really trying not to leave what would be another 12 months before I can re look at it with a new group of people when with the type of course it is would set me back in the progress I have made and I would love to be able to continue, in flow, after finishing my level 2 very soon.

I have set the financial goal as what would cover the course fees and left out the registration fees as I should just about be able to cover this myself.

My passion is to help others in relation to mental health and to use my own experiences for something positive and I can’t tell you how much it would mean If I was able to raise this money to continue my training and to eventually, hopefully be able to give back to others.

I am so grateful for any help to help me along my journey and give a huge thank you to anyone that can donate no matter how small.

Contribute HERE

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”

img_20190311_202839_9995403842131766236051.jpg

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”