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The other side of Fear.

Top of the morning to  you all!

WOW!

It feels good to be able to type away with no  worrying about any trains or buses or rides to catch.

This weekend I get to catch up on reading your blogs -YAY!

I have missed you all so much. I can’t wait to throw myself into my  Masters.

I always feel  I come across so smug when I say it or type that word but I have worked my ass off to get to this point.

Proper catch up with as many of you as possible this weekend.

For those who know -I DID IT!

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I am now able to officially and skillfully co -facilitate WRAP groups(  wellness recovery action plan program) to help people who have mental and physical issues or have had at one point,to  manage their lives- holistically.

It’s not a therapeutic based program. It’s truly a chance to revolutionize the way we  deal with our health in the current Diagnostic,clinical, prescriptive , doctor is always right  model we use.

erm.. I nearly didn’t do this program because I felt I wasn’t in a good place mentally or physically, however by going back to my own WRAP plan  ,

I remembered a few of my own wellness tools ( things that keep me well) . To share a few:

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  • educating myself

  • putting myself out of my comfort zone ( public speaking alert/thinking on my feet/making myself vulnerable to empower others)

  •  volunteering my time to skill up and be a person who is an active part of my community and who is wanting to share my knowledge/experiences and pass information along with others.

     So, pushing myself by doing the WRAP facilitating mental health  recovery  program,  using the key concepts and ethics to show that  people who experience mental health( good and bad),  with support and  without judgement,  can find new ways of coping with life and their issues that empower and give them back the responsibility for their own mental/physical health.

    If that is what they want.

It is possible. I’ve seen it work over and over again. I work it.

It was heavy going. I was thinking on my feet a lot, not much time to prepare things ,put on the spot, practicing presenting skills, facilitating skills, listening skills.  There is so much I could put down.

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I lost a lot of my self-confidence -3 months ago. On a positive note,by pushing myself and challenging myself to do this program at the next level, it has helped me find my inner confidence again, I’ve started to believe in myself again, I remember how far I have come. The future has  so much in store for me because I choose it to be that way.

I want this to be a really positive post.  I have these lyrics in my head: ‘don’t be negative (negative) just be positive (positive)’

  ha ha! How am I doing?

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 Tbh. I am relieved the training is over. I can now concentrate on my next goal – my MA in creative writing. EEEK!

Then, I can start using extra hours in my Life to  help form a WRAP  community in Calderdale, U.K. ( which is where I currently live).

This is the wonderful group of individuals I had the opportunity to work with.  I have had their permission to put this pic up on my blog.

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 Here is me with a bunch daisies I found in the garden .

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I am going to end it on a  high.

I’m going to be  a bit selfish.

 Yesterday, we  (including the WRAP training facilitators who run the group) each  had a turn to write down our thoughts about each person we have worked with on the five-day training course, using strength-based feedback.

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It’s not as cheesy as it sounds because I know I am my own worst critic and I know I am not alone in that.

This morning, I have read the comments people wrote on my name tent.  I’ve decided to reinforce these comments in my mind, by typing them into this post.

Yes, yes I am bigging myself up – no one else is going to do it.  My husband says  I need to blow my own trumpet. In his Yorkshire accent, he goes :

” Ya bloody earnt it.”  ha ha!

Here they are:

‘Tasha, you have a passion for growing and will be great helping others’

‘vulnerable but strong,empathetic,powerful,enthuisiatic,’

‘Tasha, you are an absolute star! Your openness and insight are inspiring. I feel priviliged to know you.x’

‘You are an inspiration to us all- your story is one of Strength and Hope. It has been a real pleasure working with you this week. Thank you x’

‘Tasha, your courage and Strength has been a shining light in this group.I have seen you listen, learn and grow.’

‘Tasha, you have shown strength and individuality. Keep on going’

‘Great to meet you, warm and friendly person’

‘Well done Tasha, for having the courage and Strength to complete the training course. You will be an asset to any facilliator team. Share yourself and your journey so far.’

‘You are a genuine individual. Never change x’

‘Natasha, I know you have had it hard.You are one strong, beautiful lady. Please look after yourself.x’

‘Tasha, your capacity to grow and learn means you are definitely   going too be a great facilliator. Your empathy stands out like a light’

‘Tasha, what a journey you have been on and I only know snippets. It’s clear to me you are a strong woman. I love your vibrancy and individuality.I also thought we made an awesome team x’

”Natasha, Don’t change who you are! Don’t doubt yourself ever again. You’ve shown kindess,compassion and consideration to everyone this week.I would love to stay in touch and see you again in the future.Girl done Good!. x 

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HAVE A FAB WEEKEND! 

LOVE DAISY XOXO

Trapped

Motivation .

Deportation. 

What must I do with the tug that pulls at my rubber  heart like a current working against the frequency waves of my mind?

You’ve won a trip to wonderland!

Can I take my bed with me?  I’m finding it hard to stand. 

Look at your dress!  You are going to make a beautiful bride.

Everyone you  love is coming.

Heart and mind can’t you connect and just be normal and run with this ride?

Motion.

Potion. 

There must be something I can do to make me tick-tock  without the need to be  wound up every hour.

You have been Given 50 grand to buy whatever catches that mag pie eye of yours!

Can I take my bed with me ? I find it easier to shop if I  am in a position where I am flat and  can lie.

Look at the state of your current wardrobe. You have the chance to come home with bags of vintage finds!

Everyone will want to mimic your own inimitable fashion style.

Heart and Mind cant you connect and just be normal and and fall within the right lines?

Distasteful .

Disgraceful .

How am I going to get out of this  mind- full, conundrum soup when  I’ m not even given the correct utensils?

Look you have the key to happiness, it is my gift to you .All you have to do is unlock it!

Can  I take my bed with me so I can laugh  at your attempts to tell me what I crave is within me?  Let me have a snack and  scoff for a bit.

Look within you.  All you desire is hidden in that quagmire. 

Every one who loves you wants you to break free from this Sisyphus like dream state .

Heart and Mind  I need too show you how to connect again. I want to feel what my life reflects -allow me one last attempt to become everyone’s favourite   sunbeam, mate .

I need one last line ,

to make this life mine.

Again?

when?

Now.

I’m sick of living in a sand bed ,low tide -in  a place where chances of survival is hidden in an oasis-mirage like  den .

 

 

 

Do you see what I see?

*PLEASE TAKE NOTE THE CONTENT I HAVE WRITTEN IN THIS POST IS SUSCEPTIBLE TO SUDDEN CHANGE BECAUSE OF COURSE I AM MENTALLY CHALLENGED*

I realise I haven’t really written much on my mental health issues of late. I find it a bit un balanced that I only talk about the shit days and not the good days. Maybe some of you will go

“oh she isn’t struggling BORING! time to move on to the next post”. That is cool but I feel there is a  need for this post to explain how things are for me. 

My illnesses have not gone away. They haven’t been cremated and  gathered up. Taken up by the wind- dispersed  to all four corners of the globe.

North,

South,

East,

and West. I would love that to happen. If I was an artist I think that image  could make an epic drawing or painting. My illnesses are still here.

  • I still have more thoughts about my weight than I do about my own wedding.

  • I still weigh myself a couple of times a day

  • I still deprive myself of certain foods.

  • I still exercise even when my body needs the rest.

  • I still think people are looking a my perceived flaws when they may just be listening to me speak.

I have found out a secret. My Grandad did this all his life and he was a mostly successful  business man.

SECRET: When talking with people the best way to connect in a conversation is with eye contact.  Seems  obvious,right.?

“WHAT DOES DAISY MEAN? ” a shrug of the shoulders both   palms open,  pushing upwards

I mean,

True eye contact that makes that spark. Similar to the one you use naturally when you meet someone new who you think,

Mmmmmmh yeah this person can put his/her shoes under my bed ANY DAY!

Don’t confine this look just to the people you want to screw or make love to or marry . Use it all the time.

Unless you  are having a shit day then, by all means opt out.

This effort to spark a connection makes the other person realise that you see them as a person not just some guy who is at the check out counter helping you with your groceries, or that person who serves you a coffee.

It is a powerful tool, Rasputin didn’t do to bad. I’m not saying I  can hypnotize people. Although that is pretty cool.

It is a look that urges people to engage and to reveal information about themselves.

A couple years back,I went to a live hypnotist show -another day -another blog. I can’t be hypnotised btw .

I digress,

Okay,so back to my mental health. So why no huge blips?

I haven’t drunk alcohol since New years eve. I think this helps keep  my moods in check and gives the meds I am on a better chance to do the job..

I’m still  saying my mantras- constantly.

Before each work out, I  go right up close to the mirror in my lounge  and I peer into my eyes and give myself THE GOOD TALK. I usually get a little thought that comes from almost out of my mind that says,

You don’t look like you have convinced yourself . Ah ,if only I could hypnotize myself.

The point is, I try to big myself up instead of bullying myself.

I give myself small goals to achieve  and  look forward to; next week I am having a tattoo done. I am beyond excited about. I’ve been saving up and waiting for the day to come for three months!

I’ve not been spending loads of  time dribbling over FB and hitting the scroll down arrow for hour after monotonous hour . Oh shit, maybe FB is the only thing that can hypnotise me? That  is fucking terrifying. One reason I don’t watch T.V. -I read, I do watch movies and series. I  don’t want to be a victim of Huxley’s  ‘Brave new world’ of what the perfect society looks like.

Communication. I communicate  my feelings. I don’t hide it all away from my family. If I have a panic attack I ask for a hug, I ask someone to help me in a way that I can help myself.

I don’t  over- commit myself to events that I may not be able or want to fulfil. I say NO -a lot. I am an extrovert when I go out into the world but when I am around too many people for too long I became drained. When I give myself to people. I give my full attention. So, I then become an introvert for a bit because I need a lot of alone time to build myself back up.

I blog. All this has helped me naturally want to write about other shit.  How lame and depressing  it be to read about all my troubles?

Day in and Day out. When you read that last sentence try and picture a buoy bobbing up an down in the ocean. That’s all it does. How many times are you going to want to look at that image when you are at the ocean?

 When there are ship wrecks to discover,  colourful fish to  photograph , clear white powdery beach sand grains gently ex foliating your feet, lots of tanned people smiling (because they are not in the U.K.)

I jest. I jest.  I don’t.  I would rather  hand your the shot gun myself and help you squeeze the trigger.

I also have a sense of humour. I give my time  to the people and causes I WANT  to.

If there is any statement that can sum up this post it is:

I am Daisy.A living breathing component in this world,

*CLICHE ALERT*

‘I am not my labels’.

I do not want to breathe life into them and inflate them. I don’t want a collection of  blow up dolls of my illnesses ,thanks. I’m trying to go for the minimalist look here.

That is it. No magic just appreciating the good times.

Self medicate

When it comes to looking after my own mental health; the one thing I have found hard to control is self-medicating.

  • You know -a few drinks mixed with some hardcore benzodiazepine and possibly a smoke of weed -all night and into the morning: is probably not going to do me and my mind and body any good.

I used to self medicate for years. I’ve been mostly stable these past 5 years. Taken my meds as prescribed and trying more holistic ways of coping.

So mindfulness- staying in the moment is a good discipline to practice. CBT -distraction. Finding out what my interests are.

These days I work with mental health charities. I’m trying to make a full-time career from it. It’s amazing what experience and a better state of mental health have done for me.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not magically cured. On New Years Eve, I met up with a guy I knew would be up for a mad session of partying. Something in me needed to connect. I needed to plug into that buzz I used to get.

Lesson learned for me

Going back to old coping mechanisms to ease my mental health issues is mostly going to end up in tears.

It did.

With me walking home after ‘my friend’ kicked me out of his house saying I was psycho. I can’t remember a lot of the night but I do know that is one heavy accusation coming from someone with his back ground and record.

I don’t usually mind casual use of words like ‘psycho’ and ‘loony’ in certain contexts, although I am mindful when and who I use them with. What did hurt more than anything was him telling me I am a psycho.

These acts of rebellion as I like to call them are few and far between these days. When they do occur I learn the lesson quicker. Go on a downer and then build myself back up within a day or two. I exercise. I do a lot of positive self-talk and I cut ties with the negativity.

I’m pretty chilled and easy to talk to in real life. I am getting married in 6 months to an incredibly supportive man who gets my turbulent acts of rebellion. Of course, they can’t happen too often otherwise the disrespect in our relationship would kind of snip  in two.

It is hard not to self medicate and get on the right medication.  My illness requires tweaking here and there.

The main message I want anyone to take away from this post if any is, that I don’t feel ashamed for having an illness..

I am ashamed of how reckless and out of control I get when I take my mental health for advantage.

It’s 2016. A brand new page. Well, we are four pages into it 🙂

No more parties and highly overrated expectations to waste my money.  and act like a woman with no responsibilities.

As long as do what I can to keep myself on the upper end of the mental health scale,then I know I am doing the best I can.

I could have used other ways to deal with New Year’s Eve but I chose to get ‘crazy’ and relinquish myself and power to my illness.

Mental health issues are hard to gain control of. Sometimes I just live as best as I can. Keep things simple. Keep my life simple. Be a Mum and a sort of responsible person. I have learnt quite a few tools to cope over the past 5 years.

I am more than happy to pass on some tools and ways to cope other than medication. I use a combination. This is my first post so I will go easy.

Get rid of the negative shit in your life. It is so empowering! Once that negative bubble has been popped and you take the first step to the other dark side- lots of cookies, hot chocolate, movies. Simple pleasures. If you take that small step you will start to attract positive people and have positive experiences in your life.

Daisy

 

 

 

 

 

Thoughts about what recovery means to me

Morning all,

I have just opened up my emails and came across this blog talking about what recovery means to them. I have been thinking about this for quite some time. The thing is I am not horrifically underweight anymore. My skin is glowing and my body is a normal size. I am on medication for both my Chronic Anorexia and my Bipolar and yes this medication does keep me well most of the time; I can go through months of being mostly well with the odd fluctuating mood. I can eat food these days without feeling too much guilt.

I agree that recovery is a word that is misleading. It kind of hints that a person is miraculously well and cured of all maladies. This is not the case. There is not a day that goes by when I don’t wake up thinking about my weight or going to sleep thinking about my weight. I manage my illness differently to how I have in the past. I do more of the things that keep me well. Tools that I am going to pass on to others with WRAP and other workshops and groups that I go to, arming myself with knowledge and the correct jargon to use and a set of principles and actions that have been proven to work to help people manage their illness.

With my Bipolar I tend to get very elevated in mood rather quickly. I’m like a whirlwind. I’m pressurised to doing things. LOTS OF THINGS NOW!  I  am impulsive and not usually able to see warning signs I usually do. I can just as quickly go down in mood as quickly as the proverbial ‘hot air balloon’. I usually go through longer periods of the depressive side of Bipolar. It is like being in Antarctica- colourless, cold and isolated. I can go for months sleeping my days away. Sometimes medication -like antidepressants or antipsychotics( mood-stabilizing drugs) and anti-anxiety tablets don’t work. They may be able to take the edge off but the illness can become ever so consuming and slap me with such a force I wonder if I dreamt my better moments. My recovery.

I have been suffering more than a usual lot with my illnesses since June 2015. I have been using the tools I learned to use when my daughter was in care.  have been keeping busy. Trying not to weigh myself as many times as I would have in the past. I have cut out on foods but I eat healthily, I exercise -a huge stress release for me. I talk to my family and medical professionals in my life. Instead of starving myself and taking overdoses and getting into fucked up relationships – platonic or not. I now channel my energies by volunteering with people who are focused on being well. I blog. I challenge myself – an example is I have signed up for a writing challenge called NANOWRIMO. My partner cooks for me and my daughter because I don’t feel comfortable cooking in a kitchen. This might sound crazy but it is a way around so I do eat. I take extra medication or PRN.  I  take this extra medication when I need to bring myself to a safer level in mood.

I agree with moodscapes blog that the best way to manage an illness is to power up and educate yourself about yourself and your illness. Learning never stops unless you stop. I look like any other person in this world. I cope differently but I am not immune to relapsing. I am after all only human. If I could be more than human I would strive to be more. I’ve in more contact with professionals lately and yes, I will have to go and have a chat with my psychiatrist and inform him what is going on so he has a clearer picture of how my mental health affects me and if the pattern has stayed the same or veered off on another course. I have a lot of support around me that I access and I am so grateful to have them in my life. Recovery implies ‘fixed and repaired’ to me. Recovery is a process-maybe even a lifetime process. I have been weighed down with terror and panic at all the worms that have started to slither their way out of every orifice they can find, to escape. Fighting them to go back and mutate into something more constructive for my mental health has been an ongoing struggle.  When I found out I had Chronic anorexia I thought it meant me and revolving doors and hospitals. It was like that for many years but I understand that chronic can build up and up. I may shrug off the thoughts or try to take my meds. I do positive things with my life but chronic can mean debilitating to me. It is a chronic struggle. Some days worse are than others. I could easily hide away from the world and live life as a recluse but I choose not too. I fought every enemy to keep my child and that was when I decided to get in the race of life. I got her back. I still had times when I broke down but I got her back. Stress and threats to my life ie. financial stress, family issues, weight fluctuations, wedding planning, being a Mom being an engaging partner can wrestle havoc in my mind and my ability to get to the point where I am managing better again.

There are no quick fixes in life. My illness, labels and how I experience them and how they affect me are not textbook. Nobody’s is. I liken myself to a house; I have built firm solid foundations so that if the roof blows away or the house gets damp or needs repair,, that solid framework -the skeleton of the house is still there to rebuild. I know that people may think that some of the courses I go on and share on my blog seem elementary but they are not. There is so much power in getting thoughts out of your head – it could be writing things down, painting knitting, writing a mini stage play, going for a run. Writing and keeping busy help me. This morning at 6 a.m. I feel the weight pulling me down, the anxiety clawing its way around my gut. I’m going to take my meds, make sure my daughter gets to school and get myself to the ‘parenting and mental health’ conference that I have been so excited about it, since I found I got a place to go to it. One moment at a time. One day at a time..  Thank you to Moodscope for helping me find my voice to write about something I have been struggling with. Check out their blog post on the blue link.MOODSCOPE BLOG