I remember my first meeting with a mental health charity to collaborate and co-facilitate an anti- Stigma workshop/group that This is what I have been wanting to do for some time and here I am achieving my dreams. When I was back -institutionalized in an Acute ward with Anorexia and Bipolar in 2005. I think that personality trait to help others and organize groups has always been in me.
was am a nightmare patient.
I always refused bed rest and focused my time on doing things like raffles to raise money for a charity shop connected to the Retreat,in York. I ended up raising over £100 in a matter of days with a BMI of 14.5. so about 41 kilograms. , 90 pounds – I’m nearly 5.8.
In other clinics- I was tube fed and restrained -often by up to four nurses.
That is a whole other story and debate.
I met another man who is/was a barrister and he had a complete breakdown. His wife had been cheating on him. I met an artist who expressed her unarticulated pain by painting. I met a woman who had been fighting Anorexia and OCD all her life and who taught me how to put a Christmas tree up.
I had forgotten.
I didn’t know what life was and what it meant to live.
I met a few ladies, not on my unit -The Acorn unit ( the name pun has not gone over my head). They expressed their pain through cutting and self-harm.
Nobody played games. Although some of us, from time to time would get hold of paracetamol and other shit and overdose to liven the humdrum mundaneness of life in an acute ward. I once got caught out on weigh day with fishing scales attached to my paper gown. The staff was quite taken aback with imaginative ways we would come up with to avoid putting on weight. These girls were hardcore. I met so many people.
I met a girl who terrified me. I could tell she had been in hospitals all her life. Her family could absolve themselves of whatever guilt they felt towards their daughter by puttting her in private clinics and the problem was dusted under the carpet.
I had started the process and recovery of eating again and putting on weight. I couldn’t cope. I developed another way to cope, for at least 4 months my day consisted of:
making a coffee
eating more chewing gum
make a cup herbal tea
smoke a cig .
I was on this loop for24 hours /7 days a week -for 4 months.
I was driving myself crazy in a way that was unfamiliar to me. The nurses tried to lock me out of the communal kitchens and one night I flipped out when they tried to grab me so I started throwing stuff around.
I wanted them to help me. The girl who initially terrified me came into the kitchen and sat down on the floor with me and held me for over an hour while, I shed tears for everything I can remember.
All the emotions attached to those memories I had pushed aside. None of these people was violent. We were trying to be understood and to understand ourselves.
I met a young girl with schizophrenia -she dressed like a Goth. Always had headphones in her ears. She was trying to silence the voices. She had been coping well up until her Mother passed away and like any normal person she was traumatized by it and her mental health went a bit off balance again. She was trying to make sense that her mother is dead. She was grieving.
One night a new guy arrived on the scene. I couldn’t take my eyes off him. He had that charisma of the kind of guy I always seemed to attract. His eyes were full of spark and mischief. A person you would want on your side. We became friends. We spoke a lot. He did a very Titanic thing and drew a picture of me. Fully clothed. I can’t find the picture to load up. He was still going through the DT’s. I will live with my memory of how the picture looked- possibly very trippy. Ha Ha.
Barry was only staying for 10 days before he went to ‘a dry out clinic further up the coast. I don’t know what happened inside me but I didn’t want him to go.
He was a lot older than me but we did everything together.I got him painting again. I know he had just got out of prison but he was so talented. I begged the nurses and psychiatrists to let him stay.
‘Look! Look! how talented he is! He needs help from you’.
Our last night before we parted ways. We sat in the smoking lounge and watched ‘Pulp fiction’. I know this may make some people reading this go .. erm………what?
I lay my head down in his lap and he played with my hair. For me, the act was more like a father gesture. I suspect for Barry it could have been different.
He wrote loads of letters and planned to come to visit me. The nurses censored my post and turned him away.
I often wonder what happened to him.
I get angry that just because he was an in and out of prison for many reasons- he was denied the rehabilitation that I received. He had issues. I am no innocent.
I feel he could not have benefited from a recovery type community setting rather than prison. It’s not my place to say what he did, I don’t want to remember.
It would have ruined the fact that I found feelings inside me. I could laugh again, I could cry. I was real. I felt like a human being and not some freak with Anorexia. Anorexia took second place and I wanted it to always take second place. I felt real.
So back to the Anti-stigma workshop, I am doing. I can’t wait. I have a passion. I have the drive. This is my new chapter. I did have a beautiful picture Barry drew of a dragonfly but I guess moving around a lot means that I have lost other precious memories. I am finally in a position to help other people. I’m not letting this opportunity getaway.
I thought I’d succeed this time .
I’d die reciting poetry under my favourite duvet ..
Perhaps listening to music.
Nearly ended up sectioned .
Making the most of a new day.
No serious damage except to my ego.
I’ve never felt so ashamed at failing to take my own life as this attempt.
Why ? Cos I’m still fucking here.
Apologising to people for not wanting to be here.
Time to keep going.
Moving to a new home is a priority..
This house is a poltergeist.
It feeds my need to keep bleeding.
I love my husband
My mommy & daughter.
3 good reasons to state that I’m
Bear change to mind
Get the facts -don’t bunker down with myths set in era’s
assonated with mercury outlined by hate.
The insane are violent. They murder our children.
They should be put away in a state of silence.
Media hype sensationalise stories to feed your imagination – they profit from.
Ill people who usually die by their own hands – strangulation or when man makes fire.
The insane are weak and lack willpower to get on with life – they scrounge the benefits system.
Watch reality tv and wed misery -cutting the wedding with a carving knife.
It takes strength and courage to live with our selves and pretend all is alright – People need to be signposted to treatment -to gain insight.
The insane must be institutionalised – criminalised for they cannot get better.
In bygone eras physical impairment and oddities were social pariahs to socialite invitees letters.
Insane people and I have nothing in common.
Please, take your insults away from my blissful ignorance
Our circumstances can change in a heartbeat. Worlds have been turned inside out to all humans including your current Destiny upcoming deliverance
Post traumatic disroder
Borderline personality disorder
obsessive compulsive disorder
attempts to get it right
a perfectionists manual in self destruction.
*Life is busy again -I choose to post this 10 days before I am “supposed” to because I think our MENTAL HEALTH needs care and attention every single day*
Inspired by taking a head ache tablet and the film ‘the Matrix’
It’s a bit abstract and simple at the same time.
Using the matrix as a metaphor to raise MENTAL HEALTH awareness and reduce stigma
What if I asked you This?
What pill will you choose?
Remain ignorant about mental health issues ,or acknowledge and seek to educate yourself?
If you believe you have a brain and a body -then it makes sense that you have Mental health and Physical health. Both exist. Both can fluctuate along a spectrum of Good- Bad.
Yes. I am aware that the picture shows only one tablet. Think of this one tablet as how the status quo deal with Mental health -good and bad.
I’m not saying there hasn’t been progress. There has. We have a long way to go still.
Society wants to understand IT and at the same time ignore that IT exsists.
We can’t have both.
In my opinion,
to think you can live with both:
understanding and ignorance is INSANITY.
This is what keeps us from understanding and evolving into the mental well being matrix system. 😉
‘ the body cannot live without the mind’ –
Morpheus from ‘the matrix’
Here is a link to world mental health U.K. website –
it has articles, blog stories and loads of information on MENTAL WELLBEING -good and bad.
I live in West Yorkshire, U.K.
support links for people in my community here
I have done the 5 day co facilliator W.RA.P. and I’ve done the 12 week program.
I’ve been involved with many of these services or know people who have in some different capacities and reasons.
I BELIEVE ENGAGING AND REACHING OUT WORKS.
I FIND WRAP HAS HELPED ME.
Invest time in learning about the Wellness Recovery Action Program 5 core values.
What is your understanding of these values? Click on each underlined link to read another person’s definition of WRAPS core values
SELF ADVOCACY – (it took me a long time to understand this)
SHORT INTRODUCTION TO WRAP
My premature message for #WORLDMENTALHEALTHDAY 10TH OCTOBER 2017
Today- the present.
If you read what I refrained from posting yesterday, this will give you a clear perspective on how our thoughts and feelings change constantly. I wasn’t going to to go out yesterday. My feelings on how I was feeling was that I was being all very ‘woe is me’ and I had a ‘doom and gloom’ outlook.
How did I get myself from my bed to out and about and carrying on with my life?
I talked about my worries.
I explained my anxieties.
I spoke to my Mom and My G.
Mom’s great advice was
“You do not know what the future holds”
“Live for this moment”
My four year old daughters advice was this:
” Mommy, I have a good idea . Do you want to go to Asda with me and Daddy and then I can ride the bull/ car ride?”
Here I was worrying about so many things. I should have been getting excited about getting married.
I know I am not the only person who over analyses and catastrophizes things. It’s a shit mind set to be in but I do work on it.
Catastrophizing is an irrational thought a lot of us have in believing that something is far worse than it actually is. Catastrophizing can generally can take two forms.
I have really missed doing my volunteering. I’ve been so focused on the wedding. I am so happy to say that I have a chance to co -produce and facilitate a mini workshop for Healthy minds at the end of June.
It is in connection with the OPEN MINDS PROJECT. – that Raises Mental Health Awareness and helps to fight against reducing the stigma around Mental Health issues.
Please send me some positive vibes. 😀
I get the opportunity to help Healthy minds do a mini -workshop ,to help raise awareness around how parents can manage Depression and Anxiety, in a more holistic way. The other aim of the workshop is to also sign post people to organisations where they can access help.
I may share a very small part of how I personally handle my mental health as a parent.
I’ve got a meeting on the 27th June. The wedding will be over and I can get back to doing something that gives me a sense of purpose.
What a difference a day makes!
I’m so glad I used my care plan and my coping skills yesterday and pushed myself. I can 100% honestly say that when I came home I felt I had accomplished something. I paid the bills, I went to Asda, I popped in to see a friend. I had a chance to laugh and I got to spend time with my daughter ( in the U.K. it is half term holidays.) .
If I had shut myself down completely and said no which is what I initially did. I wouldn’t be feeling like I feel today.
I will post details of the workshop in a post as soon as possible.
24 hours ago – My mind state.
As you lose your youthful Strength,and your body acquires a “more lived in look”, meditate on your true self, your essential consciousness. Body consciousness has no place in your thoughts. You are old enough to know what really matters.” UNKNOWN.
You would this I had this one quote sussed already, right?
Yes, I look more mature these days, I’m getting married and I have a beautiful spirited child who gives me more joy than any drug or party or person ever did. I’m turning 35 in November.
As many people say: I have come so far.
I have cheated death more times than the luckiest of cats.
I’ve gone from a 5 stone , skeleton to a 10 stone toned person full of child hearted playfulness , a life, friends and love.
What comes after marriage?
YOU MUST COME OFF YOUR MEDICATION DAISY! IT IS ADDICTIVE AND YOU DON’T WANT TO CHANCE ANOTHER CHILD BEING BORN WITH WITHDRAWALS FROM PRESCRIBED MEDICATION DO YOU?
No. Of course I don’t. I was put on these meds to drug me into staying on bed rest.So, I didn’t burn off more calories when I was ill and severely Anorexic in 2005 . I also use them too hep me eat. Sometimes I still get anxious when I eat and after I have eaten.
One part of my eating disorder that hasn’t disappeared.
I do love food. A great anxiety reliever for me is exercising (in moderation).
I’ve been on these meds for over 10 years! Along with other medication.
I’ve spoken with my support of a reduction plan at my own pace. I am up for it because eventually we want to extend our family but today I have suddenly been struck with the blood of a lizard.
Pale and anxious.
How am I going to cope without this shit that keeps me okay?
G is an epic Dad. He deserves his hockey team. 😀 -(He is not getting a Hockey team)
I haven’t touched cigs since my Aunt died of Lung Cancer in February 2015 but I am still addicted to nicotine.
I E -VAPE.
I can go without alcohol . That is not an issue for me.
So on these terms and as I stand today, what kind of start would I be giving our child (if I can conceive) ?
It is not good enough.
I’m trying to get my career back.
Since I have been focusing on the wedding, I have stepped away from volunteering and I feel a great loss in my life.
Volunteering and training in various courses was my career and still will be until I can get FULL TIME work to pay the bills and maybe even take a holiday.
My previous pregnancy was a disaster because of the place I was in at that time.
I am utterly terrified of my body changing again, I’m afraid I won’t get an easy labour now I know how it all works and feels.
So do we wait a few years?
I’m less likely to conceive as each cycle goes by.
We want to move to better place. A place we will be happier.
There are no chances of any accidents.
I am responsible and have the Non hormonal IUD fitted in me.
There are so many quotes about trusting your heart and not your mind. I yearn for another child. I want the chance to be excited and be a life giver with a whole new outlook this time.
Time is working against me. I wouldn’t worry so much if I was in my 20’s.
I looked up 50 great reasons to get pregnant. There are some gems in there. I never felt my Bella Bee move as she was snuggled behind my placenta.
How shallow does this sound.
I want another girl.
I don’t know what is up with me. I should be happy I have a family already.
I am scared of having regrets too.
I am scared that I have a limited chance of conceiving again.
I am terrified of losing what I have (including control of my body)
I am angry that I worry about my body when the bigger picture is the miracle of life.
So I should know better.
I don’t want to go down the IVF route.
I’m not to posh to push ( gas and air will do)
I don’t even want to carry on with this post because I get so emotional.
I’ve never been great at planning. Impulse has always been my default mode.
THESE ARE ALL THE THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS I HAD RUNNING THROUGH MY MIND YESTERDAY.
Today, I am not magically fixed.
I may look like I have my shit together and most days I do.
I am also a human being who has thoughts and emotions just like everybody else.
I just choose not to hide the fact that I have bad days.
Why should I?
I am not saying it is easy to shift Depression and Anxiety. It isn’t.
Finding Good coping skills and using them are the key to helping you manage yourself .
It takes time to find healthier coping skills.
New Coping Strategies take practice
Be kind to yourself.
Remember, whatever coping skills you are using now, you have probably used them for a long time.
It will take time to gain confidence in using other coping skills.
There is no time limit on change- it is constant.
Be easy on yourself but try and find the balance to challenge yourself too.
Know where to access help
Ask for help
Establish and use a support network .
Consider making a some kind of contingency plan like – WRAP
Have you heard?
I have now.
Now you need to know about this!
I’m super excited to share one of the most innovative communities there is for people with Mental health. The only way to stop discrimination is to get on board and use your voice and not be ashamed to have mental health issues.
WE ALL HAVE MENTAL HEALTH SO WE ALL NEED TO LOOK AFTER OURS.
CHECK OUT SickNotWeak
I’ve decided to get more involved and volunteer.
What does it mean to be a volunteer at #SickNotWeak? It means sharing a part of yourself to help others, it means starting conversations we didn’t have even twenty years ago, and it means making a commitment to change. There is no singular way to help an organization like ours – our volunteers have diverse skills sets, life experience, and quite often different diagnoses.
We welcome both sufferers and supporters on our team.Something everyone at #SickNotWeak has asked themselves: “If I am feeling broken, how can I fix anyone else?” Simply put, you can’t. Our job at #SickNotWeak is not to “fix” anyone. We are not doctors; we are friends. Even if we just co-exist as broken-but-brave pieces of ourselves, that is enough. Feeling a sense of camaraderie is enough. Telling just one person that you are sick, not weak, is enough. You are enough.
If you’re ready to jump in, here is a current list of volunteer opportunities: Click on the link below for how you can get involved
How can #SickNotWeak help YOU
Check them out.
SPREAD THE WORD #SickNotWeak
A whole new contemporary community.
Can you tell I am just a tad bit excited about this?
‘I have given you words of vision and wisdom more secret than hidden mysteries.Ponder them in the silence of your soul and then in freedom do your will’ Bhagavad Gita
Why have I chosen this quote?
For those who read YESTERDAYS POST- I STILL GET TO CHOOSE
My fears were indeed unfounded. I think of my psychiatrist when I decided to use this quote. Yesterday,
We are open and honest with one another. The beauty of this kind of relationship is he leaves the control of how I use the concoction of medication I am on in my control under his guidance of course.
I don’t know many doctors who do this.
Yes, I am on far too many anti anxiety tablets.
Addictive ones. I have been on them for years.
I know there is day that I need to get off them.
There never seems to be a right time. I need to create that time.
Doctor J. put the words out there:
” You are on too many benzos”
(panic starts its drum) .I acknowledge this.
We talk about factors that may explain why I am still not stable (as I have been) with my moods .
not eating correctly
been on the same antidepressants for over 10 years
the pharmacist’s mistake in the dosage one of my mood stabilisers
Benzo’s make you depressed.
So what is the plan?
Up the mood stabiliser.
Think about reducing one of the Benzos by a half -a tiny little speck of a half
. Follow up with my C.P.N. three weeks from now.
Gauge if the increase in the mood stabiliser is working.
Decide how I want this to play out.
do I feel ready to start reducing the benzo’s?
No! (my automatic response)
Okay, chill, Daisy there is no pressure.
GO back to the quote:
The seed has been planted.- I have received ‘the words and vision more secret than hidden mysteries’
‘Ponder them in the silence of your soul and then in freedom do your will‘
It is only my will that can lead me to true freedom.
How many other doctors do you know who are like this with their patients?
He trusts me. I do honestly try to use the least amount of benzos in a day. If I want to have another child after I am married.
I will not repeat past mistakes.
My next child may not be so lucky. He or she may go through severe ,life threatening withdrawals.
I was ignorant the first time round. I have learnt the lesson.
My child is a daily reminder of what I wish for her and my future children.
So, for now. I get back to my passions: volunteering and training, get my confidence and focus back- then I am in a stronger position to make a decision that will benefit me in the long run.
I read so many other posts where people with Mental health issues don’t get the kind of support and trust I get.
Yes,I am blessed.
I am also honest( to a fault).
There is some kind of message here: Not speaking up for Fear and acknowledgement of how we cope, can be a natural reaction to protect our mind.
the word- petrifies me
What will I do without xyz.?
Anorexia and many other Mental health illnesses have a strong component of control as a symptom. The way to empower us to to give us some control over how we want to be treated and how we don’t want to be treated.
I put together a WRAP plan last year – my whole professional support team have signed it.
what makes me happy
early warning signs that all is not well
breaking down signs
post crisis plan.
WRAP TESTIMONIAL CLIP ( it may just be the best gift you ever give yourself or to someone you love. All it costs is a bit of time and effort, I contributed to this testimonial )
I think more mental health professionals should move towards this approach. When a person with mental health issues is relatively well, that person is the only person who knows what will get them back on track.
I know I am going on a bit here
if we do a bit of work on ourselves and find out what makes us tick -we stand a better chance over improving our mental health and our quality of life.
Just an opinion from a person who has mental health.
Don’t I mean mental health ‘issues’
No I mean – MENTAL HEALTH.
Do you have a mind?
Then you have mental health.
Different life scenarios and experiences constantly change, so that you are always sliding along a mental health spectrum between good mental health and bad mental health.
I have bills to pay and grocery shopping to do today, I neeed to get my booty in to action.
So for now, to a person reading this, who doesn’t think they are susceptible to poor mental health;
I propose an exercise.
A challenge, if you will..
Where would you be on the scale of mental health? ( good feeling 100% well – bad being 0%) if
your cat/dog died
you got a job promotion
you got divorced
you won the lottery
you child is bullying at school
you find out your loved one is dying from an illness
you win tickets to go see your favourite band
you fall pregnant
you need to move home
you are moving to a new country
Just something to think about.
Can’t wait to read what other people are thinking about, what is going on in your lives and everything thing else. Thanks for reading. Time to hit the real world and get broke!
Then again, Why not ? A small update on the NaNoWriMO front.
I have got my achievement badge of 10 000 words. Oh yeah! It’s pretty organic and rough but there is a story down. It is tangible and there is shit going on in it that may appeal to some one other than my characters sometime in my future life. I don’t know how some writers who plan every detail of their character’s tastes, shoe size -temperament etc. ever get around to writing and finishing a novel. I’m not trying to big myself up but I guess I need to be that person who pats herself on the back sometimes. Aint No-body who is gonna do it for you.This writing thing shows commitment. Doing challenges like this adds character and reveals another layer of our highly complexed selves, that is more interpretable to ourselves and the world and people who live around us . At least, this is what I think it does for me. So 20 days to go and 40 000 coherent linked up words to write and make into a story.
Maybe my writing is worthy of some praise- then again- maybe not. At-least I’m putting myself out there. Getting out of my safety zone. Speaking/typing of which, I have only gone and said I will stand up in front of a bunch of people next week and briefly talk to them about Anti-stigma and mental health. I hate talking in crowds. I’m more of a one on one sort of gal. There is only one way to conquer the fear of losing my train of thought when I get up and start my mini speech; and that is to confront it head on. Oh and make notes. tee hee!
Wing it until you make it.’
Not a unhealthy quote to live by.
That reminds me! I need to create a mantra for myself -to big myself up for my mini speech and be a credible person to work with in a work shop. Okay. thinking of a mantra…
” I AM A GREAT PUBLIC SPEAKER AND I AM AN ASSET TO THIS WORKSHOP” – my mantra until next wed.
I’m rolling with it. I’m finding my place and it’s exciting and terrifying. I was a brilliant travel consultant and had loads of confidence a few years ago. I was good in every job I took on. I became ill again and I got up again. Never stop getting up. I’m not about to let my side down now or ever. The one problem I do have is, there is so much I want to do but I am only human and can only work within the 24 hour day structure. The main thing in is my mental health and physical health is good. The amount of pressure and stress I am putting on myself is not insurmountable. I’m having a blast!
P.S. no cocktails until Christmas ( apologies for actually bringing this word up as we are still in November- may I get no orange and half a lump of coal in my sack . It is time to detox the natural way. I am partial to a green tea and slice of lemon in hot water most days and the writer in me demands coffee. I am healthy therefore I must have one vice….