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What is the truth?

There are days I drop words of comfort on myself like falling leaves and remember that it is enough to be taken care of by myself – Brian Andreas

Have you ever tried to be yourself ?

Lost yourself to the one form of self expression that you excel in?

Writing without my vices is my biggest quality.

Proof I don’t need anything but passion & words & emotions to crystllize my thoughts and emotions. To formulate poetry or stories to know that I’m important too.

We all want a bit of self validation at times, don’t we?

Life is rough & tough .

Love the people who have got your back.

Leave those who don’t- even the one’s who claim to love you yet have let you down by your standards and your values – time and time again.

Respect comes with age & patience knowing that wisdom is not solely about your age but also about our unique experiences .

I sometimes think – If you call yourself a writer -then you have to write & type all the time .

I have an inkwell tattooed to my arm.

We shoudln’t define our selves as masters of our creative self expressive outlets if we don’t write or create every day , especially if it is something that we do to try and keep well or find inner peace.

It’s more difficult to achieve if our creative outlets require an income and proof for a resume or career!

I’ve had the privilage ( sometimes to my detriment) of making decisions in my life where I decided what roads I have travelled down. Some roads I had no choice.

That is life.

However or whatever we use our creative outlets and passions for – hobby, recovery, to stay sane, a career.

I have the opinion that it is how open you are to self reflection and the ability to take on healthy critique or even self critique will gauge how effective your work on self development and progression is achieved.

Don’t forget to be compassionate with yourself and I will try to remember that piece of advice too.

I have all these thoughts. The words I’ve just typed are my thoughts.

Interests? I have a lot of interets.

My thoughts get scattered.

I’m not my thoughts though I sometimes believe my thoughts and feelings are the truth.

They are my truth and subject to change.

These are my words.

Making friends living on an Acute psychiatric ward

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.

I 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:

  • chewing gum

  • 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.

WRAP Training reflection

 

 

Short reflection (First day down) onWRAP( wellness recovery action plan) facilitator training.

A stream of consciousness.

Heart beating, struggling to breathe, it’s my turn next to have a go honing in on my public speaking skills and being a co-facilitator, speaking about one core value and ethic of what the  WRAP self-management program means to me and why.

  • Breathe.

  • Make a few bullet point notes.

  • Listen to what others are saying. Listen……. 

  • Don’t pre-empt what I am going to say while listening to others.

  • Try and understand where that person who is currently in the hot seat, is coming from.

  • We are all nervous – we all have feelings.

  • Oooh, look!  A   squishy, colourful ball to play with,it lights up. I hope there is no one who is sensitive to flashing light in this room. Just Fucking do it. 

  • Remember, my reason for doing what I am doing.

  • This is not about what others think but about how I develop as a person and what it means to me, in my life – there is a bigger picture.

  • Smile.

  • wing it.

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  • Look people in the eyes when  I speak.

  • Acknowledge my nerves if need be.

  •  stick to the topic.

  • Believe in my own worth.

THE PRACTICAL EXERCISE:

Choose one out of the 15, WRAP ETHICS AND VALUES  that form the basis and success of the WRAP  self-management program, get into pairs to practice co-facilitating  (with someone I have never met before). Here is what I chose and what I had to say.

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED – YOU SHOULD BE 😀

 

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HAHA!

 

 

 CHECK OUT THE CORE  VALUES AND ETHICS CHECKLIST THAT MAKE WRAP WHAT IT IS

HERE   ( there are 15)

  Here’s another link if you enjoyed what you read 😀

VALUES AND ETHICS -MENTAL HEALTH RECOVERY

  MY CHOICE :

Difficult feelings and behaviors are seen as normal responses to traumatic circumstances viewed in the context of what is happening, not as symptoms or a diagnosis.

 

What I said: Three minutes starts now: tick tock

 

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MAKES MY OWN TICKER BEAT FASTER

 

 

“Long story short, I grew up in what is commonly referred to in society as a dysfunctional family and upbringing. Grew up around mental illness, addictions/people who used bad coping mechanisms.

I, family members of mine were Stigmatized because of that.

The global / U.K. NHS model for dealing with Mental health is not working.

Change is needed.

Labels and diagnoses should be a guideline -not something that you are stuck with for life.

We all have feelings – not all most feelings are irrational/impulsive.

Society is uncomfortable in dealing with other people’s feelings.

Feelings can’t be reduced to mere symptoms of illness 

We all have Mental health. We all have a mind and a body. 

We are all subject to episodes of good and bad MH on a  sliding scale spectrum.

People with Feelings should be encouraged to share them. 

We are all unique. 

We share many similar qualities and are complex beings.

Our narratives – our personal story.

how we came to be who we are today and who we will become should be determined by being able to express our feelings and thoughts without being labelled in jargony terms ( if we want it that way).

We are human.  Let’s stop hiding it and act like it.

There is no shame in being human and feeling happy/sad/ insert emotion.

I believe, there is this cultural mentality that people with Mental Health “issues”  ( every human being on this planet btw)  who have come out or indeed still continue to suffer in silence are deemed incapable of taking true, positive personal responsibility for our own health in an empowering manner.

I think We are afraid because we have been told we don’t have the mental capacity to manage ourselves in the current medical, prescribed model set- up that we rely on still to this day.

This links into another crucial value and ethic of WRAP  which is  what my co-facilitator will touch upon now”  

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CO -FACILITATOR’S  CHOICE AND TURN IN THE HOT SEAT.

Self-determination, personal responsibility, empowerment, and self-advocacy are key aspects of this program.

How I sum up what my three-minute co-facilitator said, in my own mind, is:

Understanding and wanting to understand how to manage your own issues in new ways – safe ways, different ways requires determination. One-step and that is already a person taking responsibility for their path – their mind /their body. 

The result – I have found, is usually empowering.

I can do this.

Why ?

I have just done it.

WOW! Fucking shit man….. 

Carry on working on ourselves and focusing on what makes us well, unwell, etc…. is a great prescription. Self-advocacy is a prescription a person gives themselves. 

WHY?

Because I know myself better than anyone. I don’t care who believes it or not. 

You know yourself better than any doctor, family member or friend. You live in your head and body.

I am the expert on me and I can be pretty fucking resourceful if I am pointed in the right direction.

That’s it.

I’m Knackered.

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My Bella Bee is back at school.  Missed her first day at  BIG  school. 😦

My GHD’s said a big F U  to me this morning ……

but…..

I did it.

I can’t even focus on the words on my MA in Creative writing on the Open University website that is finally open and we have full access to use.

Finally!

What do I want to write about?

Social issues/ issues that affect us as humans.

I do know that my first Tutor marked assignments  (TMA) is going to be an 18-minute play about a homeless person and how society and the community can succeed in aiding a vulnerable person to help him/herself.

Be kind to yourself.

Be kind and rewind. Remember that one?

 

 

Catch up soon!

Loads of shout outs as promised at the end of the week.

Can’t wait to explore all the new blogs and Bloggers in the Willows and beyond.

Good night!

Daisy ❤ ❤

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