Monday, 12 November 2018

“I DIDN’T TELL YOU SO THAT YOU’D FEEL SORRY FOR ME” | SYMPATHY, EMPATHY & CONDESCENTION



The moment something bad happens to you, you’ll forever have a choice: do you tell someone or don’t you? And I don’t just mean do you report abuse to the Police or do you see a Doctor if you’re in a car accident. I mean, do you tell your parents what happened? Do you tell the teachers at School? Do you tell your friends?

My reluctance to report the abuse I went through made the choice a little easier for me; why would I tell anyone with the threats he made and the worries of judgement I held? He told me that people wouldn’t believe me, that they’d think I was making it up for attention or as an excuse for my bad behavior (which was, in fact, a result of the abuse). I also knew that as soon as people knew what had happened, they’d have a choice to make; his side or mine. I’d make the ‘allegations’ and he’d make a denial; so, who would they believe? And even if they thought it was true – even if they were on my side – what if they thought I’d deserved it? What if they told the Police before I was ready to tell them – I wouldn’t have a choice! Telling someone opened so many unanswerable questions that I wouldn’t know the answers to, unless I took the risk and ‘spilled the beans.’

Saturday, 10 November 2018

HOW MY DOGS HAVE HELPED WITH MY MENTAL HEALTH BY CHLOE WINTLE | GUEST POST



I first began experiencing anxiety and depression in my late teens following a string of bad relationships, some emotionally abusive and one physically violent, and then a major emotional trauma at 18.

While at first it would come and go, anxiety and depression eventually became a constant presence in my life. It was like a cough that eventually starts to get better, only to come back worse than before. Only unlike a cough, where usually I am still able to function, anxiety and depression hits like a ton of bricks and even the idea of getting out of bed seems to be a goal that gets to be less and less attainable.

As time passed, more and more of my days started to be spent paralyzed by endless thoughts of regrets of the past and worries for the future and that was when I knew I needed to seek professional advice.

Friday, 9 November 2018

WHY IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO REPORT ABUSE



So, I had a meeting recently (about a very top-secret project) and during it the issue came up about service users feeling like they’ve experienced a miss opportunity in reporting the abuse they’ve survived.

This often happens immediately when you get involved with mental health services – whether that be inpatient or outpatient/community – because the first contact is usually in the form of some sort of assessment and that often includes the question ‘have you ever been abused?’

For the abuse survivor who has kept quiet, this is yet another opportunity where they’ve not spoken up. Another time that they’ve been too scared to speak. Another time that their abuser has won. When, in reality, if you’ve never reported it before, why would you suddenly decide to? And secondly, if anyone was going to be the first person to be told, is it realistic to assume that person would be a complete stranger who coldly and clinically asks one of the most important questions you’ll be asked in your mental health journey – in your life?

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

GOODBYES - THE GOOD, THE BAD, & THE UGLY



At 27, I think I’d still be classed as young but at the same time, it’s kind of expected – at my age – to have at least gone through some challenging ‘goodbye’ situations. I mean, I think you’d struggle to find a 27-year-old who could say they’ve never experienced the death of a loved one, or a relationship break-up. The sad truth is, goodbyes are an inevitable challenge in life. We will all face one eventually.

It’s difficult to rank the goodbyes I’ve faced into which was the most challenging because I don’t want to say one and for the others to seem meaningless or ‘easier’ to cope with. So I’m not going to talk about the goodbyes I’ve experienced in any particular order; no one experience was harder than the other – each of them were completely different and challenging in their own way…

Monday, 5 November 2018

SO YOU WANT TO BE A MENTAL HEALTH BLOGGER?


Are you ready to…


feel like a failure?

There are times where I’ve felt like a failure to my readers. When I’ve had hard days – particularly during my relapse - I felt that I’d let everyone down by being poorly again. I thought I’d been the poster child for mental health recovery and now, here I was, illustrating that even the strongest of recovery’s doesn’t last. No matter how long you go without self-harming or hearing voices, you can still be just as vulnerable as you were when those things were happening.  But feeling like that, made me realize that others might experience that too and might find – just as I would – the knowledge that they aren’t alone, reassuring.