Monday, 19 August 2019

THE ULTIMATE ADVICE POST | 50 TOP TIPS ON MENTAL HEALTH FOR SERVICE USERS, PROFESSIONALS, FRIENDS & FAMILY




Yes, you read that right; fifty! I’ve enjoyed writing posts around tips, advice, do’s and don’ts so I thought the ultimate one would be to put 50 of them in one big post!

Please don’t take this post as condescending and think that just because I’m in recovery I think it makes me an expert on mental health. I don’t, think that; I just hope that my experiences can provide others with the advice that might spare them from going through some of the same hardships. I also don’t want people to think that these tips don’t recognize the strength it takes to do some of them; anyone who knows me – and my blog – will know how important I think it is to acknowledge a person’s bravery and courage in mental health.


Sunday, 18 August 2019

LESSONS LEARNT SINCE ADOPTING EMMY| IN COLLABORATION WITH BANDANA BOWTIQUE | EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT CODE INCLUDED | AD

“Even the smallest ones can change the world”

-       Peter Rabbit



 


You don’t have had to have been reading I’m NOT Disordered very long to know that my mental health is greatly benefited by having my pets (a two-year-old bunny named Pixie and a one-year-old kitten named Emmy) because I regularly talk about them, promote the general notion of having pets, and have collaborated on a few pieces for Pets at Home, Cats Protection and Willows Cat Adoption Centre. And if you know this, then you’ll appreciate my happiness when I found an excuse to go into my local Pets at Home; the bow on Emmy’s collar was frayed but things got even better when I spotted some new collars and accessories! I’ve always wanted to dress up my pets, but I’ve been very skeptical that they’d tolerate anything so when I fell in love with the ‘So Meowgical’ bandana for cats, I figured it was the perfect opportunity to give it a go! And, much to my excitement, Emmy loved her trendy new neckerchief and - as I said to my Mum - “she ponced about in it like she was all proud of herself!” And of course, once I’d seen that she liked it, I went ahead to searched for cat bandanas on Etsy! I’ve never used Etsy before but the price on the personalized neckerchief, from Bandana Bowtique, that I picked out was so good that I figured it wouldn’t matter too much if the order didn’t work. But of course, it did, and after the neckerchief was delivered in a matter of days (despite it only being a £1 delivery charge) I messaged the seller to suggest a collaboration. And I’m very pleased to say that Bandana Bowtique have offered you all an exclusive 15% discount code to use on their Etsy shop  - all you have to do is type in IMNOTDISORDERED at the checkout! 

Saturday, 10 August 2019

“I DON’T KNOW IF ‘PROUD’ IS THE RIGHT WORD” | FOUR WAYS TO COPE WITH A HOSPITAL ADMISSION



Last weekend I began hallucinating again and – at their command – I took an overdose. I was in Hospital for over twenty-four hours and the only drama was caused by my veins; and a conversation with the Psychiatric Liaison Team about it, left me inspired to write this post!


As the overdose had been in response to the voices and not a suicide attempt, I took myself to A&E and agreed to have the lengthy antidote treatment known as Parvolex. Ironically, when I actually want the treatment and co-operate, my veins collapse and become generally useless so that it can’t be administered! The Doctors had many attempts and even called an Anesthetist with the ultrasound machine to try to insert the cannula, but they had no success, so my blood test was repeated. It was at this point that my co-operation was tested, and the Doctor made a comment “the tests will be ok unless you’ve actually taken as many as you say you have.” In the past, I’d have taken great offence by interpreting this as him basically calling me a liar! I’d have refused blood tests and treatment and left the Hospital – probably against medical advice and possible chased by security! Instead, I took the attitude that I’d let them do the blood tests and once he saw the results, they would prove I wasn’t lying. And that, would be much more gratifying!


After proving I hadn’t lied, I had to see the Psychiatric Liaison Team before I could go home and I told them that I wasn’t sure if ‘pride’ was the right word for it but that I was glad there hadn’t been any of the usual drama of me running away or refusing treatment. They told me that I could say I was proud of myself for it and that it shows that even though I was there for overdosing, I had come a long way over the years and could still be counted as being in recovery. But I don’t think the peaceful admission was due to my mental state; I think some of it came because of the things I’ve learnt that help me during a hospital admission.

Thursday, 8 August 2019

A QUICK CHAT WITH BIG PINK DRESS AKA COLIN PLEWS


As a six-foot, nineteen stone, Ex-Forces and Rugby player, if someone had told me five years ago that I’d end up running around in a massive dress I’d have laughed in your face!



Five years ago, though, a friend of mine was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and watching her go through Chemotherapy and experience all of the horrendous side effects was life changing. I felt so helpless because I’m no Doctor or Scientist, but I was desperate to make a difference and the Great North Run was just around the corner, so I applied for a place with the Breast Cancer Campaign. 





While working at a Nursing Home, we picked names out of a hat for a Christmas show we named ‘Stars In Their Eyes’ and I picked out Diana Ross. This inspired me to wear a fish-tail dress which caused me to take three hours and forty-two minutes to get around the 13.1 miles! I had hoped – and aimed – to raise £350 but ended up with over £4000 and that, with the amount of support I had, meant that the original plan of this being a one-off run was completely scraped and I aimed for double the distance.

Monday, 5 August 2019

RECOMMENDED RESPONSES TO MENTAL HEALTH | STRANGER ON A BRIDGE EVENT | AD





I was recently invited to an event at George Street Social in Newcastle. They had a panel of four different people; Jonny Benjamin the author of Stranger On A Bridge, Ashley Lowe the Health and Wellbeing Manager at Newcastle United Foundation, Matt from If You Care, Share; and Paula Cowie from the Road to Recovery Trust.


Lucy Nichol led the panel in a discussion of their own – very different - experiences in mental health but the common theme was around supporting one another and talking about mental health a lot more. Jonny spoke about his experience of being suicidal and about to jump from a bridge before a member of the public stopped to speak with him and talked him down. Ashley spoke about Newcastle United Foundation’s campaign on encouraging men in particular to start talking more openly about mental health. Matt told everyone about when his older Brother had taken his own life and why it had taught him the importance of talking about mental health and asking for help when you need it. Then, Paula talked about her own battles with drug addiction and how beneficial attending a support group had been to her.