Sunday, 20 September 2020

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WASTING TIME IN MENTAL HEALTH



It might still be a few months off, but I feel like my Thirtieth Birthday is looming and with it, my need to justify what I’ve achieved so far in my life. And it’s inspired this post…

Back in 2007 – when the abuse had just ‘ended’ – I had wanted to work in Law so that I could help others get justice for when they had been wronged. I think I was so passionate and eager to give a voice to those who deserved it, when I felt as though mine had been silenced for the past year. I wanted for others to feel that those who’d hurt and upset them in some way, had gotten the consequences and punishment that they deserved because for so many reasons, my abuser never did.

After my mental health deteriorated during my exams at School, I lost the opportunity to study Law at University and instead, found passion to go into Childcare. I guess that again, I was projecting my own experiences and harnessing them as motivation to work in a particular industry. My thinking behind Childcare was that I wanted to promote that children have a similar, innocent childhood to my own, but that they were also aware of all the things that I hadn’t been; and which hit me like a ton of bricks when I finally experienced them.

Again, though, my mental health prevented me from taking this aspiration any further and before long I was spending the following three years in and out of both medical and psychiatric hospitals worrying that I was wasting everyone’s time. This concern didn’t just come from my own thinking though, I was told this was the case by Police Officers and A&E staff. I think that from the Police force’s view, they were there to fight crime, catch perpetrators, and protect victims; and not to sit for hours on end with someone who was in a mental health crisis. But their legal obligation to have a duty of care for everyone, their powers under section 136 of the 1983 Mental Health Act, and the fact that mental health services are operating on a very low budget with a limited amount of staff has meant that they’ve become somewhat responsible for helping and supporting someone in a mental health crisis. Of course, they aren’t the ‘best’ or the ‘right’ people to do this job and I think that maybe those feelings of inadequacy led to a lot of frustration for Officers who also felt that this wasn’t what they had expected in joining the Police. Inevitably, the frustration was taken out on the nearest person and that person was often me. Except, because I was in crisis, I couldn’t understand or appreciate their side of things and to me, they were just being rude, insulting, and unfair in saying I was wasting their time.

Friday, 18 September 2020

HUMOUR & MENTAL HEALTH | MY THOUGHTS & A Q&A IN COLLABORATION WITH AWARD WINNING COMEDIAN, DAVE CHAWNER

https://davechawner.co.uk/

Buy Dave’s book; Weight Expectations from Amazon

Dave’s exclusive video for World Mental Health Day 2020

 

In 2015, I was asked to do the social media at a Newcastle University event named Mind The Gap Conference (you can watch my vlog from the day here), I had the honour of watching a sketch by the award winning Comedian; Dave Chawner, before having the opportunity to have a 1:1 chat with him. I found him so inspiring; his sketch was centred around mental health and his particular experience with Anorexia, yet it had THE most hilarious moments! I believe he has mastered what I think is a key difficulty around humour and mental health; that some people have the attitude that mental health is so important it should be taken seriously, and there should be no light to make of it.

I’d like to think that if you’ve been reading my blog for a little while – or even if you’ve just read one post – you can see from it that I regard mental health very highly and have nothing but respect for people struggling with theirs. Whilst this is so true, I’m also a firm believer that humour can have a place in most generally difficult topics/subjects. I like that phrase ‘if I don’t laugh, I’ll cry’ and completely agree that this is particularly true with mental health because it can really be the difference between someone feeling that things are bearable to a person being suicidal. I think that I mostly feel this way because I use humour myself as a very effective coping mechanism and find it incredibly encouraging of positive and safe thoughts and feelings.

Thursday, 17 September 2020

THREE LESSONS I’VE LEARNT FROM MY GOD CHILDREN | MY TRIP TO SEE THEM IN EDINBURGH




I’m forever grateful for the fact that I was so late to my A Level History class that the only empty seat left in the classroom was beside Ellie! Sitting beside her, I didn’t ever imagine we’d be best-friends thirteen years later and that she’d be Mum to my three incredible Godchildren!

Due to work and school opportunities, Ellie and her husband moved the family to a town just outside of Edinburgh and with the UK lockdown pretty much immediately following their move, I’ve not been able to visit until now! And the trip to see them all was my inspiration for this post…



You should always appreciate time spent with loved ones


The initial lockdown regulations meant that I couldn’t see my oldest God Son (Jonas) for his Tenth Birthday so I sent presents and was sent a photo of him with his gifts and the biggest, cheesiest smile on his face! As happy as I was to know he had liked his presents (a Lego Sports Car & American Candy!), losing the ability to see him was really triggering of my memories around being in the psychiatric hospital over 100 miles away for two and a half years. Being in the hospital for so long meant that I missed out on the majority of Jonas’ life aged 2 - 4, and being in and out of hospitals for the last six years has meant that I’ve missed out on some milestones for my God Daughter; Emmy (yes I named my cat after my God Daughter!), and my youngest God Son, Kasper. 



Thursday, 10 September 2020

MY LIFESAVERS | WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY 2020










This year, for World Suicide Prevention Day, I’ve written a post for LEAPS (the group I chair) on their website: www.leapsonline.co.uk but I still wanted some content for I’m NOT Disordered. My piece for LEAPS talks a lot about my suicide attempts and so I thought that in this post, maybe I’d concentrate on some of the many things  (in no particular order) that have saved my life…










Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne & Wear NHS Foundation Trust

(including the Psychiatric Liaison Team and the Crisis Team)


I’d like to thank my local mental health NHS Trust for four things:

1.      Not being afraid or ashamed to recognize that their service had become inadequate in supporting those with the diagnosis of a Personality Disorder

2.      Providing me with incredible care once they were more adequately equipped

3.      Believing that I could have a happy and successful future

4.      Putting in so much effort to save my life when I was putting effort in to end it



Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust


I’d like to thank my local NHS healthcare Trust for two things:

1.      Going to drastic measures to ensure I had a future when I didn’t want one

2.      Believing that I should be treat as equal to someone who doesn’t have a mental illness


Sunday, 6 September 2020

WHY I DIDN’T TAKE PART IN DIGITAL DETOX DAY 2020




I first heard about Digital Detox Day when I visited Zoe Sugg’s Instagram account and read her post on the campaign she’s created alongside I Am Whole to shed light on the negative impact social media can have on your mental health and life in general. Zoe explained that the thought process behind the campaign was based on the realization that we are ‘endlessly scrolling’, comparing, judging, being cyber bullied, losing boundaries, and don’t know when to ‘switch off’ from social media. She says that all of this can be a cause of Anxiety, Depression, Sleeplessness, Loneliness, and low Self-Esteem.

Initially, I almost automatically decided to join in, read up on the campaign, and do the digital detox on September 5th, 2020 (tomorrow). Then I started writing a post about the campaign for LEAPS (you can read the post here) and talking about my ‘digital journey’ really left me reconsidering my decision and feeling hugely tempted not to partake in the event. Writing about how I’ve progressed through social media and my blog really made me realize just how important the digital world has all become to me and that this isn’t necessarily unhealthy or unsafe.