Wednesday, 18 September 2019
Sunday, 15 September 2019
You don’t have to read many of my blog posts to realize that I’m a very honest and open person so to have to regulate what I say and watch how much detail I give is very challenging! The most frustrating thing is that even saying the bare bones of things - that the abuse happened while I was at High School – everyone who knew me during that time of my life will easily guess who it was that hurt me. You see, my abuser and I also had a public relationship – interactions that others witnessed – and it was to the extreme that when others who were closely involved in that time of my life were interviewed by Police, they all said that they thought something had been going on between us! I mean, I’d like to think that if I were ever in a situation where I had suspicions like that, I would bloody well do something about it! As infuriating as it is for me to think that if just one of those people had spoken up maybe a lot of what has happened, wouldn’t have; I try to keep in mind that those people have to live with the knowledge that they could have stopped it. But instead, everyone – especially me - kept quiet; and I was left with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) refusing to prosecute him after his arrest because they worried there wasn’t enough evidence! Of course, this was a frustrating response – for the Police too as they explained that they believed me but that their hands were tied – and it has left me having to constantly remind myself that at least I have done all that I can to protect others and prevent him doing it again to someone else.
Tuesday, 10 September 2019
“JUST BECAUSE YOU’VE SAID YOU FEEL SUICIDAL, IT DOESN’T MEAN YOU HAVE TO ACT ON IT” | HOW IT REALLY FEELS, MY ATTEMPTS, & THE STIGMA | SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY 2019
“I didn't want to wake up. I was having a much better time asleep. And that's really sad. It was almost like a reverse nightmare, like when you wake up from a nightmare, you're so relieved. I woke up into a nightmare.”
― Ned Vizzini, It's Kind of a Funny Story
― Ned Vizzini, It's Kind of a Funny Story
I umm’d and ahhh’d about doing this post today for two reasons; 1. I wrote a very similar post in December 2018 and didn’t want to repeat it, but I also recognize that there’ll have been a lot of new readers since then who may not have scrolled that far back. And 2. I once wrote a post (I think I ended up deleting it) for this day when I first began blogging and talked about the two attempts I’d made and had a comment from a reader saying ‘good luck with the third,’ but I’d like to think that the world has come so far with such spiteful comments around mental health. After rethinking my reluctance around the post, I decided that not producing content for this hugely momentous day (especially in the mental health industry) would almost be dishonest! Suicide has been such a huge part of my life that I thought it would be demeaning to not shed some light on the subject and of course – as always – I recognize how many people come to my blog for inspiration and I realize that I’m almost… setting an example? So, for me to not talk about suicide has the potential to encourage others also not to speak up about it; and that’s definitely not something I want to happen!
Saturday, 7 September 2019
*all photos from the Cats Protection Tyneside Adoption Centre Summer Fayre*
I was very honoured to be invited back to Cats Protection Tyneside Adoption Centre to attend their Summer fayre a few weeks ago. As the majority of you know, I’m a huge supporter of pets benefiting your mental health and cats - in particular - have always meant a lot to me after growing up with one and then having Dolly when I was discharged from Hospital, and now Emmy(!); so collaborating with an organization like Cats Protection means a great deal to me. I’ve visited the Tyneside Centre a few times before and we’ve collaborated on the 12 Cats of Christmas series last year so when they asked me to do some social media at their Summer Fayre; of course, I agreed!
As soon as I got to the event, I got talking to Joanna Plumb from St John’s Ambulance and within minutes we were discussing I’m NOT Disordered! I was later asked where I found the confidence to talk to complete strangers about something as personal and controversial as mental health and it inspired this post…
Wednesday, 4 September 2019
I wrote a post recently about the power of words; which was inspired by the recent battle I’ve had with two Psychiatrists who have accused me of ‘feigning’ the hallucinations I experience. When I was talking to my Mum about it, she told me to remember that the most important people believe me and not to let what was said deter me from talking when I struggle. I told her that I wouldn’t let it; and that instead, I’d use it as inspiration for a blog post to try and ensure that others don’t let similar attitudes and comments impact them in the hugely negative and detrimental way that they have the potential to.
Mental health will likely always be surrounded by stigma but even if one day it is not, people who speak up and talk openly about their mental health problems will always be brave and courageous. This makes it so important and essential that when someone comes forward about their struggles they are met with a positive, supportive, and empathetic response. To be accused of lying or ‘making up’ their experiences can be incredibly debilitating and promote the idea that services aren’t the source of support that they should be. This can leave you feeling alone, and you might find yourself desperately searching for coping strategies to deal with the professionals’ disbelief. I hope that this post can help people avoid resorting to negative, unsafe coping mechanisms…