I guess that since Emmy is the most recent addition to the household it’s only fair that I talk about her first! I’ve talked a lot (here and here) about the cat I got when I moved in (Dolly) and how she recently passed away and the house was so… quiet without her. I don’t know if quiet’s the right word… When I use it, I don’t mind physically quiet; it’s not that Dolly used to meow a lot! More that there’s quiet from the loss of her presence. As much as I loved Dolly and recognized that getting her was a huge achievement and testament to my recovery, I don’t think I realized just how big a part of the home she was. When I’d go out or to events, I’d think about getting back home and looking back, I realize that it wasn’t so that I could be around my own things again; it was to be with my pets again! Getting Emmy has been a huge milestone in my recovery and my time in this house because for almost four years, Dolly was a part of that house. But it’s brilliant to get a whole new start again with Emmy and to see her learn – and teach her - new things, watch her explore the house (and ALL of its surfaces), find out her likes and dislikes and see her personality grow.
Pixie came along last year (2017) after I’d began experiencing my visual hallucinations of rabbits again. To try to help me cope better with them, I decided it’d be best to just completely emerge myself in rabbits! So when I was in Pets At Home it seemed like the obvious thing to do was to ask if I could home one of their gorgeous bunnies! When I held Pixie, I started crying and I finally told my Mum the hallucinations were back. The next obvious step was to offer her a home! She’d given me the courage/comfort to get help and the least I could do was give her a lovely home and shower her with love (as cheesy as that sounds!)! Buying Pixie also came a new friendship! The lady that let me hold her has now been a part of my life for just as long as Pixie has! She’s one of the most kind, caring, and generous person I know, and it always puts a smile on my face to go into Pets At Home and see she’s there! Speaking of Pets At Home, if you also live in Northumberland, I’d recommend Cramlington Pets At Home for all of your furry friend’s needs (and no, I wasn’t paid to say that!).
I still remember seeing the voluntary job advert on the doit.org site! I saw the job title: Advertising Assistant and was immediately interested. A lot of my voluntary work is around mental health and whilst I’m passionate about the subject, my dream career would be in the advertising/publicity/social media industry (hopefully with still some relation to mental health!) Originally, LEAPS (Listening Ear And Positive Support) were focused on supporting people who are unwaged such as people who are unemployed or who are living off state benefits but when I started, I tried to bring mental health into it a lot more. A lot of the members are unable to work due to various reasons, but often mental health is one of those. Coming into a support group who’d been together eight years (LEAPS was founded in 2009) was slightly daunting because I was the ‘newbie’ and had only met the Founder and Chairman at my interview so I didn’t know any of the members of the group but somehow; over a year later, they’ve become a whole other family for me. For a lot of our members family is a difficult subject so finding like minded people going through similar things and being met with support and reassurance when voicing their difficulties… Members have taken great comfort in LEAPS and it’s an honor to work for such an important organization. My job role has evolved over the 19 months I’ve been there and when my bid for lottery funding for the group was successful, it felt like a huge achievement. LEAPS have given me so many opportunities to learn new skills and develop existing ones.
When my relationship ended, I decided it was time for a fresh start in my home; this person had spent so many hours and days in my home that it didn’t really feel like mine any more. So, I – with some help from friends and family – redecorated the entire house for the first time since moving in. It was refreshing and felt like I was wiping the slate clean for a new start.