Tuesday, 31 December 2019

20 WISHES, GOALS, THOUGHTS, & PLANS FOR 2020 | HAPPY NEW YEAR!!









I’m always a little hesitant writing new year’s posts because I know you’re probably all snowed under with resolutions in blog posts, so I tried to do something a bit different… This is going to be a real random mix of things that are both about the year that’s just gone and for the year to come!



1.    Thanks to Richmond Fellowship

I’ve collaborated with a number of different organizations through 2019, but I really wanted to pick one that has completely stood out for me as providing me with some incredible experiences and trusting me with a lot of responsibilities. The number of events and meetings I’ve attended this past year with Richmond Fellowship has been huge and the number of roles I’ve played at them is overwhelming and has taught me a lot about myself. Richmond Fellowship have also been so instrumental in my personal mental health recovery and it means so much to me that they trust me with opportunities.



2.    Goodbye CMHT!

The plan this year is that I’ll be discharged from the Community Mental Health Team (CMHT) in February! I’ve had various Community Psychiatric Nurses (CPN) from the CMHT and been under their care for the best part of ten years now so it’s about time that discharge was discussed never mind actually planned! The idea of discharge came when my newest CPN devised a care plan as she took over my care following my mental health relapse about six months ago. Having my psychiatric medication increased really stabilized my mental health and has greatly contributed to my safety (it’s been about six months since I last self-harmed!).

 

Tuesday, 24 December 2019

BLOGMAS 2019 – POST TWENTY FOUR : REMINDER - THE ETSY COMPETITION | AD




Today’s post is a reminder for the Etsy collaboration competition!


Every other day for December, I’ve been reviewing mental health themed products from ten different Etsy stores and now you have the chance to win EVERYTHING – worth over £100!!!


Here’s a reminder of what you can win:

A Mindfulness journal from The Happi Empire


A pack of Schema Therapy cards from Bear In Mind Psychology


A pin badge reading ‘Brave and Strong’ from The Little Pin Co.


A pack of Nudge Cards from Nudge Cards 


A cup from Positive Instinct


A T-shirt from YANA UK


A set of badges from Colour Your Life Club


A set of three badges and two keyrings from A Band Of Hope


A bracelet, stickers, and a badge from Laleeland LDN


A set of four cards from Handmade Dorset



To enter this amazing bundle of products; all you need to do is:

1.       Follow my Twitter

2.      Like and share the original tweet

3.      Tag three friends in the comments of the tweet



The winner will be picked at random and announced on Christmas Day (December 25th)!


Monday, 23 December 2019

BLOGMAS 2019 – POST TWENTY THREE : LAUNCHING THE ETSY COMPETITION | AD




I’m so thrilled to finally be launching the Etsy collaboration competition!

Every other day for December, I’ve been reviewing mental health themed products from ten different Etsy stores and now you have the chance to win EVERYTHING – worth over £100!!!

Here’s a reminder of what you can win:
A Mindfulness journal from The Happi Empire

A pack of Schema Therapy cards from Bear In Mind Psychology

A pin badge reading ‘Brave and Strong’ from The Little Pin Co.


A pack of Nudge Cards from Nudge Cards

A cup from Positive Instinct

A T-shirt from YANA UK

A set of badges from Colour Your Life Club

A set of three badges and two keyrings from A Band Of Hope

A bracelet, stickers, and a badge from Laleeland LDN

A set of four cards from Handmade Dorset

To enter this amazing bundle of products; all you need to do is:
1.       Follow my Twitter
2.      Like and share the original tweet
3.      Tag three friends in the comments of the tweet



The winner will be picked at random and announced on Christmas Day (December 25th)!

Sunday, 22 December 2019

BLOGMAS 2019 – POST TWENTY TWO : A ROUND-UP OF BLOGMAS 2019




Thanks to a poll on my Twitter back in November, my wonderful followers decided that I should publish a blog post and film a vlog every day for the entirety of December! 


So welcome to December 22nd…



I thought that I’d take this opportunity – with this being the last post before the Etsy competition launches tomorrow (December 23rd) – to remind you of all the prizes that can be won and give a little brief account of each Blogmas post, what they were about, what my favourite parts were, and the links for everything!


POST ONE saw the announcement of this year’s Christmassy collaboration with Etsy! After the success of last year’s partnership with Cats Protection, it seemed like a good idea to work with another company on a bit of a different project. In this post, I talked a bit about why I believe a person shouldn’t be labelled as shallow for appreciating material things and that it’s important to recognize products that can boost your mental health. I also included links to all TEN Etsy stores taking part in the collaboration/competition.



POST TWO was a change of plan! I’d originally planned on talking about the York Christmas Market I had been meaning to visit that day but for various reasons I decided not to go and instead, I used the post to talk about how it’s important to pace yourself at Christmas. It can be a pretty full-on time of the year with lots of events/parties, meetings with friends and family, and numerous other fun, festive activities so it’s crucial for your mental health that you prioritize things to avoid burning yourself out and losing enjoyment.




Saturday, 21 December 2019

BLOGMAS 2019 – POST TWENTY ONE : HANDMADE DORSET | ETSY COLLABORATION | AD




Thanks to a poll on my Twitter back in November, my wonderful followers decided that I should publish a blog post and film a vlog every day for the entirety of December! 


So welcome to December 21st…

 

Today is all about my collaboration with one very special brand on Etsy, in this post I’ll be reviewing the products they sent to me and on December 23rd you can enter a competition to win all of the products I’ve reviewed this month!


So, Handmade Dorset (based in Dorchester, England) kindly gifted me a few cards and a print with some inspirational, encouraging, and validating quotes and I thought that I’d write a bit about each quote… 




‘You are so loved’


I feel like I’ve talked a lot about love recently in my Blogmas posts because I really believe that it’s even more important at Christmastime. There are far too many people spending Christmas alone or with people but feeling lonely so knowing that you’re loved can be so crucial to supporting your mental health at this time of year.





Friday, 20 December 2019

BLOGMAS 2019 – POST TWENTY : BRINGING LIGHT TO MY LIFE | CHRISTMAS AT CRAGSIDE | NATIONAL TRUST | AD




Thanks to a poll on my Twitter back in November, my wonderful followers decided that I should publish a blog post and film a vlog every day for the entirety of December! 


So welcome to December 20th…



I really struggled to come up with content for this post with me never doing the basic ‘today we went here, and we did that’ kind of posts so I enlisted the help of fellow Blogger; Martin Baker!


Cragside, a National Trust site in Northumberland, was the first home to be lit by hydroelectricity which made the Victorian House years ahead of its time with its ingenious gadgets and modern conveniences. This has inspired my post – featuring photos from my visit there – to be about what brings light to my life when things get dark! I won’t lie, I struggled to avoid saying the same things as in post nineteen about what makes me happy, so I’ve been a bit more general…



Love

When my mental health was poorly, I didn’t - for one minute - think that I had the capability to love someone the way I knew that my Mum loved me; I’ve always been very lucky in that way - that I’ve always felt loved by someone special. My Mum has always said that she’d walk over hot coals for me, and I’d always nodded and smiled and felt all warm inside, but I’d never really understood that feeling or felt it towards another person. Of course, I love my Mum and my family but when I was poorly it felt as though I couldn’t love them properly. It was as if there was a range of 0 to 10 but my love could only reach 7 and not because I chose to, but because that’s the most I was capable of. And it wasn’t just love, it was happiness, excitement… all of the positive emotions; as though my mental health had deteriorated so much that I could only experience negative feelings to such an overwhelming degree as a ‘10’.

Thursday, 19 December 2019

BLOGMAS 2019 – POST NINETEEN : LALEELAND LDN | ETSY COLLABORATION | AD




Thanks to a poll on my Twitter back in November, my wonderful followers decided that I should publish a blog post and film a vlog every day for the entirety of December! 


So welcome to December 19th…


Today is all about my collaboration with one very special brand on Etsy, in this post I’ll be reviewing the products they sent to me and on December 23rd you can enter a competition to win these products and the remaining one that I’ll be reviewing in two days’ time!



This post is in collaboration with the incredible London-based Etsy store; Laleeland LDN who kindly gifted me a few products; namely the Serotonin and the ‘keep going, be brave, be strong’ bracelets but also some other bits that will be a surprise for the lucky competition winner!





For this post, I thought I’d concentrate on taking inspiration from the Serotonin bracelet which has a purple band and is made up of the chemical symbol for Serotonin (which I think is such a genius idea!). So, I’ll be talking about the top five things to make me happy…



1.    My Mum

Of course, Mum come first! For my entire life it has been Mum and I as a little team but boy, do we make a strong team! Hopefully, just saying that will help you to understand the magnitude of being admitted to a psychiatric hospital over 100 miles away from home for two and a half years. To be honest, in the beginning, I think that I was so mentally unwell that it really didn’t hit me being so far away from Mum until a few months into my admission.


Getting leave to go home every so often wasn’t enough and it was so incredibly hard to then leave Mum all over again and go back to the hospital where I didn’t know when I’d next be allowed to leave (I was sectioned under the Mental Health Act).


Wednesday, 18 December 2019

BLOGMAS 2019 – POST EIGHTEEN : A QUICK GUIDE TO CHRISTMAS DÉCOR | CHRISTMAS AT WALLINGTON HALL | NATIONAL TRUST | AD




Thanks to a poll on my Twitter back in November, my wonderful followers decided that I should publish a blog post and film a vlog every day for the entirety of December! 


So welcome to December 18th…






Once again, it took me so long to come up with content for this post; especially since I have a ton of pictures for it because that made me think that I needed to write something quite lengthy… but it was when I was looking through the pictures that I came up with the inspiration for this post… ‘A Quick Guide to Christmas Décor!’ You see, I’ve been to Wallington Hall before so going there this time was literally just about seeing how they decorate the National Trust site for Christmas time!


I find that Christmas décor can be very controversial and even competitive! Some stores will sell a few different ranges/styles of decorations whilst others retail one main design; all competing against one another for the value of their products through quality and price. But it isn’t just about retailers competing; I don’t about anywhere else but - it seems that in my estate – each house wants to have the most garden lights or the biggest ‘Santa Stop Here!’ signs and the bushiest Christmas trees peeking through their curtains!


I grew up having a massive Christmas tree with my Mum and each year we’d buy a new, special decoration for it. In my later teenage years, I got my own tree for my bedroom; a little neon pink one with built-in lights from W H Smith and mini decorations from Paperchase. I think that even though it was an incredibly youthful one, I still felt grown-up having my own Christmas tree!

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

BLOGMAS 2019 – POST SEVENTEEN : A BAND OF HOPE | ETSY COLLABORATION | AD




Thanks to a poll on my Twitter back in November, my wonderful followers decided that I should publish a blog post and film a vlog every day for the entirety of December!



So welcome to December 17th…





Today is all about my collaboration with one very special brand on Etsy, in this post I’ll be reviewing the products they sent to me and on December 23rd you can enter a competition to win these products and the remaining two that I’ll be reviewing every other day this month!



Ok, so I won’t lie; I’ve annoyed myself a bit with this post so I thought maybe I’d just bluff my way through it but you know how I pride myself on being honest with you guys… So, I received A LOT of goodies from A Band of Hope but have only taken pics of some of them so to see more, you’ll just have to enter the competition!



In the meantime, though, here’s three of the various badges and what they mean to me:



‘More Than My Illness’ 
 


I absolutely love this badge because it pretty much sums up the method behind the blog’s name. ‘I’m NOT Disordered’ came from my determination to show others that I may have a diagnosis but that is not who I am. It’s a part of me, yes; but it isn’t the only part of me.


A little while ago, the powers that be changed the name Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) to Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD) and when I first heard this, I actually laughed out loud! I mean, personally? My problem (and others have agreed) with the label is the ‘Personality’ part of it and not the part that they changed!

Monday, 16 December 2019

BLOGMAS 2019 – POST SIXTEEN : LEAPS CHRISTMAS DINNER | LISTENING EAR AND POSITIVE SUPPORT | AD




Thanks to a poll on my Twitter back in November, my wonderful followers decided that I should publish a blog post and film a vlog every day for the entirety of December! 


So welcome to December 16th…


“How can you write an entire blog post about a Christmas dinner?” I hear you ask. Well I’m going to talk a bit about the organization I had the Christmas meal with; LEAPS (otherwise known as Listening Ear And Positive Support).



I still remember my interview with the previous Chair and the Founder of LEAPS in 2017; I’d found the vacancy for Advertising Assistant on Do-it.org  and wanting more experience in the marketing industry, decided to apply. Having my blog for four years (at that time) had really taught me a lot about marketing, advertising, and communications and I enjoyed that side of it so much that I decided I’d like to go into that industry as a career. I wasn’t (and still aren’t) ready to do full-time work so I thought that having a voluntary job one day a week would be a good start to gaining experience to ensure it’s definitely the right career path for me.


I was obviously successful with my interview and started working with LEAPS in April 2017. I was a bit unsure after the first meeting because whilst I felt completely welcome, I was very aware that everyone had been going there and had known one another for around eight years (the group was founded in 2009). It wasn’t long before I felt fully part of the team though and two years later, LEAPS are like a second family for me!





Sunday, 15 December 2019

BLOGMAS 2019 – POST FIFTEEN : COLOUR YOUR LIFE CLUB | ETSY COLLABORATION | AD




Thanks to a poll on my Twitter back in November, my wonderful followers decided that I should publish a blog post and film a vlog every day for the entirety of December!

So welcome to December 15th…



Today is all about my collaboration with one very special brand on Etsy, in this post I’ll be reviewing the products they sent to me and on December 23rd you can enter a competition to win these products and the remaining three that I’ll be reviewing every other day this month!



I thought for a while about what I’d write on this post and initially, I thought I’d talk about the stigma of mental health meaning that myself – and lots of others – keep it secret and try to hide things when we’re struggling. And then I realized I wrote about that like, seven posts ago and I groaned at the thought of having to create new content for a further ten days! 



So, instead, I’ll be talking about each of the three slogans on the Colour Your Life Club badges you can win in the competition…



‘It’s ok not to be ok’

I think that especially at this time of year there’s a lot of pressure on people to be ok and to enjoy the most festive time of the year; but actually, it can be a particularly difficult time for a lot of people. The happiness and buzz of Christmas can sometimes be overwhelming and seeing everyone else have so much fun and be happy can seem to magnify just how much you’re struggling.

Saturday, 14 December 2019

BLOGMAS 2019 – POST FOURTEEN : GUEST POST | MARTY’S CHRISTMAS WISHLIST!


Thanks to a poll on my Twitter back in November, my wonderful followers decided that I should publish a blog post and film a vlog every day for the entirety of December!

So welcome to December 14th… 

This post started out as a chat with Aimee about her awesome blogmas/vlogmas extravaganza here at Im NOT Disordered. The conversation went something like this: 



“Marty, would you like to contribute to the incredible amount of content Im going to need?! 

I thought youd never ask! What would you be looking for? 

I have no clue!! Something Christmassy though! Could be like a wish list? 

I can do that! 



And so, here it is:


Friday, 13 December 2019

BLOGMAS 2019 – POST THIRTEEN : YANA UK | ETSY COLLABORATION | AD




Thanks to a poll on my Twitter back in November, my wonderful followers decided that I should publish a blog post and film a vlog every day for the entirety of December!

So welcome to December 13th…



Today is all about my collaboration with one very special brand on Etsy, in this post I’ll be reviewing the products they sent to me and on December 23rd you can enter a competition to win these products and the remaining four that I’ll be reviewing every other day this month!






In recognition of the slogan on this YANA UK t-shirt (‘you are not alone’), I thought I’d take this opportunity to talk about finding your tribe of people who can help to make you feel less alone, and I wanted to recognize - and thank - the people who do this for me.


I was brought up as the only young person in a really small family with just five immediate family members – no cousins, one Aunt, one Uncle, one set of grandparents, and one (fantastic) parent. On the one hand this was brilliant because it meant that we had more special relationships and had the opportunity to have a varied support system with each family member bringing something different to my life. On the other hand, it also meant that any disagreements were magnified and tended to affect and impact the entire family.


Thursday, 12 December 2019

BLOGMAS 2019 – POST TWELVE : EDINBURGH CHRISTMAS MARKET




Thanks to a poll on my Twitter back in November, my wonderful followers decided that I should publish a blog post and film a vlog every day for the entirety of December! 


So welcome to December 12th…






For so long I’ve wanted to go to the Edinburgh Christmas Market and for some reason, I’ve just never gotten around to it! But this year, Mum and I booked our train tickets in advance and heeded all the warnings on not going at the weekend or on an evening/nighttime! As much as we planned it though, we didn’t plan on the market being closed due to high winds! Although, that happening gave me the subject for this blog post so that – as usual – instead of a typical play-by-play of the day, I’ll actually be talking about how to cope with setbacks and disappointments…

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

BLOGMAS 2019 – POST ELEVEN : POSITIVE INSTINCT | ETSY COLLABORATION | AD




Thanks to a poll on my Twitter back in November, my wonderful followers decided that I should publish a blog post and film a vlog every day for the entirety of December!

So welcome to December 11th…



Today is all about my collaboration with one very special brand on Etsy, in this post I’ll be reviewing the products they sent to me and on December 23rd you can enter a competition to win these products and the remaining five that I’ll be reviewing every other day this month!




 

So, at first, I had no clue how I was going to write an entire post about a cup and then I realized that maybe I could use the company’s name (Positive Instinct) as inspiration instead! So, I thought I’d talk a little about positivity, how I lost it, how I got it back, and how I maintain it…





I think that after the abuse positivity became very hard to come by because I honestly believe it made me into a different person. I think it’s inevitable that a trauma – of any kind – will change things for you and will have an impact on your personality, your ethics, morals, and all of the little things that make you who you are. I mean, before the abuse started when I was fifteen, I had had a very innocent and sheltered childhood and when you’ve experienced very little adversary in your life, it leaves you feeling pretty positive and trusting of others. So, the abuse was such a shock to the system that it felt as though it completely wiped away my personality and replaced it with an angrier and more negative one. By the time the abuse ended – after six months – I didn’t recognize myself.


Tuesday, 10 December 2019

BLOGMAS 2019 – POST TEN : CATS PROTECTION TYNESIDE ADOPTION CENTRE CHRISTMAS EVENT | CATS PROTECTION | AD




Thanks to a poll on my Twitter back in November, my wonderful followers decided that I should publish a blog post and film a vlog every day for the entirety of December! 


So welcome to December 10th…


You know me, so focused on mental health content that once again, I won’t be doing a typical blog post about the event!


At the event, they had a table of cat toys and stockings for 8 cats so that people could buy toys and choose a cat to give them to. Obviously; me being me(!), I decided to buy a toy for each cat and then asked if I could give them their presents personally! In doing so, I fell in love with one of the cats; Sheba. She was fourteen, all black, and very very fluffy! When I gave her a cuddle she started purring and when I loosened by hold on her to let her jump down, she just stayed there in my arms. I was saying to one of the staff that whenever I visit the Centre (and it’s been quite a few times now) I always say ‘I wish I could take them all home’ but I’ve never been so eager to actually do so! So, they put a reserve on her! The one thing holding me back from taking her home right there and then was that she has a thyroid condition and so there was going to be monthly vet bills that I wasn’t sure I could afford. Anyway, it’s because of Sheba that I’m going to take this opportunity to talk about impulsivity.