As if it’s July already! This year seems to be going fairly quickly, I mean; I feel like a lot has happened in the last six months and this was confirmed when I began looking through the blog post archive to pick out memorable moments…
I’m NOT Disordered’s Seventh Birthday
In my post celebrating the blog’s seventh Birthday, I decided to compile a list of highlights with one post from every month of 2019! I really enjoyed going back over some of my biggest accomplishments and the amazing opportunities I’d had as a result of I’m NOT Disordered’s success and popularity. I also talked about how I started blogging in my little hospital room as a means of communicating with friends and family and to process things for myself and contemplated how shocking it is that something so small and simple could have amounted to something so huge and important. And to think that I’ve managed to maintain my blo9 for so long and to be able to watch it go from strength to strength has been hugely rewarding.
My Tendon Surgery
I actually surprised myself with how long it took me to blog about my tendon surgery and I chose to do it by talking about the connection between mental and physical health. For the readers who hadn’t been following my tendon journey on my Twitter, I told the entire story about how Minor Injuries told me that my thumb was fine and needed to be put in warm water, to me needing emergency surgery on it two days later. I think it took me so long to put things into a blog post because I was struggling so much mentally to cope with the pain of the injury and surgery and it meaning that I had to say no to things – something which I’ve always struggled with!
My Twenty Nineth Birthday
It was so surreal making it to twenty-nine after having so many professionals predict that I wouldn’t see my nineteenth Birthday! I decided to use my Birthday as an opportunity to reflect, celebrate, and appreciate just how far I’d come – particularly since starting I’m NOT Disordered in 2013 (aged twenty-two). So, I picked four lessons I’d learnt from each year up until 2020 and talked about how I’d learnt these things and what they meant to me now that I knew them. I really enjoyed seeing just how many things I’d learnt in the years since starting my blog as it really illustrated to me just how important I’m NOT Disordered is in my life.
To celebrate my Mum’s Birthday, we visited the city her favourite Football Team are from; Liverpool and it was an absolute honour to be offered the opportunity to collaborate with Liverpool Football Club on my blog post about our trip and our visit and tour of Anfield Stadium. I used the post to also talk about why teamwork is so important in mental health and how essential it is that lots of different professionals all work together in a holistic approach to care for a Service User. There were so many instances for me where there were disagreements between staff on my treatments and it was really harmful for me to hear these arguments and feel caught in the middle and completely to blame for the fact these professionals were butting heads.
Celebrating 700,000 Readers
On March 9th, I used reaching 700,000 readers as an opportunity to talk about my experience and tips on turning doubt into success. I realized that I might never be a Blogger who becomes complacent and almost expects their blog to succeed and grow in popularity. And that doesn’t mean I don’t have faith in my blog’s potential, just that I believe that if I were to become complacent then I might stop working so hard and I never want to be someone who expects opportunities to be handed to them on a plate. I want to always work for them and really feel that I deserve them.
The Coronavirus Pandemic
I think that one of the most surreal posts I’ve ever published came on March 23rd after the UK had gone into lockdown as a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic. I still maintain that the lockdown hasn’t really affected my mental health, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t had an impact on my life! The support group I Chair LEAPS (www.leapsonline.co.uk) has had to stop meeting as they’re based in a Library, my Support Worker from Richmond Fellowship isn’t seeing Service Users and my Community Psychiatric Nurse (CPN) switched to phone call appointments! So, things definitely changed and my calendar became a whole lot more empty!
Collaboration with Disney Plus UK
I’m obviously proud of every single collaboration I manage to secure for I’m NOT Disordered, and I really, hugely appreciate the organizations and individuals who agree to work with me and my little blog! But, landing a partnership with the brand-new app; Disney Plus UK?! Well, that was a pretty special moment! I used the collaboration post to share one quote from each of the twenty films in my Watchlist and talk about how I can relate to each of them. I also really loved this collaboration because it came at such a good time when the media was completely saturated with saddening stories of the Coronavirus Pandemic and lockdown, it was refreshing to produce something more light-hearted and whimsical!
Collaboration and Competition with Kerry Daynes
Another slightly surreal collaboration when the Author of the book I was literally just reading, agreed to a collaboration for I’m NOT Disordered! It ended up being quite lengthy because I enjoyed her book so much and had so many questions for the Q&A with her. Then, in addition to the Q&A, I picked out some parts of the book and talked about how I could relate to them and what they meant to me, and Kerry agreed we could run a competition to win a signed copy of her book! I really loved working with Kerry because she was so lovely, but it was sometimes really strange to think that I was talking to the person whose book I was holding!
Mental Health Awareness Week 2020
For the first time in years, the Mental Health Foundation who host Mental Health Awareness Week, changed the theme for it! Originally, it was set to be ‘sleep’ but, in response to the Coronavirus Pandemic and lockdown, the Foundation changed it to ‘kindness’ and so, every day for six days, I wrote on the topic. On the seventh day, I did a round-up of the week’s content and published a vlog of my entire week. I really enjoyed doing a blog series and loved designing the logo for it using Canva! It was really interesting to also realize the amount of ways you can be kind to yourself – it varies from reading a good book, to building on a passion or hobby.
Launching Calico Catch=Up
I think that becoming a Columnist for Cats Protection Tyneside Adoption Centre and having my own little Column named Calico Catch=Up (inspired by my Calico kitten; Emmy) has been a huge milestone in my life! I’ve always loved the idea of being a Journalist or some sort of Columnist so to be offered a monthly spot on the Centre’s new blog; The Daily Mews, feels like a huge achievement and massive stepping stone in my life and on my way to a career. I didn’t ever imagine that blogging would end up shaping the type of job I’d like or the industry I’d like to work in but I’m so grateful that it’s shown me where my passion lies and has led me to believe that working in this area is really my purpose in life. I obviously thoroughly enjoy writing about mental health, but having the ability to focus on another subject like cats/pets is enjoyable too and a brilliant new challenge.
To celebrate Volunteer’s Week this year, I collaborated with St Oswald’s Hospice who I’d just gotten a new voluntary job with before lockdown. In the post, I included an absolute ton of information!!! I talked about my tips and advice on how to get a voluntary job, why voluntary work is so rewarding, how St Oswald’s are supporting their volunteers through the Pandemic and lockdown, and ways to thank volunteers for their hard work. I loved the variation of the content in this one post because it combined the types I enjoy doing!
With me keeping updated almost daily with my number of readers, I knew that 750,000 was coming up but that actually didn’t make reaching it any less shocking! I decided to use the milestone as an opportunity to talk about all the aspects of being a Blogger that I think everyone should know – even people who aren’t looking to become Bloggers! Actually, especially those people; because I think it’s good for people to have some insight into just how hard Bloggers work and what it entails as it’s definitely an industry that is misunderstood and thought little of.
I couldn’t resist adding a third moment to June! On June 27th I finally announced that I’ll be releasing a new book; Everything Disordered! In the vlog I published in this post, I talked about how I feel that my first book; When All Is Said & Typed was really a copy and paste job and I’d really like to have a book where I feel that I’ve worked hard for it! So, I plan for Everything Disordered to be a huge jumble of information, resources… literally everything(!) – hence the title!
Here’s to more amazing moments for the next six months!