Monthly Archives: February 2018

Liebster Award 2018

So for the second year in a row I have been nominated for the Liebster Award (you can read last year’s post here). This year I have been nominated by the wonderful Orange Walls blog. You can check out their post here and I would highly recommend reading through their blog.

What is the Liebster Award?

The Liebster Award is a way to recognise smaller blogs, expand audiences and to get to know other bloggers from around the world. The rules for the award are: Thank the blogger who gave you the award and link back to their blog, give the award to 5-10 new bloggers who you think are great and leave a comment on their blog if you can to let them know you’ve nominated them.

My answers to Orange Walls’ questions:

1. If you want anything for your blog (i.e. more followers, more views…), what would it be and why? The main thing I want for my blog is for it to help others who are dealing with mental illness to feel less alone and to also show that its OK to not be OK because I know how difficult it can be to face mental illness. Obviously the more people I can reach the better but even if I help one person that is something.

2. If you could puck one thing you are most proud of about your blog, what would it be? The thing I am most proud of about my blog is that people feel able to engage with my blog and seem to find it helpful.

3. What kind of self care tips do you employ while writing? I try to make sure I take regular breaks while writing as my concentration is not always great.

4. Describe your ideal writing space. My ideal writing space is a well organised, neat area that is quiet. I’d love a space surrounded by everything that inspires me and the cat close by.

5. Write a 5 word tagline that you would put on your blog. Mental health matters and campaigns (Its actually on my blog and yes I know its not very original).

6. What drives you to write a blog on MH? The reason I write about mental health is because I want to help erase the stigma surrounding it. I want people to realise its OK to talk about mental health, especially if they’re struggling. I want to help normalise the conversations.

7. What got you into writing/blogging to begin with? I started writing as an outlet of my frustrations at the system and the stigma surrounding mental health. Before blogging I hated writing as I was always made to feel I was no good at it at school.

My questions:

  1. Why did you start blogging?
  2. How would you describe your blog in three words?
  3. Has blogging helped you, and if so how?
  4. Who inspires you?
  5. What advice would you give to someone new to blogging?
  6. How would you like your blog to develop?
  7. What’s your favourite quote?

My nominees:

  1. Lisa’s Reality
  2. Inside Liam’s Head
  3. Shatter The Stigma
  4. Stronger Together
  5. Rob Talks Mental Health

Please take time out to check them all out. They are amazing blogs and I look forward to reading their answers.

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5 Small Things That Make A Difference

A while ago things had not been going well for me at all. In fact they had got to the point where I started to make an attempt on my life but I stopped. So what stopped this attempt? The answer: a text message from a friend. That text message probably saved my life that time. Something so small and insignificant may have had a big impact. Therefore I thought I would write about some of the small things that make a big difference to someone with a mental illness. 

1. A text message – As I have already shared, a simple message can make a huge difference. Even if it just has the words “how are you?” in it. Letting someone know that they are thought about and that you are available if they want to talk is a great thing. And please don’t be disheartened if you don’t get a reply. Sometimes we are not up to communicating. It does not mean we don’t appreciate the message. We will get back to you. It just might take some time.

2. Send a card – Similar to sending a text message, it let’s the person know that you are thinking about them. I also find it really nice receiving post (unless its a bill) and it really brightens my day. People seem to think “get well soon” cards are only for physical illnesses but it would be nice to get one for mental illnesses too. It doesn’t have to be a “get well” card though, a “thinking of you” card is just as nice.

3. A hug – This small gesture can say so much and leave us feeling less alone in the world. There have been so many times I have felt low, where all I’ve wanted is for someone to hug me. Of course its not for everyone but even saying the words “do you want a hug?” will show that you are thinking of that person and want to comfort them. Please don’t be offended if they say no, it doesn’t mean the offer wasn’t appreciated.

4. Asking/offering to just hang out – This doesn’t have to involve talking. Asking if someone just wants to sit in silence and watch TV or a film can be great. Just not being left on our own can help us not to feel lonely and ignored. This can make a big difference to our mental health and make us feel better about ourselves as it shows people do want to be with us. It also offers us some normality to what might feel like an abnormal situation. 

5. Offering to meet for a drink – This is similar to the last option but this can again make us feel wanted and less alone. We may not be able to make it for a drink but having the offer alone shows that people still want us and don’t mind being with us. It helps us feel less of an outcast. Also if we do make it out for a drink the change of scene can do us good and getting out can be really helpful.

Overall little things can make a big difference. Being kind costs nothing and could save a life. Even if the person you are talking to doesn’t take up your offers it doesn’t mean they won’t appreciate them. It all helps us towards recovery. If you can think of any small things that have made a difference to you when I’ll feel free to share them in the comments or on Twitter.

Life Update 

This weeks blog post is a little more informal because 1. I am working on a couple of things I want to get right and 2. I’m really struggling at the moment. Therefore I thought I would just do a bit of an update of where I am at mentally. I was in two minds whether to post this after receiving some hate on Twitter but I thought this is part of my story so I should share it. Please be trigger aware when reading. 

So as I said I am really struggling at the moment with different things. One of my main issues is the voice I hear. It is more insistent than ever at the moment and is there more of the time. It is highly negative and convinced I should die in the best interests of everyone else. It is really hard to hear and I try many different distractions to shut it out. Not many are effective at the moment. It probably doesn’t help that I’ve been taken off my antipsychotic medication, so where I was getting some help with the voice, I now have none. This is going to be reviewed soon though.

Hearing the voice more has also been heavily isolating for me. Because of some of what the voice has been saying, I have felt the need to withdraw from people. I know I shouldn’t do it but it is hard when the voice is telling me what a terrible person I am and how much people must hate me. People tell me this is not true but the voice is stronger, to me, and also tells me they are only saying it to be nice. This is why the voice holds so much power over me. It us stronger than me and can keep going when I am too broken to fight it.

As well as hearing the voice I have been having pretty constant suicidal thoughts. These have been quite distressing and I have come close to making plans to try again to end my life. I’m currently safe and my mental health team are aware of what’s going on. Its hard though to accept help when I feel so worthless and such a burden to everyone. I feel life would be better for everyone without me. 

I’m not sure if my suicidal thoughts are part of the Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD or BPD) or part of my depression coming back. I have however definitely noticed signs that my depression is back. Sleep is becoming a big issue for me at the moment. Not only is it taking a long time to get to sleep (a couple of hours) but my sleep is very broken and restless. It is filled with incredibly vivid dreams that are rather unpleasant. This means I have no energy when it comes to getting up, or throughout the day. Another reason I think my depression has returned is that I am back to not being able to concentrate. Reading is impossible, writing is difficult and even watching TV is hard. None of it gives me any enjoyment at the moment. 

So how am I coping? Badly is the answer. I am still self harming and it is probably the worst it has ever been. But I don’t feel I can manage without it. The urges are just too strong. 

I realise this has been quite a negative post but that is the way life is sometimes. Hopefully things will improve soon. To keep up to date you can keep in touch via Twitter too.

#TimetoTalk Day 2018

Today, 1st February 2018, is Time to Change’s Time to Talk day. The aim is to get more people talking about mental health and to help break down the stigma surrounding it. This is important as it helps people who are struggling with their mental health see that it is OK to talk about it and ask for help when they need it. Therefore I thought for this years Time to Talk day I would share some ways to use the internet and/or social media to start a conversation about mental health.

1. Share a post on Twitter or Facebook – This is quite a small act but can have a big impact. If you feel comfortable then why not share some information about mental health (this can be found on Time to Change’s Facebook or Twitter) to help break down the myths surrounding mental health and mental illness. Or, if you feel able to, share a personal story using #TimetoTalk. Last year I shared a small part of my personal struggles on my private Facebook profile and was surprised at the positive responses I received. Of course only do this if you feel comfortable sharing and remember you don’t have to share anything you don’t want to.

2. Write a blog post – Whether you have a blog already or you normally just read them, why not think about writing a blog post about either your personal experiences of mental health or just mental health in general. Adding your story and viewpoint helps people to see that it is OK to talk about mental health. You never know who you might help.

3. Film a vlog – If you’re feeling particularly brave maybe film a video blog (vlog) to share your experiences of mental health or information about mental health. This can be a really engaging way of passing on information. If you’re looking for inspiration check out Miss Anxiety or Jonny Benjamin on YouTube.

4. Send an email to a friend – If you don’t want to share with a large audience that is totally OK and there are still ways you can have a conversation about mental health. Why not check in with a friend or two to see how they are doing? This way you are still showing it is OK to talk about mental health and how you are feeling.

Hopefully somewhere there, there is something you can do to have a conversation about mental health. I understand that for so many people there are barriers to talking about mental health but Time to Talk day is about breaking down those barriers and reminding everyone that we all have mental health, good or bad. For more information check out Time to Change’s website.