Time to Talk Day

Did you know 1st February is Time to Talk Day?

I hear you say what is Time to Talk Day? Well Time to Talk Day is all about spreading the word about mental health and stamping out the stigma. So whether you’re at work, school or just at home make sure you are open about mental health.

Mental health is something which 1 in 4 people will suffer with yet it seems to be something which no-one really wants to have a conversation about and this is something which deeply saddens me! With so many people suffering why is there such a stigma which surrounds it? We should all be able to talk freely, we do when it comes to breaking an arm or suffering with a long time illness. So what’s the difference?

If you need help about starting a conversation about mental health go check out the time to Time to Change page.

Words of Wisdom

I’ve been listening to a lot of old songs recently and one verse of Emeli Sandé songs really made me think about those suffering with mental health, so I thought I would share this with you as it is very relevant to today.

You’ve got the words to change a nation
But you’re biting your tongue
You’ve spent a life time stuck in silence
Afraid you’ll say something wrong
If no one ever hears it how we gonna learn your song?

You’ve got a heart as loud as lightning
So why let your voice be tamed?
Maybe we’re a little different
There’s no need to be ashamed

My Time to Talk

Warning this contains triggers

Now this is something which I find very difficult to do but I want to be able to help talk about mental health and try to stamp out the stigma.

I have suffered with mental health for over 10 years and this is something which has dominated my life for such a long time it’s hard to take control of my own life. It all started when I lost my mum 16 years ago when I was 8 years old. At the time I was living with my mum and my two brothers.

So when my mum passed I never really understood, being so young and not understanding what death was.. this is something that I am still struggling to deal with to this very day; 16 years later. Due to being so young and not being able to go through the grief process fully. I suffer with depression, severe anxiety and PTSD as a result… there are other things which contribute of course. I have been up and down for as long as I can remember, but I have only had 2 crisis experiences with my mental health and one of them was when I was 16 and the other was only last year.

Last year with my dad being extremely poorly and never being able to deal with my mums death, it left me feeling hopeless and a burden to my family. I was sitting in my room hidden from the world thinking about how I don’t want to carry on, googling all the different ways I could end of life .

I had cut my hips, arms and legs so much I was in pain most of the time but I was able to feel physical pain rather than the mental pain that was haunting me. It was the only way out for me. I would sit and watch the blood drip, being able to see this made me feel human and not just a walking zombie. I had never understood why I am not like most ‘normal’ people and it was something which made my illness worse. The more depressed I became the more I withdrew, I wouldn’t speak to anyone I wouldn’t eat anything. I had given up on myself and life!

Before I knew it I was sitting at home on my own sobbing my heart out, writing a letter to my loved ones of why I couldn’t ‘carry on’. I had taken a cocktail of medication along with alcohol and before I knew it I was thinking to myself it will be over before I know it and I will not have to suffer in pain anymore. I had never felt as though I could speak to someone about the pain I was feeling as no-one would understand and all my family were mainly men which made it harder for me to speak to them…. they are the most supportive people I know!

Within an hour of my cocktail of medications I was in hospital having test after test and being told after a few days of medication I would be safe to go home with supervision. As a result of this decision I made last February I am still recovering and I have my ups and downs. I am constantly back and forth with the doctors and also take a lot of medication to keep me on the straight and narrow.

Life is full of surprises and for me I have found that this is something which doesn’t define me anymore… even though at times it does. I have decided that I am going to do everything in my power to become the best version of me I can and this is all down to talking to people who have been through circumstances like me. I have realised that there are a lot of people out there suffering as much as I am and for once I don’t feel as though I am alone!

Hopefully this has helped you to see that talking about mental health has such a huge impact on people suffering. Providing a listening ear can make the world of difference and can help to get someone through one of the hardest stages in their life. Even something as simple as asking someone if they are ok, but actually meaning it can start a conversation to help those suffering.

Make sure you spread the word to the people around you as there could be someone who is suffering in silence… I sure will be! Lets stamp out the stigma of mental health and move forward. We live in a day and age where mental health should be acceptable.

Speak Soon

Mental Health and Friendships

I hope your New Year is off to a good start. For me it has been a bit of a rollercoaster and we are only just over a week in. That is a story for another time though!

I want to touch on something which I experience a lot when it comes to my mental health and that’s friendships. Friendships are hard at times when you are well, but when you are suffering with a mental illness it can really put those friendships to the test.

I have experienced these tests a lot especially in the mist of my foggy head and rollercoaster moods. I can be up one minute and down the next and this can really put a strain on my friendships especially those closest to me!

Friends see you at your best so it can be difficult for them to see you at your worst… when you are hating on your life and feeling as though there is no point in carrying on. Your friends can feel as though they are stepping on egg shells at times and feel as though you are not the person you ‘use to be’ but the hardest thing is trying to make them see that you may never be that person you was. You may stay the person you are now and your life is a rollercoaster of emotions. You never know when the next bad spell is going to hit.

Your mental illness can make you see and feel as though you are no longer important to those close to you. They are seeing other friends and are no longer bothered by you. They have their hard times and no longer see you as a support system… this can be hard as you want to be there for them just as much as they can be for you. Suffering can make it hard to talk to your friends and it can feel weird. It may be that they send you 100’s of messages and then before you know it is nothing. You feel as though they no longer care. They don’t want to be your friend anymore… your inadequate.

The reality is…

Your friend cares about you and doesn’t like to see you in pain. It’s as just as hard for them as it is you… they have seen the happiness you once had behind your eyes and now they can just see the sadness and pain. Don’t let this drive a wedge between your friendship, they love you. We all want the best for our friends.

You have other friends and see other people, so why can’t they? Maybe send them a message and say “I miss you!”. Plan something for you to do together and get those feelings out. Life is too short… we should know! Don’t let your illness take away those that love you as well as your identity.

This is something which I am still in the process of figuring out myself and I may have to take a step back from time to time before shutting these people out. I love my friends and I don’t think I could have go over the difficult times without their support. Make sure you don’t take your friends for granted. They love you as much as you love them!!

Make sure you don’t forget all the good memories you have and the amount of times they got you out the darkness you call mental illness. You are not the person you want to be without them… your friends will be there through thick and thin.

Real friendships will stand strong through illness and they will be there no matter what life throws at you!

Speak Soon!