Tag Archives: MentalIllness

Disability Q&A #19 Vicky

Welcome back Ladies and Gents to another instalment of my Disability Q&A.

Today we have Vicky, she and I follow each other on Twitter and she reached out and asked to be a part of the series. I’m really happy that she did because her truth shines a light on just how tough life can be living with a disability.

Over to you Vicky 🙂

Tell me about yourself:

Hi, i’m Vicky (AKA LooneyChick), I’m 34 and I live in Cornwall.
I am a Blogger and Vlogger and my hobbies include Blogging, Photography, Social Media, Swimming, mountain biking, Scooting, playing the guitar,
writing music and going to music gigs.

Now we know the basics, can we learn a bit more about you?
By day I work as a freelance social media, content and SEO manager, at night and weekends, I like
to Vlog and Blog.

What is the medical reason you have a disability?
I suffer from a suspected Bipolar type 2, and I also have a bulging disc in my lower back which affects
my mobility.

When were you first diagnosed?
I first saw a psychiatrist in May 2015 and then again in November 2015. They first thought I had a
personality disorder and then they said I had Adjustment disorder, but they couldn’t rule out
whether I had Bipolar because they didn’t have enough evidence to support this because they
needed to see me when I’m on a high.

Did you notice changes within yourself first, or did someone else?
I’ve always felt different. Many people have told me that I like depressive music and my idols are
mainly people who have killed themselves.

Some people have also said that they don’t know how to approach me because they don’t know
whether I will be happy or sad.

I’ve always failed to keep friends and hold down jobs. Some days I can’t focus other days I’m very
over productive, and some days I have been told I can be normal so to speak.

Do you refer to yourself as a person with a disability? If not, why not?
Yes because I haven’t got the same abilities as an average person; for example, I hate being in
crowded places, I can’t take lots of information in at the same time, and I have problems with
finances. When I’m on a high, I often overspend on things I don’t necessarily need. I’m extremely
impatient as well.

Do you tell others about your disability? Or do you prefer to keep that to yourself until you are
comfortable with the person knowing?
Only my family and close friends know about my disability.

Do you take any medication, or have you in the past?
I was put on Sertraline in September 2013, but it didn’t make a difference, so in February 2014, I
was given the option and prescription for Prozac, but my doctor said that I wouldn’t need pills, but I
would have a choice.
A year later, In February 2015 I was put on Venlafaxine by a Psychiatrist.

What were your initial thoughts about taking medication?
I was disappointed in myself for not being able to stay medication free. I felt like a failure because I
was letting something far more powerful than I could control take over my mind.

Did you suffer from any side affects? If so, please explain.
I once went away to my sister’s to look after her children while she was in hospital and I forgot my
medication. Within 48 hours I was really sick and I felt really low and couldn’t function. I remember
lying on the couch with tears streaming down my cheeks without reason.




If you could extinguish your disability, would you? – If not, please explain why.

Yes and no. I enjoy the feeling you get when you are on a high, as long as it doesn’t get me into
trouble. However, what goes up must go down and the further I go up, the further I will fall. The
lows are the worst feeling ever
For those who do not know much about your disability how does it affect your mobility?
*
When I’m depressed I always feel tired; I sleep more, although it’s never a deep sleep and anxiety
makes my legs feel wobbly.

How has your disability effected you?
*Socially
When I’m high, I’m a social butterfly, buzzing with laughter and jokes, and often over familiar with
people, and when I’m depressed, I don’t want to see or talk to anyone.
*physically
When I’m on a high, I have lots of energy, and with the lows, I have little energy.
*Mentally
I’m very alert on highs, and when depressed I’m unable to focus, and I’m physically and mentally
drained.
Do you think your disability has made you who you are today?
*Please give a positive example of how this has done so…
I probably wouldn’t have started a blog on mental health if I didn’t suffer from it and I wouldn’t have
researched the different types of illnesses.

What are the positives of having a disability?
Learning and understanding the disability. One of the reasons I started my blog to help raise mental
health awareness.
What are the negatives of having a disability?
Having and trying to have a normal life and deal with the stigma.
What would you say is difficult for you being disabled?
*
Relationships and working are both complicated for me because I can’t hold down friendships and
relationships. I’ve also struggled to gain and maintain working in an environment full of people
which is part of the reason why I became self-employed.

Are there any tips or tricks you use in daily life you’d like to pass on to another disabled person?
Make lists and make time for exercise or meditation even if it’s just 30 minutes a day.
still like to make old fashioned lists with pen and paper or on a whiteboard to help me remember
things. I also keep a diary on my desk.
I have been guilty of not taking enough time out from the computer to do my daily exercise and
meditation. I’m hoping to join a gym after Easter.
Do you use Assistive technology in your daily living?
No apps at the moment, Just diaries and lists.
What piece of advice would you give to someone newly diagnosed? Or going through a similar
position?
Try and find a local group to visit. If you don’t want to go on your own, ask a parent, carer or a
friend. You will learn more about your illness, and they will help give you advice on how to stay safe.
Also, check my blog www.looneychickblog.co.uk and other mental health blogs. You can educate
yourself and even talk to people on social media who are going through the same thing as you.
Any advice you’d like to give to a person with no mental health issues?
Please take some time out to learn about mental health. 1 in 4 people have it. It’s easy to ignore,
laugh at and just pretend it’s not happening to you or your loved one. The chances are that it’s real
and happening and at least one of your loved ones is suffering from a mental health issue
(undiagnosed) or has previously suffered. There’s no shame in ringing up one of the charity
helplines or going to a group if you are struggling to cope with a loved one’s mental health problems.
Whatever you do don’t abandon them, this has happened to me several times.

Did you seek out any specialist services/charities to help you and your family deal with your
situation?
*MIND – I read their website regularly for up to date news.

*Counselling – I have previously had CBT sessions with the NHS, and I was on the Community Mental
Health Team until the end of last year.
*Support groups
I attend group meetings at a Bipolar Group who are part of Bipolar UK once a month.
Where can people find you out in the world?
*Blog – www.looneychickblog.co.uk
*YouTube – Launching in April (Date to be decided)
*FaceBook – https://www.facebook.com/The-Looney- ChickBlog-663020583855452/?ref=bookmarks
*Twitter – @adminChick
*Google+ – https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/110128946030393319190/110128946030393319190
*LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/vicki-williams- 94187611/
*Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/looneychick
*Pinterest – Also going Live in April
*Email – Vicky@looneychickblog.co.uk

❤❤ Thank you so much for taking the time to be interviewed! Vicky, I love your honesty in what you have gone through, and I love that you encourage others to seek help and learn about mental illness. ❤❤

If you, or anyone you know, would like to take part in my Campaign, do not hesitate to contact me on the following:
Email:SassysWorld6@gmail.com
Twitter
Facebook

http://www.thinkingoutloud-sassystyle.com/category/disability-qa-campaign/




Working On Your Wellbeing: Is It Time You Paid More Attention To Your Mental Health?

When somebody mentions the word health, what springs to mind? As a society, we tend to focus most of our time and energy on physical health, but what about mental health? When was the last time you thought about how you feel? Mental health should be a subject in which we all take an interest. You shouldn’t have to have a psychological disorder to pay attention to your mental health. The truth is that we should all be concerned about our wellbeing. If you don’t give your mental health much thought, this guide should come in handy.

A lay looking into the sunset with her arms spread

Image from https://www.pexels.com/search/happiness/

 

The importance of mental health

Do you go to the gym or try and be as active as possible? Do you watch what you eat and try and ensure that you get enough sleep every night? Most of us make an effort to look after our bodies, but it’s much less common to go out of your way to take care of your mind. When you hear people talking about mental health, you may assume that this only applies to issues such as depression and anxiety, but this isn’t the case. Everybody should be aware of the importance of mental health. We all have a mind, we all have thoughts and feelings, and we can all do more to try and improve our mental wellbeing.

 

If you’ve never had days when you find it tough to get out of bed or you’ve never been in a situation where you’ve been crippled by anxiety when everyone else around you seems fine, you might not have given mental health much thought. Even if you are happy and content, you’re not immune to mental illness, and it’s always beneficial to try and take steps to reduce your risk of developing psychological disorders and to improve your mood. In the UK, it is estimated that 1 in 3 people will suffer from a mental illness at some point in their lives.

I am happy with a smiley face written on a lined sheet of paper

Image via https://pixabay.com/en/happy-i-am-happy-smile-happiness-725815/

 

What are the signs and symptoms of mental illness?

Part of the problem facing a society that doesn’t like to indulge in open discussion about mental illness is being able to spot potential warning signs and symptoms. If we don’t talk about depression, stress, and anxiety, how can we expect people to understand what’s going on in their head? Everyone is different, and some people experience very different symptoms to others. There’s often a lot of confusion surrounding illnesses like depression, as it’s very poorly understood and it’s hard to express how it feels unless you’ve suffered yourself. It’s very easy for other people to view depression as a condition that can be shrugged off, but the reality is that it’s often a very severe illness. You would never tell somebody to shake off a broken leg, but it can be much tougher to understand mental illness because it doesn’t cause bruising, limping, or any other visible signs. Depression is not just feeling down or having a bad day. It’s going through periods of time when you question your worth, you struggle to control your emotions, and you find it difficult to summon up the energy or the motivation to see friends, get out of bed or leave the house.

The back of a woman who has her head and sholders hunched over apearing sad

Image credit https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Figure_5._Anxiety_can_leave_a_person_feeling_extremely_sad.jpg

 

Help for mental illness

If you are worried about mental health, you’ve been feeling out of sorts, or you’re concerned for a loved one, there is mental illness help out there. You may find that something as simple as having a chat with a family member or a close friend is enough to make you feel better, you may thrive on exercise or meditation, or you might need more intensive help from doctors, counsellors, and therapists. The first step is acknowledging that everything isn’t quite as it should be. Once you understand that you don’t have to fight these battles alone, you can start to move forward. Techniques like counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy can help you to process things that have happened in the past and prepare for problems that may arise in the future. They can also help you to adjust your mindset and to gain confidence.

 

Many people also find it helpful to talk to others who have been through what they’re dealing with or people that are in the same boat. It’s hugely reassuring to know that you’re not on your own, and it is possible to get better. Charities can provide group support, and you can also link up with others through forums, events, and social media.

A female doctor talking to a female patient

Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/59308652@N02/5431718990

 

Working on your wellbeing

Every single one of us should want to work on our wellbeing. You don’t have to suffer from anxiety or depression to give your mental health some TLC. You look after your body to prevent injuries and illnesses without giving it a second thought, so don’t hesitate to take care of your mental health too. Often, making very simple changes to your lifestyle and how you spend your time can pave the way for major improvements.

 

To boost your self-esteem, happiness, and confidence, spend time with people who make you feel good and form positive relationships. Make time for yourself, as well as being sociable, and set aside time for hobbies and interests. If being creative or playing sport makes you happy, find time in your schedule to do this. If you are struggling in any way, for example, if you’re stressed or you’re finding it impossible to sleep, think about the causes, try and find solutions, and don’t hesitate to ask for help. Triggers can range from a bad day at work to the loss of a loved one. Find activities that make you feel calm and relaxed and know when to take yourself off to a happy place. When things are getting on top of you or you feel low, give yourself a time out, take deep breaths, and calm down. Perhaps you find it comforting to call a friend, you need 5 minutes in the fresh air, or you find it helpful to meditate, stretch or write down what you’re feeling.

A book resting on a Ladies knee as she writes

Image courtesy of https://pixabay.com/en/photos/writer/

 

There’s a lot of talk about mental health at the moment, but we still put a lot more effort into keeping our bodies healthy than we do our minds. If you haven’t given mental health much thought of late, hopefully, this guide has encouraged you to be more aware of mental illness and to take steps to boost your wellbeing.

Registered Bridezilla: The Proposal

I have an announcement to make… And no doubt judging by the title you have already put 2 and 2 together and come up with wedding bells:

yes that’s right, Gary and I are engaged!!

The proposal was relaxed, romantic and very Gary!

But i’m going to spoil the fantasy of grandure and the ultimate surprise…

I knew it was going to happen, in fact I practically forced Gary into it.

A table with multiple engagement cards

Now let’s just remind you of the title of this post!

So here’s our story: Gary and I, like many couples talked about our future, what we wanted out of life and our plans for that future together.
We have been saving for a house for the last year, and had decided that we would rather get married after we bought our home.

We have entered a help to buy scheme, which only allows you to put a certain amount of money in the account per month,although we are not desperate to move from our flat, we realised that it was going to take us a lot longer than we anticipated to physically save and get the extra support from the government.

So over this time the topic of marriage and weddings came about, which was thoroughly encouraged by Gary’s family.
“So when are you 2 going to get engaged?”
“I need anew wedding to look forward to.”

At this time we both explained that we would rather aim for owning our own home, but we probably would be engaged by the time we bought the house.

And the questions kept coming…
“Are you engaged yet.”
“Has Gary popped the question?”

And that was it for me.

I’m an extremely obsessive person, and my depression exacerbates that.
I dropped some, ok a lot of not so subtle hints, even asking Gary outright when he was going to propose.
Everything was met with love and a lot of sarcasm.
“Soon.”
“Soon when?”
“Tuesday.”
This went on for a few months before I demanded that I wanted to be married by the time i was 29, so Gary had 3 years to propose.

Yes, I am crazy!

And when Gary called me crazy, I would just respond with.

“Yes I am. Crazy in love with you!!”

And we carried on in this merry dance for a while longer.

But my depression and obsessive thoughts got the better of me. I started to believe that Gary didn’t want to marry me at all.
I started to ruminate on our previous conversations, fall outs and arguments and convinced myself that I was far too much hard work for Gary and of course he wasn’t going to commit to someone who causes arguments, and over reacts all of the time.

Gary started to notice my drop in communication and introspective attitude and urged me to talk to him.

We talked and I opened up,. Sharing my thoughts of his attitude towards marriage. Or what I thought they might be.

I was truly upset and Gary cuddled and reassured me that all the thoughts I had were my depression talking, and he explained that he wanted to marry me. but there was no rush. He loved me and he was building a life with me and Ida, and he was going nowhere.

I was comforted by his prisons, his words and his love.

It was about a week later when my depressive thoughts started to bombard me again.
They didn’t consume me as before, but I knew for my own piece of mind I had to speak with Gary again about marriage, and the proposal.

I breached the subject as we were laying in bed one night.
Gary was honest but hesitant and I knew there was something he wasn’t telling me.

I asked him out right, that aside from my depressive episodes and continuous chatting about marriage. Was he worried that if he proposed sooner rather than later, was he worry i’ll go into an obsessive frenzy and plan the wedding for as soon as possible?
And that’s what it was all about.
He was concerned that asking me to marry him would result in me obsessing and wanting to be married straight away.

I explained that my obsessive nature was always going to be there, and as I love to plan things, I would rope him into love wedding planning. But for me, it was about the security and knowledge that he wanted to be with me forever.
I explained that I would prefer a long engagement because it meant that I could take my time in organising things and asking for help.

And that’s when he and I fully understood each others thoughts and intentions.
I wanted him to propose for the peace of mind it would give my negative thoughts, not because I wanted to plan a wedding and be married by the next month.
Gary wanted to get married, but not straight away. His biggest concern was doing things wrong, and not getting the proposal right.

So now I’ve beaten him into submission, time to get that ring on my finger!! 🙂

I got a random text one day as i was hanging out with my friend:
“Get bigger fingers”
“I’ll try but I don’t think it’ll work.”

Cue the excited squeals of delight from Ellie and I!!

A few days later the 3 of us went shopping, Ellie and I decided to sit and wait while Gary went into a shop or 2 on his own.

10 minutes later…

“Can you come with me? The lady in the shop needs to talk to you.”
“ok…”
“So the lady in the shop doesn’t believe your ring finger size, she wants to measure it.”

Get’s ring finger measured, lady finally believes Gary.

“I think Gary is buying me an engagement ring!!”
“Exciting!! I thought that was the shop he went off to.”
Lots of smiles and hugs ensued!

“So the gift I bought you has a warranty of 3 years, so if you’re going to break it, do it in the timescale, ok?”

White gold ring,with purple amethyst and diamonds

Ring purchased, now to hint about asking my parents…

“Ok, are you going to ask my parents permission?”
No, what if they say no?”
“Just sing Rude by Magic to them, and run away.”
“Actually, they will probably pack my bags for you!”

This is mine and Gary’s sense of humour…

Time to hint a bit more.

“So, when you ask them, what are you going to say?”
“Do I have to ask them?”
“Yes!!”
“When are you going to do it?”
“The next time we are all going to be together is in a few weeks time. You should ask them then.”

We’re at a family wedding when Gary rushes up to me.

“I did it!”

Mother arrives.

“I hear congratulations are in order!!”
“For what?”
“Don’t play dumb, Gary has told us everything!!”

Lots of hugs, congratulations and champagne ensues!

“So, what did you say?”
“Well I asked them, and they said yes. I told them you forced me into proposing!”
“You did what?!”
“What did you do that for?! Now everyone will know i’m a psycho!”
“They know that anyway Sassy!”
“Plus, when I told your Dad, he just said you are your Mothers’ Daughter!”

We both laugh and drink Champagne.

Gary officially asked THE question just a few weeks later.

And, it was on a Thursday, not a Tuesday!

So there we are, our very unconventional and non romantic proposal story! I’m engaged to my Mr Perfect!

Are you engaged? How did your proposal happen?I’d love to know in the comments.

Much love,
Sassy x




Is Your Tiredness A Sign Of Something Serious?

Being tired is perfectly normal in some situations. For example, if you’ve been burning the midnight oil to meet a deadline at work and stay up way past your bedtime, it is a given that you will wake up feeling very sleepy the next morning. And you might have to deal with that tiredness throughout the whole day! Similarly, if you are particularly busy or take part in some very strenuous exercise in the morning, then your energy levels will probably drop, and you will feel quite lethargic in the afternoon.

However, if you are constantly tired without any real reason for feeling that way, it could be a sign or symptom of a much more serious condition. Worried that your lethargy and sleepiness could mean you are ill? Read on to find out more!

Young lady lying in bed with white sheets and bedding

Picture Credit

Depression

Tiredness is a symptom of regular depression, and bipolar depression. But what is bipolar depression exactly? It is similar to regular depression and most patients feel the same feelings of sadness and uninterest in the world. However, there are some other symptoms that can help differentiate between these two depressions. For instance, those who are bipolar suffer from mood swings and sometimes even psychosis. If this sounds like you, it is important you see a medical professional very soon.




Anemia

If you feel run down and generally under the weather alongside your tiredness, then the most probable explanation is that you are suffering from anemia. This is when you haven’t been getting enough iron in your diet and end up with a deficiency. It is most common in women, especially those who have been through the menopause. It is easily treated with iron tablets.

Diabetes

There are various symptoms of diabetes, and constant tiredness is one of them. Diabetes occurs when there is too much sugar in the blood or when there is not enough insulin being produced to control blood sugar levels. Other symptoms include a constant feeling of thirst and sudden weight loss.

Glandular Fever

Glandular fever is a viral infection and most commonly seen in young, teenage girls. The main symptoms include a sore throat, swollen glands, and high fever, but most patients also complain about tiredness as well. Even though most of the symptoms will go after four weeks, the tiredness can often affect the sufferer for at least a couple of months.

Coeliac Disease

Some people are unable to eat any form of gluten as they have coeliac disease. When coeliacs accidentally eat some gluten – found in foods such as bread, cereals, and pasta – then their body reacts badly, much like an allergic reaction. Tiredness is one of the most noticeable symptoms, alongside diarrhea and weight loss. There is also often a feeling of discomfort after eating any ingredients that contain traces of gluten.

As you can see, your body might be trying to tell you that your tiredness is a sign of an underlying condition. Think you are suffering from a serious condition? Then it’s a good idea to see your doctor as soon as possible!




Mental Illness: Seeking Help

Mental illness will affect almost everyone reading this post at some point. That could mean you develop a condition like depression, or it could mean someone close to you goes through that experience. Whatever the situation, you’ll want to know how to overcome the issue and get back to normal. While medication is the right course of action for some people, most of us just need to apply some self-help. With that in mind, you should consider some of the methods mentioned below. At the end of the day, drugging yourself doesn’t solve the problem. It just stops you from caring about it quite as much.

Clinic Counselling Session

Credit For photo

*Picture showing a counseling session in a clinic between two women.*

  • Try talking therapies

Sometimes you just need to spend time talking to an expert to overcome mental health issues. That is often the case if you suffer depression or anxiety. You might have bottled everything up for years because you can’t ask your friends for help. However, there are plenty of professionals willing to listen to anything you have to say. Considering that, ask your doctor for recommendations for local therapists. You’ll have to pay for their services, but it’s worth the expensive in many instances. Once you’ve worked through your issues, it’s much easier to recover and become a happy thinker again.

  • Get yourself a life coach

There is a misconception out there about life coaches. Most people think their services are only suitable for rich people. That couldn’t be further from the truth. There are plenty of experts in that profession that don’t charge the earth for their advice. A life coach will consider all your problems before designing a plan of action. They’ll uncover the reasons you feel down at the moment, and then try to counteract them. If you’ve tried everything else, you have nothing to lose. Just search online for suitable professionals and then read reviews. That way, you can sort the wheat from the chaff and ensure you’re dealing with someone with a good track record.

couple in fall

Credit for source
*A young couple sitting on a pier overlooking a lake where two ducks are swimming.*

  • Improve your existence

It might sound obvious, but most people seem to forget they can make positive changes without assistance. With that in mind, you should sit down with a pen and paper and work out what you don’t like about your life. You can then come up with a strategy for altering all those elements. If you hate your job, you need to retrain and look for something new. If you spend every evening feeling lonely, you should register on some dating websites. It’s not rocket science, and you could feel better instantly. You just need to take control of the situation.

Using the advice from this article, anyone with a common mental illness could improve their lives. You can’t sit around feeling down and expecting things to get better on their own. You need to take decisive action if you want to recover. Of course, medication can help some people to get their head in the right place. Just make sure you use the techniques mentioned on this page alongside any antidepressant drugs. Otherwise, you’re just prolonging the agony.

Disability Q&A #7 Leah Miller

Welcome back to this months disability Q&A!

Today’s interview is brought to you by Leah. She and I met through our love of blogging, when I started to read her blog not only was I fascinated by how honest and open she was about disability, but I loved that she too was trying to spread awareness of mental illness.
I knew I wanted to have her guest post on my blog in one way shape or form, and she kindly agreed to the Q&A!
I hope you enjoy her guest post, and learn something new! 🙂 over to you lovely…

Tell me about yourself:
Hi, I’m Leah Miller, I’m 33 and I live
in Hampshire.
my jobs include: Social Media Manager, mummy, wife and skivvy! I love reading, writing, blogging and photography 🙂

Now we know the basics, can we learn a bit more about you?

What is the medical reason you have a disability?
I am medically diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety.

When were you first diagnosed?
I was first diagnosed in 2011, having suffered for over 10 years.

Did you notice changes within yourself first, or did someone else?
I knew the changes were there, but couldn’t associate them with anything other than feeling all wrong. It was my husband who finally came to me to tell me I needed some help.

Do you refer to yourself as a person with a disability? If not, why not?
Not anymore, because I am managing my situation. It is also very difficult for people to understand mental illness as a disability, many people still see it as a choice.

Do you tell others about your disability? Or do you prefer to keep that to yourself until you are comfortable with the person knowing?
It took many years to feel comfortable enough to talk about it. It wasn’t until I realised that by talking I could help others that I took the plunge.

Do you take any medication, or have you in the past?
I do, I take daily medication.

What were your initial thoughts about taking medication?
I knew that I needed it, to the point of almost craving it.

Did you suffer with any side affects? If so, please explain.
There were no side effects, until I had to come off the tablets when I fell pregnant, then I was incredibly sick.

If you could extinguish your disability, would you? – If not, please explain why.
No, because it has helped me to become the person that I am today. I didn’t like the old me at all. In fact I would go as far as to say I hated her. Now, I can honestly say that I like myself, and am learning to love certain aspects – baby steps!!

For those who do not know much about your disability how does it affect your mobility?
*Tired/ exhausted
*Weak
*Unsteady on your feet

All of the above, it makes every small thing seem like the most epic task. It makes the world seem dark and unfriendly, and it makes you so incredibly conscious of everything.

How has your disability effected you?
*Socially
*physically
*Mentally

Again, all of the above. It stole 10 years of my life, my entire 20’s, and the first years of my kids lives.

Do you think your disability has made you who you are today?
*Please give a positive example of how this has done so…

100%. The old me is gone, and it has been replaced with a much better version, like a Leah Mark 2.

Is there a particular question you get asked often because of your disability? If so, please explain below.

What have you got to be depressed about?

It has been said to me so many times it has almost become laughable. It hurts, so deeply, and yet I am starting to learn that people just don’t have any understanding. They are not meaning to be cruel, they are just uneducated on the subject. I am using my blog to try to change that.

What are the positives of having a disability?
Realising that you are not alone, and having the rallying support of true friends and family.

What are the negatives of having a disability?
Complete and pure isolation. A constant feeling of worthlessness and hating yourself.

What would you say is a difficulty for you being disabled?
*Relationships
*Parenting
*Working

Again, all of the above. My marriage was strained but not broken, my parenting was tested to its full extent and I struggled to work due to my crippling social anxiety. I left my job, for many reasons, and was shunned by my work colleagues who had no understanding of my situation.

As a person with a disability, what are the things you face on a daily / weekly basis that frustrate/ worry you?
*In your home – One of the symptoms of my diagnosis is that I am unable to control my need to keep a clean home. Unobtainable perfection has driven me to the verge of insanity. There is also the feeling of being trapped, and yet the idea of going outside is scary beyond belief.
*outside your home – My social anxiety means that I avoid all eye contact and conversations. I struggle massively to make friends and assume that everyone is laughing at me.

Are there any tips or tricks you use in daily life you’d like to pass on to another disabled person?
*Remembering to take medication? Definitely.
*Making sure you keep any plans that you make.
*Meditation – This really helps, it is an opportunity for reflection and quiet time.
*Exercise – This has been a literal life saver for me, it raises the serotonin levels in your body, which are your happiness levels.

What piece of advice would you give to someone newly diagnosed? Or going through a similar position?

It gets better, take your medication, take counseling if offered and you will soon see a difference.

Any advice you’d like to give to a person with no mental health issues?

Please show some understanding. Please listen and don’t judge. And please look out for people who may need help, and are not yet ready to accept it themselves yet.

Did you seek out any specialist services / charities to help you and your family deal with your situation?
*I attended Cognitive Therapy session, though didn’t find them helpful for me.
*Counseling was invaluable, it was the best decision I ever made, even though I nearly didn’t attend my first session.

Where can people find you out in the world?

*Blog – www.and1moremakes3.com

*FaceBook – www.facebook.com/and1moremakes3

*Twitter – www.twitter.com/and1moremakes3_

*Email – and1moremakes3@hotmail.com




Thank you Leah for giving us a glimpse into your world living with depression and anxiety! I’m so grateful that you have shared your story, because I to believe that it’s not talked about enough, and people do think that mental illness is a choice. And it really isn’t! I am so happy to hear that you are in a better place now and your husband supported you throughout! ❤️

Please don’t forget to follow her links, and why not share the love? Leave her a comment, we would both appreciate it!

If you, or anyone you know, would like to take part in my Campaign, do not hesitate to contact me on the following:
Email:SassysWorld6@gmail.com
Twitter
Facebook

If you enjoyed this interview why not check out the others in the series so far?
Interview 1
Interview 2
Interview 3
Interview 4
Interview 5
Interview 6




Anger Is The Sheild, Depression Is The Dagger

As depression rears it’s ugly head I am left with 2 choices; let it control me, or try my best to control it.
I’ve noticed patterns in my behaviour of late that used to smother me like the heat of a sauna. But this time i’m aware and ready to fight back.

I have one gigantic trigger: my sight loss.
That’s where it all began.
That’s where it all stems from.
But it’s slightly different this time. This time I think it’s a chemical imbalance. I have come off my anti depressants.
When I was put on them, I was given a 6 month course, but I kept cashing in more prescriptions as I didn’t feel ready.
But I decided that enough was enough, I wanted to at least try.
I couldn’t tell you the exact date I stopped taking them, because I didn’t want the placebo effect hitting me like a tonne of bricks, as well as the potential chemical imbalance I was going to be facing.

I’m not saying i’ve been perfect since coming off my anti depressants.I had a few down days, some of which lasted longer than others.

But the slap you in the face moment happened early morning last week.

I was sorting out breakfast for Gary and i; firstly I spilt the water all over the sides (actually not uncommon as we have a shite kettle!), and then I started putting away the dishes from the night before. and almost every dish I pulled out was dirty.

I lost my shit and started raging at Gary.

He came over to me.; told me to put the dishes down, and not to worry, it was only dirty dishes.

“Only dirty dishes?! I spent fucking ages washing those dishes, and yet they have shit all over them!!!
What’s the point of me washing them if they aren’t going to be clean?!”

At this point Gary enveloped me in a big hug, and rubbed my back soothingly.
” It’s just dishes Sassy, it’s OK.”

I wanted to shout again, but his calming presence soothed me. Right there and then I knew this was my not so friendly friend depression.

This is the point where I admitted to Gary I hadn’t taken my happy pills in a while, because I wanted to come off them.
He had his reservations about me just stopping them, but said he’d support me in whatever I chose.

I think he or I made a joke about the crazy train starting it’s journey again.
I have to point out here, that a lot of our relationship revolves around,lots of dark humour, which other people would find unnerving or offensive. But that is how we deal with things 🙂

When Gary had left for work, I got on the phone to the Tribal ladies and confessed my psycho bitch fit.

They too were also very supportive, giving me suggestions, virtual hugs and kind thoughts.
In all honesty I was truly embarrassed at my outburst, and sad that it had happened, and I knew in order to deal with it, I had to be honest with the people I care about, and not try and hide it/ palm it off like I used to.

That same morning, a new member of the family arrived into this world, and it instantly lifted my mood.

Being open and honest with Gary, my friends, and myself as well as hearing happy news gave me the oomph to realise I HAVE to focus on the positives, but be honest with myself and others if things are going downhill.

So, how am I going to try and keep my psycho bitch fits at bay?
*Try your best to realise when you are in the midst of an angry outburst or thoughts,. Feeling incredibly numb and withdrawn.

*Breathe deeply, and think only of what your breathing is doing.

*Go cuddle Gary. 🙂

*Talk to Gary, he’s bound to say something to cheer you up.

.*Read up on mindfulness, and try and put it into practise, when not in a low mood. It will get you better equipped for when you need to do it.

*Listen to music. Blasting out one of your happy songs, and squawking terribly along with it, always helps improve your mood.

*Distract yourself by making yourself focus on something trivial/ insignificant.

*Do exercise, I’ve almost forgotten how this word is spelt, never mind said… it’s been so long!

*Text/ call someone. Even if they aren’t free to talk at that moment,writing it down will help to clear your mind.

*Don’t use expletives or negativity when expressing these thoughts. That always gets you ramped up even more.

*Find a task that needs a lot of focus and thoughtfulness. Maybe like writing a blog post? 🙂

*Watch something funny. Stand Up always makes you laugh!

*Make some tea, and enjoy the 10 minutes to sit and drink it.

*Think of something positive. You know, like you’ve been shortlisted for the UK’s most prestigious blogging awards!

*Smile. Yep, forcing yourself to actively smile, actually lifts your mood.

*Allow emotions to be present. Cry, scream, shout, But not at anyone. Be present in acknowledging the feelings, but don’t let them take over.

*If all else fails, and you are at home: SLEEP. That will shut the stressy bitch up, and hopefully it’ll improve your looks! Beauty sleep and all that 😉

*Last, but no means least. Read this blog post, and remind yourself, the train to crazy town has already departed… No point trying to chase it now! 🙂

*****

As you can probably guess, this is a list from me, to me. I now have something officially in writing to come back to if necessary.

*****

Depression is an illness, a brutal thought process that truly can take over your body and mind. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.
I chose to take myself off anti depressants, because I want to. And see where mindfulness and positive thinking will get me.
If I need counselling or to go back on them, I will.
Admitting you need help is never a weakness. actually it’s the complete opposite!

My way may not work for everyone, it might not even work for me. But as I feel that I truly am in the happiest place i’ve ever been in my life, I want to see if I can channel that positivity into my daily living, instead of relying on my happy pills.
I will know within myself if it’s an emotional anchor, and not a chemical imbalance anymore.

*****

Since I began this blog I always said I would be truthful with myself, and give my readers that honesty.
Being able to talk openly about all disabilities candidly is my goal.
If I want people to accept disability as another entity, and not a thing that should be shunned or silenced, then I need to show my true colours. That way I feel I am doing the right thing.

If you are not in the best place right now, reach out to someone, or write down your feelings.

You are never truly alone, even if it feels like it.
Big hugs to you all 🙂

❤️ If you enjoy my ramblings, and think for one crazy second, that somehow I deserve to become a finalist in the prestigious Brilliance In Blogging Awards (BiBs) I would love your vote!
Simply click this button below and it will take you straight there!
All you need to do is put:
Your Name
Your Email Address
Thinking Out Loud, in the category of INSPIRE
Please and thank you.
you wonderful human being! ❤️

BritMums

Much love, Sassy x


Disability Q&A #5 Matthew

Today’s interview is brought to you by Matthew, he followed me on Twitter, and was very kind; liking and retweeting my tweets. Of course I said my thank you’s, and we began chatting from there. 🙂 He is a very lovely guy, and I hope you give him all the love and support he deserves for writing this!

On to you Matthew 🙂
Tell me about yourself:
I’m Matthew, 29 and live in the North West of England. Right now I’m a stay at home dad looking after my 3 year old girl, before that I stayed at home to look after my older son but he is now at school full time.
To be honest, I kinda hide behind this as a reason not to try harder to find work because I am afraid that I wouldn’t find a job as I have no formal qualification except for GCSE’s. That, combined with my visual impairment I find it hard to justify anyone employing me.
I’m not short of hobbies but I have struggled sticking to one hobby for very long. I enjoy gaming mainly on PC but as my eyesight has deteriorated over the last few years I’ve found this increasingly difficult. I attempted to take up twitch streaming to go along with my gaming hobby but as I lack any kind of discernible personality I was about as popular on there as a bunch of flowers at a Hayfever convention.

I also have a desire to learn programming of one shade or another so I apply some time towards learning that skill. Although it’s slow going as I suffer from bipolar and my thought process swings from invincible to useless on a regular basis.

Now we know the basics, can we learn a bit more about you?

What is the medical reason you have a disability?
I suffer from a hereditary condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa commonly referred to as RP .

Have you had your Visual impairment / disability from birth?
As it is a hereditary condition I assume it’s been lurking in there since birth but I was only formally diagnosed at the age of 7. It’s harder to pinpoint a start date for my mental conditions.

Which terminology do you prefer: Partially Sighted, Visually Impaired, Sight Impaired, Severely Sight Impaired or Blind?
The government uses both Visually Impaired and Blind when pigeonholing people like us/me but although my visual acuity is hand movements only I feel like an imposter using the term Blind as I do still have some sight. So I guess you can call me what you choose.

Do you have a cane, Guide Dog or neither?
I have a cane but never use it. I guess for the same reason as above, as I have some sight I’d feel like an imposter if I were to use it, although it would come in handy in some circumstances especially when crossing the road to inform drivers of my condition.

If you could extinguish your disability, would you? – If not, please explain why.
in a heartbeat I know people attribute their personality or at least part of it to their disability and rightly so in most cases. Who’s to say that you wouldn’t have turned out the same or a better version of yourself if you had not suffered from your disability?I for one will never know but I can only hope that would have been the case for me. I wouldn’t have felt handicapped during my education or when it came to me finding work. I know for sure I would be driving and earning my way in society instead of hiding behind those I love. My visual impairment is only partially to blame for my feelings, my mental condition plays a huge part in this too. However, I find it hard to believe my mental condition would be this pronounced if I did not suffer from RP or any other disability.

For those who do not know much about your VI what can you see?
For me, colours are not very vivid, so unless things are moving I find it hard to pick objects out from their backgrounds. In addition to this everything appears smaller and out of focus so seeing any detail what so ever is next to impossible. Reading is out for the question too for all but the largest of prints held ridiculously close to my face making it completely impractical. I cannot pick people of a crowd, even my loved ones of whom I’m completely familiar with, including my children. Once they leave my side and mix in with a crowd of children they could be anyone.

How has your disability affects you?
*Socially
I am very introverted. I do not take any pleasure whatsoever from going out and socialising and so have very few, if any friends outside of my family. The main thing I struggle with when it comes to social interaction is, apart from not being able to see, is the fact I can’t look directly at the people I’m trying to talk to. Sighted people use eye contact as a social indicator when communicating and I lack this basic skill so I find myself being ignored in a conversation or failing to realise when people are addressing me not being able to see who they are looking at. I’m sure this is something that affects most if not all visually impaired people but it is a hurdle I have never been able to clear.
*physically
I find myself using my visual impairment as a reason for me not taking part in a lot of physical activities that I used to enjoy such as walking and athletics. It also impacts my day to day life from simple tasks such as grooming and cooking to commuting and playing with my children.
*Mentally
This is where I feel my visual impairment has affected me the most I’m sure my underlying mental issues were there from the start as some people affected with disabilities and visual impairments seem to come to terms with them, adapt to them and some even turn them into an advantage. I have failed completely to do this I tend to focus on the negative in nearly all situations and I always find myself blaming my visual impairment for almost all of my shortcomings.
.
Do you think your disability has made you who you are today?
*Please give a positive example of how this has done so… Example: Not judging people by their appearance
As you have probably picked up on while reading my responses to the previous questions positivity isn’t my strong suit but I’ll give it my best shot. I suppose the biggest positive impact my visual impairment has had on my life is the fact I don’t rely on my sight. So I get to absorb the world in a completely different way to other, sighted people. I focus on how things feel to the touch and under foot as opposed to what they look like. I appreciate beauty in a completely different way, assessing someone’s attractiveness (superficially) by what they sound like as opposed to what they look like.

Is there a particular question you get asked often because of your disability? If so, please explain below.
I think what can you see’ is or was the main question I was asked at school when people found out I suffered from a visual impairment. However as I try my best, for better or worse, not to draw attention to the fact I have a visual impairment I don’t get confronted with that many questions.

What are the positives of having a disability?
Free public transport is a boon as the cost of that is ever increasing. However unpopular this may sound, having the security of state benefits is also very reassuring as it gives the disabled a chance to live a reasonable life, if not living it up if managed well you aren’t poverty stricken either. However recently this has become a bone of contention in the conservative party as they have taken it upon themselves to change up the current benefits system and introduce a lot of uncertainty into a lot of disabled people’s lives, including my own.

What are the negatives of having a disability?
Although I previously mentioned this as a [positive, having to rely on state benefits for my income is a huge disadvantage. I feel trapped by them, they don’t offer me the freedom to look for work without the risk of losing my benefits. As a family man I can’t afford to apply for a job, get it, then lose it again after finding myself unable to manage the job and have to go without either pay or benefits in the intervening period. My family needs money to live and right now I see no other way to obtain that other than benefits. I hold those who suffer from disabilities, especially visual impairment and hold down a full time job in the highest of regards as I could only dream to be among them doing the same.

What would you say is a difficulty for you being VI / disabled?
Difficulties come thick and fast when you have a visual impairment. The smallest thing a fully sighted person might take for granted from making sure they are wearing matching coloured socks / shoes to having clean nails and tidy hair. To the larger things such as getting from A to B and shopping. Sure these things can be overcome with adaptations and the reliance on friends or family. But having to rely so heavily on other for everything make you, or at least me, feel like a burden on family, friend and society as a whole.

As a person with a disability, what are the things you face on a daily / weekly basis that frustrate you?

*In your home
Not being able to find things such as my mobile phone or my toothbrush, as has been mentioned by some of your other interviewees is a major bugbear of mine.Along with identifying the difference between shampoo and shower gel in the myriad of different bottles that turns up in the bathroom thanks to my partners addiction with buying what seems like one of every kind on the market. Finding and identifying specific toys when playing with my young son and baby girl is also difficult and somewhat upsetting .

*outside your home
I find getting around using public transport very difficult, with my unwillingness to use a cane or identify myself as being visually impaired I find locating the right bus to get to where I need to be when traveling alone next to impossible, the same applies when using the train.

This issues raises it’s head when shopping too, I find myself taking the best guess when asked to go collect something from the shop by my partner and just hoping I have enough money in my pocket when going to the till as I have no idea how much anything costs as I am unable to read and unwilling to ask. So a white bread request from my partner is often a brown loaf of bread when it arrives home and semi skimmed being delivered as full fat.
Are there any tips or tricks you use in daily life you’d like to pass on to another VI/ disabled person?
I wish I had a few tricks that made my life easier but the only one I can think of is utilising the talkback feature on my android phone. That paired with a bluetooth headset makes it possible for me to use the vast majority of the features of my phone either at home or out and about without feeling self conscious. Not all third party applications are compatible or take advantage of this feature fully but just being able to phone and text is a huge benefit.

Do you use Assistive technology in your daily living?
I use windows magnifier and narrator on my home PC and the accessibility features on my phone. Apart from that I don’t take advantage of any other assistive technologies although I’m sure there are plenty out there that would make my life a lot easier.

What piece of advice would you give to someone newly diagnosed? Or going through a deterioration in vision / or mobility?
Find someone that can help you come to terms with you condition, weather that be a counsellor or your GP, a charity like RNIB or action for the blind. You need to come to terms with it and move forward with your life, don’t let it take over and dominate your life like it has with mine. It has held me back for so long, I’m 29 years old and haven’t achieved anything with my life. Don’t let the same happen to you. Look on me as an example of what not to do.

Any advice you’d like to give to a person with sight / no disabilities?
Don’t assume, don’t assume that people asking for the destination of the bus they are about to step on are just too lazy to look at the front of the bus for themselves, instead, if you know the answer, just answer or perhaps look for them. Don’t assume that if someone walks into you in the street that they are instantly a trouble maker, perhaps they didn’t see you and a simple gesture of kindness and a passing ‘are you ok’ might be in order as opposed to a hail of insults. Don’t assume that ‘if they need help they’ll ask for it’ because that isn’t always the case, if you see someone struggling, offer help, maybe they’ll accept your offer, maybe they won’t until you offer you won’t know.

Did you seek out any specialist services / charities to help you and your family deal with your situation?
I have sought out help in the past from specialist groups and charities in the past such as action for the blind but as I touched on earlier, I sometimes feel like an imposter and find it hard to seek out help from these charities. I feel like a huge burden on society as it is and don’t’ like to put on others. This may be my mental condition talking, but I can’t change how I feel.

Where can people find you out in the world?

youtube.com/whitecanegamer
facebook.com/whitecanegamer
twitter.com/whitecanegamer
Instagram.com/whitecanegamer
twitch.tv/whitecanegamer
whitecanegamer.com




Wow Matthew, thank you so much for opening up and being so open and honest with your struggles with your mental health, and the impact it has had on you as a person, alongside your visual impairment. It’s brave of you to do so, and i’m glad you felt you could.
I am always here if ever you want to talk, and i’m sure i’m not the only one who will reach out to you, once they too have read your raw and thought provoking interview.

Please don’t forget to follow his links, and why not share the love? Leave him a comment, we would both appreciate it!

If you, or anyone you know, would like to take part in my Campaign, do not hesitate to contact me on the following:
Email:SassysWorld6@gmail.com
Twitter
Facebook

If you enjoyed this interview why not check out the others in the series so far?
Interview 1
Interview 2
Interview 3
Interview 4

You are most welcome to subscribe to my mailing list so you do not miss any future interviews. For that I would be most grateful! 🙂

Thank you once again Matthew.

Much Love, Sassy x




Letter To My Younger Self

A letter to my 14 year old self.

Your biggest worry right now is that you’ll never grow boobs, i’m happy to say that you do, but unfortunately it won’t be for a lot longer than you hoped!

I need to prepare you, things are going to start getting tougher for you Sassy. Your sight is going to start deteriorating, and it’s going to be a source of vexation and stress for you and the entire family, don’t worry, it doesn’t go all at once, but the decline starts at the end of year 10. I feel like I need to prepare you, you are defiant, stubborn, short tempered and irrational exclaiming such things like you’ll take your own life if it gets any worse.

You need to make sure the school support you adequately, don’t just try and muddle through, academically you are far more capable of what you achieve, maybe if the support was put in quicker, you’ll find it easier to study for the exams you detest.

Things are going to get worse, and you are going to have several operations, as well as treatments.
Dump the methotrexate, you were right all along, it did nothing for you. I still feel sick thinking about you taking it even now.

********

You will be hesitant at first, but going to a college for the blind is your best option, and it will turn out to be life changing in so many ways.

You will make friends that you would never expect to, but hold them tight, these friends will be invaluable to you.
Friendships are strong and fickle during this time, walk away. Every time.having the last word gets you nowhere but trouble. Oh and both times you and your friend have gut instincts things are going to go wrong, listen to them. Stand your ground, and let her stand hers.
It’s not worth the consequences trust me.
You will fall in love, and it will be amazing, but you will also ruin the relationship because of your depression and anger.

You should seek help, not from inside though, you are right not to trust them.
But if you don’t accept it’s over, and acknowledge you need help, things will only go from bad to worse.

Depression is Anillness, and although you think you’re fine, and it’s everyone else who has the problem, sadly you’re mistaken.
YOU are the problem.

There’s no point sugar coating it, you are not the only one to blame, but it’s better to understand now.

things are only going to get worse unless you seek help.

You are going to lose your sight more than once.
With deterioration you feel out of control.
Don’t deny it, or deal in anger, you’ll only end up hurting yourself.

********

Do you want to hear the best bit? It’s not as bad as you dreaded.
You WILL cope, and you WILL live.
Of course times will be tough, stressful and heartbreaking, but those are blips in the road.

In the grand scheme of things, it’ll be nothing. You are so strong and resilient. At this time you will find who your true friends are, and although it will hurt at first, you’ll realise they weren’t worth the effort in the first place.

So many things will happen to you between this age of yours and the future.

But not all of it is bad. Far from it. You are the happiest you’ve ever been. I bet you never thought that would be the case huh?

Take the bad times and roll with it, because throughout it all, you will come out a stronger, better, kinder, happier person.

And aside from your eyes, your of good health. Be thankful. Cherish everyone around you, and forgive quickly.

There’s no point ruminating.

You are going to change, but it will be for the better.

One massive tip though; take your bloody MacBook to the shop as soon as it plays up! Leaving it for months because you were too scared to head to the city by yourself knowing how little you can see now, just ask someone to take you! Pay for their travel/lunch, it will be a nice bonding experience. I know you are stressed about always relying on people But the worst that can happen is they say no… It’ll give you the opportunity to learn how to finally navigate your way around Apple better.

Who knows, you may start blogging earlier?

********

I believe everything happens for a reason, and no matter how much I would love for you to know this information, it’s moulded you into the person you are today.
Every story has it’s scars and these are yours.

Suicide

Suicide: A Guest Post.

For this piece I am stepping out from behind the clown mask. I am hoping to do more here than share a laugh or deliver an opinion piece. I am putting humor aside to talk about something very important; about something that is affecting many people in this world of ours, and has been for many ticks of the clock. The young and old, the rich and poor, the black and white, none of it matters because this monster doesn’t discriminate, anyone can be a victim.

I would like to talk about suicide. I would like to share my personal battle with it and how at one time I thought it was the only way out. I thought it was the only way to silence the demons that were relentlessly attacking and poisoning my soul with never-ending self-doubt and vicious lies about my reality, every day trying to destroy the foundation that was my life.

My desire is to show others in a similar situation that when they feel they are at their lowest or at their breaking point that they are not alone and that there is help out there. There are ways to relieve the weight that burdens your shoulders, but it’s not in a drug/drink, nor is it with you lying on your back six feet under with a face full of dirt.

Suicide stalks its prey like a highly skilled assassin, ever so silently and with deadly precision, and if you’re not cautious, you or a loved one could be its next target.

“Just because someone is smiling on the outside, doesn’t mean they aren’t hurting on the inside.”

Close up of a young boys face looking through a hole in a box, sunlight ilumanating one eye

(Suicidal) When the wrong feels right…

“God, should I come home now?” is a question that I have asked myself many times before, and I’m sure I’m not alone.

We’ve all had times where we felt as if the world was against us. As if everyone was screaming our name, and not like an adoring fan would scream the name of their favorite rockstar, but rather like the way a bloodthirsty mob would scream for your head as you were about to be hung. All you want to do is run and hide, but no matter where you go the voices just won’t stop.

On the outside it is bright and sunny. No one could tell from looking at you that something was wrong. However, on the inside it is dark and gloomy, your mental state is not well and your life is on the edge of devastation. You don’t know what to do. You’re like that whimsical cookie jar that sits on the counter, on the surface you seem all together, complete and even at times upbeat. Although the truth of it is that on the inside you are emotionally disheveled, scattered and spiritually broken into little pieces.

You want so badly to shout out to the world how tortured you are, but at the same time you don’t want to be perceived as weak and/or any less of a person by doing so, and as a result you hold it all in. Because of this decision the pain stews inside of you, making a mess of things both emotionally and mentally, leaving you a total wreck, spiritually shattered and intoxicated by misery and despair.

You can’t believe that your loved ones don’t notice that something isn’t right with you. They aren’t aware that your life is in shambles and that you have no idea how to fix it. This makes you feel damaged, lonely and desperate for a way out.

Yet you put on an Oscar worthy performance to make sure people don’t find out what’s really going on. Doing all you can to put your best foot forward to keep your deadly secret hidden within the confines of your soul. You are torn, you feel as if all the clues are there to help them solve the unfortunate case that is your life, but in all reality you have orchestrated a crime so masterfully that even CSI couldn’t solve it. This is absolutely a no-win situation and cannot end well for anyone involved.

How can you stop the sadness? How can you find peace? Is there a way out or are you destined to go through life depressed and constantly fighting for the happiness and comfort that seems to come so easily to those around you?

You start contemplating suicide. You start thinking that with your dying breath the pain will finally cease and you will be comfortably at rest and in your own skin.

Your absence wouldn’t matter to anyone, because obviously they didn’t care when you were alive so why in death would things be any different? What would be the right time? How would you do it? Should you leave a note? These are just some of the things that cross your mind as you think about moving forward with your ill-fated plan, as you consider the best way to execute your personal mission for mental stability and closure on the agony that is your being.

“Admitting that you need help isn’t a sign of weakness, especially when holding it in could mean death.”

Two hands reaching for one another with text saying "Asking For Help Does Not Make You A Failure"

(Cautious) Living with untreated depression is like taking permanent residence on death row…

Unfortunately there are some people who actually follow thru and succeed in ending their lives, and then there are others, who by the grace of God manage to make it through these dark times and move forward in a positive direction. Gratefully I am the latter.

I was close to calling an end to my time here on this planet a few times, each time believing it was the only way to correct things and to truly put my mind at ease. I felt like it was the only way to get past the torment and heartache. Thankfully though, I had a great support system and was able to open up to people to let them know how I felt, which wasn’t easy by any means but absolutely necessary for healing.

Life is hard and unforgiving at times, if you let your guard down for too long it will swallow you up and drag you down to the depths of hell. I know it’s not all doom and gloom, but the truth of the matter is this, life is not all that kind and will tear you apart if you don’t prepare accordingly.

We can’t just assume that people know how we feel, especially when we go out of our way to disguise our true feelings (as stated above). We must be able to trust our loved ones with our innermost workings and allow them to help when they can. We can’t be afraid to ask and/or seek help when needed, professional help if applicable.

Your mind is extremely powerful, and at the same time very dangerous, especially if you have not trained it correctly. You could be your own best friend or your own worst enemy, completely depending on your overall mental health. When battling depression you become a hostage to your own psyche, which in turn, if not treated properly acts as the judge, the jury and unfortunately the executioner of your being. It is a menacing adversary who will do any and everything within its power to have you succumb to its will. This is not a war you want to fight alone because you won’t stand a chance, call in for backup!

You have to reinforce the barriers that protect your weak spots, train your mind to follow your lead, instead of it being the other way around. We must be strong and steadfast in the face of depression, so when these situations arise we can conquer them, and do so in a healthy and productive manner. If you’re not careful, your mind will bully you and beat you down, leaving you for dead…literally.

From the birth certificate to the obituaries, life can be a cruel mistress. Whether it is that tasty treat that you can’t have until you finish your icky dinner, or something more adult oriented like the loss of a job and/or bills piling up faster than you can knock them down. I’m sure you’ve heard this many times before; life is not fair and doesn’t play nice. The game is difficult, but totally worth playing, so put your game face on and play to win!

“Depression is the fire, and playing with it will get you burnt.”

Lady behind a rain coved window with one hand touching the glass.

 

(Due Process) Here comes the judge…

We all know the expression, “don’t judge a book by its cover”. The reason why we shouldn’t, is because until we read the pages of that said book we don’t really know what it’s about. Those pages may consist of unspeakable horrors, soul crushing pain and severe hardships. The cover may be all rainbows and unicorns, and the pages dark and depressing, and you’ll never know unless you move past what’s on the surface. Don’t discount someone due to superficial reasons; if you do it could lead to dire consequences.

For those of you who think that suicide is a sign of weakness, something that only a coward would do and/or something that only affects the most desolate of people, you’ve got a lot to learn. I am thankful that you’ve never had to endure the deadly sting that is depression and hopefully you never will. Don’t be foolish, because trust me this can happen to anyone, no matter who you are and/or where you are at in your life.

You may not personally be the one who is battling with depression and/or with the thoughts of suicide, but someone you know may just be, so keep a watchful eye out for the warning signs and don’t be afraid to act if necessary. As I said prior, due to an unfortunate stigma in this country when it comes to mental health most people are ashamed to speak up out of fear of ridicule and/or being considered weak. Bottom line, they are not going to come to you, you have to go to them.

Sometimes your perception of things is askew, things aren’t always how they appear. With that said, do your loved ones a favor and pay attention, don’t take anything for granted because by the time you finally realize there’s a problem it could already be too late.

We classify many different conditions and addictions as diseases in this country, which I can only assume is to make people feel better about overindulging, physically, mentally and of course financially. However, when it comes to depression we dare not speak of it in public out of fear of being labeled crazy, insane or mentally challenged in one way or another, hence the reason why we have such a problem with suicide in our country. This fact completely amazes and leaves me scratching my head in utter confusion. Needless to say, this has to change if we truly ever hope to rectify the issue at hand.

We ask each other, “How are you” but we don’t really want to know, we only do so to be perceived as caring individuals, of course not all but most for sure. God forbid they actually tell us their troubles, because then they are considered complainers and in our busy lives and hectic schedules we don’t have to for that.

We are programmed to act concerned and compassionate to our fellow humans because it’s the right thing to do, but the truth of it is that we don’t really want to be bothered. With the social stigma that already comes attached to depression, this way of being only makes it more complicated and risky for someone to feel comfortable enough to open up and honestly share what hinders them with us. We need to start being there for each other, and stop trying to hide from each other!

“Remember, sometimes a crowd is the loneliest place of all.”

Single Yellow flower in a field of grey ones

(Misconceptions) Walking a fine line, the razor’s edge…

Some say that suicide is selfish, which may very well be the case to those who’ve lost, but when someone feels lonely and abandoned who exactly are they being selfish to; at least that’s how they see it. Consider this, in their mind your loss is their gain, makes sense?

The old adage, “time heals all wounds” may be true for some, but it is definitely not true for everyone. We’re not all the same, and you’d be wise to remember that. To quote the Diff’rent Strokes theme song, “Now, the world don’t move to the beat of just one drum, what might be right for you, may not be right for some”. More accurate words have never been spoken, and if someone tells you otherwise, feel free to let them have a, “What’chu talkin’ ’bout, Willis”? No one has the right to tell you how long you should, or shouldn’t grieve, regardless of the circumstances.

Some personalities choose to stew over their plights; it’s just how they were made. They let them slowly cook like a meal in a crock-pot, and unfortunately by doing this; their internal temperature rises and things eventually boil over leaving nothing more than a hot mess.

Without help and/or a healthy way to release this pressure these individuals could possibly find themselves in dire straits. The aforementioned “time” that is supposed to heal all wounds becomes a catalyst for disaster and ultimately ends up doing more harm than good. Moral of the story, don’t assume that the way you handle stress is the only and proper way of doing so, because those assumptions could be very costly to you in the end.

“There’s always someone who has it worse”, is a statement I have heard thrown around many times as an attempt to “help” someone realize that their burden isn’t really all that bad in the grand scheme of things. Now this may very well be the case, and to some this may even be helpful advice, but unfortunately to those with depression this knowledge does little to ease the anguish that haunts their spirit, if anything it diminishes their pain and adds more fuel to the already raging fires. Be mindful with what you say and to whom you say it to, because your attempt to help may result in your outstretched hand becoming a clinched fist.

You know that you’re not to be negative, your glass is always supposed to be “half full”, because that’s the politically correct way to think. You’re not to fall down and stay down, you’re to pick yourself up and have a feel-good “Rocky” moment, where you kick ass and take names. Anything else makes you inferior to the masses, or at least that’s how you see it. Believe it or not, it’s perfectly acceptable to admit defeat and to ask for help when you need it. Doing so doesn’t make you any less of a person and/or weak, if anything it takes more courage and strength, so that is something you should take pride in.

“Don’t assume that others know how you feel about them, make it known.”

Girl with her head in her knees curled up, in a dark surrounding.

(Coping) The living dead…

This section is not about mindless zombies who crave brains like some of us crave chocolate, but instead the individual who is left behind after the person he/she cares about commits suicide. Their life becomes an out of control emotional rollercoaster filled with many “what ifs” and “whys”. Nothing makes sense anymore and they are as lost as a kid on the back of the milk carton.

There are cases where people realize there is something wrong, the warning signs have been heeded and the necessary actions taken. They try to help but their efforts are all in vain, their reached out hand is met with a stiff barrier reluctant to move. Their words fall on deaf ears; to the damaged psyche you come off sounding like Charlie Brown’s teacher. This is not because these people don’t want help, but rather because they don’t feel they are worthy of it, in their minds they are already at the end of their rope. No matter what how hard you tried, nothing got through to them and ultimately still decided to extinguish their flame.

Then sometimes even with the subtle clues and whispered cries for help a person can be blind to the issues at hand and not pay them much mind, they just write it off as a bad day or trouble getting over a pothole in the rearview on the road of life. Does this mean they don’t care, of course not, they just can’t see the pain and suffering through the overly happy façade of their loved one. Now although this is not done intentionally and/or with hate in their hearts, this is a costly mistake that could come back to haunt them when all is said and done.

Is this torment deserving and/or warranted, especially in the shadow of a recent loss? It is not, but regrettably it comes with the territory and is an unrelenting burden that the survivor(s) must bear until they learn to cope with the tragedy in a healthy manner.

“They have taken their life and left you feeling dead inside.”

 

Close up of an eye welling with tears

(Hope) The light at the end of the dark road…

This may be hard to believe, and even somewhat cliché to say, but there is a way to overcome the barrage of devastating punches life has bestowed upon you without having to throw in the towel. Keep your chin up and do your best to not give up on yourself or your loved ones.

I hope and pray the best for everyone, and if you ever need to talk feel free to let me know. I may not be able to solve every problem, but at least I could be an ear willing to listen and/or a shoulder to lean on if need be.

I’m speaking from experience my friends, I know it’s not easy, but you’re worth fighting for and doing whatever is necessary to live a happy and healthy life. When it comes to suicide the quote, “that which does not kill us, makes us stronger” has never been more fitting. Don’t be a statistic, be a survivor!

Truly words to “live” by!

“No matter what side of the coin you’re on, there are no winners when it comes to suicide.”

The End, but hopefully not for you…

When it comes to mental health screw society and its standards! We must be able to talk about it freely and without the fear of condemnation to truly be able to help those in need. Spread the word! #ChangeYourMindChangeTheirLife

“Bring flowers to someone to show them how special they are to you, not to decorate their grave after they’ve passed on.”

MJM

Helpful Links/Numbers:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Phone Number: 1-800-273-8255

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – Official Site
http://www.afsp.org/

Suicide Prevention: How to Help Someone who is Suicidal
http://www.helpguide.org/mental/suicide_prevention.htm

“Battlefield of the Mind”…a great book with lots of helpful practices and techniques to strengthen your mind, spiritual or not, this is a good read.
http://www.joycemeyer.org/battlefield/

Warning Signs – https://www.afsp.org/preventing-suicide/suicide-warning-signs

Cope – http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/end-of-life/in-depth/suicide/art-20044900

“Suicide” was Written by MJM
Original can be found at: http://the-insane-asylum.blogspot.com/2014/03/suicide.html
For more information check out: Mikejmele.wix.com/mjmwriter




 

I would like to take this moment to say a massive thank you to Michael for writing this raw, honest and heartfelt peace.
He and I became friends just recently, I have been following him on Twitter for a long while now, but as we got chatting, I plucked up the courage to ask if I could use his piece on my blog as a way to spread awareness of suicide and depression. He very kindly and humbly agreed.
I feel Michael has captured the way I have felt within my lifetime, and put it so eloquently. Unfortunately suicide is still very much a Taboo subject in today’s world, and that makes me very sad.
Suicide hits you when you are at your lowest point, and feel like you have nowhere else to turn. But there is hope, and there is so much help out their available to any person struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts.
Please reach out, people dO care and want to help.
here are a few UK support links:

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Suicide/Pages/Getting-help.aspx

Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year.

PAPYRUS (0800 068 41 41) is a voluntary organisation supporting teenagers and young adults who are feeling suicidal.
***disclosure*** Michael gave me permission to post his piece on my blog. I included the images.
If you would like to contact him regarding this fantastic piece you can find him on: https://twitter.com/MikeJMele?lang=en-gb
He also runs and publishes 3 very interesting and successful blogs:

The-insane-asylum.blogspot.com
The-nerdy-side-of-life.blogspot.com
Extremechristian.blogspot.com

Please comment and share this post. Our aim is to spread awareness of suicide and depression, by sharing this we can reach more people, and together show them that they are not alone!

Thank You ❤️