Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Anxiety wins again…

Posted: October 21, 2015 in Uncategorized

As many of you will be aware I suffer from Bipolar disorder as part of my illness I have anxiety attacks. These can happen anywhere any time. Sometimes I find myself in situations where I am fighting with myself to do something but anxiety seems to win an awful lot of the time. 

For me anxiety controls a lot of the decisions I make. It has more power than me so it’s obviously going to win. Anxiety mixed with low self esteem is not the greatest of combinations, so you can imagine when it strikes it makes life really tough. I often find the courage to go do something but when I get to just about doing it anxiety takes over and I can spent minutes or sometimes hours trying to persuade myself it’s worth doing. More often than not I end up not doing what I had set out to do. 

My self worth plays a huge part in my anxiety, as when I try to persuade myself it’s worth doing there is always a doubt due to me not always having the confidence in myself. For example today I was going to a place to meet someone but the situation is possibly a little awkward and before even setting off I doubted whether it was a good idea. Round 1 went to me when I decided to leave the house and make my way there. Round 2 is when I try persuade myself to go in to the place. I stand outside for some time and tell myself it will be worth while but then anxiety creeps in and I start to think that maybe I’d be making the situation worse, maybe I’m not really wanted there and maybe it wasn’t the best idea in the first place. I stand outside for almost 30 minutes fighting myself. Round 2 goes to anxiety when I decide to walk back home. Round 3, I’m at home and I feel I’m stupid for even going. I make myself believe I’m not wanted there. I tell myself that I’m stupid for not being able to walk in. How can someone really get that close to a place and not just go in. Round 3 goes to anxiety when I break down in tears. 2-1 to anxiety. It always seems to win. 

Now I have to try make myself feel better and I guess that’s where this blog comes into play, but then again maybe my anxiety will pop back up again and decide that it’s going to make me feel guilty about doing what I did. 
It’s never ending battle with me. One day hopefully I will beat anxiety as I’m currently stuck losing a fighting battle. H :/


Crashing hard…

Posted: September 27, 2015 in Uncategorized

Everyone always commends me on how well I’ve done changing my life around. They always comment on how optimistic I am and how I always appear to have a positive outlook on life. Guess it’s easy to see that if you only look skin deep but deep inside I go through major changes in emotions. My illness plays a huge part but sometimes outside factors can do too. 

Lately I’ve been feeling in a really good place I’ve not really been in a depressive nor a manic stage I’ve just been sailing on through the middle somewhere. I guess on a little bit of a high as it’s nice just to feel normal sometimes. But I guess i got so used to feeling this way and now it’s made this dip so much harder. I’ve crashed so hard. My mind is completely mushed, it’s hard to keep it together. It’s been a while since I’ve felt so low. I’ve had to find some of my old faithfuls  to get me through. Relaxation is hard when your mind is working overtime so I have to try other ways to distract myself. 

Not really sure what this blog is really about. I guess it’s just me trying to make sense of how I’m feeling but also I want to remind everyone that we can all have slip ups and have days where we feel like we could just slip away but those days don’t last forever so they are worth fighting. Even years into recovery I have major lows but I have way more highs so it’s all worth the fight on the tougher days. I’m not sure anything I’ve said in this will make sense but if anything just know you can get through whatever it is that is currently making your day hard. H 🙂 

Ignorance is bliss

Posted: May 16, 2015 in Uncategorized

So many people think that they know it all about what depression is. I’m afraid all these people know nothing. Until you have experienced depression hands on you can’t begin to even understand a little about how it feels. It’s the darkest place you will ever visit and it’s almost like it has its hands around your throat and even though you use all your strength it’s sometimes impossible to loosen the grip. Depression comes in many forms and for those suffering its most likely a never ending battle, it’s something that even though you tackle it head on, may come back time and time again. 

My depression took me to the darkest place I’ve ever been. It took me to a place I never want to return to and would never wish upon anyone. At its worst depression took over my life and even to this day it controls me in some way. I am bipolar and I don’t medicate so depression plays a huge part in my life but now I manage it a whole lot better than before. My depression as a teenager shaped me into who I am today and for that I am not ashamed, but it also changed me into something I didn’t want to be at the time. It took away my bubbly personality and I lived in darkness for a number of years. Depression doesn’t just go away it has to be tackled head on and that is no easy task. Sometimes depression is so in control of someone that they feel they have used all their strength and the fight is just not worth it any more. Suicidal thoughts creep in and now you have to fight twice as hard as before and unfortunately not everyone wins the fight. But thankfully the majority of sufferers get a helping hand before the fight is over. 

So why am I telling you this? What’s the whole point in everything I’ve just said? 

Well today I was reading something and came across an image that really made me mad. Mental health issues such as depression have a huge stigma surrounding them and it’s something I’m fighting to end. This image that I found not only stereotypes every single person suffering from depression but almost tries to make it look pretty and fun. I’ve attached the picture below for you all to have a look at. The picture is of the word depressed spelt out using pills. It’s bright and colourful, nothing like depression itself. 

So what is the message the picture is trying to portray? For me what I got from it was that depression is fun. Everyone who suffers from depression is on pills and finally it screamed at me that every person who is depressed used pills to escape from the world, suicide. 

One of the reasons this image made me so mad is probably because I’ve been there, I know what it’s like living with depression. It’s not pretty, it’s not bright and it’s certainly not fun. Another reason is that it stereotypes and I can’t stand that. Yes I have suffered from depression and due to my mental illness I still do, yes I’ve attempted suicide but no I didn’t enjoy it, it wasn’t fun and it wasn’t colourful and it wasn’t a bright part of my life. Just because someone is depressed does not mean they will attempt suicide, it does not mean they are on medication and it most certainly does not mean that they are having fun. I’m tired of people not taking mental illnesses seriously. 

When I was just 14 years old I was overdosing on pills on a daily basis to blank out all the emotions I had locked up in side. I was hiding the pain. I was hiding the guilt and I was hiding what I was doing to myself. I took so much pills that I split the lining of my stomach. Eventually it didn’t block it out enough and I upped the dose, they had no effect, so I overdosed on something stronger. This was my last suicide attempt. It was almost 8 years ago, but I’m reminded of it daily. My depression has controlled me for so long that even though I have been free of all self harm for almost 4 years I only got rid of my stash of pills the other month. Slowly but surely my life is panning out the way I want it, not the way my depression had it going. It’s been tough but it’s been worth every fight. 

I guess for people who know little or nothing about depression it’s easy to think that it’s fun, that pills will be involved and that its all bright and cheery, but I also guess that ignorance is bliss. 

Please don’t stereotype depression because it effects everyone differently. Don’t underestimate it either because it is a serious illness that is tougher than can be imagined to fight. I have attached images of the amount of pills I had stored away. There’s probably enough there to kill an animal never mind a human. The difference with these images is that they aren’t bright, they aren’t colourful and they aren’t fun. They are quite miserable and tell only a part of my story, but I hope that they help others see a little about what depression is like. H 😊



So my last blog was all about my new challenge and what I hope to get from that.  I have been on my fitness/healthy lifestyle plan now for around a month and I have lost over a stone in weight but to be at the place I want to be I’ve still got a fair way to go. 

In setting myself this challenge I wanted to improve my self esteem and I know that this is something that’s going to take a lot of work. Having bipolar disorder and also BDD (body dysmorphic disorder) which kind of come as a pair, especially during a depressive stage, it’s difficult for me to see any positives changes in my body and when in a depressive stage I have next to no self esteem, this also doesn’t help with me feeling comfortable with my body image. 

My new challenge is a big one for me and although my main goal is my fitness, I would also like to be able to tick off all the other goals at the same time. Since starting I have felt slightly better about myself but when I’m hit with a depressive stage I lose that feeling and go in the complete opposite direction. 

I’ve sort of always had an issue with my body and I find it really hard to see any positives about it but I do now and again see a picture that I like of myself and that helps with the confidence a bit. 

I’ve always seen myself as one of the big girls and to be honest I hate that. Even when I played basketball and trained a lot, I still seen myself as this person who was ugly or overweight. I’m sick of being that girl and this year is going to see a change in that one. I plan to make myself love me and I plan to have the body I want. It’s gonna take a bit of work but I need to stick at it. I’ve been battling with it for too long now, so it’s time to change. I completely cheated from my healthy eating this weekend and that’s really brought me down, so as of tomorrow I’m back on the wagon and I’m not going to fall off again. I will achieve my goals and I will feel better about myself, even if it is only a wee bit. For now the journey continues. I will try keep you all updated on my progress. 

H 🙂 

The ultimate challenge…

Posted: February 8, 2015 in Uncategorized

So today I have decided that I am setting myself a new challenge. I constantly promote that exercise is a great coping strategy, which it is, I myself used to play basketball and I trained 6 days a week. I was very fit when I was at school. As I began my recovery after school I had stopped playing basketball and therefore let my fitness slip as I was too busy focusing on getting myself mentally well. Now that I am on a much better path mentally it’s time to start on my physical change. It’s the only thing I have left in my life that is a negative. I have a complete negative look on my body and I often get very down over the fact that I hate how I look and feel that others put me down for it too.

From today I have set myself the challenge of becoming fit and changing my body to have it the way I want it to be. I need to be completely happy with myself and I know roughly what I will be happy with. I’m not going to share my weight with you all as that’s something I’m uncomfortable with but I am hoping to start a journal on here and update it on a weekly basis if not more frequently. I will share how my mental health is changing with regards to my looks and how I feel about them, any interesting things I come across and ultimately my achievements. At the end of my journey I will show you all a before and after picture to let you see that all I have been sharing is true.

I want to show people that when you set your mind to it you can do anything. So here’s to my challenge and to sharing my journey with you all. I have a long way to go but I know that I can do this! I will not give up! H 🙂

Hey everyone, so its been a while since I lasted blogged. Today I watched a short video sent to me from someone I am supporting and it got me thinking. so I’ve decided to share my thoughts with you.

As many of you will know, I suffered from self harm for a long time and I have been in recovery now for almost 4 years. It is a subject very close to my heart and I will try anything i think i can help end the stigma towards it or support others that may  be going through it.

Although I have been very open in the past about what I went through, I’ve always found it easier to leave bits out, especially the bits that may sound like I’m having a go at others. In this post I hope to explore some avenues that people may not be aware of and things that have happened to me throughout my experience that would have been a real set back at the time.

So many of my stories that I will tell you are based in my time at school, I have to state though that some of my best support came from some people at my school and this is not a dig at the people involved only me sharing a little insight into how sometimes people can get it wrong whilst trying to be supportive.

Firstly I want to tell you about the time I was excluded. I was in my first week of fourth year, at of change of timetable before summer. I had been having a rough time and to be completely honest, my behaviour and state of mind was all over the place. I had received an exclusion warning for swearing at a member of staff. This was something that I probably did deserve at the time but my behaviour was not questioned only disciplined. Although I had previous for acting up in school, I had never verbally or physically attacked a teacher until this day. The school provided no additional support after this incident, only issued me with the warning and informed my mum of the situation. My behaviour had continued to be a challenge and still I was never approached about it, only given punishments for it. On the day of the incident that caused me to finally be excluded I had been pretty out of sort and not one member of staff seemed to have noticed. I went through the day as usual, causing a little bit of mischief and then I got to the afternoon where I had PE.Having to take part in PE was not an issue for me, but the fact that we were meant to wear a PE kit and generally expected to be in short sleeves or to change in front of others was a major issue for me. It had been arranged with guidance staff and my regular PE teacher that I would not change for PE to save any extra stress for me. This day we had a substitute teacher, who knew nothing about me or my situation. This guy decided that because he was the teacher for the day he could make up the rules for me. Even with a note in my planner sating what happened with and PE, he still insisted on shouting at me to get changed into a PE kit. As the lesson went on the situation got worse, he had let the kit issue go a little but said I wasn’t allowed to take part in the lesson. PE was a huge part of my stability in school as it was a place where I could totally emerge myself in the lesson and let everything go for that short while. I was stopped from doing this and on a day where I was already feeling down this was not a good thing. I started to join in even though I had been told I wasn’t allowed to. This teacher did not like this, he decided that he would snatch the basketball out of my hands. I went and took another one and he tried to snatch that one from me too. He then told me to stop swearing at him, I hadn’t said anything other than no to him. He insisted that I had sworn and him and continued to shout at me about it, so I ended up responding with “I didn’t f***ing swear at you till now”. I then handed over my time out card and then walked out and went to my guidance teachers office, I was so angry, I had tears running down my face. I bumped into my year head who asked what was up, I told her the whole story and she said that she would sort it out for me. Two days later I was called to her office and when I arrived there she was sat with my guidance teacher and they asked me to sit down with them, this was when I was issued with my weeks exclusion.

On return to the school from this exclusion I had to sign a sheet to say I agreed to the behaviour policy and that I would not act the way I had again. I was offered no other support and was put straight back into class that day. At this point the school were well aware of my mental state and felt that the decision they had made for me was best at the time. Coming from my point of view, at the time they couldn’t have gotten it any more wrong if they tried. My routine was everything and school was a safety net in my life. It was a place where I knew nothing what I was doing each day and a place I knew I always had people around if I needed them. In reflection now I still think that they made the wrong decision and feel that due to lack of training on mental health the staff don’t know how to deal with the real issue so use the behaviour as an excuse to get rid of you for a little while. I do like to hope that as time goes on, this will get better and school will be more educated on the issue and be able to provide the correct support. This may be a long process but I’m hoping that I may play a part in this process in my local area.

On another occasion I had been in trouble whilst in german and my year head was called for, she took me out of class and said I had to work outside her office for the rest of the day so that I would not be a distraction to others. Whilst I was sat out there by myself, my mind was working over time and I was in a very vulnerable position. As the day passed I was becoming more and more worked up and my mind was really racing going through everything I thought that was bad in my life and how much better off I would be if I was dead. I was in a total state and I took the opportunity of being alone to self harm openly whilst in school. Although I had self harmed in school, I had never done it in a place where I could be caught easily. Just as I had stopped and was sat watching the blood trickle down my arm, my year head appeared. I had no warning, no time to hide it and no time to come up with an excuse. She asked me what was going on, I couldn’t lie to her, she had seen it all. I broke down, I could no longer control my emotions. I told her everything. She said that although she knew I hadn’t been in a great place, she hadn’t realised just how bad things really were. She called for my guidance teacher and informed her about what had happened. They made a mutual decision that it would be best for me to go home for the rest of the day. This was possibly the worse decision that could have been made as I needed to be around people not in a situation where I had no one and the freedom to slide even further into this awful place I was at. As my guidance teacher walked me down the stairs she stopped half way down, put her arm around me and told me that she would rather I smoked than self harmed, as she believed that this would be easier to deal with. Just what I needed to hear when I already felt like I was burden on people and that I felt like I was better of being dead. Again I think this situation happened because of a lack of training and in some parts a lack of communication between staff. Maybe if my year head known the whole story, maybe she would have done something different and maybe I wouldn’t have ended up in the mess that I did.

One finally story I will tell you is about the time when my year head changed, the one I had moved on to be head and the music teacher replaced her as my year head. One afternoon whilst in school I was chucked out my class and I retreated to my usual spot in the school. It was one of the corridors that I knew hardly anyone would be going about in and also a place that I knew I may bump into one of the teachers I felt I could speak to. I had actually gone to look to see if she was in class as I was feeling rather rubbish, this was almost a daily thing at the time but when I was on my own it was an even stronger feeling. She wasn’t in her room so I decided to just hang around outside for a while and near the end of the period she came along. I opened up to her and told her that I was trying really hard not to cut but I was finding it very difficult. She asked me to give her my blade, as she felt that if I gave her it then I would be safe, but what she didn’t realise what that it was like my safety blanket. I didn’t want to know how bad I would feel without so refused to hand it over. She had a class come in at the bell so I had to leave. I went back to just hovering in the corridor as now I felt guilty for not doing what she asked but also felt as though I was a huge failure for not being able to just give up my blade for a little while. About five minutes after leaving her class I cut, I felt awful but I just couldn’t control the emotions any more. I sat on the windowsill, looking out wishing I no longer existed. I must have been there for almost 15 minutes when my year head appeared, he told me that the teacher I had been talking to had called him concerned about me. He asked what had been going on that would make her concerned, I sat there in complete silence. he wasn’t someone I got along with very well and he was the last person I really wanted to speak to at the point. He went and knocked for the teacher, she came out and explained to him how I had been feeling, he then asked me to come to his office with him, I did this but was a little resilient at the start. Whilst there he sat me down and said that he thought that I needed sometime to calm down before talking, at this point he didn’t know I had used my blade to harm myself, he only knew I had one on me. I sat there in complete silence and the questions came flooding in thick and fast, I had no answers or not the ones he would have wanted to hear. So I just decided to pull up my sleeves revealing all the fresh and all cuts on my arms. He went silent and then started to ask more questions, none of which I answered. He kept me in his office until the end of day and then watched me leave the school with my friends. I returned to school the next day and I was called to his office during registration, he told he that if I didn’t stop bringing “harmful weapons” top school then he would have no option but to expel me due to me “being a risk to the safety of others” If only he realised that I was intact harming myself with something that almost every pupil in the school brings with them. I let him give me the big spell and then walked out his office. After this day, I was asked on random days at different times to empty my pockets and bag to show him I was not carrying a “harmful weapon”. Never once did he find something on me, well not something he would class as a weapon but little did he know everything I used to harm myself whilst in school was either in my pocket and was in fact classed as school stationary or in my locker because I knew I would get in trouble for having it in school, the only thing in my locker that would have ever gotten me in trouble was lighter.  This issue was again a cause of no training, information and lack of communication.

All of these above situations could have been handled very differently and could have all been far less stressful for me and the school had the staff had the correct training in metal health issues and also had much better communication between each other. I came away from school still in a very mixed up place and feeling that all along the school felt I was just a nuisance and that the best solution for them would have been to kick me out as then I was no longer their problem. Having now overcome all of my issues and now helping others, I can see that it was all due to lack of training, and even now after almost five years of me leaving school, there is still very little training being given to the staff in schools. Having hidden my self harming for so long and having no on questioning me, telling me to stop or thinking they have the right solution for me I really now understand why people feel that it would be easier just to keep it a secret forever. These stories I have spoken about are only a few from my past, I have many more that are just as bad and some even worse. I am glad I spoke out eventually but I now have the difficult task ahead of me of making speaking out easier for others. Everyone suffering from a mental illness deserves the right to having support from people who have training on how to deal with these sorts of issues. One day I’m sure that society will have changed as a whole and mental illness will no longer come with a stigma and therefore people will be able to ask for help a lot easier! It took me six years to ask for help and I dread to think others are waiting that long.

I hope this blog has given you an insight into how lack of knowledge and understanding can cause so many difficult situations to happen that could have been easily avoided. If your reading this and are suffering, please don’t think you can’t speak out for the risk of these things happening to you. There are many people out there who would be very helpful and will know enough of what to say and do to make a difference. I for one will be willing to support anyone who feels they have no one else to go to. Having also worked in a few schools since leaving school myself I know that many of the staff in schools are fighting for more training or are trying to seek help from outside agencies regarding this issues.

H 🙂

So I’ve not blogged for the past few months. There are many reasons why but tonight I needed to get something out and thought blogging was my best option.

If you’ve read my previous blogs you will know about my history and what I’ve faced throughout life. My life’s never really been straight forward and dealing with a mental health issue is just one of the obstacles that I’ve had to face along the way.

People often ask me how I manage so well without being on meds or receiving professional support in any form. For me the coping part is the easy part. I know that I can manage without meds and I accept that I have to live with my illness. But there are a few things that come along with the illness that I struggle to deal with.

Bipolar is a funny sort of illness, it’s something you can’t predict how your going to be with. The stages just happen at random and are often very unexpected. I have learnt my self how to notice initial signs and I can prepare myself a bit for what’s to come next, but when I’m fully in a stage I can only let it run its course. There is nothing that will make it happen faster or make it go away.

I go through some pretty rough stages, where I find it really difficult to focus on anything other than the fact I am unwell. My depressive stages tend to last longer than my mania stages but they always differ in length. For me the mania stage is easiest to deal with, I’ve learnt to cope well with it and put things in place that help me keep on the right path through to the end of it.

The depressive stages are the ones that I sometimes catch me out. There seem to be things that are triggered off in my mind when I’m in these stages, that don’t normally happen. When in these stages I suffer from flashbacks of my past and these can often last for almost 10minutes at a time. I also get these flashbacks through nightmares and this means I get very little sleep whilst in a depressive stage. Little sleep means no time for my mind to heal and therefore these stages can last for a fair length of time. These flashbacks and nightmares I get are the hardest thing out of all the parts of my illness. They are the things that make me feel like I’ve not moved on. They are the things that keep my past in the present. They are things that stop me from doing so much more than I already do.

I’m sat here writing this its 12:36am and I’ve worked for 14hours today and I’m sleeping over at work and start back on shift in 6 and a half hours. But yet I can’t sleep. The moment I close my eyes I see the past. When I do get to sleep I waken in fear because the nightmares are so real. Often when I waken I am hallucinating, I see people and things from the past right in front of me.

My illness does not define me. It has shaped my life. Mostly for the better. But right now whilst I’m fighting these depressive stages and all that comes with them, it stops me from truly moving on from the past. I hope one day this will change. I shall try my hardest to find something to stop or at least reduce the flashbacks and nightmares. My illness is not going to win, I am going to move on from this. I am going to do everything I want in life and I am going to be truly happy when I do it!

I hope this blog makes sense. It’s the first time I’ve ever written one whilst suffering from any stage. I normally avoid sharing my experiences of these as I need time to get over the spell of being ill but this time i needed to share it as I need to try things to help me beat the flashbacks and nightmares! H 😐