Time to get back into the real world again

Time to come back and start again…

I haven’t been around for a while on here my blog or even on my Facebook Daddy Giraffe Page and what it was the reason? 

The day had come I dreaded and that was the day I was sectioned!
A lot of things have been happening that changes a person’s life, a break up of a relationship, being told you have no options if you suffer with such a Mental Health issues and getting used to adapting in change with seeing the children.
Breaking Point
For days my thoughts plagued me about how much of a failure I was as a farther, a partner, a man and a human being.
When you have these thoughts there is no time or space for other thoughts because your mind just dominates with negative feeling and thoughts, not only that but just to add insult to injury the Schizophrenia part of me has now come into please to reassure me about how much the world would be better and happier without me  
I stopped taking my meds as I couldn’t trust myself and would sleep all the time, if I had the chance I would sleep 24/7.
I started to drift from reality and couldn’t take it anymore.
Before I had realised, I found myself in a field alone and I knew I had to get help or this is it for me and maybe somebody else.
I called the crisis team and told them I need help or I will be dead by the end of the day and the way im felling I could take the world with me, they arranged  to see me straight away at my parents.
I called Cheryl as she was the first person I thought of and she somehow found me taking me back to were the Crisis Team came, assessed me and left.
The decision was to section me for a short while so as I waited I went to sleep waking u to a phone call of I’m going to Stafford.
St Georges Hospital Brockton Ward
 
I arrive at the hospital thanks to Cheryl and they are waiting for me, im anxious and very agitated.
They show me around the small ward and which consisted of sofas, chairs, a TV that was encased in a huge wooden case screwed to the wall yet a pool table??
Whats with the TV
Whats with the TV?
They had a kitchen where we could make drinks with fruit available if needed.
 
My room is what I expected, the windows were caged, everything was made out of wood and set into the floor the shower was a wet room and the toilet didn’t have a seat but again there was no way it was coming out of the ground.
They took my razors and shaving foam, headphones, phone charger and the carrier bag my clothes were brought in off me and locked them away.
I was under observation every 15 minutes and I had to keep my bathroom light on so they could see me.
Time goes so long when you sat in a room by yourself with nothing to do, luckily they left me my phone to contact the outside world but whats the point when nobody knows where you are?
Time in my room
Room
Examination time comes along and im taken into the clinical room where I refuse to be touched by anyone, 2 nurses and a doctor try to calm the situation down but it’s decided that im better off leaving to go back to my room and within minutes a group of nurses are at my door to try to bargain with me but leave empty-handed.
The first night was spend awake listening to footsteps walk towards my room as they peek through the door then walk away.
After broken sleep im much more relaxed and agree to have my blood taken and a check up with little resistance and just waited until visiting time trying to avoid talking to anyone around me.
Visiting time comes and its Cheryl and mom who took the hour journey there and back to see me and check everything was ok, a shock to the system I bet to see someone so close to you in a Mental Hospital.
For days I kept myself to myself not talking to anyone because in this state I don’t mix well with others but they somehow managed to get me to partake in a quiz with a different ward.
Sounds calming right?  Good Fun?
Except half way through arguments break out between two groups and me an another patient, luckily Cheryl was there to pull me back in line quick or I would have been in there a lot longer.
The days pass and the better I feel until a meeting was arranged with the doctors, me and Cheryl to talk about letting me back into the real world under the Mental Heath Team with weekly reviews.
Thank you
The worlds biggest thank you to Cheryl for helping me through such a dark and scary time, guiding me towards help, driving countless hours to see me, being at the end of the phone day or night to tell me it was all going to be ok.
Thank you isn’t big enough, the pain, sadness and fright this woman has gone through cannot be repaid but I will do my very best to make amends and build bridges where they have fallen.
They say time is a healer and I hope the saying it true so I can heal open wounds.
But from the bottom of my heart your support meant the world to me!
What happens now?
Well I try to get better!
I’m out which is a start, medicated and slowly but surly finding my feet in this world again.
Somehow learning to be a normal human with real emotions and everything, well we will start with saying hi to people first.
Trying to build bridges and most importantly be the best daddy I can be!
The healing starts now
Daddy Giraffe x  

Ask a Daddy

Ask a daddy.

Woman go through pregnancy and labour to bring the baby into the world and sometimes choose to do the feeding to, they can share their experiences with other moms who will understand there journey and pain.

Men are in general in the dark a little on this subject so I have decided to go out on a limb and offer any moms a question to ask a daddy.

No questions off limits, just ask a question and I will explain it from a daddies point of view and based on my own experiences.

I had some wonderful responses from mummy’s from all over and i would like to share them with you all.

What did it feel like the first time you held your baby? 

Love like ive never felt before, I remember holding my first born and looking at him thinking im going to love you for as long as I live and just look after you. 

Both babies were so small and at the same time it was like oh my god im responsible for looking after this tiny human, how will I cope but I had a strong woman beside me who guided me through it all.  https://mygirlsandmesite.com

Whats your usual daily routine?

It starts with getting up with my 3 year old and of course hes always hungry, followed by the rest of his brothers and sisters.

Get them ready for school, play with Bethie until its her nap time then pick Freddie up from school while trying to do some blogging or housework.

My older children come home from school, its then craziness and loud until its finally its bedtime.  https://www.ourseasidebaby.com

Do you help with the night time feeds?

Since it was my first baby I threw myself in there and after I was shown what to do and how to hold him and wind him, I insisted on doing all the night time feeds and sorting them when they cried in the night.

I used to sing Freddie with songs from The Beatles…I think he may of just been pretending to be sleeping so I would just stop.

I enjoyed it but sadly it took away bonding time between between mummy and Freddie which I feel guilty for but they now have a close bond. https://freddiesmummyuk.com

Do you feel that two weeks paternity leave is enough for dads to bond with baby, assist mum after birth and adjust to life as a family?

Yes in a way of it more than enough time to bond with the baby to get some quality daddy and baby time.

No in the way of mom doesn’t get the rest or help she deserves, what people dont understand and I didn’t is that yes women get maternity leave but straight after they have given birth they dont get much time to rest.

They have to do everything for the baby, themselves and do everyday tasks while in pain and extremely tired. https://www.boorooandtiggertoo.com

Do you think that men can TRULY understand how it feels to be pregnant and give birth? And does it make you feel sad or relieved that you’re excused from that aspect of parenthood – or both?! 

Good question!

Cheryl was pregnant in the summer and poor thing was uncomfortable ALL the time, she could sleep, she was too hot, I felt helpless because in them aspects there is nothing much that I could do.

Watching her give birth was amazing yes it was sad to see her in such pain but to watch how strong she was and that she did in on such little gas and air showed me not only how tough she was but what she was willing to go through to bring this baby into the world to be loved and I will always be thankful to her for that.

But no..I stubbed my toe once and was close to calling a priest for my final goodbyes, I couldn’t imagine what its like for woman. https://www.mummyslittlemonkey.com

What one thing would you like your partner to understand (you know those moments where you may butt heads) ?

That im not doing these things to make you mad, yes I gave her some crisps 20 mins after you said no but she looked at me all cut, what was I supposed to do?  https://www.sineadlatham.com

What’s the best thing about being a Dad? 

Watching them learn something for the first time and how proud they look.

Weather it walk, counting or writing their name you have bot experienced it for the first time together. https://www.lyliarose.com

What are your favourite activities to do with your kids?

We would usually go on walks, trips to the park and recently found out the younger two 3 and 1 love the water so we went swimming quite a lot. 

Now the baby insists on walking everywhere we try to get out as often as we can. http://lifewiththebusbys.com

Do you think that the role as Dad is as important as the role of a Mum?

Yes I think it definitely should be.

I know moms carry the baby and deliver it but the dads helped create the life and care for the mom through the whole way.

They should both be respected as each other by their children.

Thank you for being a part of my post today ladies and I hope you all have some sort of an incite to a dads world. https://thismummyrocks.com

Daddy Giraffe x 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feeling guilty for having mental health

On my journey to raise awareness for people to open up and talk about Mental Health so that this taboo subject is broken I have always said never have the feeling of guilt for suffering Mental health.

But today I broke my own rule.

I’ve said in a previous post that I am concerned about my young boy Freddie possibly having Autism.

He is showing some of the key signs for a while such as lack of concentration, memorising certain things and just repeating them over and over, also he wont look at you when you’re talking to him.

Freddie’s mom has had her suspicions for a long time but I was in denial and thought it was just Freddie being Freddie, but today was different.

After a long time of Cheryl asking for help to have him assessed which fell on deaf ears, I had seen it for myself as I tried to get him to tell me about his story of the week and he wouldn’t look at me while telling me or his nursery worker.

I decided enough was enough and spoke to his class key worker and expressed my concerns about Freddie and also to the SEN of the nursery who will give us the help we need from this point on.

Afterwards all i could think and do was to blame myself for this.

Was this my fault?

Did my own Mental Health do this or have some sort of effect on the poor boy?

I couldn’t help but feel responsible for this happening, even with reassurance from Cheryl that it’s 100% not my fault I still shed a tear and felt so bad.

I know deep down that there is nothing I could have done to cause this or prevent this if it turns out that it is in fact Autism.

All I know is I will love this little boy regardless of what happens he is my little superhero!

Daddy Giraffe x

 

 

 

 

Mood Stars the story woman behind the stars

 Today I get to interview a woman who has one of the best ideas which is called  My Mood Stars, A set of stars that helps children express their feelings, this is something close to my heart as my son has troubles expressing himself sometimes.
Please take the time to read about Wendy, the woman behind the stars…
Could you please tell us a bit about yourself

I am a retired child minder from Maidenhead in Berkshire.  I retired in September 2017.

I love to sew and as a child minder, I often made relevant resources for my minded children out of felt.

When the Early Years Foundation Framework became mandatory in March 2012  I wanted to make a toy suitable to cover all of its area of learning:

PSED, Physical Development and Communication and Language.

 
2. What made you gave you the idea of what you created?

I had already made some little felt stars for a story sack for acting out the nursery rhyme Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

I had the idea to stitch expressions on the stars depicting different moods and emotions (PSED) they could be held and played with (Physical Development) and make props for story sacks (Communication and Language)

I made these available to other child minders who then used them in their settings.

It was during my last inspection in 2015 that my Ofsted inspector urged me to develop the stars further as he saw a market for the stars not only for mainstream children but for children on the autism spectrum.

 
3. How does this affect your day to day life now?

Once I retired, I had the time to develop the stars further by inventing a board onto which they could pop on and off.

The Stars became My Mood Stars and the board – My Mood Stars board.

The wonderful thing that has come out of developing My Mood Stars is learning about children on the autism spectrum and children with mental health issues. Children’s mental health is a growing concern as more and more children are diagnosed with ADHD, depression and anxiety.

It is through reading and connecting with people who have first-hand experience with these issues that I have been able to offer My Mood Stars as a resource as well as a toy.

 
4. How has what you made been persevered so far?

Advertising My Mood Stars across different platforms has given me a lot of positive feedback. My Mood Stars are gaining a lot of attention from viewers on social media from The National Autistic Society to head teachers of primary schools.

I have been approached by several on line stores who wish to advertise My Mood Stars. My Mood Stars have appeared the family magazine Mummy & Me and will be featuring in PACEY the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years and Autism Parenting Magazine next month. So it’s all very exciting!

 
5. Whats it been like on this personal journey of yours?
This adventure has been all the more poignant for me as I was an abused child. I was forced to say out loud between the fragile age of four and eight that I was useless and unworthy.  So I think it’s fair to say that I can relate to a lot of children who are going through the same sort of treatment and if My Mood Stars can help any child /families with their suffering, then I shall be very happy!
 
6. If you could give someone in your position any advice what would it be?
Today more than ever, there are many mums starting their own business in various fields. I would say to them that life is short and to not feel guilty about wanting to do something for yourself as it can only have a positive effect on one’s family. I’m not saying that it’s all plain sailing but life is too short for what ifs and that four year old who one feels guilty about rushing his bedtime story will grow up respecting his mummy who went out and lived her dream!
 
7. What inspires you and gives you motivation to move forward?
This may sound like a cliché, (probably because it is), but my children inspire me.  They are all in their twenties now.  They had a tough time before I met ‘My Forever’ husband.  I’ll leave it like that. But they have grown into good people who are backing me all the way through this project.  Two of them are still at home (and they still leave their towels on the floor!) but hey, one can’t have it all!
 
8. Can you tell us something that you like about yourself?
What do I like about myself? I like my strength and I like my compassion. I will go above and beyond to help anyone whether it be a family member or a complete stranger. I like to think that one reaps what they sew – and that adage has done me well so far.
Thank you Wendy for taking the time to talk to me today and let us have an incite into the world of Mood Stars.
I wish you all the best on your journey personally and with your business.
If you would like to purchase any of these fantastic items then you can by contacting Wendy on the link below.
Daddy Giraffe x 

3AM

 

I’m one for writing poems or reading poetry, I certainly don’t class this as any kind of mind-blowing work or something to make you think it just came to me and I wrote it down.

It’s based on a series of dreams I was having when I younger and a little more angry I guess.

Anyway I hope you enjoy it.

 

It’s 3am

 

I watch the door open and you walk in towards me again

Out the bed I get, I’m ready for you this time!

I swing and miss, every shot I throw at you stops within inches of you

Breathing heavily, I stop and look at you

 

I’m looking into those dark, empty, cold and soulless holes

No emotion

No blinking, just a smug look on your face as you know what is next

“I know why you’re here!”

Fists clenched so tight that the blood trickles through my fingers to the floor.

 

I scream and shout as I’m blinded by furry and pure rage

Shouting and swearing I can feel every hair on my body stand on end

Feel my blood boil to the point that my head might just explode

I HATE YOU!      

I f**KING HATE YOU!

 

I’m on fire but it’s the coolest I’ve been

I’m full but constantly want to feed

I’m confused but aware what it is going on around me

I see you but can’t hear a single thing around me except for my own heartbeat

 

I break the barrier of fear

Breath like it’s the most natural thing to do in the world

Focus on whats in front of me and it sinks in

I’m looking at me!

You are me and I am you!

 

With a single blow I split your head in two

I close my eyes and darkness falls over me

 

Opening my eyes it was just a dream

Catching my breath I look at the time

 

It’s 2:49am!

 

Tips for Parents To Foster Their Child’s Social & Emotional Development

It requires a lot of efforts from the parent’s end to transform their child into a responsible person. As a parent, you have to put consistent efforts to raise a happy and healthy child with high social and emotional intelligence. From the very day when your child is born and until they start taking their responsibilities on their own, you have to make sure that you do every possible thing that can enhance their overall development.

Parenting is a complex task and you have to get ready to give your 100% to it if you want to improve your child’s life. It’s very important for you to take necessary steps to foster the emotional intelligence of your child. Experts believe that a child with high emotional intelligence can achieve their goals easily because they are blessed with better attention skills which make it easier for them to learn new skills effortlessly.

In other words, if you want your child to perform exceptionally well in school or college, then it’s crucial that you start working towards their emotional development. On the other hand, children with low emotional intelligence struggle with issues like anxiety and depression, and also face a lot of relationship problems. In layman’s terms, a child with poor emotional intelligence struggles a lot in their life because they find it utterly difficult to handle different kinds of situations.

So, if your child is also struggling with emotional issues, here is how you can encourage their social and emotional development.

Communicate With Your Child

It’s very important for parents to communicate with their child frequently to understand them in a better way. If you are unable to understand your child, you will never be able to help them. So, you need to discover ways of enhancing your communication with them. For example, you should try to enjoy your food with them regularly so that you can find an opportunity to talk to them during meal time. In addition to that, if you love going for morning walks ask your child to accompany you.

Working parents find it difficult to take out time to talk to their kids, so they can make the most of out of mealtime and morning walks to spend some quality time with them. In addition to that, they can also spend time with their children before they go to bed. In short, try to talk to your child as much as you can to understand their feelings and problems.

Never Hurt Their Feeling & Emotions

If in case your child is experiencing an emotional problem, then you should put efforts to understand it properly. Ask them what is it that is creating a problem for them. For example, if you have a teenage child, try to figure out how is their relationship with their friends. If in case, your son/daughter says that they had a terrible fight with one of their friends in school, then it’s important for you to react appropriately. Yes, rather than scolding them, you should try to ask the reason behind the fight. And even if it was your child’s fault, you shouldn’t start shouting at them. Rather than behaving rudely with them, you should try to teach them how to behave responsibly in a social setting.

However, if your child is dealing with an emotional problem like anxiety or depression and you are unable to help them, then it’s crucial to take professional help. You might be observing that sometimes your child starts behaving either very rudely or in a weird manner. However, it’s very important for you to understand that such behaviours are quite common among children suffering from emotional issues and they don’t do anything intentionally. Even experts at CHARTER Harley Street believe that you are not at all accountable for how you feel, but you can easily control your subsequent behaviour.

Improve Your Emotional Bond With Them

Having a strong emotional bond with your child can bring a lot of happiness in your entire family. Children who are emotionally attached to their parents share all the important things with them, which make it easier for parents to guide them properly. However, if you do not know anything about your child’s life, you won’t be able to provide them with that much-needed guidance. So, if you want to strengthen your emotional bond with your child make sure that you start expressing your love and affection to them. You have to make them feel that you really care about their feelings so that they can start sharing them with you. Well, it’s quite true that you love your son or daughter like anything, but it’s equally important to show it to them.

So, once your child starts relying on your for their emotional needs, you can really bring a big difference in their life by giving them right advice for their problems.

Improve Your Child’s Self Awareness Skills

You should always try to encourage your child to improve their self-awareness skills because that makes it easier for them to understand their feelings and emotions. So, if you don’t want their emotions to affect their behaviour badly, it’s important for them to have a high self-awareness.

In addition to that, your child must also have high self-management, which is nothing but the ability to control their behaviour and mood, so that they can achieve their goals effectively.

Develop Your Child’s Social Awareness Skills

A child with high social awareness knows how to understand others opinions and feelings, and then responds to them accordingly. In other words, social awareness is nothing but the ability of your child to analyse and understand others’ perspective and then react to a situation accordingly.

So, as a parent, it’s your duty to teach your child how to respect other people’s feelings and opinions so that they can interact effectively with them.

 

 

Talking and listening could save a life

I want to touch on a subject that is dark, scary but happens all to often and I can’t help think that if we listened more and people were to open up and started talking about how they are feeling that maybe we could save some lives.

I’m talking about Suicide!

Where you get to such a dark point in your life and mind that the only way you see out of everything is to take your own life which is so so sad.

You only have to look in the news and you see that even the most famous people have their demons to fight and sometimes it just too much with losing people like Avicii, Chester Bennington and Verne Troyer.

This just shows that Mental Health doesn’t care if your rich, poor, male or female it has no preference of age or race.

Throughout history you will find stories of people taking their own lives some of the most rich and well-known:

  • Vincent Van Gogh (Painter)
  • Kurt Cobain (Singer)
  • Cleopatra (Pharaoh)
  • Robin Williams (Actor/Comedian)
  • Ernest Hemmingway (Writer)

These are just some of the famous people who make the news and history but there are millions of normal everyday people who have battled and lost their lives over the years that go unmentioned.

These individuals are just as important, there are human beings with feelings, dreams and once hope but somewhere down the line they lost their way.

After looking online at the rate of suicides in just this country alone surprised me, did you know…

  • In 2016 5,668 suicide were recorded and 75% of them were male
  • One person in fifteen has attempted taking their life at least once

These are sad statistics and yet the male statistic didn’t surprise me at all.

Being a male that has contemplated killing myself multiple times I put it down to the fact that I wasn’t talking to anyone about how low I was feeling and how close I was to just vanishing

In my case it was a mixture of male bravado that sharing my feeling would be a sign of weakness and what would be the point anyway because nobody would care or listen to anything I had to say just putting down to stress or attention seeking.

Luckily for me Cheryl found out what was going on, sat and listened to me helping me in the right direction but sometimes people feel like there is nowhere to turn and if they go to the doctors they are just given a pill and sent on their way.

Now days there are organisations that are made for you to talk to and they will just listen, sometimes that’s all you need is someone to listen while you’re talking instead of brushing you aside.

Still people are feeling that alone that they feel there is no other way dispute being surrounded by friend and family you can still feel like the only person in the world.

So if you know me or even if you don’t and you feel so alone and low that you even think about doing something to harm yourself them please tell me!

I will listen to you,, I will let you do all the talking and help you every step of the way because nobody deserves to be in that position in their lives.

I can’t thank Cheryl enough for what she has done for me but without people like her I wouldn’t be here to write you this story.

Be kind to yourself and just keep in mind that talking and listening could save a life.

If your affected by any of the things I’ve spoke about today here are some links that can help you in your time of need.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/suicide/

https://www.samaritans.org

https://www.childline.org.uk

If you want to just talk about your Mental Health and get advice from others in your situation then I run a Facebook group called Mental Health Family please feel free to check it out.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1544471662296496/

Daddy Giraffe x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conspiracy Theories viewed through the eyes of Daddy Giraffe

Throughout our existence there have been events that have happened where people view things differently then along comes the Conspiracy theories where people are convinced there is more behind it than just the simple answer.

So I am going to give my take and views on some of the biggest Conspiracy Theories there are.

You don’t have to agree but that’s the whole point of it….

Elvis is Alive

Elvis
Elvis

 

  • This comes from millions of fans who don’t want to let go and admit that the King of Rock & Roll is dead.
  • Elvis was possibly the most famous person in the world, you would be able to spot him in a crowd of thousands of people so where is he actually meant to hide where he wont be recognised.
  • If I was to fake my own death it certainly wouldn’t be in the bathroom or on the toilet as some would say.

The moon landing was faked

Mood Landing
Moon Landing
  • It was a race to who would land on the moon first America or Russia, America landed on the moon first but not once have Russia claimed the landing was faked.
  • The moon landing was in 1969 at that time it would have cost more to fake the landing than to actually send people to the moon itself.
  • If it was indeed faked then hundreds of NASA employees would have had to keep the secret, can you really see this happening?

Aliens exist and are being hidden from us

Aliens
Aliens
  • This I believe is true, in this vast universe its hard to think that we are the only living species on in the entire galaxy.
  • Area 51 a top-secret base in the middle of nowhere, a place where they hold god knows what because it would cause world-wide panic.
  • There are a lot of faked videos and pictures but once in a while you hear stories from RAF or Air Force pilots where they have come across such things and UFO’s  and again it’s just brushed away.
  • Take the pyramids for example, these huge structures were built around 2630 BC a time where all they had were slaves. These stones are perfectly cut and placed in a way that you couldn’t get a razor blade between them and yet they have stood the test of time, yet these were done by slaves, malnourished and beaten slaves hmm.

Illuminati

Illuminati
Illuminati
  • Do I think there is a group of the most powerful people in the world meet up….yes!
  • Money is power in this world and unfortunately we don’t get a say in anything or any decisions..e.g..going to war to how you look after you children.
  • Do I think it’s made up of huge celebs, No but I think they use them to influence peoples way of thinking like branding or views on political events.
  • With the most powerful people owning all aspects of the world and brands it’s easy to influence you like sheep or take your mind and thoughts away from real life events like war, famine and the fact that we are slowly losing control bit by bit.

These are just are just a few Conspiracy Theories floating around, if you look there are so many from who shot JFK to how the world was created.

I might be completely wrong but what to know im just a giraffe trying to get by in this crazy world but at least it’s food for thought for you readers.

Daddy Giraffe x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Talk and Cheese, my battle with Mental Health

Battling Mental Health can be one of the scariest things for any individual to go through, I had the chance to talk to a blogger called Talk and Cheese who agreed to share her journey with us and show how things can change.

Mental Health is still a big issue and we are seeming to see it everywhere at the moment that sadly people are turning to the wrong things without opening up and letting people know that they are suffering so they can get the help they need and deserve as human beings.

I asked Talk and Cheese a few questions about her life and her battle with Mental Health and how it affected her professional and personal lifestyle.

So please take some time to read the story from this brave individual.

 Please can you tell us a little about yourself

I’m 43 years old and live with bipolar 2.

I was a TV presenter for over twenty years, presenting mainly news and football. I retired last May so that I can look after the two boys in my life, namely my precious 5-year-old son, MK, and my wonderful, supportive and understanding boyfriend, who I refer to in my blogs as Handsome Doc. He’s ok with that title as you can probably imagine!

I also spend a lot of time writing. I blog about my journey with bipolar, and am also in the process of writing a book which is potentially very exciting.
 When did you first realise you may have Mental Health issues?

I always knew I had some form of mental illness. Right from when I was a little girl. My brain was in turmoil for much of the time. 

I swung from being horribly flat and lost, to being deliriously happy and uncontrollably high.

I was far more anxious than a little girl should be, and convinced myself that my parents regretted having me, and even that I was adopted. I’m not, and they didn’t. 

When I was high, everyone just put it down to the fact that I had a big personality (although the true me was actually really shy and insecure), but on reflection, we all now recognise that there was more to it than that.

At my lowest point, I came very close to ending it all, as I explain in this blog.
Stepping out of the sea
Stepping out of the sea

 How did you go about getting help and did they diagnose you with ease?

At the age of 19 I had a complete breakdown, so went to see my GP. She was very nice, and I believe tried her best given the information that was available about mental health back then, but in fact, the big box of Prozac and suggestion that I take up a sport really didn’t cut it. 

I battled on with the diagnosis of depression and anxiety for years, but at the age of 29, was referred to a private mental hospital where I remained for six weeks. Not only did it drain my parents of all their savings (I carry enormous guilt over that), but it actually had limited impact on mental well-being. 

Again, I was being treated for depression and anxiety. I knew this wasn’t right, but believed that there was nothing more I, or they, could do. 

In 2007 I moved to London having been invited to present a fairly high-profile sports programme, and things deteriorated fast at that point. 

I had still been on antidepressants on and off over the years, and had received hours and hours of therapy, but the depressive episodes were lasting for longer, and I was out of control with what I now know to have been hypomania. I made bad decisions with men and I drunk to excess, to the point where my therapist at the time advised me to go to AA. I did go a few times but was in such denial that I stopped turning up for meetings, and carried on drinking.

I’m afraid to say, I was also doing coke. 

It was around this time that I was once again referred to the private mental hospital, this time in London. I was referred due to my mood, not for my alcohol or drug abuse.

It was only at that point, aged 35, that I received an accurate diagnosis of bipolar 2. 

Incredibly, stats show that on average it takes ten and a half years to receive a correct diagnosis of bipolar in the UK, and that before that point, sufferers will receive an average of three and a half misdiagnosis. A pretty sad state of affairs, considering how devastating an illness it is to live with, particularly when it goes untreated. 

I’m now on a fairly hefty combination of drugs (40mg Citalopram, 250mg Lamotrogine and 5mg Aripriprazole), some of which have some horrible side effects.

All that said,  I consider myself to be one of the lucky ones. Now that we’ve found the combination of drugs that work for me, and after having been through years of therapy,  interventions, I am more able to manage my illness than ever before.
Today is a good day
Today is a good day
 How does Mental Health affect your day-to-day living?
There’s never a day goes by when I’m not battling with my emotions in some way, but due to my treatment, the battle is far less than it once was. I still get depressive lows which affect the way I am with little MK, and of course Handsome Doc. I have to raise my game for the sake of my son, but it’s utterly exhausting. He’s my priority though, so somehow, and I don’t know where it comes from, I manage to function with him. In periods of hypomania I show signs of mild OCD. I am invincible during these episodes. I find jobs that don’t really exist, I make endless lists and race through the entire thing before starting all over again, I talk (really fast and excitedly) to everyone who comes within ten metres of me, I call everyone I know and barely sleep at all, and I find myself pacing the house until I’ve thought up another job to do. At times I’ve missed a couple of night’s sleep altogether, and still been frighteningly full of energy throughout these hundred hour marathons. Following a high there is always a low, when I grieve the end of the high and sink into that black hole. I try to fight what I refer to as the gremlin in my head, but sometimes I just don’t have the strength. I sleep all day until the school pickup run, cry a lot and feel an agonising sadness.

 

The gremlin within

Gremlin within
Gremlin within
 What made you go into blogging?
I only decided to start blogging a couple of months ago, and the reason I started is that I felt I’d reached a point in my journey, and experienced such a lot along the way, that in sharing, I may be able to offer some level of comfort and support for others battling souls. I’ve actually found it to be cathartic too, but that is just a happy bi-product of the principal aim.
 When the day is hard how do you unwind and let go?

I don’t to be honest. I barely sit down, I have the concentration of a nat, and my mind is always thinking. Actually, I now use blogging as a means of winding down and letting go, but I guess that’s still a form of work, so I’m not sure if that counts!

 If your friends and family could describe what do you think they would say?
This is a  hard one. I know what they would say as they’ve said various things often, but it’s difficult to say positive things about yourself! OK, bear in mind these are not my adjectives, they are those of my friends and family!
Kind, a huge heart, loyal, brave, funny, beautiful, sensitive, a great mummy and strong. When they say strong, they refer to the way in which I battle with bipolar in order to try to lead a meaningful life, and to be the best mummy I can be.

 

 How do you feel your Mental Health is going at the moment?
It’s ok, but it’s all relative I guess. I barely drink at all and never take drugs (other than my bipolar meds. Obvs.)
I tend to suffer more from depression than hypomania, but for some reason or another, the latter has taken the lead over the past few months. I still feel it’s manageable and have no plans to seek professional help at the moment. My meds and past experiences see me through for now. There’s no denying it’s a tough fight to win though, and that the gremlin does his best to manipulate me. I’ve got a 100% success rate of beating him in the end though, and I intend to keep that up.

 

 Are you part of any Mental Health groups?

No I’m not.

 If you could give anyone in your situation or similar some advice what would it be?
To take baby steps in working towards something resembling recovery. Unfortunately bipolar it isn’t curable, but I truly believe that with the right meds and support, it is possible to have a meaningful life, albeit that it may need to be shaped around your state of mind at the time. To be selective over the company you keep. With an illness such as this, you need true and loyal friends around you, and must weed out any negative influences. Mental illness makes us vulnerable, and you must seek to be around the right people who will be there for you in times of need. And, who are willing to try to understand a bit about what you are going through. And finally, although I’m not a medical professional, not am I the oracle in mental health, I want so dearly to offer whatever love and support I can to others, be it that they have just been diagnosed and are completely overwhelmed, or that they just need to offload to someone who gets it!

Finally please can you tell me something you like about yourself

 I like my arms as I used to have two very feisty thoroughbred horses so built up strong, toned arms! Plus I like my heart, strange as that may seem. I like the way it makes me treat other people.
Thank you very much to Talk and cheese for opening up and sharing with me about her Mental health journey, I hope your words and story help someone reading this.
I wish you all the best in the future with everything you do.
If you would like to read more of Talk and Cheese’s post then head over to her blog page and show some support.
Daddy Giraffe x

 

Letterbox Cake Bakerdays Review

What if I told you that you could have cake delivered not only to your door but posted through your letterbox with your mail, your own designed cake with your own ideas and delivered before a celebration or a certain day? 

“Your crazy!”  I hear you say?

Today is the day my eldest turns 14, It doesn’t seem that long ago where he was playing with toys instead of spending his days on YouTube hours chatting to his friends online who he only just saw 20 minutes ago.

Harry has had a tough few years through bullying and has finally found himself settled in a new school and thriving in all subjects.

There is one subject he exceeds in this is Science, he has an obsession with this as he want to create a career around this, so much so he has learnt the periodic table of by heart which took some taking.

I came across a company called Bakerdays, a cake makers that specialise in creating personalised cakes designed to be sent to you through the mail in a box that will fit through your letterbox.

I spoke to the lovely staff as I couldn’t find any designs that suited him so I asked them if they could make a cake with the Periodic Table on or would it be too much trouble, to which they said leave it to them and took my details.

Few days before Harry’s birthday and I receive an email saying they have dispatched the cake and they hope he enjoy’s it.

That very morning it arrives in a box, I open it with excitement and I couldn’t be more please with the result, It came in a lovely presented tin and was better than I imagined.

It was fresh, smelled amazing and looked even better.

Would Harry like it though?

Letterbox Cake
Letterbox Cake

By the look of his face I would say he did!

Thank you Bakerdays for all of your hard work of making this teenagers day.

If you would like to order a personalised cake for any occasion then you can by visiting https://www.bakerdays.com

You can get 15% off if you use this code DADDYGIRAFFE15

Daddy Giraffe x