Raising Awareness with Charlotte

As I have been doing these Mental Health Guest Posts for raising awareness that is OK to open up and talk about the taboo subject that is Mental Health.

More and more people have been coming forward and contacting me about wanting to share their story to help other people in similar situations.

I had a message from Charlotte who was interested in sharing her story to help other people and also raise awareness, I would like to thank her for being so brave for opening up to me.

Here is her incredible personal journey…

My mother gave birth to me at 24 weeks and 3 days, it was touch and go weather I was going to make it through the night or not.

The priest asked my parents on whether they wanted to baptise me or not but my parents  chose that they didn’t want to baptise me.

I made it through the night and spent the next 12 months of my life in hospital, luckily I had someone watching over me and I mad it into the paper when I was 1 as they said I was a miracle baby.

When I just turned 5 a behaviour therapist mentioned to my mother that I should see someone to be assessed for Epilepsy.

At the age of 5 I was diagnosed with Epilepsy and was told that I suffer Peti Mal and Grand Mal seizures, my seizures tend to fluctuate between the two of them but its being controlled by medication.

At the age of 17/18 I started to self harm, I also began to eat less and I didn’t know if I was coming or going.

Luckily I got refereed to the CMHT this is where they diagnosed me with Bipolar  and put me on Quietiapine.

On 19th May 2017 I took a massive quantity of Quietiapine, I had a seizure and became unresponsive when the paramedics go there they had to incubate me.

My friend picked up my mom and drove her to The Princess Royal Hospital where the paramedics were waiting at the entrance for her.

They began to tell her that I was in resuss and they were planning to place me in to an drug induced coma this is were it became immediate family only.

They gave me a 50/50 percent chance of pulling through but luckily I had someone watching over me.

I was reassessed and diagnosed with BPD  and I was put back on the Quietiapine just with a weekly pick up.

If I could give anyone any advice is try and get as much help as you can and try to stay positive because it will all be OK in the end.

I will never let Mental Health defeat me again!

What an incredible story!

You have been through quite a bit Charlotte, Thank you for taking the time out to tell your story and help me raise awareness for Mental Health.

I wish you all the best in the future, stay strong

Daddy Giraffe x

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Journey – Guest Post from Michelle

Over the weeks I will be sharing stories from people who have lived all sorts of lives living with Mental Health on my blog.

So far a few bloggers have come forward to share their story which is a brave thing to do for anyone but this time I had a woman approach me on my Daddy Giraffe Facebook Page asking to share her story.

I of course said yes as this is rare because it usually bloggers who share other bloggers journeys with a link back so I was more than happy to do this.

This is a lady called Michelle and here is her Mental Health Journey…

Tell us a bit about yourself

My names Michelle, I’m a 49 year old grandma of 3  and a mother to 4.

I’ve recently joined a singing group with my local Mental Health Team

When did your illness journey begin?

When I was 38 I had Cancer which spread throughout my abdominal, this resulted in me having an operation to remove the cancer and most of my organs.

2 years later I had a bowel blockage which then lead to another operation.

Since then I have been in pain to the point of 6 years ago I had to give up work because of the amount of pain I was in.

I could no longer work because I was in pain 24/7 and this is where my battle with Mental Health began.

When and what where you diagnosed with?

5 years ago I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety.

How does this affect your day to day living?

That’s a hard one.

It’s a mixture of pain, anxiety and more pain, I rarely go out in society or anywhere else honestly.

I spend a lot of time asleep , I no longer have any joy in hobbies or things like reading because I just can’t concentrate.

What things do you do to get you through the days?

Sleep mostly because it makes the time pass quicker.

If you could give advice to anyone in your situation what would it be?

Find yourself a hobby that interests you also speak to people about your problems.

Tell us something you like about yourself.

I’m very honest and trustworthy.

Thank you very much Michelle for you honesty with this interview about your health, your very brave and I wish you all the best in the future.

Daddy Giraffe x

 

 

 

Chickenpox Pic of the Day

Its been a while since I have done a pic of the day so what better time than now and today’s pic of the day will be about chickenpox.

Yesterday while picking up Freddie from nursery the teacher mentioned that one of the children was sent home because they had suddenly came out in chickenpox and to keep an eye on Freddie because the child happened to be his best friend and they always play together.

For those who don’t know what chickenpox are I shall try to explain it the best I can.

Chickenpox are spots that cover your body, they have tiny white heads on them and can be very itchy, sore and sometimes painful.

They can be on certain parts on your body and in worse cases covering every part of you including your mouth, it’s very contagious and passes very easily from person to person.

Now I could show you a picture what they look like but im not going to so if you want to see it just type it into google images but I imagine you get the idea.

So this morning we noticed that Freddie was indeed covered in spots, the problem with this is Freddie has never had Chickenpox before and he loves schools so when we told him that he couldn’t go he was devastated.

We softened the blow by asking him what he would like to do instead and he picked painting….oh you mean the messiest thing you can think of?

Erm sure why not

So off we go to get paints and bring it all home and get him to paint a lovely picture and he did just that, 10 minutes later and being covered in paint he creates a masterpiece.

So the feature picture is my Freddie Bears poorly painting.

Daddy Giraffe x

 

Top 5 Pet Hates

There are certain things in life that people love and hate, we are all different in all sorts of ways, these are Daddy Giraffes Top 5 pet Hates

HATES

5. Rudeness – This stems to all sorts of rudeness, like when you open a door for someone to walk through and they completely ignore you with so much as a thank you or when you in the middle of a conversation with someone and they will pull out there phone and start typing but you feel you have to keep talking anyway but feel stupid for doing so.

rudeness
rudeness

4. Stubbing my toe – Now I am a huge fan of MMA and when I was younger did a lot of kickboxing and MMA through the years, so im used to being punched and kicked.

With this comes broken bones, I have broken my nose twice, my right hand once and cracked my top 2 ribs but my god when I stub my toe it’s the worst pain I have ever felt!

It’s always the little toe as well which makes it worse, as well as this when you stub your toe you instantly hate the world and everything in it!!

stubbed toe
stubbed toe

3. Waking up early – Now this isn’t in general because im up early everyday with the kids, im talking about when its your turn for a lie in and you think great no 6am for me and you guarantee 5:30am PING! your eyes open…damn it im awake.

Now im awake you can bet that none of the babies are awake yet though because this is the day they have decided to have themselves a lie in.

early wake up
early wake up

2. Morning calf cramp – If you haven’t ever had this you are one of the lucky people in life, if you have had this you will feel my pain.

So you wake up and the first thing you do is have a little stretch in bed and suddenly you calf cramps up solid and spasms, you can’t do a damn thing apart from swear and try to massage it out while continuously shouting f**k f**k f**k!!

calf cramp
calf cramps

That one song – You could hear it on the radio in the morning or it could be as simple as hearing one of your children’s TV program theme tunes and then that’s it, for the rest of the day your singing it, humming it or making your own words up to it.

Yesterday I spent the day singing fashion show with my one year old…the sad thing was I was the one who started it!

song in head
song in head

So there my top pet hates, next post will be my top 5 loves.

Let me know your pet hates in life that keep happening to you.

Daddy Giraffe x

 

Things you can get away with if you have kids

As you grow older there’s certain things in life you cannot do now because its frowned upon.

But when you have children a whole new world opens up to you and you can do things that you wouldn’t normally be able to do or get away with.

Here are  my top things you can get away with as an adult if you have children…

Cartoons

Now as a kid we all loved cartoons growing up and thought what we watched was far better than any of the television they has today.

As an adult you grow up and start watching adult films like horrors, action and what ever takes your fancy so you have no time for children’s TV as it seems well…weird!

But when you have children it’s the normal thing to do is get up in the early hours of the morning and put on cartoons, for instance I was awake at 5am this morning and the first thing I opened my eyes to was Paw Patrol.

If I didn’t have older children I wouldn’t have known the program Gumball even existed as I find it highly hilarious!!

Snacking

Healthy eating is one of the things we try to do as adults, to lose some weight for summer or just to feel better but when you have kids this is more tricky than you think.

When you have a hungry 3 year old in the back of the car who has been sat there for a while and been very good you may find yourself treating them to a MacDonald’s…by treating them I mean treating me as I can’t possibly let them eat it by themselves what kind of parent would that make me.

Splashing in puddles

My little one loves nothing more than to do this with his wellie boots and splash away.

We have all been tempted to do this at one point but i’m pretty sure if I was to go out alone and do this now I would be taken away by some lovely people in white coats but whack a coat on the toddler and out splashing we go!

Soft Play

What can I say soft play is amazing, you go in there with the intention of looking after your child for adult supervision but you end up running around like a loon and sliding down the slide while your child watches for the bottom floor.

Yesterday Freddie was invited to a birthday party where its a room full of trampolines and foam pits, of course again Freddie needed supervising as he is only 3 and guess who got to go??

That’s right me!

I spend a good hour flipping, jumping and throwing Freddie into the foam pits that I pulled a muscle in my neck and soon realised I’m getting old.

Having kids has its advantages but there’s nothing more satisfying than just have a cuddle with you child while reading them a story all comfy and warm.

Daddy Giraffe x

 

Mental Health Guest Post With Realmomblog

As part of my Mental Health quest to show people it’s OK to speak openly about these issues and its nothing to be embarrassed by.

Realmomblog has agreed to open up and tell her story about how she deals with life managing family life and Severe Anxiety Disorder.

Enjoy the read…

 1. Tell us about yourself
I’m a 33 year old wife and mother of 3.  I run Realmomblog.com,where I
chronicle living with severe anxiety disorder, as well as a ton of
parenting stuff.  My hobbies include reading, writing, and hiding from
my children while eating snacks I don’t want to share.

 2. When did you get diagnosed with Mental Health issues and what was you
  diagnosed with? I was diagnosed as a teen with Severe Anxiety Disorder.

 3. How does this effect your everyday living?
Anxiety can be a lot of things, on a good day, you’re just a little on
edge, on a bad day you can have panic attacks where you feel like you’re
dying, it’s hard to breathe and you feel an overwhelming sense of dread.
Basically, whenever you have one of these panic attacks your body says
“Woah, that was scary lets never do that again!”  even though all you
did was something mundane like walk into a store.  Anxiety can be
crippling, always being on edge, always worrying, your body suffers from
the constant flux of fight or flight hormones, cortisol and adrenaline
to name a few. Maintaining a high degree of vigilance or awareness for
an extended period of time is mentally and physically exhausting.  It
becomes easier to stay home or keep to yourself to avoid these panicked
feelings, leading to isolation, loneliness, and potentially depression.

4. How do you keep yourself calm in stressful situations?
Grounding techniques help a lot.  Deep Breathing helps a lot as well.  A
grounding technique gives you a focus point to concentrate, like
something you can feel, smell, taste, see, or hear.  Deep breathing
works similarly by focusing on taking slow deep breaths.  There are
other methods but these two are the simplest and most commonly used.

 5. Do you feel people’s opinions have changed towards you since you were
 diagnosed?
I think they do,  it’s hard to quantify it but it’s quite frustrating.
For this reason I’ve avoided telling people in the past, and this just
led me to feeling even more alone and anxious.

 6. Why did you start blogging?
I actually started my blog to help me overcome some of my anxiety and
it’s been instrumental in allowing me to not feel so alone, in fact I
have encountered the exact opposite.  Everyone has been very friendly
and supportive in both the blogging and mental health circles.  And in
talking to new people in both and research for articles on mental health
awareness, anxiety is surprisingly common with nearly 1 in 4 Americans
experiencing it.  I started blogging to help myself and others
experiencing Severe Anxiety Disorder.

7. What are your future goals?
My blog is really growing very fast right now, and I’m constantly
working on new content, which keeps me very busy.  I’m currently working
on releasing a free course and e-book about Anxiety Disorders and I hope
to be able to release it by early summer!

 8. Name something good about yourself.
I’m a very loving person!

Thank you very much for doing this guest post it was very brave of you to stand up and talk publicly about these issues, I wish you all the best in the future!

If you would like to see more from Realmom then you can from the links below..

http://realmomblog.com

http://fb.me/realmomblogcom

http://pintrest.com/realmomblog

http://instagram.com/realmomblog

http://twitter.com/realmomblogcom

 

Daddy Giraffe x

 

 

Living with BPD guest post with Terri

I have decided to do another guest post where people talk about there day to day life while living with a Mental Illness.
This week I have Terri who has kindly let me ask her some questions to find an incite of what it is like living with this illness while raising children and balancing life.
Enjoy the read….
1. Tell us about yourself 

Hey, I’m Terri. I am 26 years old and a mother to 3 awesome little guys. I like reading, drawing, singing and playing games (basically most things that mean I don’t have to actually go outside) I spend a good chunk of my days with the children and doing housework or hiding out in my bedroom.

2. When did you get diagnosed with Mental Health issues and what was you diagnosed with?

I was first diagnosed with Depression when I was 11 years old. After many years of trial and error we all later found out that it wasn’t actually Depression but I in fact had a Borderline Personality Disorder, to this day I still have to have regular tests and what not just so the doctors are 100% sure they’ve picked up on everything.

3. How does this effect your everyday living? 

Sometimes I can’t function like a normal adult should be able to, sometimes I can’t get out of bed, sometimes I can’t get dressed, sometimes I can’t leave the house, sometimes life feels that hard for me I struggle to even say a few words. Sometimes I have to lock myself away from the world and people because I am on a roller coaster of emotions and the thing that could have triggered me is literally something as small as a dirty tea spoon.

4. How do you keep yourself calm in stressful situations? 

Exercise, I kid you not, no matter where I am if I feel something is really stressing me out and I feel I might start panicking or having a random anxiety attack I will get up or stop whatever I am doing and start doing jumping jacks, or jogging on the spot… I have also been known to drop down at my parents house before and start doing crunches.. Crazy I know, but it’s something that I have found really has been helping… even if I do look like a complete weirdo in public.

5. Do you feel people’s opinions have changed towards you since you were diagnosed?

I think a lot of people don’t know how to treat me, so they treat me like I’m broken. Some people see me as something they need to fix, which really isn’t the case, you can’t fix me.. It’s just who I am.. Me as a person hasn’t changed but I think it does help some people understand why I am the way I am sometimes. I did initially fall out and lose a few friends because they didn’t know how to act around me, they didn’t know what they could say, couldn’t say.. And some people just flat out refused to accept that I had a problem and said that it was just an excuse for me to not be in full time work (which is something I do want eventually when I’ve got a hold on things)

6. Why did you start blogging?

I don’t get out a lot, I’ll be honest here, I don’t interact with people outside of my house as much as I should be, and I thought I’ll blog, I’ll give people an insider’s view on what it’s like living with something that can literally cripple me in seconds.. Hopefully so people can understand me a bit more, and not freak out if they think they’ve said something that offends me.. I kinda want to normalise my issues in the hopes that maybe someone else will look at me like I’m normal for a change.

7. What are your future goals?

I want to be a teacher. I want to get a hold of all my mental health issues, I want to be able to control myself in stressful situations and I want to go back to college and become an English teacher to maybe teach abroad some day… It’s a bit of a pipeline dream to be honest, because I don’t think I will ever 100% have a hold of my issues so that I’ll be able to function in that kind of setting, but it’s something I can try to aim towards personally.

8. Tell me something good about yourself?

Hmm, Bit of a hard question since I spend majority of my time bringing myself down… Sense of humour? I have a pretty dark sense of humour but I’ve been told I’m pretty funny as well.

Thank you once again Terri it was very brave for you to open up like this and I wish you all the best in the future.
If you want to read more about Terri you can see it on her own blogging page…
Daddy Giraffe x

Pasta Kidz & Petz Adventures Book Review

If there is two things that my 3 year old Freddie likes in this world it’s Pasta and books.

So when I came across this children’s book called Pasta Kidz & Petz Adventures I jumped at the chance to review the book.

The book is written by Bryony Supper a professional actress whose talents range from TV appearances to stand up comedy where she writes her own material.

She now uses her comedy in writing and has come up with the Pasta Kidz and Petz Adventures which is a joy to read, aimed at children  aged 5 – 7, my 3 year old enjoyed this very much and I have no doubt I shall be reading it to him a fair few times before bed.

Pasta Kidz & Petz Adventures
Pasta Kidz & Petz Adventures

The book is about children who all have names relevant to pasta such as Sarah Spaghetti, each child has a pasta catchphrase like Sarah’s is “Spaga Spoodle Spo!” which of course Freddie found hilarious.

Along with their Pasta Petz they get up to Adventures, in this first book called The Inventing Tubes Sarah Spaghetti and Marc Macaroni have a problem when they created a crazy pasta ball and try to contain it.

Pasta Kidz & Pasta Ball
Pasta Kidz & The Pasta Ball

The illustrations are good quality and along with the story, this kept Freddie entertained with all of the rhymes and funny words.

Trying to pronounce some of the sayings are like a tongue twister in themselves which had myself and Freddie laughing.

This was a hit with my child who loves his bed time stories and trying to find books that grab his attention are hard to come by but this one did just the job, we cant wait to read the second one.

If you would like to know more about Bryony and her children’s books then you can find them on the link below.

https://www.pastakidz.co.uk

Thanks for reading another Daddy Giraffes review.

Daddy Giraffe x

 

YouTubers that are ok to let your children watch

With more and more people watching YouTube these days and all of the videos that are not suitable to watch, How do you know what and who to let your children watch. Here are Daddy Giraffes top 5 YouTubers suitable for your little ones.

5. Mr Tumble

We all know who Mr Tumble is and yes after a few episode he is very annoying with his spotty bag and Aunt Polly act but what he does teach is sign language to all children, easy enough for my 3 year old to pick up and he can still tell you words in sign to this day.

There is a reason he has been around for so long and that is because he is bright, colourful and not afraid to make a fool out of himself.

Mr Tumble
Mr Tumble

4. Blippi

No I know what you’re all thinking who the hell is Blippi??

I didn’t know who it was either until Freddie was saying he wanted to watch Blippi a few times and I searched him.

For those who don’t know who he is, he is an American YouTuber who dresses in Orange and Blue with a bow tie and cap, he teaches children about all sorts of things while going to places like the zoo, soft plays and museums. He does all of this whilst combining fun and comedy to help teach children about the world.

Blippi
Blippi

3. Baby Bus

Out of all the YouTubers Freddie and Bethe could have picked they chose this Japanese programme and they absolutely love it, this is called BabyBus.

This program teaches children everything from how you should behave at the dinner table to colours and what to do in serious situations like fires and earthquakes.

The characters are all animals and the songs they sing will have you singing them all day without realising it at the most awkward times.

BabyBus
BabyBus

2. Steve and Maggie

Steve is an English teacher who chose to teach children through YouTube with the help of a puppet of a Magpie called Maggie who does magic.

He does it all, he sings songs, teaches children words and the meanings of them along with getting the children to repeat words.

It’s fun, catchy and I have to admit it works as Freddie has learnt new words to add to his vocabulary where we didn’t even know where it came from.

He has a song called Fashion Show which my 1 year old walks around singing and she’s only seen it once while passing.

  1. Ryan’s Toy Review

If you have children you will know who this is.

This is a YouTuber called Ryan who started around 3/4 years old and all he was doing was simply reviewing toys…that’s it!

The children love it and he is viewed millions and millions of times per day, now he reviews more expensive toys, does games and challenges and now Vlogs with his parents which has taken them to a whole new level.

I have to say there’s a reason this little boy gets the views he does and it’s because kids can relate to him and it hooks them in.

No nonsense…no swearing….just a kid opening toys…simple!

Ryan toy review
Ryan toy review

Daddy Giraffe x

*Images taken from google images*

 

Finding work with Mental Health issues

Recently I have been looking to get back into work, it has been 4 years since I have last worked and im finding it more difficult to try to get back into work when you have to declare you have a Mental Illness.

I have filled in the world’s supply of applications and when it comes to the medical sections im finding it hard to fill it in as ive never had to before so when it’s written down on paper in front of me it’s a little disheartening and makes me anxious of what an employer will think when looking at the application and seeing that I have a Personality Disorder.

Would they feel it’s a risk to employ me?

Would they give me an interview because they had to but treat and speak to me differently?

Does this condition limit the work that I can actually do?

These are questions ive never really thought about before as I couldn’t face leaving the house longer than 30 mins let alone going to work in a place full of new people and new situations.

When I have finally plucked up the courage to do something about it there are certain obstacles I will have to overcome.

I’m interested in Care work and I know there is a lot of it out there it’s just a case of somebody taking that risk to employ me and give me the chance to show my worth and how hard I can work.

The decision to go back to work wasn’t a case of money but of self-worth, I have been with this condition for a long time now and I refuse to let it define me and dictate what I can and can’t do!

If I start work and I just cant do it then at least I can say that I tried, ive spent so long finding myself that I at least owe it to myself to try to get back to normality.

So im asking you, if you have a Mental Illness how do you manage finding work or if you do work as well how do you find that healthy balance.

I am not my Illness and this is one step closer to finding the real me!

Daddy Giraffe x

*These images where taken from google images*