Coming to terms

What a year this has been already but I’m finally at a point I think where I’m coming to terms with how things are and how I will move on and make the changes needed.

If you follow me at all you will see that this year has been a rough one for not only me but my family as me and Cheryl decided to part ways, this to say wasn’t easy as I wanted other things and Cheryl was heartbroken.

But I’m a believer in time is a healer and through a lot of rough patches we both are starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel and are both coming to terms with what has happened.

Moving out

The first thing that was done was moving out of the family home and back into the house with my parents.

Now this wouldn’t be so bad as its 5 minutes from where my kiddies are and I could help around the house here as my dad is adapting to losing his sight so I can do the odd jobs that need doing around the house.

I’m currently looking for a place of my own so I can have the kids a couple of nights a week and take the burden off Cheryl a bit giving her a bit of spare time.

Relationship with Cheryl

Mummyof5miracles
Mummyof5miracles

At first like most break ups there was a lot of arguing and days where we couldn’t be in the same room let alone the same house.

But despite how we didn’t see eye to eye we always put the kids first and that was the main goal to make it as normal as possible.

If you know Cheryl then you will know that she is an amazing person, kind, generous, very honest and a fantastic mother.

Always putting the needs of her children before her own happiness is something I admire always and I will forever be grateful she brought my children into this world.

We have both grown through this experience and have turned corners, we can actually sit and have adult conversations and even a laugh.

Seeing the children

Family
Family

I tried to make this as easy for the children as I possibly could and tried to get some normality back into lives which is easier said than done.

Educationally they are all thriving, winning awards and smashing everything in front of them which we couldn’t be prouder of.

Personally wise they are all happy, it was a change at first but I see them every day and always am in there lives, birthdays are coming thick and fast, we have just had Freddie’s and now we have Annabelle’s in a few days then Elizabeth Ann at the end of the month.

The kiddies have always been my number one priority and always will be, I cant wait to see how they all progress and grow in the years to come where they find they their own paths to take in life.

Whats the way forward from now?

Time to focus on me now I think, first thing is first im feeling a bit more confident now so I may try going back to work with the all clear.

Finding a new place is second, some space for myself and my children to relax would be nice.

Me time, just focusing on me, my health and getting better and in the right frame of mind to battle the world again, I watched Cheryl at her lowest  point and she dragged herself up through everything and decide enough was enough and that she was  worth more and she would make that change.

That is inspiration right there if not anything else!

Daddy Giraffe x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mental Heath with Marti

After taking a break from mental health post for a while but no I am back with a brave guest post with Marti who has let us have an insight into life with Mental Health.

Here’s Mental Health with Marti….

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m Marti, I’m non-binary meaning I’m not really male or female. I’m 29 years old. I work for an IT consultancy company in Lincolnshire and in my spare time I play guitar, take and pose in photos and occasionally write.

What got you into blogging? 

There are two main things that got me into blogging, being non-binary and my physical health. Firstly, being non-binary is a difficult thing for people to understand, if you fit into the binary norms you have no need to think about those who do not, so I started writing about it to try to raise awareness. Secondly my physical health, I was born with cataracts, which left me partially sighted, and in 2015 I had two brain abscesses, which resulted in me needing emergency surgery. One morning I was trying to play guitar and kept dropping the plectrum, within hours I was barely able to hold anything or remain conscious and ended up in surgery the same night. It took a lot of therapy before I was able to use my right hand properly again and several months before my guitar ability was back to its previous level. Took look at me now you wouldn’t know I’d had these health problems but they are there as invisible illnesses, so the second reason is to raise awareness of invisible illnesses

When did your journey with Mental Health begin and did you get diagnosed? 

I first started to notice problems with my mental health in secondary school. That’s when I really noticed that I was quite different to other people and that I had to pretend a lot to fit in. It wasn’t until I was much older maybe early 20’s that I was diagnosed with mental health problems but the mental health provisions in my area are poor and in all honesty I’m not great at engaging with services.

How does this effect your day-to-day routine?

In recent years I have gotten my depression fairly under control, so day-to-day routine activities aren’t too much of an issue. I tend to find I have problems with things that aren’t routine like going out somewhere, as it’s so much easier to stay at home where its safe. My problem tends to be more anxiety, anything different to normal can trigger it then I want to get away or avoid that thing.

What do you do to distract yourself from hard times or to relax?

My main distraction is music I’ll either pick up my guitar or I’ll put some music on and sing along. I first took up guitar at the age of 14 at this time I was self harming and not in a good place and guitar was the perfect distraction, with it being so complex and taking so long to master its kept me going for years but if I’m really bad I get annoyed with my playing ability. In that situation I put music on and sing along, there are studies that suggest singing releases endorphins and helps to lift mood and in my experience it works.

If your friends could describe you in one word what would it be?

 I asked my partner and she said “selfless”

What are your future goals?

 My current goals are to get to a point where I am able to work full-time, I am still suffering ill effects from my brain surgery in 2015 and not yet back to full health but hopefully one day I will be. A second goal is to become more comfortable being myself, I’ve on recently gone public with my non-binary nature and with my anxiety I still struggle but I’m improving everyday.

What piece of advice could you give someone with Mental Health? 

It’s very hard to give general advice as mental health is such a wide-ranging a varying area but I would say that you need to remember that it’s not your fault you have issues with mental health, it’s an illness like any other and there no need to feel ashamed for having it.

Are you part of any groups that help?

I’m starting on a well-being course tomorrow run by the local mental health services to try to help with my anxiety but I am not a member of any groups.    

Finally can you please tell me something you like about yourself.

I like my mind, it’s a little bent out shape between my mental health issues and my brain injury but on the whole it works well, I managed to complete a degree the same year I nearly died from the brain abscesses. I learn new skills quickly, problem solve well and like to think I have interesting thoughts.

Thank you very much for opening up and sharing with us Marti it was very brave and I enjoyed getting to know you a bit more

If you like to follow Marti and her journey through life you can do by following these links below.

https://martiborman.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Marti.borman/

https://www.instagram.com/marti.borman/

Daddy Giraffe x

 

Questioning who I am

With all the events of the past few weeks even months ive been questioning things trying to find out who I am. 

Am I a bad person?

I like anyone else has made mistakes in their lives but to what degree to you stop and thing am I a bad person?

Relationships I have been in have broken down with me offering very little in emotional support because I have just been unable too although I do try my best.

It must be hard to deal with someone so has a problem being emotional unstable and switching form mood to mood.

If I cant love myself than how can I love someone else and that has been the problem, I come across selfish & uncaring.

Am I a good daddy?

The one thing in my life I try to be is a good daddy, I do everything I can to make sure they know daddy is there and that they know I love them very much.

They are happy, polite and never go without.

But what kind of example am I settling to my children when they can see me bouncing from mood to mood.

Will they think that this is the normal way to be and start to treat others this way, I dont want that, its not the life I want for any of my children.

I want them to grow up respecting people, partners, friends and people in general while leading a normal life.

 My Bad Choices and Decisions 

Because of my personality I make decisions on the spot and to be honest it never always turns out the way I want it. 

Example: I was once at a restaurant and it was time or desert it got to me and I ordered Lemon Meringue it wasn’t until it got to the table that I remembered I hate Meringue! 

I have no filter so when I argue things are said that an never be taken away and feelings are hurt no matter how it was meant to come out or not it still has happened and people get hurt.

Sometimes im not in the right frame of mine and in my own world and I wont even know your there so you feel invisible, again its not on purpose but it happens.

What happens now?

Number 1 is I take my medication with no excuses on why I missed it, instead take it regularly and on time.

Try to show more love to my children, I give all my love as it is but I want them to know daddy isn’t bad and this is not the way to be when you grow up.

Be a better person, talk to people, take their feelings into consideration even starting on something simple like listening.

I try to be a good person but sometimes it hard, so how do I find me?

Focus on the here and now, focus on the positive and in time hopefully you see a new me. 

What this space!!

Daddy Giraffe x 

 

 

 

 

 

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  

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!

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Nobody is perfect and that’s ok

After setting up a Mental Health group and seeing other people’s situation throughout social media I’ve come to the realisation that nobody is perfect and that’s ok.

Every single person is different in so many ways and I think we are to focused on changing not only other people to suit our needs but we are so quick to change ourselves to please other people that we don’t even know.

Every day we see on the TV and in magazine of people who look almost flawless and we are made to believe that this is how we should be, this is how we should look and this is how we should act.

But in real life that is not how they are at all, their life isn’t the perfect dream and it has taken them hours of make up to just take that photo, I guarantee when you wake up next to them in the morning they don’t look like that.

Nobody is perfect in any way, even the most famous people in history have their flaws for instance did you know that these people suffered with Mental Health but still made history.

  • Abraham Lincoln – Suffered with Anxiety and Depression 
  • Charles Darwin – Suffered from Panic Attacks and Agroaphobia
  • Charles Dickens – Suffered Severe Depression and Bipolar
  • Beethoven – Suffered with Bipolar
  • Winston Churchill – Suffered with Bipolar and Manic Depression
  • Virginia Woolf – Suffered Depression and Psychosis

It’s not all about the mental side either, you should be comfortable in the skin that you’re in and if you’re not then change yourself but on your terms and the reason is you’re doing it for yourself.

I have put on a little bit of weight, since having kids and giving up sports im not up to 13 stone but im comfortable with the way I look and the size I am.

The way I see it is there is more of me to cuddle into.

Get to know and love yourselves, that is the way to true happiness, live and love life whatever you’re doing.

Weather it’s watching your kids grow, building a successful career, singing or even just enjoying going out and laughing with friends.

For all we know we only get one life so why not fill it with things like love, excitement, helping people and trying new things.

Except who you are and the emotions you have because nobody is better than you are, you just need to figure that out.

Daddy Giraffe x

 

*Image taken of google images*

 

 

Reflection on Reflection

Yesterday started with a booked appointment with the doctors where I went in with positivity and hope on going back to work and maybe coming off my medication but on reflection should I have been so optimistic?

Instead I was told that I was unfit for any kind of career I was striving for so I should forget it and maybe move on to factory work because at least if I have a relapse there will always be other factory’s

Now first thing there is nothing wrong in working in factory’s, I have been working in them from an early age but over a period of time I had developed new skills to open new doors to me and care work is where it was leading to.

Something where I can help other people, people who need help, people who need that little bit of time and care but instead I was told my condition made me lack the compassion needed!

Not baring in mind I have 5 children, I have all the compassion in the world and then some.

Needless to say I left the doctors feeling deflated and defeated know that this closed-minded dinosaur was going to block my path because he felt he knew better from a piece of paper.

I have spent a long time trying to raise awareness for Mental Health suffers to stand up and speak out, to say its ok to have an Illness and not to be ashamed of it but this man had struck a nerve which believe me is hard to do with me.

I went to the bathroom yesterday looked in the mirror and for the first time in a long time looked at my reflection and didn’t like what I saw, this wasn’t me!, maybe he was right and I should just stick to manual work where I just clock in and clock out, giving up on trying to make a change because how is someone like me going to make a difference.

This was until Cheryl stepped in gave me a cuddle and told me to forget what he said and told me I am worth more than that and to use this to my advantage to move forward and put my story out there that this isn’t ok to just put up with this and we can change people’s views.

Without people like Cheryl behind me then going backwards would be the easier option but she refuses to give up on me when other  people have and im willing to do the same, she is one of life’s angels and you don’t get many of them.

So on reflection of yesterday, at first I was down and ready to give up but now im even more determined to strive forward and make a much-needed change in this world.

Daddy Giraffe x