You’re only good for packing boxes

What hope do you have in life when your own doctor tells you that the only job that you are allowed to do is in a factory packing boxes and even then you can only do that if you don’t actually tell them that you have a mental health condition and if they do find out they will probably sack you but it’s ok because you can go and find another job in another factory packing more boxes! Continue reading “You’re only good for packing boxes”

Mental Health & Me with Mary

More and more people are joining me on trying to raise awareness on coming forward with their Mental Health issues to put it out there that its ok to openly talk about such a taboo subject.

I am overwhelmed with the responses ive received and people’s willingness to be brave and step forward.

I was approached by a lovely lady called Mary who wanted to share her story with us and I was more than happy to help her.

Here is the story of Mary….

1. Please can you tell us about yourself.

I’m 38. A mum of twin 9 month old babies, I’m in a long term relationship with Ian we have been together 7 years.

I was until recently a volunteer coordinator at Telford after care team where I created the dual diagnosis groups. I have also been through addiction alongside my mental health diagnosis.

2. How did your Mental Health journey begin and where you diagnosed with anything?

My journey began when I was 14.

I had my first suicidal thoughts after being bullied at school, I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression.

It was only after a serious suicide attempt in 2010 that I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder type 2.

I had lost my best friend to cancer, had a relationship end and was in a job that had no future this all happened in the space of 2 weeks.

I didn’t know how to cope I was homeless and sofa surfing, I felt life had no meaning and attempted to take my own life.

I spent time in ICU and a mental health secure unit for 2 months until I could get housed in a mental health rehab which saved my life.

3. How does this effect your everyday living?

I have mood swings constantly, Highs make me manic and make everyday tasks really hard the lows take the form of me not being able to get out of bed get dressed etc.

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

I use a lot of mindfulness and grounding techniques.

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

I feel some people can be judgemental as they don’t fully understand and make a joke out of it.

Others have been warm and accepting.

6. After being in your situation what advice would you give someone who is going through something similar?

Talk!

Talking helps massively I isolated myself and shut down in my darkest hour but since then I have learnt that talk therapy helps unconditionally.

7. What are your future goals?

My future goals are to be a good mum. A good role model. And find my place in the world again.

8. Are you part of any groups or organisations that have helped you along your way?

I have associated with many organisations during my recovery but the one that has helped me the most has been the community mental health team.

9. Name something good about yourself?

I like to help people.

Thank you Mary for being so open and honest with me about you Mental Health Journey and letting us know its ok to seek help.

I wish you all the best in the future.

Daddy Giraffe x

Life Battles Guest Post with Nicole

After my last post earlier on today I was contacted on my Daddy Giraffe Page by a young woman who also wanted to share her life story with the world on her journey battling Mental Health.

She sent me her story of her life battles and its an incredible read, she is very brave to open up and put it out there for the world to see.

Here is Life Battles with Nicole….

Hiya im Nicole and I was first diagnosed with depression.

When I was only 15 I took a serious amount of overdose which made them think I wasn’t happy at home.

I overdosed on Insulin the first time and the with Paracetamol twice after that, this resulted in me going into care as they said I was not safe at home.

I self harmed for 3 years straight every other day when I got to the point where I couldn’t cope.

I got to the age of 18 where I completely lost my head as my sister had died and this is what the thought the cause was.

I tried hanging myself a few times but my ex partner stopped me, this is where a doctor from Shelton was called and I was diagnosed with Bipolar and Boarder Personality Disorder.

I was referred to the Crisis Team where I was then diagnosed with ADHD and of course add suspected Autism.

CMHT have helped me with life and my children, they have made me feel like I can do this, my head still doesn’t work right sometimes but with the support I have been given over the past few years has helped.

CMHT team are always there to help, I have suffered so long and when my children were born that was my light at the end of the tunnel now I have to think of them and not allow this illness to defeat me never again will I fall that low.

If I could offer anyone any advice who is in the situation I was it would be get some help, there is always someone there when you feel there is nobody.

Thank you very much Nicole for sharing with us and I’m glad you have come through this on a more positive side, I wish you all the best in the future.

Daddy Giraffe x

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

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*

 

 

 

 

 

Balancing multiple personalities

It’s been a while since I was diagnosed with Personality Disorder, this comes in different forms mine happens to be a mixture of both Bipolar and Schizophrenia which you can imagine balancing this is tricky.

So how do you balance multiple personality’s and how many can one person have?

Everyone has all kinds of emotions like anger, sadness, guilt, happiness and even just numbness.

But can you imagine having these all constantly changing through the day/night 24/7 when you wake up in a great mood and half way feel why am I even bothering.

Whats the main emotions that im having trouble balancing…

Anger
Anger

The only way I can describe this is like inside me is a caged animal that’s just constantly  rattling the cage to get out and occasionally it will escape and trying to get it back inside is a task in its self, even on my calmest days I can still feel it deep inside pacing around just waiting for the next change to break free.

Sadness
Sadness

This comes in many forms from just waking up feeling a bit low to questioning my own being and would it make any difference if I was here or not.

The problem with sadness is that it spreads like wildfire and whoever is around you picks up on this and it automatically brings their mood down and before you know it there is this dark cloud throughout the house that you struggle to shift.

Happiness
Happiness

Not just happiness but over happiness, being silly to the point of annoying and hyper to the point of when I crash I could sleep for days.

The world is all butterflies and sunbeams, there is no negatives and tomorrow will always be a better day which I see can be quite annoying when it’s over the top.

Balancing these at a rapid pace it draining but there are methods to balance this out and im open to suggestions on how to make things a little easier.

Medication helps a little and family helps even more, I don’t know maybe I will take up yoga…

Daddy Giraffe x

 

 

 

 

Sight from the outside looking in

The past year as we all know pretty much sucked for me and there was a lot of changes in my personal life and with family, one of the big changes was after battling diabetes for 20 years my dad has lost his sight and is now blind.

This wasn’t a quick thing over night, his sight was deteriorating over time and then one day happened where he just couldn’t see anymore.

Now having sight your whole life and then suddenly losing it must be a scary thing to happen and you have to learn to adjust and adapt to it quickly, the simplest of tasks you take for granted seems like it’s very own mountain to climb, like trying to eat your dinner when you physically can’t see your plate or just walking to the kitchen to put the kettle on by having to feel your way through the house incase doors are closed or things are in your way.

Going out to the shops, doctors or even in the garden was a task as now he can’t see what’s around him and has to go off hearing alone or having to be chaperoned by someone else to guide you around so you don’t get lost.

As I watch him trying to adapt to the situation and make the most of a bad situation, I’ve noticed how all of a sudden people treat him differently and how much support is lacking from companies and people in general.

Taxis and Public Transport – Obviously being unable to drive, he now relies on taxis to get him to his appointments at the hospital, even after he has rang the taxi office and tells them where exactly he is and that he is blind and to look out for the white stick…3 taxis then pull up wait 5 mins and drive away, after the last taxi comes the driver shouts “Hopkins!” when Dad answers the driver says “didn’t you see me” to which my Dad responds does the white stick not give it away.

Now even though the driver now knows he’s blind he didn’t offer any help into or out of the taxi or even help him in the right direction, once the ride is over the change was placed into his hand without being told how much it was and he just had to hope they gave him the right change.

Supermarkets – This is from both staff and people in general, I’ve seen people barge him out of the way, jump the queues in front of him thinking he wasn’t with anyone and wouldn’t notice and even make comments. Help isn’t offered from staff at all with getting around the supermarket or help with picking items or even asking if he needs assistance.

Since losing his sight he went into himself for a while as he was trying to adjust to this new life but now he has come to terms with the fact and is very independent with it, he has managed to make cups of tea in his own way and still insist on doing some household tasks like washing up the dishes and moves around the house with little effort.

Now he wants to raise awareness for people in his situation that are having to adjust to a new life without sight.

I will keep you all updated on his journey and see where this new life takes him

Daddy Giraffe x

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vision-loss/

http://www.rnib.org.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Dad bod the 30 day countdown

OK so now that you have looked at this blog maybe the limited time of 30 days is a little extreme but it can be done and I shall so you that with a little hard work the dad bod can be changed.

From one of my previous articles I spoke about how I am enjoying the break from having being fit and constantly exercising to having children (not me personally) and eating what I want when I want getting up early and snacking through the day to eating late at night before I go to bed.

Now don’t get me wrong im not crazy over weight just very out of shape, when I it get’s to the point of im out of breath running up the stairs to get the babies cup then I probably should do something about it.

I always felt comfortable with the size that I am with a slight belly until we brought these pain in the arse smart scales that link up with your fit bit to tell you badly out of shape you are from weight, water, bmi, body fat and the age it puts you at.

This might of well said “Oi tubs put on some pork ain’t ya” so this made me think yeah the dad bod is comfy and yes cake is yummy but maybe a few pounds can’t hurt can it?

This is the current status of the smart scales and where I am at:

Stats
Stats

No it doesn’t look to bad from this a bit of water and maybe just tone up a bit but we will see what can be achieved in 30 days.

So here it goes from tomorrow I will start the challenge and up load the results on the 18th February and let you see for yourselves.

Wish me luck!

Daddy Giraffe x