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,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
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..


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…


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.


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.


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






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:


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

Letter to my many personalities

I was diagnosed with personality disorder which is the mixture of Bi-Polar and Schizophrenia, this would explain my rapid mood change and the fact living with me is like living with 7 different people, so instead of standing in a room and talking to myself like a nut job I have decided to write an open letter instead.

Dear me, myself and I

I have decided to take some time out to write to a letter and address you all individually.

Firstly let me start with a simple YOU SUCK!!

Depression I would like to start with you, every time you seem to catch me on a low day or when something slightly goes wrong, with this you pounce like a lion waiting in the grass for its prey and once you have a hold I just can’t seem to shake you off.

You bring on tears, fears and thoughts of self harm but you’re not unbeatable and you fade with help and support, there are more of us than you so you will never win no matter how low I am I will not give you that satisfaction!

Anxiety you are something new and something I have never dealt with before, once a happy, outgoing and confident person you seem to have brought of a nervousness in me which I do not like, you put me in a constant state of fight or flight mode every time the door knocks or someone walks toward me.

Again you wasn’t there before so you can be gone just as easily, step by step I will venture out into the world again confident and without fear of the unknown.

Rage….oh you are the pain in my ass!!

You come out of no where over the stupidest of things and just appear out the shadows like a constant unwelcome relative. You bring sadness to everyone you come into contact with, you destroy lives, break up families and just leave destruction everywhere you go without any remorse or cause.

You wont go no matter what I do….Therapy, tablets, counselling or deep breaths you just stood there poking me with a pointed object waiting for me to snap just to sit back and watch the carnage unfold.

You are the Chinese whisper in ear that smiles when they tell me, you can go F**K Yourself

And finally we come to the one that we have named Maureen, you are cold,dead eyed and when your here it’s like people are talking to someone completely different. There is simply no emotion just a blank expression and nastiness.

With this letter I just want to let you all know that you are only renting this space and your tenancy is up, rent overdue and I want you out one way or another.

This letter is your written warning!

Up Yours

Daddy Giraffe


Benedict Guest Blog on Mental Health

As you are aware I asked for a few people to talk about their story’s on living with Mental Illness, today is from a guy called Benedict who bravely came forward and spoke about what it is like from his perspective and it’s an interesting read.

Tell us a bit about yourself

I am 32 and have been with my fiancée for 14 years. We met when I was 18 and she was 17. Within 13 months we had a Son and he is now almost 13.

Why did you create a blog and what were you hoping to achieve? 

I decided to create a blog because I wanted to express my emotions, thoughts, feelings and suffering.

What does your picture say about you?

I guess my picture shows me how I want to be perceived, as a friendly, family man who is willing to help others.

How does Mental Health affect you on a day-to-day basis?

My mental health affects me every second of every day. Borderline Personality Disorder comes with numerous pieces. The one that affects me the most is the identity dissociation. This is essentially not having an identity you can claim as your own.

My identity changes with everything I see and hear. If I hear a person speaking Mandarin (Chinese) then I will want to learn that language. If I watch a film about a survivor who fights terrorists then I will feel like I should join the Police and work my way up to a Counter Terrorism Unit.

Currently, I am trying to learn Chinese, sign language, write a book, read books, collect geeky figures in boxes, stream games online, do the best I can in my work/family life, read comics and get into better shape. My brain doesn’t turn off. It works at a hundred miles an hour. I am always analysing everything around me for any possible outcome.

Time is really important to me and I am always trying to make the best use of my time. When I get in from work, I will very rarely sit down and watch television as it is not challenging enough for my brain. I need to be challenged constantly by doing things that are interesting or difficult.

I have an obsessive personality and so when I find something new to be interested in, like a language, I will completely involve myself into it. I will begin downloading apps to help me learn, speak to people who speak that language, research stuff, make a timetable for learning, update social media profiles with my new choices to ensure my identity is up to date and then after 4 weeks I will lose all interest and move onto something else.

I am emotionally unstable, another part of the disorder. I will feel emotions quicker, for longer and deeper than everyone else. I will cry at songs, films, moments, settings and if dealing with someone else’s pain either visually or verbally I will feel what they are feeling. Sometimes this can be good, other times bad.

It’s weird but I cannot be bored. I mean, I can be bored but it is not good for me. If I am left alone with my thoughts bored then I will eventually want to die. I doubt I will ever hurt myself but the feelings of despair and loneliness are all to real.

What are you future goals or aims you’re looking to achieve?

My goals vary based on my illness. Right now though, I am trying to turn my online game streaming into a full time job, learn Chinese/Sign Language and write a fiction book. This will most definitely change within the next 12 weeks so you might want to come back to me.

What advice would you give to someone who is in your position?

If someone else is suffering with BPD the way I do I would say just find your constant happy. Find what it was that you enjoyed when you were a child and do that. By doing things that you enjoyed before the disorder you can almost eliminate your pain. At least you can eliminate it while you’re in that happy constant.

It is not easy having BPD, there is no cure, it’s a 24/7 illness of constantly changing emotions that you have no control over but have to endure and for some it is so bad they cannot function enough to work.

If you have BPD, find your happy.

Thank you once again Benedict for opening up and sharing your story with me, I know it’s a hard thing to do but you nailed it.

Daddy Giraffe x


Mind, Body & Soul, the quest to find and fix the real me

As I start my journey to take better care of myself there are certain aspects that I need to focus on, theses are Mind, Body & Soul.



For a while now I have struggled with who I am as a person, an individual, a partner and at the moment if I’m doing any good at being a dad or a role model.

The problem with not knowing who you really are and having so many different personality’s is know which one is actually real is any of them real and what if the one who is real turns out to be the asshole???

So I think time is the key, I’m not one for meditation I’m trying to avoid my thoughts not concentrate on them all!

Learning to embrace it and just go with the flow is the only conclusion I can think of, just learning to live with the fact that this a part of who I am and if I end up alone at least I will have a few people to talk to.

A healthy mind must come from positive thinking and not all of this negative thinking, learning to smile, laugh and even talk to people more it can’t hurt to open up a little bit can it?



In the early years I was so healthy and so fit I did everything from running to MMA, I had a six-pack and had stamina for days on end.

Now days it’s a different story, my hot bod has been transformed into a dad bod which don’t get me wrong I have enjoyed getting, after putting the kids to bed the last thing on my mind was doing push ups, the only thing I was pushing was the checkout button on the local takeaway.

Now that I want to make a change and whats a healthy mind without a healthy body to go with it!

It will be hard work I know this but if it means I’m around longer to see my kids grow up and see my grandchildren instead of going into self destruct mode and only I can change this



This is the biggest thing I feel, I believe we all have a soul or else all these emotions and heartbreak we go through would be for nothing.

When I held my new born child for the first time, I felt love and not the kid of love you get from a pet or anything else but a love that rocks you to your core, a love with all your heart and soul.

I hurt a lot of people along the way and I believe I damaged my soul in the process, I’m not a bad person but I have done enough damage to know it hurts me and others.

So healing myself inside is key to helping me move forward and grow as a person, a person that I will like and am comfortable to be around.

One step at a time

Daddy Giraffe x








Muddly Mum A Guest post on Mental Health

As a someone who suffers from Mental Health Issues i’m trying to raise awareness that it’s ok to talk about these things and it shouldn’t be such a taboo subject, people like Muddly Mum have agreed to open up and talk about something so personal.

There are a lot of people who deal with Mental Health and writing about it is a way of expressing themselves as a release, I asked a few bloggers to share with me their experiences and the responses where overwhelming.

The first person I asked was a blogger Muddly Mum, a blogger who writes about Mental Health and other issues, this is worth a read.

Tell us a little bit about yourself  

I’m 41, married for 19 years and a mum to three aged 18 10 and 9. I was first diagnosed with MH issues aged 26. I actually struggled with anxiety for years but managed to muddle through somehow. Despite having Mental Health issues I have achieved some amazing things like having three lovely children and like singing in the same recording studio as Chesney Hawkes last October and success on my professional blog.

Why did you decide to create a personal blog and what are you looking to achieve? 

I started to write a blog as a way to process what was going on in my head. I was really encouraged to find that others can relate and find it helpful too.

I aim to normalise mental health by talking about it. Recent stats in the daily mail say as many as 40% of Men and 50% of women take antidepressants, it is crazy that we still find it so difficult to talk about. I figure if I must walk this shitty road I would like to make an impact of some description along the way.

I have spent a lot of time this year re thinking my sexuality, many of us are confused about it and it negatively impacts on our mental health. I think if we can accept who we are along the way, it is so much healthier. I don’t think we have to be militant and shout it from the rooftops, just a look at our ourselves and accepting ourselves for who we are.

What does you picture say about you or represent?

I tend to post very suggestive avatar pictures. I could say it is about body positivity, I love experiment with different fabrics angles and lighting. I’m actually a terrible flirt.

After my last breakdown in 2004 I did some life modelling, it’s a case of after a breakdown I spend some time finding what I actually think and believe and giving less of a shit what other’s think. I suppose the being naked is what you see is what you get. We’ve even joined the local naturist club.

I actually use sex to help manage my moods this is part of the reason for the rude avis too.

How has Mental Health affected your life?

Since my breakdown in late 2016 my moods have been very unstable. I can go from giddy high, I can do anything, on top of the world to feeling suicidal and struggling to resist thoughts of self harm and suicide and back to high in one day. The triggers are strong emotions. Through all this I still fight tooth and nail to get the kids to school, do washing and make meals. I do this for my kids. Some days I do better than others. During more stable periods of my life, my mood swings have not been so severe or quick to change.

How do you cope day to day living with MH issues?

I use music and singing to distract from low moods as much as I can.

Nice smells and anything sensory can also distract me when I get stuck in depressive suicidal thought patterns.

Getting out into the fresh air especially with a view can help lift my mood at times.

I love languages and sometimes switching languages can help shift my mood. I find when I am really anxious I can be calmer in my second language.

For the sake of my kids I try to keep to a routine and be as stable as I can when they are around.

I am really lucky to have a very supportive husband who is willing to walk through this shit with me.

He jokes he had had a few different wives though our marriage as I have changed a lot.

I get a lot of support from chatting with others on twitter either about issues or silly nonsense. A number of times I have needed to do a supermarket shop and been very anxious, but chatting on twitter whilst I shop makes me feel I am not on my own and much braver.

What are your goals?

Many days my goal is to get through the day.

We’ve just got a new social worker and I’ve fingers crossed this year the kids will get the support they need in school to counteract the instability at home.

My aim this year is to be stable enough get back to paid work this year.

If you could give someone in your position some advice what would it be?

Be kind to yourself and slow to judge and get frustrated for what you now can’t do that you could easily do in well periods.

Don’t let your illness define you. It is only part of your life.

Thank you very much, this was very brave and must of been hard for you to open up and I wish you all the best in the future.

If you want to read more from Muddly Mum you can at:

Daddy Giraffe x