Working with Mental Health is there a stigma?

Its been over 4 years now since I’ve been working and in a work/busy environment due to Mental Health.

4 years is a long time to be out of doing anything especially working and socializing with other adults.

I’ve worked my whole life, starting from working in a factory packing boxes to working hard to get to work in hotels and hospitals while achieving qualifications along the way.

So to suddenly stop all of that and be told I’m not able to work and not pluck up the courage or even be able to function in that type of environment again takes its toll on your mental health.

Recently after one of my Mental Health appointments I was told if I behave right then I would be able to go back to work which is fantastic news!

There is also a few problems with this…

  1. I’ve tried applying for jobs in the past and as soon as they see the title Personality Disorder which I legally have to tell them I have then suddenly its like alarms go off and they are no longer interested and see it as taking a big risk in employing someone like me.
  2. How will I react going back into not only a busy environment with lots of noise but with lots of people where I will have to interact as a daily task?

So this begs they questions how do I ease myself back into work?

Can I do it?

Am I strong enough as a person?

Id like to think so as I really would like some normality back into my life but im going to need some help along the way.

Daddy Giraffe x 




Looking on the bright side of things

A lot of my posts are Mental Health related and how I’m not coping well but now its time to focus on things that I’m looking forward to.

Its been a shit year to put it mildly with the break down of my family and my time in hospital.

The fight just to be seen by professionals is hard enough especially when you’re in a hole you can’t get out of yourself.

So what have I got to focus on to occupy me which makes me think things are looking up?

Christmas Time

As I got older Christmas kind of lost its meaning and was just another day until I has children and I look forward to the time where the music starts, decorations go up and wrapping presents to go under the tree.

Waiting to watch them on Christmas morning open up their gifts all excited gives it some sort of meaning again.

Bethie is now 2 and is starting to understand the excitement of Christmas which may be the cutest thing in the world.

A day which is purely meant for family to be together and enjoy each others time and of course the dinner is a bonus.

New Adventures

Cheryl and the 2 eldest children has started a new adventure.

I can’t say much as I have been told it’s a secret and not to say too much but it involves them having to film in London.

This will open new avenues for them all and I’m excited to see where they take it from here.

Going back to work next year 

This one I’m excited for.

After battling my corner for so long and hitting nothing but brick walls I see some light.

The doctors have agreed to change my medication to an injection that will last for months in my system and if I react well to and of course behave myself them they will help me back into work.

This is something I’ve wanted to do for ages and feel I would benefit from it and finally they have listened and are willing to help me on my journey.

A New Year

I’m so looking forward to this year to be over and just to start a fresh new year.

A new start where I can start it on a good note and make it count for something.

Who know 2019 can be the year for the Giraffe!











It’s ok to cry sometimes

We all know the stigma or the saying that men are not supposed to cry or that it’s a sign of weakness.

I have never been a crier in my life really, the only true emotions I have is happiness or anger and that pretty much sums it up.

So it’s no wonder I was diagnosed with Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder.

In the worst situations where I should have cried I have stood there dried eyed, emotionless but dying and hurting inside.

I guess it’s a case of if I’m seen crying I will be seen as weak, stupid or even an easy target.

As I get older I realise that its ok to let your emotions go once in a while and that in fact helps you balance as a person and balance your emotions out.

So what has made me cry the most, I d like to tell you it was tears of happiness like when my children were born or any other happy point in my life but the things that have made me cry most in my life have been my Mental Health.

The point of when you get to the bottom, the very bottom of where you see no return and you can’t hold it back anymore it come out and it comes out like a bombs gone off.

On the few break downs that I have had or where I lose control I have then never cried so hard in my life and I have to say I felt better once it was all out and then powered through with help.

Don’t get me wrong I do get the occasional man tear, the single tear that runs down the cheek that’s quickly rubbed away.

But the last year has shown that its ok to cry and still be seen as strong, I’ve watched people who never cry crumble in front of me in tears but even today they are the strongest people I know and their better people than me.

After a Mental Health session this week I cried out of nowhere and for the first time I didn’t feel stupid for it, it was how I felt and I felt better for it afterwards.

If your low and want to cry it out then do it!

Let it out, let it all go then pick yourself up and power on like we know you can do!

If I had showed emotion when I needed to could I have changed things?

Maybe but I won’t be holding in my emotions any longer, I just want to be normal.

Daddy Giraffe x

Depression and Food – Breaking the Cycle, and the Taboo

I was sent this story about about someone wanting to share there experience with others about their battle with depression, I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I did…

Depression has always been one of those taboo subjects and perhaps is why I haven’t spoken about it openly before.

Mental illness runs strong in my family, almost every maternal and paternal relative of mine has struggled with mental health issues at some point in their life. However, as a family, we never discussed these issues and they are simply swept under the carpet and left to fester.

My wake-up call came when a very close relative of mine attempted suicide twice.

Rather than speak to us about his feelings, he wrote them down in a suicide note minutes prior to his second suicide attempt.

This was the saddest thing I have ever read. He spoke about his utter desperation following the breakup of a relationship and how he simply could not climb out of the pit he had fallen into.

Loneliness, heart-ache and an inability to properly express his feelings were the main themes of the note.

He expressed his love to us all and left a heart-felt apology for the ultimate damage and destruction his actions would cause to those he was leaving behind.

Luckily, we found him just in time and an ambulance was called.

What followed in the days after the incident, as we sat around his hospital bed as he lay a wreck, a shadow of his former self was anger, regret, sadness but most of all, realisation.
Such a horrific incident made us all talk about our feelings.

As he slipped in and out of consciousness, as a family, we all discussed our emotions – not in relation to the incident, but how we were in life.

I was stunned to discover that all of us who sat around that bed had at some point seriously contemplated suicide.

A series of family events from long ago had affected us all in very different ways, however, the impact was the same. We all felt hurt, anger, hopelessness and utter devastation. Had we all come together, as a family to discuss these issues at the time, we may have all avoided the clutches of depression, or at least assisted each other through our individual long-standing mental illnesses.

We all made a pact that day to be more open, honest and supportive towards each other, and we did.

I decided that the best way to help myself (and to help my suicidal relative) was to face up to my own depression. I literally took a seriously long look in the mirror in a quest for answers.

The once happy, active, confident, outgoing woman I once was remained concealed under a large amount of baggy clothing.

The once well kempt face and manicured nails had been abandoned and the jewellery I had formerly so proudly worn was lost in the chaos of my bedroom. As I pondered, I felt sad, and so, I ate.

Eating gave me a boost!

That few moments of a tasty chocolate treat seemingly blocked out all the emotions I was feeling.

Food made me feel good!

Once this sensation had passed, the sadness, bitterness and anger returned. Returning to the mirror, I could see what I had become, and I hated it!

I was trapped in a cycle – I ate because I was depressed, but I was depressed because I ate.

My sense of self had diminished – I no longer wanted to look too long in the mirror, to wear the jewellery, to put on the make-up, to adorn the nice clothing. Instead, I chose to hide, disguise myself, to blend in, like a chameleon.

This realisation sounds so simple, how did I not know this before?

I had avoided looking at myself in the mirror, literally and metaphorically – I was not only hiding from the world but also from myself.

With this acknowledgement came a further flood of realisations – my health was suffering because I had become so unhealthy and inactive.

Once a keen walker, I had avoided taking a stroll uses excuses such as the weather, timing or a lack of well-fitting clothes.

I had stopped regularly taking my anti-depressants – each time I tried to swallow them, I regurgitated them, I felt sick and dizzy if I could swallow them.

These were all psychological illusions, not as I had thought in my depressive state, that the pills were bad for me.

Once I had acknowledged the problem – I had to figure out a way to break the cycle.

My first step was to regularly take my medication. After a few days, once they properly got into my system, the erratic emotions I had been experiencing, either extreme sadness or extreme happiness mellowed and a more chilled and level me returned.

My children took notice and commented on how happy I was around the home. The energy has changed, my husband told me, from feeling like an explosion was imminent to a tranquil, homely place.

My biggest challenge yet was to face my relationship with food.

Binge eating had to stop.

I made a little extra time to prepare and cook food. Rather than reaching for the sweet tasting chocolate treats, I had chopped vegetable sticks and had them on hand.

I left satsumas in the fruit bowl, these sweet, colourful and juicy fruits gave me the buzz I was looking for.

I love cooking, so I invested in a new cook book – it was a present to myself to encourage me to continue to the good work!

Best of all, I have started walking again!

Starting off with a determination to walk rather than take the car, I started off with a few small, simple walks to get me back into the swing of things.

I’m still working my way up to my former power-walking sessions, but I’m taking positive steps in the right direction!

I’m not even concerned about my weight loss – I haven’t even weighed myself. I’m focusing on how I feel in myself, in my own body and reclaiming it, for me!

I’m proud to report that my once suicidal relative accepted the counselling he was offered and is working through his issues.

As we talked more openly, he told me that he had in fact been struggling with an eating disorder for quite some time (something he too had only realised, or acknowledged, once he had starred into the mirror of self-reflection).

Rather than binge eat on fatty food as I had done, he had instead restricted his diet in an effort to loose weight.

Just as I felt that buzz when I ate junk food, he felt the same as he experienced hunger pains.

To him, this was a triumph.

If only we had felt able to talk more openly to each other about these experiences, we would have discovered we both had an unhealthy relationship with food.

We now work together and I’m extremely grateful for the support he has given me.

Being able to talk openly with my family has helped greatly.

Talking openly to people about my depression and anxiety more generally also helps and I can quite proudly say, ‘I’m recovering from depression’ and not feel as I once felt in my lowest moments. I have decided I no longer suffer with depression, it’s an illness I’m determined to fight, and I won’t let it get the better of me.

What an incredible story, if you would like to read more from this inspirational lady then you can on the links below.



Daddy Giraffe x

Anxiety the unwanted guest

We all have all had that nagging headache that wont go away, you take painkillers but it’s still there in the back ground so you have no choice to deal with it, well if you suffer with Anxiety then you know all about it being an unwanted guest and it lurking in the back ground.

If you look up Anxiety on the internet it will tell you that It is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear and can stem anything from mild to severe.

But if you suffer with Anxiety it means so much more and the symptoms you get is far worse than is described.

Generally Anxiety forms when we are tense, worried or afraid.

You worry about things that could happen and what could possibly happen in the future and with this you will go through many different scenarios in your head getting you more stressed in the process.


I suffer with a very mild case of Anxiety myself and I have been around a few people with very severe cases and I was shocked with how it affect you as a whole mentally and physically.

It can lead on to panic attacks, give you severe agoraphobia even symptoms of you feel so poorly that you need medical help because you fear something maybe happening to you.

Its drain you, deprives you of sleep because you never switch off and in turn you get poorly easier because your body is so run down and you just need a break.

When I did a bit of research online about this I was surprised at some of the stats I found such as

  • In 2013 there was 8.2 million cases of Anxiety in the UK (That was back in 2013 can you imagine what that would be like now and not to mention that is just in the UK alone.
  • Women in England are twice as likely to suffer from Anxiety than men

Although this can be treated with medication people are still suffering and it just masks the problem so please if you see someone suffering with Anxiety be a bit more understanding and patient.

Your impatience is just going to make the situation worse, there not being silly or will get over it once they just calm down they just need some care, understanding and time.

Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength”

If anyone suffers reading this suffers with Anxiety I wish you all the best and hope it gets better for you and you get all the help you need.

Daddy Giraffe x





Trying to be a better me

How many of you reading this can honestly say that you feel like you are the best possible person you can be, now how many of you are trying to be better people day by day to try to make a difference?

In the past I have made my fair share of mistakes, bad choices and hurt people but does that mean it defines who I am right now as a person or who I could possibly be in the future?

Where I am at the moment is im at the stage of I want to be a better person not just for me but for my family and loved ones around me but is this too late is the damage done, there is second third chances what about 99th chances they have to exist right?

First and foremost I want to be a better person for my children, I feel my Mental Health has put them through so much already and added with the fact I was taken away for a short while didn’t help things but I want them to see me as a strong individual who has it all together, who doesn’t break or bend and that they can rely on in time that are both good and bad.

I want to mend bridges with people I have hurt in the past, I’ve hurt a lot of people and feelings, this is something that I can’t possibly mend but I feel that at least the effort can and should be made because it’s the right thing to do because sometimes sorry just isn’t enough.

In trying to be a better person I can make more of an effort with how I approach people and interact, I don’t generally like people or to be surrounded by people but im slowly learning that in this world unless you surround yourself with love and laughter that you don’t really have much else.

So if you see me in the street and I look like a have a face of thunder it’s just my face its stuck like that but just know I will take the time to talk to you, if ive hurt you in the past know that im truly sorry and I will make it up to you somewhere down the line.

Day by day im trying to be better just bear with me

Daddy Giraffe x





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


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


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.

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
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