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Monday, 4 November 2019

Little Roo - What I've Learnt Since My Pregnancy


For those who don't know, last July I had a miscarriage at 2 months pregnant. Over the past year and a bit it has been extremely hard to cope with the fact that my child was never born, never got the chance to live. Little Roo should've been born March 4th 2019 and now being 8 months old I should be getting ready to spend my first Christmas with my child but instead, I'm going to be spending this Christmas as a Mummy to an angel and that is one thing I'm definitely not looking forward to. However, during my short pregnancy and the time after the miscarriage I've learnt a lot of things about life and about myself and that's got to be a positive, or so I try to tell myself.

Firstly, what I learnt is that Roo saved my life in so many ways, at the time that I fell pregnant I was in a severely bad place mentally, my eating disorder was at it's worst, I'd refused to eat and at times even refuse to drink, my eating disorder psychologist was threatening me with inpatient and getting tubed if I didn't start eating. I was also self-harming multiple times a week and trying to end my life every other week. Things were at an all-time low and I believe that Roo came into my life to save me, to get me to stop the mistreatment to my body and actually start looking after myself. Roo came to me at the right time, just a month before I fell pregnant my psychologist told me that I nearly died from the overdose I took so if Roo didn't come along then I probably wouldn't be here today.

Secondly, I had to learn how to start loving myself. Before Roo I didn't care about any damage I was doing to my body, but when Roo came, I had to start eating properly, I had to stop doing dangerous behaviours, and start using positive coping skills. I started putting Roo first, I'd do anything for my baby and all I wanted was my baby to be healthy so I stopped everything bad and done everything good that a baby needs to grow. I was lucky to get pregnant in the first place, with all the damage I caused, Roo was a miracle. Roo taught me that the human body is one magical creation, to create life inside of us is just mind-blowing and something that should be cherished; this taught me the reasons why I should take care of my body, because of Roo I learnt that it's not about what we can see on the outside that's special it's about who the person in on the inside that counts.

Since losing Roo I fell back into bad habits, the eating went back downhill, self-harming and suicide attempts were back too, I was grieving and blamed myself for my miscarriage, I believed that it was my past that caused it; even when my friends told me it wasn't my fault or when the Crisis Cafe was trying to persuade me that these things just happen sometimes and it's nobodies fault. Falling back to old habits was probably the worst thing I could've done, causing more damage to my body just when I started to love myself.


On the other hand, I did learn positive things since Roo. These will be things that I will try to keep to and continue working on in the future as they won't be fixed straight away but will take time to overcome, so one change would be that 6 months after losing Roo I stopped self-harming, now the only reason I went back to self-harming after Roo (I wouldn't have otherwise), was due to the fact that a mental health professional told me that due to just having the miscarriage a week beforehand I should be self-harming and portrayed it to be a bad thing that I wasn't; this then triggered me to start self-harming again, which was a big mistake. However, did eventually stop in January 2019, I learnt that this did nothing for me and that I didn't want to do that anymore and when I do get lucky enough to get pregnant again I don't want to cause any risks for my child. I can proudly say that come November 21st I will be 10 months self-harm free and yes I still get urges but I will NEVER go back to it and Roo helped me to learn that I don't need to scar my skin anymore because that doesn't solve my problems. It's also been nearly two months since I last made an attempt on my life and that is definitely better than every other week.

Roo is also helping me to start recovering from my eating disorder, all my life I've had problems with eating, been under the Eating Disorder Service 3 times and like I said earlier nearly got made inpatient because of it. However, Roo taught me that I need to nourish my body, keep my body healthy for my future and yes it's a daily battle to eat and at times I still refuse especially at triggering times of year but I'm better than I was and I've got Roo to thank for that because food is fuel, not an enemy (well that's what I'm trying to learn). I've yet to battle the whole eating in public and in front of people; currently, I will only eat in front of people I trust.

Finally, Roo taught me that just because my baby left doesn't mean life can not go on. Losing Roo was like losing my Grandad all over again, all I wanted was to join them, I couldn't see how I could live without them. But Roo continues to teach me new things as time goes on; Roo will always be with me and just because my baby isn't here with me anymore doesn't mean I'm not a Mummy; I'm just a Mummy to a beautiful angel who saved my life and every day I am thankful for my angel, because without Roo I probably wouldn't be alive. I wouldn't be studying counselling, doing Rainbows, or any of the other opportunities I've had over the past year and a bit. Every life has a purpose and I believe Roo's purpose was to save me, that purpose was fulfilled and Roo went back to God and joined my Grandad and sister up in heaven, watching me and being a guardian angel. I won't lie, it is incredibly hard losing a child, and there are still times that I want to give up but with my counsellor's help, I am learning ways to cope with my loss and continue with life.
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Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Mental Health Boxes

I thought I'd write a post on three mental health recovery businesses I've found, each one puts in so much hard work and love into what they do and they all deserve the recognition. Also maybe this can reach those who are struggling right now, who may need a little mental health lift to help them on the road to recovery.

Now those who know me in person or who've followed my mental health journey over the past three years will know that I've struggled deeply with my mental health since I was 13 I've had one form of mental health or another. From OCD to Depression and an Eating Disorder (plus more), I've had my fair share of challenges, just like many of us do. We're all on our own journeys, with many challenges being thrown our way, some are easy to cope with while others are much harder. Sometimes need that extra little support and these businesses help to end stigma and give you tools to help manage the tough times.

For me, the thing that works best is.... (those who know me best will know how much I hate this word)... Distraction.

(Why do I hate that word so much? It's down to the fact that professionals use it way TOO MUCH. And sometimes distraction takes a lot of energy and may not work, however, at times it works wonders and helps to ground me and keep me safe.)

So here are the ones I've found to be the best and I'm going to put them in the order that I received them in, they're all amazing businesses, that all have mental health recovery at heart:


1. Recovery Shoebox Project

The recovery shoebox project was set up by the lovely Megan. This is a non-profit organisation that send out free shoeboxes filled with a variety of goodies, from beauty products, colouring books, fidget toys, notebooks and many more. They also add an envelope with different things inside, including a letter, toolkit and other things to use that can keep you distracted. These boxes are made for anyone who struggles with their mental health and needs a toolkit to help them cope with the tough times. The boxes are all personalised, you write what you struggle with the most and they will make the box specifically for your needs. I will also add that at the moment this business can only send within the UK.

I was highly surprised by how much you actually get inside the box, and you can just tell how much love and care goes into each and every box. I, unfortunately, cannot find the photo of this box to show you. But I can say that it is an amazing box and such an amazing course.

https://www.recoveryshoebox.org



2. Hopeful Recovery Boxes

The second box I received was from Hopeful Recovery Boxes. This is another non-profit organisation run by the lovely Ellie. This is a lovely box filled with loads of goodies that are personalised to your gender. Some things that I received in this box were, a notebook, fluffy socks, stickers, beauty products and many more. This business is also for the UK only that this current time.

Hopeful Recovery Boxes are also free but since this is a small business, there may be a little waiting list, but it is definitely worth that wait, for such a lovely package.

For me, the little things are the things that mean the most so having a little card with a message on is so meaningful to me and knowing that all the love has been put into these boxes makes everything mean 10x more.

There is also a place you can donate items to this business if you wish. The link is in the bio on Instagram.

https://www.instagram.com/hopefulrecoveryboxes/



3. Made By Georgia Mai

The lovely Georgia-Mai, I found out about through the Hopeful Recovery Boxes (business card added to the boxes). This is a business full of crafts made by Georgia-Mai herself so you know for a fact that a lot of time, love and care were put into every item. You can get products from keyrings, postcards, little bags of happiness, bags, tops and hoodies, the price of the products vary from £1-£22, depending on what you are ordering.

There are also Mystery Bundles that are full of goodies and is all a surprise as you don't know what you will get inside, this is something you can get for a friend, or just for yourself and adds excitement when you receive it.

This is a lovely little business with cute products, Georgia Mai ships worldwide so no matter where you live you can get your share of mental health goodies, both men and women.


https://www.instagram.com/madebygeorgiamai/
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Saturday, 18 May 2019

Dear Grandad - 3 Years On

Life is full of challenges and don't we know that's true, so much has happened in both our lives that have shaped us into the people we became.

I believe the biggest challenge for me was coping with the fact that you weren't coming home from the hospital, and knowing I won't ever get to give you one more hug; to walk in your house and chat while making dinner, while the others went to Grandma, all your wonderful stories (I'll definitely be telling my children), gardening together, celebrating my achievements (you were always so proud of me). I won't ever get to have one last birthday or Christmas with you, no more Tuesday evenings together, just us two and most of all, I'll never get to tell you how much you mean to me.

There are so many regrets that I hold and for the past 3 years, I've blamed myself for your death, because I didn't spend enough time with you while I was at university. I ignored special times with you just because I didn't want to be around the rest of the family. I blame myself for putting my university exams before you, especially while you were in the hospital fighting for your life. I'm so sorry Grandad for not being there more for you when you needed me the most. Exams can be redone, making memories with loved ones can't be redone, they're once in a lifetime opportunities.

The Friday before, you had woke, you spoke to Grandma and your children, you told my uncle "look after your mum for me", you knew you weren't going to make it, I never got told that you got worse again on the following Monday. All I knew was that you were ok and awake, I planned on coming to see you after my exam on Tuesday (I wish I had known, rather than waiting over 24hrs to find out), but then I got the news...

I remember that dreadful phone call I received from dad after my exam, telling me to come over because you weren't going to make it. Oh how I cried, I couldn't believe what I was hearing, "you can't leave" I kept saying. The person I love the most, the only one that understood me, my world was crumbling down around me and there was nothing I could do or say to stop it. My friend helped me pack up some clothes and I came home, I cried all the way. However, I refused to see you, I couldn't see you in that coma, with tubes everywhere, that's not how I wanted to remember you, you were my everything, I didn't want to watch you leave me.

When I finally got the courage to go see you, I couldn't making it past the door, all the family just looked up at me and it freaked me out and seeing you in that way scared me so much. I couldn't hold it in no more... I broke.

The way you just laid there, you didn't move an inch, tubes all over the place, the heart monitor beeping in the background. You were leaving, I could see it when I looked at you, you were trying to hang on, fighting your hardest to stay. You were so brave Grandad. But little did I know you had already said your goodbyes. Those 10 seconds I learnt a lot, I learnt that life is too short, that people you love can be taken away from you any minute; I learnt just how much you meant to me. In those 10 seconds, I refused to believe that this was it, that you were going to be leaving me for good. Sitting in that waiting room I don't even know how long I was sitting there for 30 minutes an hour maybe, I don't know, I just know that it felt like an eternity.

Fast forward to 00:25am my brother brought me and dad the news I 1000% wasn't ready to hear. "HE'S GONE" that's all I heard, both of them just looked at me but I looked the other way, no way was my Grandad gone, you couldn't just leave me like that. I never got to say GOODBYE; I tried for the second time to go see you, this time with no tubes and no beeping (never knew how much not hearing that beep would affect me). I went to say goodbye but yet again I couldn't even do that; to say goodbye forever is one of the hardest things to do; I feel terrible that I've never had closure, never been able to say a proper goodbye, to tell you how much you mean to me, and that hurts every single day.

3 long and extremely tough years on, and what is there to show, I'm still not able to cope with you not being here, every day is harder and harder. Writing this is hard and tears keep pouring down my face; I just wish that I could have one more day with you. To talk about all your stories, gardening, eating sneaky ice cream when mum says no; to give you one last hug. I relive that traumatic day over and over; the last image I have of you is you laying in the hospital bed, your skin so pale; you looked like you were sleeping but I know that your spirit was no long here on earth, you had gone to a better place up in heaven; Tara has her Grandad with her now.

Everyone says that it gets easier but they're wrong, it doesn't get easier. I think of you every second of everyday; I always wonder if I'm making you proud. I remember when I did the radio talk and Grandma turned round and said to me "your Grandad would be so proud of you, he knew how much you struggled with confidence and talking, so to be able to talk of the radio and have the confidence; he'd be dancing around the kitchen if he was here, shouting that's my Grandaughter" that made me cry because no one has ever said something like that to me since you passed. I hope that I do make you proud Grandad and I know that my current mental state you'd be looking down on and telling me I'm being silly, telling me that I know what I should be doing and even though I want to be with you and the others more than anything, you'd be telling me that this isn't my time and that you will always be there with me in spirit. I know that you are in a better place now, and I can imagine that you're loving it, doing gardening, being surrounded by animals; it must be so beautiful up in heaven. You have your daughter (my aunt), you've been reunited with your first granddaughter (my sister) and you have met your first great grandchild (my baby). I can't believe you got to meet my sister and my own child before me but I know that you'll be looking after them and telling them all about me. I love you so much Grandad, you will always be my world, I hope one day I'll feel like I've made you proud.


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Friday, 26 April 2019

Long Time No See

This is going to be a very short blog post as I'm not mentally well enough to put all my focus into this, hence why I've not posted on my blog in a long time; so here goes nothing.

Over the past few months but especially this month I've had plenty of trips to A&E, one for physical reasons due to me not eating and passing out so needed to be checked out to make sure there's nothing too concerning going on. Thankfully there isn't so I can carry on the way I am, especially since I'm not able to get help with my eating disorder. On the other hand, there have been numerous times that I've had to go to A&E for mental health reasons, due to me overdosing; but again everything's fine and professionals are 0% concerned with my behaviour so .... we know what's gonna be coming.

Furthermore, I'm starting Intermediate Support to try and "improve my life and make plans for my future", those who know me know what I think about that. This came after Adult Social Care refused to help me, so this is the next option; I also got told that I couldn't use the Mind Crisis Cafes until I'm at crisis point and everyone was agreeing. This is a load of rubbish as the cafes were my safe place and I'd use to prevent a crisis, I then refused to go for nearly two weeks as I felt abandoned and unwanted, even when I was a crisis, I was refusing to go because why would I go when clearly they don't want me there. This then got changed to "no you can use the cafes but there has to be a reason"; however, the trust had already been broken so now I feel I don't belong and that they don't want me there or even like me, so yeah, won't be going back there.

I've now been told that basically, I need to not use the cafe and use PCART (don't we all know how s*** they are) and what happens when their not open, I'm then screwed. I also got the feeling A didn't want to be there as she turns up 1 hour late and then says I've got 5 minutes. So in that time I'm trying to get her to read what I wrote as I couldn't say it and it's been agreed by C and A that I can do that but A takes none of it so I told her what I want to do and she turns round to me and says (no joke) "do we have to talk about this today or can it wait until next week". I'm sorry what, I just told you what I've planned and you say that. She also stated that she can't stop me from doing that if I want to do it.

Overall, I'm finally done with mental health services, I'm not gonna go to my appointment because why should I when she clearly doesn't give two s**** about me. It's just wasting all our time when I could be off doing other stuff. S*** is gonna hit the fan but if professionals don't care then neither do I.

To finish on a positive note: I'm now 3 months and 5 days self-harm free. The longest I've gone without self-harming is 4 months and that was back in 2016, so let's see if I can get back up to this.
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Sunday, 17 March 2019

Hitting Rock Bottom - PTW!!

I know it's been a while since I've written on my blog and that's due to the fact that I've not been in the best of places recently, so I thought I'd do a little update, along with blogging being a way to distract myself from my thoughts.

To be honest, I've hit rock bottom, I've not felt this low since May 2017. I've stopped writing on here, I've stopped writing in my diary, I've stopped journaling; quite honestly I've stopped everything that used to help me cope and I know that I should start it all back up again but due to my eating disorder getting quite bad again, I've just not had the energy to do so. Things have just got to the point where I feel so empty and most of my days are filled with doing nothing, I'm just staying in bed watching Netflix because I've little energy to do anything else.

I've still not started my new job and at the moment I'm not sure when that will happen as I've told them that I can't do it right now due to my mental health. 15 hour shifts are a lot and with the way, I'm feeling at the moment, I feel that I'll get worse so for my own sake I had to make the hard decision to put it all on pause.

In terms of how things are with services, well...


I asked the Crisis Cafe if it would be possible to stay at The Warren for a bit since as PCART won't let me return to the Eating Disorder Service or even let me go back to counselling and C agreed that it would be a good thing so organised me going to have a look around to see what I thought of it. However, it would all come down to my SCM Worker at PCART.

Can you guess what she said?

That's right she said a big fat NO!!!!

Her reasoning was that she doesn't think it's the right time with my risk being so high and you can't self-harm or overdose while you are there (well that was the whole point in going is to stop me doing that stuff and make sure that I am safe while I try and sort my shit out). Furthermore, she believes that I wouldn't want to leave due to my home life but I know and fully accept that this isn't a long term place, I can only stay there short term (1 week). I now just keep thinking "when is the right time? When I'm dead?"

On the other hand, she did do a few positive things such as she's putting in a referral to hopefully help me get out of my parents as it's a toxic place to be and having my own space will be beneficial to my mental health. She has also set up a meeting with me, her and C from the crisis cafe to adjust my safety plan along with trying to come up with a plan on how the cafe can support me better, e.g. when I'm feeling really low and I'm not able to ask to talk then they will be able to come to me and ask if I'm ok; along with not just ignoring my signs, but acknowledging that I'm struggling and helping me through them.

This all came after having the shittest few weeks ever. 4th March was meant to be Little Roo's due date, which I found so much harder than I thought and had my first mental breakdown since May last year. Then this week I've cried Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday; quite honestly don't know how I've got tears left. Tuesday I just had enough and ended up having the Crisis Cafe send me up to the hospital after an overdose. Hospital Crisis Liaison was so bad and just told me to ring PCART and go to the Cafe Wednesday; after refusing to go to the cafe and not ringing PCART I finally turned up at the cafe around 20:00 but wasn't able to talk to staff, and they just blanked me completely. I know they were waiting for me to talk but the fact they knew I wasn't ok but chose to ignore it just made me feel ten times worse. Furthermore, I rang CATTS that night too and ended up having another mental breakdown because he was shit and said that I had to ring PCART the next day and I've got to keep myself safe but it's my choice if I choose to take pills to try to kill myself.

How fucking helpful, NOT!!!!

So I think that's basically the update. Oh also, I've nearly finished College; this Thursday is my last day and I'm actually gonna be so sad when it finishes as it's like the only thing that keeps me going at the moment.




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Tuesday, 12 February 2019

BBC Radio Northampton with Mind Crisis Cafe

Time for a positive post now.


Last Tuesday I had a phone call asking me if I wanted to go on the radio with C (NHFT) and another service user from the cafe to talk about the Mind Crisis Cafes. I was still half asleep but agreed to do it. It was all short notice so I didn't have time to think about it alot or even have the chance to change my mind. I went to the cafe that night to speak about what it was all about and when we were doing it. That's when my anxiety began to grow and I kept overthinking everything about it, what it was going to be like; what questions they were going to be asked and what I was even going to say.

Wednesday came around and I'd only managed to get two hours sleep which didn't help with my anxiety but I knew I had to step out of my comfort zone and do this; I knew it wouldbe a great opportunity and I was lucky to be aasked to do the radio interview. Me and Chloe met at the shop and got a taxi to northampton which took us straight to the radio station rather than where we were meant to be meeting with C (NHFT).

We were all so anxious to record our part for Time To Talk Day (Thursday 7th February); omg were we anxious. Part of us didin't want to go in, we just wanted to go home but we took our time, encouraged eachother and walked in, the staff were lovely even though we were so nervous. Helen who was interviewing us was lovely at helping us feel welcome and settle us in, telling us that it'd be just like a chit chat and would be over quicker than we knew.

You have this massive mic in front of your face which was kinda off putting but we had a laugh and got straight into the questions. At times it was personal questions about what was going on for me and Chloe at the time that we started going to the cafe. C did her part too and overall it felt so quick and wasn't as bad as we orignally thought. On the Thursday when our recording was put on the radio I was so scared to hear it as I didn't know what it would sound like and honestly I forgot what I said, but you know what? it wasn't bad and we all sounded great.

The overall experience was absoultely amazing and even though it was so scary it was also a great opportunity. It still hasn't sunk in that we were on the radio but I can honestly say that it was one of my best memories, if someone had asked me to go on the radio a year ago or even a couple of months ago I would've said "jog on, there's no chance in hell that I'd go on the radio and talk" but wow am I glad I did. The Crisis Cafe have saved my life on many occasions and have been a safe place for me to go when I've been low. It's been the place where I'd hand in the harmful stuff and somewhere to have a laugh and meet new people; I've met some amazing people there and some I can even call my friends; my confidence has grown so much over the past 9 months and may I say that the self harm and suicide attempts have decreased, they've not completely stopped but I'm working on that. Before I went to the Mind Crisis Cafe I was attempting at least twice a month and self harming daily and now I can manage more positively, yes I still struggle and at times have blips and need medical attention but no where near as much as I used to and that's all thanks to the support from the Mind Support Workers S, T and S and from C the NHFT Worker. I'm so proud of all three of us; C (NHFT), Chloe and myself for how well we did, stepping out of our comfort zone and facing our fears. It was such an amazing thing to do to spread awareness of Mental Health and encourage others to visist a Mind Crisis Cafe so that they can get the help they deserve too.

Here is what Chloe had to say about the whole experience:

"I thought it was an amazining opportunity for us both, it was such a privilege to be asked to go on the radio interview with one of the NHFT Workers with the Crisis Cafe. The Crisis Cafe has done alot for alot of people and I will urge anyone that is struggling to go and use the cafe. The cafe have saved my life on many occasions, and just being on the radio gave myself and Kerrie an opportunity to speak about Mental Health and potentially helping another Mental Health Service User. We was open about how we were feeling and that was great. I'm proud of us both xx"


If you would like to listen to the radio inerview, I've included the link below:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p06y1892






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Thursday, 22 November 2018

Hospital Stays - Activated Charcoal

I've realised that not many people know what activated charcoal is used for in hospitals and what it actually does. I've had to have activated charcoal twice and honestly, it's the most disgusting thing.

So activated charcoal can be used for many different things, as a face mask, to whiten teeth, etc. Within the hospital, it is a black powder substance that is mixed with water to expand it's absorption surface, once it's mixed together it's given to the patient to drink and let me tell you it's two cups worth and you have to drink every drop of it. Staff stand there and watch you drink it and make sure it's all gone.

The reason it's given to the patient is due to poisoning, either through chemicals or a drug overdose. What activated charcoal does is absorb the drugs swallowed, in my case, it was used to absorb the pills I'd overdosed with. It pushes the drugs through the gut quicker, reducing the amount that's absorbed into the body.

Basically saving your life !!

Effects of drinking activated charcoal are nausea and vomiting due to the gritty feeling. Vomiting from the drugs being removed from the body, this usually happens when you're drowsy from the drugs.

Both times I've had this, I was sick for days, you have little energy and stay in bed all day. The first time I had this, I went work the next day but it was extremely exhausting as all my energy was gone. Activated Charcoal is so gritty and hard to drink but I'm also grateful to the hospital staff, the second time I had this drink was the most severe.

My psychologist took me to hospital seeing that I was getting worse, couldn't talk, drowsy, feeling sick and just 'not with it'. I never knew how serious it was until last week when I was told that I nearly died due to what I took and if the treatment was delayed then things would be so different. I still can't get my head around what I was told as I never knew it was that serious, I was lucky to not be sectioned and just get away with being sick for days and being referred to a service that would actually help me. At this time I was under UCAT, they had rung me the day before and I told them what I was going to do, and all they said was they'd give me a meeting 3 weeks later, refusing to acknowledge what I had just said or even take it seriously. The next day was when I was in the hospital after an overdose and now to be told I nearly died. Well, I hope UCAT change how they deal with people saying they're gonna end their life because if they took me seriously and gave me the help I deserved then I wouldn't have been in the hospital with such a severe overdose that could've cost me my life.

Once again I'm so grateful to the hospital staff that saved my life and since then all the support from the staff at the Crisis Cafe, who've saved my life many times since then. I'm nowhere near recovered and I have days where I want out but I know that fighting is the only option as C won't let there be a repeat of what happened in May.
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