Monday, 23 February 2015

Time to change champions celebration event

This event was held today to celebrate time to change champions (duh!) and all the different events and projects they've been involved in. And there are some awesome things people have been doing (remind me to share them some time).

Basically a champion is anyone with 'lived experience' of mental health issues who's willing to use that experience to help towards ending mental health discrimination- through conversations, regional events, art work, performances etc etc. Anyway some of these people were chosen by regional coordinators to attend the celebration. However there were still some spaces left and those opened up to anyone who's ever participated in a tonne to change event (names out of a hat style). Hence my presence.

And it was brilliant. Seriously. So great to meet all those passionate and dedicated folk and to hear about all the exciting projects that they've been working on. Also interesting to get involved in discussions about where the campaign might go in future.

I would write something better but I'm really tired! Lol. Obviously i painted my nails. We have Barry m matte white, black and pomegranate to reflect the colours of the time to change logo etc. Then i wrote time to change in full on my thumb and then just the abbreviated ttc on the urged

Oh well I'll maybe come back when I've had some sleep. Blogging has been a major fail this week. Not enough hours in the day lol. x

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Welcome to my world- 'high functioning'

Ok so the running theme in my brain is guilt; the running theme in my medical notes is certainly 'high functioning'. The medical professionals seem to like this phrase. Basically what it boils download to is that even when i feel like shit i still general manage to carry out most of the tasks necessary for everyday life.

No matter how many times i might say or feel that i want to call up in bed and cry and ignore the world i can't do it. I get up, i get dressed, i go to work. I even do 'unnecessary' things like guides or ringing and i rarely cancel on friends. And I'm not,  by the way, implying that I'm somehow better or more hardworking or whatever than people who can't do those things. Because I'm not. Just different. A lot of it ties back into the guilt thing. The need to be productive. The need to keep up appearances.

And I'm certainly not unusual in that. There are a lot of people out there that you'd never guess were struggling because they get up, put on the right expression and play the game. Often there's a very clichéd view of depression (for example) as shutting or the world, constantly weeping, hiding in a darkened room. And probably that's what it is like for some people. But not all. There are some very successful people living with mental illnesses, people who seem to have everything and be totally together. You can never tell.
Which is why it needs to be easier for people to speak about it. So it no longer has to be a secret.
I've often felt unable to talk honestly about how I'm feeling simply because the way i act doesn't reflect the way i feel. I feel life I'm exaggerating or being silly when clearly everyone can see I'm fine. It's very easy to look over dramatic or attention seeking if you confess to feeling suicidal two seconds after you've been sitting laughing, cracking jokes.
So many times I've had things in my mind to tell therapists or counsellors or GPs and been derailed simply by them opening with 'you seem happier/better/more cheerful' today. Because I'm good at seeming cheerful and to contradict them feels like whinging.
I've come across several professionals along the way and only one of them has ever really 'got it'. Her summation was basically 'ok so we know you can manage, we just bed to help you feel less shit about it' lol. There's a big focus in mental health services on getting people back to work or back into social circles....back functioning basically. Which is tricky when you already do those things. In my discharge meeting last time my psychologist told me i was doing well because i was managing to hold down a job, seeing friends, engaging with my hobbies and studying. It didn't seem worth pointing out that i was already doing all those things when i first entered their services!
I don't know where I'm going with this. Don't get me wrong, I'm very grateful that I'm able to lead a normal life...i mean you've got to be, right? Just every so often i resent it as well. It's really hard work. It exacerbates the feelings of guilt because obviously 'I'm fine'. It definitely limits the help you can get because that goes to the 'really sick' people. And sometimes it doesn't seem worth all the effort!
I shouldn't leave these posts so late, my thoughts on this were much more coherent earlier! I think the vast majority of people with mental health issues will fall into the 'high functioning' bracket at least at some point. The place of managing but struggling. And i think maybe that makes them more vulnerable...because nobody knows, so nobody can support our look out for them and they feel unable to tell anyone. I just think that's important to be aware of. That's my conclusion basically, just look out for folk, even if they don't for the classically 'ill' stereotype. x

Ps. And a funny note to end on.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

52 week pick and mix- purple hearts

So this is another challenge from crumpet's nail tarts. Every week there's two prompts (one a colour and one a pattern/theme). You can do either or both of these and as nanny different manis as you like.

This week is purple and hearts. So yep, here are some purple hearts lol. I can't say I'm particularly enthusiastic about this design but i kinda feel like I'm losing the momentum i worked hard to build up in January. So i thought I'd post something nail related lol.

If I'm honest i just wasn't that excited by the prompts....well by one of them. Purple? Hell yea! Hearts? Meh, not so much. I dunno they just don't do it for me. The whole Valentine's deal is lost on me (and not just cos I'm a bitter singleton (actually I'm pretty content as a singleton lol)). And heart patterns have never been something I'm particularly drawn to.

But anyway, enough moaning! I do like the design of the stamp on my index and middle finger, which is from mo you London pro 08. It's hearts...but it's also roses, which is far more acceptable :p lol. I kinda smudged it a little cos it was late at the time but shh! I also love the dark purple which is Barry m orchid. The pale is Barry m Heather. Both are from the silks collection. I did little needle draggy hearty things on my thumb and ring finger (and smeared the ring quite spectacularly whilst top coating haha). Then drew a little heart on my pinkie.

Yea i kinda just lost interest tbh! Check out the ladies that actually could be bothered via the in linkz though :). x

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

time to talk day- part 2

The second video i made for tome to talk eventually decided to cooperate and upload all here it is.

I'm planning to come back and do a proper post on the issues i touch upon in this video. I think for me personally the crux of the matter is the widely held belief that you can extrapolate from knowing someone's diagnosis to knowing anything and everything about them. A diagnosis isn't an identity, it's a useful (sometimes) short hand that aids communication between medical professionals. I'm not even sure what mine is right now, it seems to change depending on who you speak to! 
But anyway, yes I'll come back to that another day since i really need an early night! x

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Les Mis

Today we went on a family outing to London to see les mis. It was amazing, i really enjoyed it....but it was also a really long day. Therefore I'm tired. Therefore i don't have much to say for myself for once lol.

Obviously i painted my nails. Though unfortunately it was about 1am at the time since i got in late from ringing! Consequently it's not the most accomplished nail art ever lol. I was going for a gradient in the colours odd the french flag (barry m blood orange, coconut and blackberry). The colours overwhelmed the whose a little so i had to go back and add more white after...but i can live with that, i was kinda aiming for messy anyway. What i wasn't aiming for was the gap around the cuticles where the white base shows and it really bugs me! Lol. Any tips?

The other fingers are barry m lychee topped with, of course, eponine from quirk! What could be more fitting right?! I also wore the necklace i bought from quirk featuring the same polish. Eponine is an amazing character and this polish definitely does her justice!

Oh well. Sleep?! x

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Time to talk day 2015

So today is time to talk day. This is a day organised by time to change dedicated to talking about mental health in order to combat the stigma surrounding it. This year i thought I'd make a video for the occasion. I speak a lot about my history of mental health issues on this blog and online in general but i still often find it hard to find the words to talk about it out loud. I have volunteered at a couple of time to change events, engaging with the general public re mental health and that's helped a lot. So i thought I wanted to do this to prove to myself (and maybe others) that it's ok to talk, actually talk without distancing yourself with a keyboard.

Oh and i painted my nails of course! Green for mental health awareness and red to reflect the time to change logo. And a random dotticure!!...what is it with me? I say i don't like something and then proceed to use it repeatedly haha!
Base is Barry m matte white and the green and reds are barry m silks- poppy and forest...because i felt like adding a bit of sparkle. It turned out kinda Christmassy though which is a little unfortunate haha. And note the elusive right hand- because it's slightly different owing to the fact i couldn't write that small with my left hand! Lol.

I hope it's ok. I have a part 2 but for some reason that didn't upload correctly so I'll share that another day. x

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Welcome to my world, part 1- guilt

The image has nothing to do with anything it's just a random NOTD lol.

So i said i wanted to get back into posting about mental health again. The problem is i can't think of anything particularly informative to say and my brain is a bit too mushy to construct a serious post anyway.

So i thought I'd be wildly egocentric and do a series all about ME hehe. I mean i know the subject well enough afterall :p. I want to do a few posts on what the most significant effects of living with mental illness are got me personally.

And i thought I'd start with guilt, since i have a pertinent example from just recently.

This is one of the biggest things for me and a lot of my thoughts, feelings and behaviours stem from it. I must never do anything wrong, day anything wrong, behave in any way that could conceivably hurt anyone ever. I am completely and entirely responsible for other people's happiness...i must never make them unhappy and if they are unhappy it's my job to fix it. I feel guilty of i can't make things better for people and even more guilty for being ok when they're not.

I feel guilty for things i have done, haven't done, will do and could do. Things from years and years ago or things that haven't happened yet ams night never happen. I feel guilty for small everyday things and for crises in the wider world. Things that i am legitimately responsible for and things that cannot possibly be connected to me in any way. I feel guilty hearing negative stories on the news, bad news from friends, ambulances going past. I feel guilty for the way i think, feel and behave.

Everything is my fault. Because I'm just that important :p lol.

And of course i feel guilty for feeling guilty.

It becomes a vicious cycle. The more guilty i feel the bigger impact it has on my mental health. And the more my mental health deteriorates the more i feel guilty. Simply for being depressed or anxious. Because of the way it makes me feel and act and because of the impact it has on others. Particularly if i use crappy behaviours to deal with it because i know how much that worries people. More guilt= worse mental health= more guilt= worse mental health ad infinitum.

Example. As i mentioned in the 31 day challenge, i was ill last week. I went out feeling fine and ended up throwing up on the way home. So i called in sick and had Friday off work a. Because i felt like crap and b. Because i work with elderly, vulnerable service users and didn't particularly want to pass on any bugs to them.

Reasonable? Yes. I would think so.

Except the ridiculous part of my brain disagrees. For a start i shouldn't be ill that's pathetic and week. Then if i am ill i should get a grip and deal with it not have time off and inconvenience others. Then next time i see them my ladies complain about getting calls at the wrong time on Friday. So that's my fault and if i wasn't so rubbish they would have been fine. And im useless and worthless and just a failure as a person.

Apparently. Because i was sick.

Well wasn't that fun?! Lol. I think this is probably one of those continuum things that most people can relate to to some degree so hopefully it's been informative. I will probably add a similar post on a different topic next week. x

Sunday, 1 February 2015

31 day challenge- round up

So, at the end of the challenge i thought of make a collage of my favourite of the 31 manis i did. Partly just for fun but partly to remind myself that i can like the things i do...and that it's ok to do so.

I started the challenge on a bit of a whim, and as i said yesterday i wasn't really expecting to get to the end. Or to the end of the first week haha! I was pretty apprehensive jumping into new nail art and blog post every day having been very inconsistent with both for several months. But I'd hoped that it would give me something to focus on and that being committed to something would help motivate me. And i think it was a success in that regard.

And here's the mh-y bit. I hate winter. Really, completely loathe it. Everything gets very difficult in winter when the weather is dull and the days are ridiculously short. And yea, I've been struggling to find the energy to do anything and getting ridiculously anxious about the things i do do. Blah blah blah i won't go on cos that's not really the point of this. But basically because of that i let nail arty stuff slide. Which is a shame because it's actually quite therapeutic. But i couldn't be bothered, didn't have any ideas, thought everything i did was crap anyway and was totally overwhelmed by the idea of choosing what to do, how to do it, carrying it out etc.

Enter 31 day challenge. Which at least helps with the last bit because it provides a starting point. Plus there are other people along for the ride. And it's structured. I like structure.

And clearly it had kept me motivated. And i feel a sense of accomplishment for getting to the end. Plus i actually kinda liked some of the manis. I really tried to push myself out of my comfort zone, using the prompts as an excuse. And there's only one that i totally hated/flipped out over (blobbicure, I'm looking at you!). I'm not saying I'm 100% happy with any of them, there's huge room for improvement, but i think that's ok.

I chose the favourites above for lots of different reasons...they're not all the best technically or as a finished product but some i chose simply because i was proud of myself for trying new things and being brave. Others i just liked how they looked. And some just because other people liked them, and we all like positive affirmation right?!

So that's it. I'm not saying that doing a random nail challenge has cured whatever mental health blip I'm working through, I'm still very much struggling in all honesty. But it's been positive. So I'm counting this one as a win haha. Xx