Day 40… Lights in the darkness

light-in-the-dark

Well I can’t quite believe it’s Easter Day and that this challenge is at it’s end.

Firstly, a massive thank you to everyone who has contributed to this blog by sharing your story around mental health or wellbeing. You have been both courageous and generous with what you have shared  and a real blessing to those who have read your story. I’d also like to thank all those who have followed the blog in any way; it’s been really nice to hear that you have been encouraged in some way by what you have read here. This blog will of course remain open and I will always aim to publish your story if you feel you are ready to share it. I’d also like to say at this point that it is now safe to subscribe (below) to this blog without fear of a daily bombardment of email from me!! Continue reading

Cross Oceans

cross oceans

Day 39 of my 40 Day Blog Challenge, I really can’t believe there is only one day left! As I said before, I’ll post day 40 on Easter Day, however, if you have a story, in-between now and then, I will post it.

I often see sayings like the one crossed out above on sites like Facebook and Linked-in, and it always makes me a bit sad. I came across this version a few weeks ago (I think maybe a quote from Jay John, but it’s off the internet so not totally sure!)  and thought it was brilliant and wondered if it may have an application for this blog… Continue reading

Taboo

taboo

Day 35 of my 40 Day Blog Challenge. So I am wondering about getting to day 39 and then taking a break until Easter Sunday. In the meantime I shall continue to collect new contributions (please keep them coming in!) and focus on getting more exposure to the contributions that have already been written. I shall also spend some time thinking about and planning what happens next, since this blog has attracted far more interest than I imagined it would. Watch this space!

Today, I’m going to reblog something simple I wrote a couple of years ago about the Taboo surrounding mental wellbeing… Continue reading

Sarah’s Postnatal Depression

postnatal-online

Day 34 of my 40 Day Blog Challenge. Still more space for contributions, please please do get in touch. Remember to “share” or “re-post” if you have been moved or encouraged by anything you read here. We need lots more hits on the blog to reach 5000 before Easter!

We know that postnatal depression is more common than we may be aware, but it can still really take us by surprise and leave us feeling isolated and inadequate. Today Sarah really kindly shares her story with us… Continue reading

Children in Care

family feetDay 33 of my 40 Day Blog Challenge.

“Children living in care are more likely to have problems with their mental health than children who aren’t in care, in fact, they are 4 times more likely than their peers to have a mental health difficulty.  And if we don’t help children and young people early enough then these problems can get worse”.  (NSPCC)

Today, an amazing family share their story of fostering… Continue reading

5000 views…?

Day 32 of my 40 (46) Day Blog Challenge. In case you are new here, let me fill you in . I decided to publish a blog around the subject of mental health and wellbeing every day for Lent. Mental health is such an important subject to be speaking about openly, and I wanted to see what would happen if I started this. Very quickly, lots of people decided to join in and write about their own experiences of mental health. It has been such a blessing. And thank you everyone who has participated so far. There are now just 2 weeks left to go.

So now I’d like to challenge you! Continue reading

Mother’s Day

mothers-day-banner-2017Day 26 of my 40 Day Blog Challenge. Elizabeth shares some beautiful thoughts this mothers day…

Today is a great day.  Today, I am surrounded by my immediate family and we shall have quality family time.  We shall play together, eat together and have fun together.  We shall also get a bit frustrated and impatient with each other because we are a normal family.

Today, Mother’s Day, hasn’t always been a great day.  It’s been a day I wished didn’t exist because of unfulfilled dreams.  It’s been a day which has made loss in my life all the more apparent.  But for me, it means I get to enjoy and appreciate THIS particular day all the more.

But today, I want to remember and consider all the people for whom today is difficult: for those who have lost their mother’s; for those who have lost their grandmother’s; for those who have never known their mother; for those who’ve longed for years to be a mother and it’s not worked out; for those who want to be with their mother’s and distance separates them; for the mothers who have lost their babies; for those whose mother’s have fallen short and feel let down by them.  I acknowledge that today can be a difficult day.  And I’m thinking of you.  Please don’t feel forgotten.

Mental health first aid

Day 21 of my 40 Day Blog Challenge. Thank you to everyone who has supported this blog so far, it is so important we talk about and share our experiences of mental health and wellbeing. Please do keep sharing…you can contact me via the contact box found on the “About Counselling” page on this website.

I read a fantastic article on mental health first aid so have decided to share it today. I really love the points about genuinely listening and being slow to offer advice; we must not underestimate the power of simply being heard. 

Here’s the link: Mental Health First Aid

Pause for thought 


Day 15 of my 40 Day Blog challenge. So I’m two weeks into the challenge, although I should really say we are two weeks in. I have been blown away by the number of people who have already contributed to this blog and what started out as quite a naive idea for Lent, is beginning to take on a life of its own. 
So today I thought I’d pause for thought. We’ve heard a number of stories, most from people I know, and most I wasn’t aware of. 

And that’s the point isn’t it. Most of the time we soldier on, suffer in relative silence and can feel so alone. 

We often hear about the statistic that 1 in 4 of us will suffer some kind of mental health issue. Personally I believe this is more likely the number of people who end up gaining treatment/support for their mental health. The truth is, our mental wellness is very fluid, and even the most resilient of us can suffer poorer spells of mental wellbeing. 

I liken it to having a cold, but mentally. For whatever reason, be it life events, trauma, biology, most of us will experience seasons in our life where we struggle to connect with our sense of self we are so used to. And this can be a really challenging time. 

Some of us will suffer severe and enduring mental health issues such as schizophrenia, personality disorders (an awful way to label an illness), bi-polar etc. I imagine most of us think of these types of illnesses when we talk about mental health. Yet others of us, if not most of us, will go through seasons of varying mental health, and it seems that we still don’t have much of a language to be able to talk about this. 

I am thrilled that through this blog, numbers of people have been able to talk about some difficult issues. Today I’d encourage us to think about our own mental health, to consider those times in our life when we have struggled and also to think about what helped to get you through, how did you get support, what helped things to change?

It is so important that we know the kind of support we need when we are struggling, and it helps us to know this in advance. 

I’m really looking forward to hearing more of your stories, please do get in touch if you’d like to contribute. 

Birth Trauma

Trauma

Image: “The Birth Trauma Tree” courtesy of Emma Sasaru at www.UnfoldYourWings.co.uk

Day 14 of my 40 Day Challenge. Again we have a topic about which it seems so few people have much awareness: Birth Trauma. WARNING: the following story contains narrative about events which may act as a trigger for your own PTSD if you have had a similar experience. Thank you Dawn for being so brave in sharing this.

Birth Trauma

I had a happy marriage, an almost two year old and had just welcomed my second daughter in to the world by emergency C-Section. That sounds common enough right? But, unless from this point I get more graphic, you won’t be able to understand how and why for the next 11 months after this event, I suffered with PTSD from the minutes that followed. Continue reading