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

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

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

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. 

Faulty Powers

plugs on fire

Day 13 of my 40 day blog challenge. I am thrilled to introduce Denis who is truly an inspiration to me and has helped countless individuals in their recovery. Here he shares some of his thoughts on what recovery means… Continue reading

Therapist Experience…

Day 11 of my 40 Day Blog Challenge, over 1/4 way through!

Thank you to the 4 amazing contributions to the blog so far. It is so lovely to hear other’s stories of living through real challenge and that these stories really are encouraging others. I’ve got a number of other contributions lined up, but there’s still plenty of room for more! Do get in touch if you feel you’d like to share your story (doesn’t have to be a new topic, as each story and experience is unique).

Today I’m going to attempt to answer a question, (or at least give my personal opinion) which someone emailed to me recently. It’s actually a really common question in the counselling realm and it’s a very well debated one… Continue reading

Instrumental by James Rhodes

I finished reading a book yesterday. Big deal. Well it is for me. For some reason I have always struggled to read, it makes me tired and often restless. But a friend gave me this book and recommend I read it, so I did.

Instrumental is an autobiography by James Rhodes. It is awesome. It is awful. It is shocking. It is kind. It is full of pain. It is full of hope. Somehow, despite the most difficult of subject matter(s), it is beautiful. Read it.

It is a very honest and personal story of horrendous abuse as a child and the life long affects this has on every aspect of life. It is about how his love for classical music eventually begins the healing process, lifting him out of despair and periods of crippling mental ill health.

I feel not to say too much about the book, as it’s not my story, but urge you to read it.

As a counsellor I am most grateful for the book. Every day I sit with clients who have suffered the worst of abuse. I have not read any text book which comes close to the insights that James gives in Instrumental. It is easy to become accustomed and even desensitised to hearing difficult experiences, and sadly to miss the impact it has on an individual. We want to understand, but we often fall woefully short.

Instrumental leaves no room for misunderstanding of the grave impact that childhood abuse has on a person.

It does however leave the reader with a huge sense of hope, and it does this in such an impassioned way, that despite being a difficult read, it is also impossible to put down.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Instrumental-James-Rhodes/dp/1782113371/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1434105526&sr=8-1