Posted in Life, Mental Health

What is going on in the world?

TW (Trigger Warning) Discussions of bullying and suicide.

As I have found myself with a lot of spare time this week I have been trying to keep up to date with the news and one topic seems to be coming up more often than others and it has really hit me….

BULLYING

Seriously, what is wrong with the world? Why must people hurt others so much it makes them want to be dead?

A 14-year-old boy has ended his life in Wales this week due to bullying in School. I’m sure that this is not the only death this week due to bullying, especially in younger people and children.

Other young people are reported to be afraid of returning to school following the Summer Holidays because of bullies. Schools have bullying policies but are young people really being protected.

I was bullied when I was in school, towards the end of Primary School and in Secondary School. It possibly played a part in my anorexia in Secondary School but I sought help for the bullying when things got to a certain stage (most of the time but a lot of incidents went unreported because it was just too much effort to report). It really affected me and quite often the only thing done was a discussion between bully and teacher, sometimes with me present-nothing seems to ever be taken further. Not that I am saying that every time someone is bullied it should go to the police, but when we live in a world that is seeing an increase in Mental Health difficulties and awareness, suicides and the carrying of weapons such as knives and guns, we never know when things will get really serious or how long it will take someone to be tipped over the edge. Some people will brush bullying off their shoulders and their feelings build up over time , but other times that first instance or first severe threat or comment can result in the end of a life.

I will go further into bullying in later posts but there is an increasing level of stories about bullying in schools, homes, streets and workplaces and many of us are suffering and the bullies get away with it. Often bullies get away with their actions because of their status, their family or the fact that they have been in a company for a long time and ” would never do that” – even when other staff have reported it. One situation I have experienced is being treated badly and having a witness to this, but then this person has been spoken to and denied it and they are believed, even though I had a witness to the incident. It is incidents like this that make me not like people (and I like people!) but I have been let down and treated badly so much in life, one thing I hate is if I witness a bully, bad treatment, ‘slagging off’ or gossiping and talking badly about someone, it takes a hell of a lot of persuasion for me to make a good impression in my mind about that person, if you are one of these people I often hold a grudge against the person, you won’t know it, because I remain civil (unlike a lot of people) but secretly I do not trust you and do not like or respect you as a person.

I do not respect bullies. I will be civil and treat you with general respect – because that is the type of person I am. But I will not like you and probably not change my mind.

I am glad that Heads Together have started a campaign regarding workplace bullying.

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https://www.headstogether.org.uk/2018/09/10/the-duke-of-cambridge-launches-mental-health-at-work/

I recommend a visit to this page, and encourage workplaces to use this also as the number of people who have experienced bullying in their current workplace is a huge 48%!! Here is the webpage the page also directs you to;

https://www.mentalhealthatwork.org.uk/

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Posted in Mental Health

Mental Health Monday – Monday September 10th 2018

This week, it is all about Money.

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Mental health and money go hand in hand. Mental ill-health can make managing money difficult (not always!) and worrying about money can make mental ill health worse. It can be a vicious cycle.

I recently talked to someone from the Mental Health and Money Advice Service.

https://www.mentalhealthandmoneyadvice.org/

I had no idea how much they can support people ( I wish I used them and their help when I was off work!) Seriously check them out if you need some support with money. They can even help you if you do not know where to start; (The link below this screenshot is for Wales, so make sure you select the right part of the UK in the options in the top right corner of the website);

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https://www.mentalhealthandmoneyadvice.org/wal/how-can-we-help/

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in About Me, Life

Why learning is important to me and how it’s impacted my life? – The Short Version….

I have decided to answer this question;

Why is learning important to you and how has it impacted your life?

 

  • In my second Primary School I met my best friend.
  • In Secondary School I went skiing in France, visited Italy and had an audience with the Pope (and thousands of others), visited New York, Philadelphia and Washington D.C as well as other trips around the UK.
  • In college I adjusted my hours to work and live with my first true love.
  • During University I joined the cheerleading squad, had a miscarriage and learnt to juggle 3 jobs as well as a Full Time Course, before leaving University, with nothing but the experience, 20 University credits and a diagnosis of Meares Irlen Syndrome and Dyspraxia.
  • During my time at my distance learning University I had difficulties with my physical and mental health, finding an online support system in a group format and finding life long friends (even though we have never met!).

Learning is my past, my present and my future.

The points above show some of the life challenges that have accompanied my learning. Without these events occurring hand in hand with learning my life would be very different. I have always been aware of those in the world that have to fight for education, those that are killed because of their fight and those that never experience education. For me, education is a privilege and to be in a country where I am given a free education (well until University anyway!!) is an amazing thing.

Learning has saved me in so many ways, I expressed my eating disorder through my art and escaped to the world of Hogwarts thanks to J.K Rowling. It is important to me to be a good example to my siblings and younger people around me, nobody in my family has been to University and whilst I am definitely taking the long way around gaining a degree, I have been rescued so many times thanks to learning and education. Education has at times been my mother, father, sibling, friend and comforting stranger when nobody else has been around.

At age 17 I started my University applications for Midwifery and Nursing and year after year was unsuccessful, I tried my hand at other things and had to move around a lot to find the work – I was chasing work to build my experience, to better myself for University and I am getting closer to my ultimate dream. There will be struggles and there will be (more) tears but I will do it!!

This Girl Can!!

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I am a big believer that we all deserve an education and the right to knowledge and development during our lives, that learning doesn’t have to be University, learning is unique to each of us. Not all of us get the chance, so I grab it with both hands and love the experience. It also keeps me up to date and my brain ticking!! Learning is important to me as it helps me realise what I have overcome and allows me to believe in myself.

Learning has saved me.

Why is learning important to you?

https://www.activia.co.uk/scholarship-uk

Posted in Mental Health

Mental Health Monday – Monday August 20th 2018

Hello to another Mental Health Monday;

Today I want to discuss one of my ‘pet peeves’ about mental health.

  • “If you need anything I’m here”
  • “Hope you are ok”
  • “My door is always open”
  • “I/We care and are here for you”
  • “Love you”
  • Etc….

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via GIPHY

I am sorry but personally I have been told this and seen it so much. It is utter BS!! very few people care. I spent 7 months – YES 7 MONTHS at home off sick with my mental health and I had 2 visitors!! 2 – now you say this is better than none but only one of those visitors actually asked how I was.

Please let me know I am not alone with these frustrating phrases and how I feel about them? if you do not suffer with mental or physical health difficulties, or you do but you feel it doesn’t impact you much please PLEASE PLEASE be thoughtful when you share these ‘raising awareness’ or ‘my door is always open’ posts – because realistically is that the case. I have tried to force people to visit me just for the sake of seeing them and having someone to speak to but 99.9% of the time there is an excuse, someone else or something else is more important or you just do not care.

Please tell me I am not the only frustrated one??

 

 

Posted in About Me, Mental Health

Trying to remember the ‘old me’

If you haven’t seen the featured image on this post then here it is again;

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This was me in 2011 the night before I flew away to Norway for 6 months of volunteering, an impulsive but life-changing decision that I would definitely do again.

By this point in my life ( 20 Years Old!!) I had experienced my fair share of death and loss, anorexia, bulimia, self harm and abuse. Most recently I had experienced heartbreak and had moved back to the family home. I was getting by (luckily) by not having to pay rent and working a caring job and bar work and Christmas jobs at Marks and Spencer!!

Fast forward to me now and things are very different, but I do miss the ‘old me’ – I was sat thinking about this the other night and then it dawned on me that I could not really remember the old me.

The old me;

  • Happily worked at least 2/3 jobs as well as study.
  • Only experienced pain when I injured myself.
  • Was a little anxious but got on with things.
  • Could cope with 2 hours sleep and get up and head out for the day.
  • Exercised several times a week.
  • Had people around me.
  • Was motivated and enthusiastic about my future. ( The inability to get into Nursing or Midwifery at Uni started this downhill spiral).
  • Could get by day-to-day without anxiety, depression, illness, pain or life getting in the way.
  • Was happy (ish)

Don’t get me wrong there are positives in life now, but the fact that I looked back to remember the old me and I couldn’t, really hit me. Looking at 2017-Present Day it is difficult to see how a bout of anxiety and depression and other difficulties has made me change so much as a person and made me a shadow of my former self. Factors such as physical illness, workplace bullying, mental health and the realisation of what happened to me as a younger person throughout my life only just becoming a reality and really getting in the way has made me change. I am still unsure whether this change is completely good or not, yes I do get very anxious and depressed, I am in pain a lot of the time and struggle to get to sleep, stay asleep and function normally but I find it so hard to discuss these things as people simply do not understand. You can be the most caring person in the world but unless you have experienced certain things you really cannot understand them. I am tired, it is not tiredness that will be fixed by a decent nights sleep, although that would most likely help it is not going to cure everything. I lie in bed and have to have the tv on in the background because otherwise my mind is at 100000000 miles an hour, it hurts, it is tiring and sometimes scary and upsetting.

I am a shadow of my former self.

I am a working progress.

I do have a plan.

I am working on it.

Just bare with me.

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Posted in Mental Health

Mental Health Monday – Monday August 6th 2018

Today’s post is a new edition!! Planned to run every Monday until the end of 2018 (maybe even longer) I hope that I can get a post out each Monday, however this may change depending on circumstances.

Todays post is: 5 Ways to Wellbeing. Brought to you from Mind (You can find the post here). But here are some screenshots;

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AND REMEMBER;

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Posted in Life, Mental Health

Today I did the dishes

Today’s accomplishment was the fact that I did the dishes, well the dirty ones we have used anyway.

I have not included all the stuff still packed in boxes that has to be washed before it is put away, purely because it has been in boxes so long it is dusty and needs a good soak!!

I still feel like cr*p and my chest hurts, not to mention I still cannot hear out of one ear!! My body hurts, each joint hurts, especially my knees – must be a sign of getting older and being overweight!! With the infection and cough running has been a big no-no so please do not ask how my half marathon training is going!!

On that note, if you can spare any pennies I would massively appreciate any donations to my page ( see link below ) every single penny goes to Mind – for better mental health.

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If you are a UK Tax Payer, please remember to tick the gift aid box.

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/StacieMai

Today I may have stayed in the house and only done the dishes, but I got up and did something – I could have stayed in bed all day!!

Posted in Health

Some things learnt when I temporarily lost hearing in one ear;

As you may or may not know I went back to work after about 7 months off; I lasted 2 weeks and came down with a horrendous viral infection that of course went straight to my chest….then my throat, nose and then boom……….

black square

Suddenly I had no hearing in my right ear. I thought it was due to the infection and thought it was running its course, I left it about 5/6 days before I went to see my GP (I needed a note for work anyway) and I have an ear infection. I don’t really remember having them as a child and as an adult I had a few painful incidents behind my ear but nothing like this. Even though my other ear still has hearing it has always been a bit muffled (although hearing tests have always been ok) so now I find I cannot use my mobile unless it is on loudspeaker, the house phone is a definite no and volumes on everything are higher than they usually are – plus the subtitles are being used most of the time.

I know it is only temporary (I think!!) but I have learnt some things about hearing loss.

Cherish what senses you have because when you lose one of them (even if temporary) it has a major impact that most people will not understand. I have missed ‘I love you’s’, the dogs asking to go out for a pee, phone calls and a lot of words being spoken.

I have learnt that when people say they have an ear infection, they can really be struggling, I understand the medical aspects of ear infections but realistically had no idea the impact it has on your body when your hearing deteriorates.

Also, ear pain really hurts!! Not only does the inside of my ear hurt, but the outside. My neck is sore and my head throbs and the bone behind my ear is all big and painful. I am hoping to be back in work on Monday (touch wood) I just hope my hearing returns as I am usually struggling to understand and hear people anyway, having hearing in only one ear is making life difficult. My fingers are crossed for my antibiotics to kick in and help

I do not live with hearing loss every day of my life and I really admire those of you that live a life of limited or no hearing. I think this was my wake up call to really sit down and learn Sign Language, I have been saying since primary school I want to learn but never have.

Posted in Health

2 Weeks!! That is all it took….

dear john and channing tatum image

I know what you are thinking, corny Dear John quote, but nope another sucky health post.

I lasted a whole two weeks at work before someone gave me their unsanitary germs. As I am lying here typing this  I have no sense of smell (although my nose has stopped running so that is a good thing), sore nostrils, sore throat, lungs that feel heavy and are producing a lot of, well crap!! Sweaty, hot and cold at the same time and to top it all off, I am deaf in one ear and suffering with ear pain and a stiff neck, along with numbness in the (deaf) side of my face and a headache of all headaches – looking at the screen is even painful.

Whoever passed me these germs, I WILL FIND YOU AND….

kill you friends GIF

But not literally of course ( I am far too nice for that). In all seriousness I feel like death warmed up, who gets ill in a heatwave – that would be me!!

If anyone has any suggestions on how to get better soon and how to bring my hearing back I would appreciate it.

sick lisa kudrow GIF

Posted in Life, Mental Health

Returning to Work following sick leave

TW : This post can be triggering.

I do not really know how I am feeling at the moment.

I have gone back to work after being off for the entire period of 2018. (Literally!!)

Was I ready?….No

Was it necessary?….YES!!

Thoughts I have had since being back at work;

  • Wanting to self harm.
  • Thinking I would be better off dead.
  • That I am useless, weak and stupid.
  • That I am making work for people.
  • That I do not deserve this job.

And so many mixed feelings of anger, frustration and sadness.

Being off work is difficult, if your partner works then you cannot get financial support because “your partner earns too much” and when you finally get told to apply for Universal Credit to help they tell you sorry “too much money” – after weeks of waiting, meetings and appointments!! PIP takes months and I hear more about them rejecting claims than anything and ESA you cannot get if you get SSP (although mine ended in June so I could have applied for this during my time off but didn’t as I was told I had SSP until August.)

Money is a b*tch!! We all have bills to pay but I find it a real shame that people who struggle and are going through a hard time get very limited support. Yet I know plenty of people that cheat the system and get more money than my annual income from working. (I am not judging people who do not work and that receive benefits, I am talking about several people I know that receive benefits and do not work when they could work but choose not to)

Now that rant is over. I am back at work part-time and should be building things slowly. We shall see, hopefully things improve.

To be continued….

 

 

Posted in About Me

Such great news!!

I am warning you, if you hate people that say they have news but then they don’t reveal it, then this post IS going to annoy you!!

On the 28th of June 2018 I was given some exciting, happy and life changing news and I just want to shout it out from the roof top.

You will come to understand later in the Year why I cannot say anything at the moment but I now know what my life will be like in 5-10 years time!! I have fought and fought so long for this and people will not understand but I live so much of my life caring for others and not doing what I wanted and needed to do but doing things for the wellbeing of others. NOW IS MY TIME!!!!

To be continued….

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Posted in Mental Health, Sports and Fundraising

2018 Events – UPDATED JUNE 25TH 2018

As some of you may know, I am challenging myself this year to do events that put me out of my comfort zone, also to fundraise 🙂 Here is a short post with events I am doing this year (This will be edited throughout the year if I take part in additional events) They say exercise is good for chronic pain and mental health, so this is another reason I am doing events this year also 🙂

If you would like links for my fundraising pages, please let me know below and I will provide the link.

Completed Events or Events that I am Booked onto.

RED January 2018 [Completed]

Race at your pace 25 Miles – January 2018 [Completed]

MedalMad Mirror Mirror 5k Challange [Completed]

Race at your pace 25 Miles – February 2018 [Completed]

MedalMad Run Like a Beast 5K [Completed]

Race at your pace 25 Miles – March 2018[Completed]

MedalMad Before Midnight 5k Challenge [Completed]

Kicks count Bunnies for Babies Event 2018 [Completed]

Race at your pace 25 Miles – April 2018 [Completed]

April 30th – Joined the Gym [Completed]

MedalMad Once Upon a Run 5k Challenge [Completed]

Runr Miles 4 Mind (25 Miles) – May 2018 [Completed]

10k Great Run Manchester – May 2018 [Unable to Attend due to illness]

Booband Virtual Race – 10k – May 2018 [Completed]

Race at your pace 25 Miles – May 2018 [Completed]

5k Race For Life – July 2018

Cardiff Half Marathon – October 2018

Want to Complete But not yet Booked onto (Pending Finances/Ballot Places)

Virgin London Marathon 2019 – Ballot Entry Placed

Race at your pace 25 Miles – July 2018

Race at your pace 25 Miles – August 2018

Race at your pace 25 Miles – September 2018

Race at your pace 25 Miles – October 2018

Race at your pace 25 Miles – November 2018

Race at your pace 25 Miles – December 2018

Posted in Life, Mental Health, Travels

Volunteering Abroad to help heartbreak

In November 2010 I left the flat I lived in with my boyfriend and went back to my ‘family home’ fast forward to April/May 2011 and my story in Norway began.

A friend told me about a volunteering post that had been made vacant at short notice and I thought ‘what the hell’ applied and a week later I was being driven to Gatwick to embark upon 6 months abroad.

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One regret I have is not documenting my travels enough and getting more pictures of me, but I always say that when I travel and often enough when the time comes I often feel too anxious to get in front of the camera.

My time in Norway was special and memorable. Involving moments like;

  • Coming across the gangway at the end of a week trying to carry all my belongings as I had a week on land, forgetting the purse was in the side of my rucksack and all I heard was a splash. Luckily it was at ‘home’ and the water was only about 1-2 metres deep. My friend and fellow crewmate Michael got his wetsuit on and dove down and got it for me. Luckily as it had everything in it, including the Euros Dad gave me at the airport (we didn’t know at the time Norway did not use Euros).
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The windowsill became the drying out area!!
  • Sailing crew only across the open part of the ocean and being asleep with a good book in the dining area, to wake up under the table with the cushions everywhere and my book across the other side of the boat – we obviously hit a big wave, which woke me up when I could only travel so far under the table!!

 

  • Climbing a mountain and finding a beach in between and stripping down to my underwear to go for a swim in the sea (and actually asking someone to take a photo!)

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I have so many stories but I haven’t written them anywhere, so you may start seeing more posts about my travels.

Here are some of my beautiful pictures from my travels ❤

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Posted in Life, Mental Health

Surviving Fathers Day

Surviving Fathers day when you have two dads; one of which has passed away.

Father’s Day is a hard day for me. A few years ago I put a post on Facebook recognising both of my fathers, including the father I lost at a young age. A few hours later I remember having my mother screaming down the phone and sending harassing messages because I had upset my dad and always upset him if I mentioned my biological father. I rang my dad that night to ask if he was ok and if I had upset him to which he stated he didn’t know what I was talking about and I hadn’t upset him.

I am lucky that I have a father that acknowledges I have a biological father and understands that his loss hurts me.

Anyway, ever since I have always acknowledged both my fathers and I do not care what anybody thinks, because it is my life, my fathers and quite frankly my decision to do whatever I want and post whatever I want.

I went two nights with no sleep and I went out from about 07:45- 15:00 then picked up the wife to pop to the shop, when I got back I was physically exhausted so my way of facing father’s day was to sleep for 21 hours!! You can call me lazy if you want but my body obviously needed it.

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