Posted in Mental Health

Mental Health Awareness Letters – 21st May 2018

As May is Mental Health Awareness Month, I had an idea to write a letter each day to a person, or group of people that have had an impact on my own personal health. The first portion of the month has been delayed, however I hope that I will catch up and there will be a daily post. Thank You for taking the time to read these and I appreciate any comments or support you can provide on each post.

Please remember that if you are struggling with your health, both physical or mental, there may be some triggers in these letters-please seek support if you find these letters trigger any distress. Look after yourself!!

Letter 21 –  Not everyone that has been abused has experienced physical abuse.

There are several forms of abuse, all of which are damaging.

I have never classed myself as an ‘abuse survivor’ because I always thought that what I went through is nowhere near as bad as many others and their stories. However, on the other hand my experiences have been damaging to me in their own right.

Those that have been abused, especially during childhood are far more likely to experience mental illness in their adulthood and often throughout childhood. The abuse may have been physical, sexual, emotional, neglect, verbal or psychological – each type can be identified in different ways, however people can experience more than one ‘category’ of abuse and symptoms can overlap. But abuse is not always obvious and I bet you have seen, walked past or sat by someone this week that is being abused/has been abused and you had no idea!! It can be easy to hide.

Support is crucial , sometimes you do not know what to say to someone when you find out they have been abused, but it is important not to treat a person differently, perhaps be more understanding and allow more time to process information (and of course be careful what you say). But you just need to be there.

Be Considerate

 

 

 

Advertisements
Posted in Life, Mental Health

Mental Health Awareness Letters – 5th May 2018

As May is Mental Health Awareness Month, I had an idea to write a letter each day to a person, or group of people that have had an impact on my own personal health. The first portion of the month has been delayed, however I hope that I will catch up and there will be a daily post. Thank You for taking the time to read these and I appreciate any comments or support you can provide on each post.

Please remember that if you are struggling with your health, both physical or mental, there may be some triggers in these letters-please seek support if you find these letters trigger any distress. Look after yourself!!

Letter 5 – To the ex boyfriend who told me to leave at 03:30AM.

I was 17 when we first met, my first love. He was a colleague, who was a University Student and owned a flat in Cardiff Bay, his parents were lovely and treated me amazingly. I dreamed of our marriage, children and future homes.

Like everyone, we had our little couple arguments, our fun times and sad times. I got to visit Portugal and revisit New York (Business Class!!) as well having supportive ‘in-laws’.

I remember there being an event and the brake lights on the car not working, so I could not pick my boyfriend up from wherever he was (possibly a University event) and he had to take the bus home. I felt terrible but legally I could not drive without any brake lights and being young and a fairly new driver, it would have cost me a lot if I got caught or had an accident. It turns out that the lights were fine but it was the sensor under the brake pedal- it had been forced down during an emergency stop earlier that day and once it is pushed down it to a certain extent it does not rise, meaning the brake lights do not get activated.

Anyway, that night brought an argument followed by a few days of not speaking and a tense atmosphere. In bed at 03:30am I stupidly rolled over and said something silly about me not being spoken to and all I remember being told at the end of that conversation was to “get out” – I was hurt and angry so I got up and started packing ( in my mind it was not my house so if I was being told to go I had to go) I thought by the next day after being up all night packing that it would end with an apology, kiss and makeup situation. But it didn’t, I left.

This was the first impulsive decision I remember making, this was nearly 3 years into my first serious relationship. Bringing many firsts and came to an abrupt end.

Within 6 months I had left the country, changed my hair colour, got more tattoos and had to move back into my parents’ house and I was devastated. My life did perk up when we met for a coffee, I was still naive and thought we would get back together, but we never did. Meanwhile, I was being told he was sleeping with someone else within 3 weeks of me leaving- obviously this was never confirmed by him but judging by her behaviour I think that was the case.

Why am I telling this story? I have never written about it before and maybe it helps me to heal those permanent wounds. Perhaps it could be because it helps me identify when things really started changing for me, when I first started to make impulsive decisions.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have moved on. I am married, with dogs and a house. I have a rough plan drafted out for my future and I am happy with my life. But naturally you can’t help but wonder. You may never read this but I think if you do, you will know it is our story and you may understand how you made me feel, both during the happy times and our ending.

I still cannot listen to this song without feeling sad;

Oh, her eyes, her eyes make the stars look like they’re not shinin’
Her hair, her hair falls perfectly without her trying
She’s so beautiful and I tell her everyday
Yeah, I know, I know when I compliment her she won’t believe me
And it’s so, it’s so sad to think that she don’t see what I see
But every time she asks me “Do I look okay?”
I say
When I see your face
There’s not a thing that I would change ’cause you’re amazing
Just the way you are
And when you smile
The whole world stops and stares for a while
‘Cause girl you’re amazing
Just the way you are
Yeah
Her lips, her lips, I could kiss them all day if she’d let me
Her laugh, her laugh she hates but I think it’s so sexy
She’s so beautiful, and I tell her everyday
Oh you know, you know, you know I’d never ask you to change
If perfect’s what you’re searching for then just stay the same
So don’t even bother asking if you look okay, you know I’ll say
When I see your face
There’s not a thing that I would change
‘Cause you’re amazing
Just the way you are
And when you smile
The whole world stops and stares for a while
‘Cause, girl, you’re amazing
Just the way you are
The way you are
The way you are
Girl, you’re amazing
Just the way you are
When I see your face
There’s not a thing that I would change
‘Cause you’re amazing
Just the way you are
And when you smile
The whole world stops and stares for a while
‘Cause, girl, you’re amazing
Just the way you are
Yeah

 

Posted in About Me, Mental Health

Healthwise Wales

Screen Shot 2018-03-14 at 19.08.18
https://www.healthwisewales.gov.wales/homepage/

Healthwise Wales is working to improve the health and wellbeing services for the Welsh population. They ask that we help them by answering questions about health topics and our own information to help them with their work. Whether you have health conditions or are fit and healthy, you can still help them with their work, no matter your age or health status.

I signed up to Healthwise Wales as I thought it was a fantastic idea when I received a work email encouraging us to sign up.

I received a phonecall and was asked if I would be willing to share my experiences, I never thought about a camera and filming taking place (duh….how else will I share my story). But I am glad I took part (even though I forgot half the stuff I wanted to say and forgot at points how to speak Welsh so ended up doing the ‘Wenglish’ version 😉

If you are interested in finding out more information and signing up to Healthwise Wales then go to;

https://www.healthwisewales.gov.wales/homepage/

If you click under ‘Research stories’ there you will see my face and the article written.

or click on this link;

https://www.healthwisewales.gov.wales/research_stories/?id=16

You can also register and help Healthwise Wales.

If for some reason you do not want to follow the link, or cannot access it then keep scrolling to read on this page.

The Below Research Story is my story but published by Healthwise Wales;

Stacie-Mai’s Story

 

A woman from Barry who suffers from anxiety and depression has joined a unique health research initiative in Wales to help fight major diseases, and is urging others to do the same.

26-year-old Stacie-Mai Pemberton has signed up to HealthWise Wales, a flagship study aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of the nation to inform new healthcare treatments in Wales.

It is the first large-scale survey in Wales to build a picture of the health of the nation, using detailed health information gathered from people of all ages to help inform future health service planning.

People aged 16 and over and living in Wales are asked to complete short questionnaires every six months as part of the project, which is led by Cardiff University and backed by the Welsh Government.

Once registered, participants are then invited to help inform relevant health research on specific conditions, their management and treatment.

Stacie-Mai, who works as a peer mentor for Welsh mental health charity Hafal, began to suffer from anxiety and depression when doctors struggled to diagnose her appendicitis.

This, combined with previous insight into different healthcare issues gained while working for the Welsh Ambulance Service, made Stacie-Mai sign up to HealthWise Wales.

She said: “My appendicitis wasn’t a textbook case of the illness, so when I went to the doctors with complaints they struggled to diagnose my illness. I was upset and frustrated and developed depression and anxiety. I was finally diagnosed and operated on, and my appendicitis cured, but I felt very mentally fragile.

“Supporting people who suffer from mental health issues at Hafal has meant that I’ve realised things about my own mental health too. I know now, for example, that there were also more long-term reasons for my depression and anxiety, aside from the appendicitis.

“Trauma from my early childhood, such as losing a parent, have definitely contributed to my mental health issues. Knowledge and education on mental health is vital, which is why I feel so passionate about improving the NHS by supporting initiatives like HealthWise Wales.

“The NHS is a great service, but there is still room for improvement. For this reason, I am committed to initiatives like HealthWise Wales that strive to paint a clearer picture of the changes that need to be made to improve the state of healthcare in Wales, and I’d urge others to do the same.”

 

Posted in Mental Health

Not really sure what to call this one

I’m not really sure where to start, I am still off work but I cannot really discuss that here.But I am still here, even if I am quiet, I seem to have fallen back into a nocturnal state.

However, one great thing happened at the start of the year, we finally moved into our own home, no more tenancy agreements, no more over-priced rentals and a home that is our own. I just feel so bad that even though I have accomplished something I have always wanted, I am still not happy.

I am lost, I am hurt and I am sad. But I do not know why. Those that do not understand keep asking “What is causing your anxiety?” or “What is causing your depression?”- I’m sorry but if I knew the cause it would not be an issue. Seriously, do not tell me you understand and then ask me stupid questions.

My body hurts and I do not want to do anything, apart from stay inside with my dogs. I have tried my best to start making the house a home but I know it is not enough. I feel that everything should be unpacked, all rooms cleaned and any maintenance or DIY should be done. I should be out running every day and making an effort but I just do not want to. What is wrong with me?

Until next time.