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 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

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 Mental Health

Mental Health Awareness Letters – 31st 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 31 – The Final Note

I finally beat the writer’s block and finished the task I set myself for this month, this post is being updated late but during this month of letter writing I have had several likes, comments and new followers and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

I planned to write a really long and well-written post for my last post but I am keeping it short and sweet.

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Please remember to check out the Get help and support page for links to services that can help ( please let me know if there are services I can add to the page as it is under construction).

Posted in Mental Health, Sports and Fundraising

Mental Health Awareness Letters – 30th 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 30 – To MIND

Mind has really helped me over the last few months and I am so glad they are there. I have used their InfoLine, Legal Line and have some email addresses and telephone numbers for support.

There is also the chance to get involved, volunteer and fundraise.

Visit https://www.mind.org.uk/ for help and support if you are struggling with your mental health or supporting someone else.

You will also see my face in the Stories section;

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There is also the online support community Elefriends (seriously, give them a visit)

Mind really do not give up until they are able to help you, unlike several other services that say they do not give up or judge, but actually do.

Thank You Mind, for being there, helping me and allowing me the chance to speak up.

 

Posted in Mental Health

Mental Health Awareness Letters – 29th 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 29 – To my next challenge.

I have decided that I need to sit down and make a new bucket list, I have always had lists here and there of my goals but I have decided to sit down and write it down properly – to visualise the goals.

What I have also decided to do is create a¬†‘Mental Health & Self Care’ bucket list along with my A-Z Book challenge.

The A-Z bucket list involves me reading a book that starts with each letter of the alphabet.

The bucket list and mental health & self-care bucket lists will be 100 goals each to help me reach goals in life.

What a good idea (if I do say so myself) Let me know if you are doing a similar thing, what is on your bucket lists?

Posted in Mental Health

Mental Health Awareness Letters – 28th 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 28 – Tattoos

My tattoos have helped me in my life and recovery. I have 14 (I think) although a few of them are being merged into a half sleeve. Once it is completed I will share full images.

If you have a tattoo you know they are addictive and as soon as one tattoo is done, the itch to get the next starts. For me, my tattoos help me put my feelings into art and to me they are a way of self-harming that is creative, as opposed to being harmful.

People judge me for having tattoos, but at the end of the day they would judge me for something else – why not let it be judgement for something I love??

My tattoos represent life, death, memory, surviving terrorism, travel, experiences, scouting and my life.

If my tattoos could talk they could tell stories!!

 

Posted in Mental Health

Mental Health Awareness Letters – 27th 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 27 – To those stupid numbers!! (I have no idea if the % in the featured image is right but I needed a fact so there you go – this is a huge step for me as it is an odd number!!)

I hate odd numbers!! You may know this about me or you may not!!

I started counting things when I was in my teens and had anorexia, at one point I counted rice grains!! It was that extreme and really hard to live with – especially when it was hidden from others, my best friend noticed I was thinner and some of the girls in school said I looked good when getting changed for P.E at school (I had gone from about 10 stone to 8 stone at this point in a couple of weeks). I almost got caught out once at school when I spent the lunch in a teacher’s office and she asked what I had for lunch and I said nothing, she left me some of her fruit and said I had to eat something, I think I ate an apple but I left the rest for her as I felt so bad.

I like things to be even and it really gets to me if things aren’t even, my car volume and TV volumes are the easiest things to control and I feel a fire burn inside when I do not have things in even numbers- I mean if there are odd numbers I have learnt to adjust,¬† I can cut them equally so 3 items would turn into 6 halves – but I do freak out if they aren’t all the same size.

Talk about frustration!

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Posted in Life, Mental Health

Mental Health Awareness Letters – 26th 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 26 – My Joints and Muscles

I suffer from widespread chronic pain, I have no idea why and I can only identify a couple of triggers to this pain, but most of the time I have no idea why it happens.

Most of the time it is my shoulders, knees and hips but a lot of the time it is every single joint, every single muscle and just moving to change position is agonising.

This has a huge impact on my mental health and makes me feel useless at times. Especially when I want to go an exercise or actually feel in the mood to get out, yet I cannot even put my socks or shoes on.

I would appreciate if anybody has any advice on how you manage pain.

 

Posted in Books, TV, News and Social Media, Life, Mental Health

Mental Health Awareness Letters – 25th 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 25 – To the upcoming Summer and no University

I really do not know how I am going to cope over the Summer with no University – although it will give me time to breathe and prepare the box room for studies commencing in the Autumn. I need to knock down a little box in the corner of the room to see what is under it and then rebuild it and hopefully make it smaller – if not I will turn it into some sort of unit.

Anyway, I am also doing some non-university courses that will help me understand CBT, train to teach and deliver training and counselling skills level 3 and 4. Definitely enough to get me through the Summer.

Although from the end of this month – Mid July I will be like this;

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Any tips for this anxious time – made worse by anxiety and the inability to remain calm when waiting for results??

 

Posted in Mental Health

Mental Health Awareness Letters – 24th 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 24 – What Makes Mental Health Worse? Some warning signs with some help from the internet.

Today I decided to be daring and go to¬†‘Dr Google’¬† and simply search¬†‘What makes mental health worse’ – I was interested to see what similarities I may have to others.

I came across this page on www.psychologytoday.com that provides their 5 ‘warning signs of Mental Health Risk’ and I found that I can relate to all 5. Now everyone is different of course but Psychology Today listed the below warning signs;

  • A Change in Personality. If someone is acting like a very different person, or not acting or feeling like themself, this is a warning sign.

This is a big one for people with mental health conditions. Please keep a watchful eye on yourself, or for those you care for. To look for any changes in personality.

  • Uncharacteristic Anxiety, Anger, or Moodiness.

My moods are all over the place and it does not take much for me to feel angry, however, a lot of it is with reason but unfortunately, I cannot go into it. I don’t get PMS due to my PCOS and amenorrhea so PMS has never been an issue. But on occasions, my anxiety flares up quite badly with no reason what so ever, sometimes there is the slightest thing that sets me off and then it is a downhill slope from there, but I have not been able to identify the exact reason for my anxiety – this frustrates some people.

  • Social Withdrawal and Isolation.

I very rarely leave the house, I like to shop at night when there are very few people in the shop, I use scan as you shop and I hate it when there is a problem and I have to call someone over or have a random check on my shopping. I do not go out or go to parties and the thought of being seen by people from work during work time makes me feel worse, another reason why I shop at night (If I can afford it) I feel bad that I am at home all day when they have to go to work.

  • Lack of Self-Care or Risky Behaviors.

Mental Health definitely brings lack of self-care and risky behaviours for me, however, the risky behaviours are very mild. I hate how I do not look after myself as much as I should because of my mental health, washing, getting dressed and eating/exercise can be near impossible. (You may find it disgusting but it is the reality).

  • A Sense of Hopelessness or Feeling Overwhelmed.

This is definitely something I have been feeling lately. The work situation and not working does not help, however being at work was equally overwhelming.

 

Like I said above, this isn’t the case and each individual has their own unique warning signs. Identifying them can be hard and they are not set in stone – things change!!

Posted in Mental Health, Sports and Fundraising

Mental Health Awareness Letters – 20th 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 20 – I am Sorry,

Today I really am feeling sorry for myself.

I should have been in Manchester today. I should be running and remembering those lost last year in Manchester.

But I am not!! And I feel so bad.

I was unwell and sent to hospital, then got sent home in the early hours of the morning to come back for emergency scans and tests, there was no way my body would have held up on the run, but I am determined to run the race – SimplyHealth will not let me defer even with the hospital note so I have to wait until I can put some money aside and wait for 2019 entry and re-enter.

I will get there.

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Posted in Mental Health

Mental Health Awareness Letters – 23rd 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 23 –¬†To my Family,

Family means a lot to me, I think it is down to losing so many people and having control taken away from me for so many years of my life.

But everybody moves on, I use to be the one who would drive for miles to visit people, but I have got to the point where I don’t want to be the one that always drives, always goes out of my way and fills the tank up to visit people that wouldn’t do the same for me. Since buying our house in January I have had 3 visits from people, 2 of those visits where from my brother. I appreciate people are busy but when you pass the house or go to an event by my home and then say it is too far it really does upset me. What also hurts is the ignoring and not publicising the fact that your near, but guess what?? I always find out!!

I am sorry if this upsets you, but I do not see anyone anymore, some days I look at how much fun my family are having without me I wish I was not here, this is the truth. In all honesty I often find myself (especially lately) thinking it would not matter to a single one of you if I was not here.

But of course you don’t care, after all it is only me!! But I bet if something did happen to me you would all be crying at my funeral – and for what??

Posted in Mental Health

Mental Health Awareness Letters – 22nd 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 22 

This letter isn’t really written to anyone, to be honest I am having a bit of writer’s block. Only 9 More #MentalHealthAwarnessMonth posts to go!! (That went quick)

What have you been doing this month for Mental Health Awareness?

If you haven’t done anything then don’t worry, you don’t have to!!

Take Care of Yourself xxxx

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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 Р 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

 

 

 

Posted in Life, Mental Health

Mental Health Awareness Letters – 19th 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 19 – To My Mother,

I upset my mother once because I didn’t have any pictures of “us together” on my Facebook page. I draw your attention to the featured image for this post, posted on my Facebook page on May 8th, 2010.

I also upset my mother when I didn’t involve her in my wedding planning, especially the dress fitting ( I measured myself and ordered the dress online-I couldn’t afford the whole bridal dress shop thing and even if I could nobody would have come because I lived in Carmarthen and everyone would have been “too busy” as always for me, it also would have been too far to travel.

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Another time I upset Sue was when I didn’t inform her I had a first date with my now wife- we never had the type of relationship that would involve me sharing this.

In brief, there were several other times I upset Sue:

  • Not telling her I was engaged straight away.
  • Not telling her “I was gay” even though I identify as bisexual and have always indicated since a young age that anyone can fall in love with anyone and I am open to that. #lovenotgender
  • Telling her to leave me alone when the harassment got too much.
  • Telling the Police about her harassment when she wouldn’t listen the first goodness knows how many times.
  • When she was sat at the end of the bridal table. It was me and Anna in the middle with my father and an amazing lady that walked Anna down the aisle, then gran and my Best Friend then siblings and Sue sat with my young sibling. Oh, and did I mention that she could not sit next to my Brother and she wasn’t a fan of my gran or dad so in all fairness, she is lucky she sat there at all because that plan took us ages to find a way to make everyone happy.

You may have noticed that I have switched from Mother to Sue. Don’t get me wrong I do love her but she brought me into the world. Having lost a parent I do not agree with cutting out parents from your life but I am also not a huge believer in keeping people in your life when they make it negative.

I think I could write a book about our ‘relationship’ but I got to a point in life where I had to say ‘enough is enough’ And that is what I did.

So I leave you with this quote, because I am sure the time will come when I want to explain further into this topic.

But I will not say sorry, yes I have made mistakes but we all do and we learn from them.

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Posted in Mental Health

Mental Health Awareness Letters – 18th 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 18 – Dear Insomnia,

Sometimes insomnia can be useful, for example when rushing a final assignment for Uni because you realise you have not finished it – so choose to stay up for 2 days and nights straight to get it finished, because you cannot sleep anyway!!

But overall I Hate you insomnia!!

I use Netflix to fall asleep too, or that is the plan, often enough I keep watching until I realise it is 6am and my wife will be up for work soon-many times I have stayed up until she has gone to work and then my body is so tired I eventually fall asleep (until the postman/woman knocks like they are trying to break in or I get non-stop calls from work, sales calls or random stuff.)

You can tell when I really cannot get to sleep as I will update this site or start writing, for example, I am proofreading, tagging and adding images to my Mental Health Awareness Letter that should all be uploaded by now but aren’t.

I was given “advice” from one of the GP’s at my surgery a few weeks ago, which made me feel like a child because I was told about how my “sleep hygiene” needs work.

  • No Tea/Coffee (I don’t drink them anyway)
  • Get up in the mornings, even if I have had no sleep what so ever (easier said than done if I am having a pain flare-up).
  • No napping.
  • Tire myself out in the day, exercise, walks housework (I do what I can, quite often some activity that would usually make me tired like everyone else will knock me for days with sore joints and extreme tiredness, I do what I can)
  • Relaxing bedtime routine.

Well did I feel like a child!! I do the best that I can and have suffered from insomnia since I was in my early teens, if not before. I get very tired lately but have always been able to cope with limited sleep. Maybe it is creeping up on me.

If you have any (sensible) advice I would be grateful, but I will not be buying any miracle cures, tablets or vitamins mainly because I cannot afford these and also most of the time they don’t work.

Posted in About Me, Life, Mental Health

Mental Health Awareness Letters – 17th 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 17 – To the younger me

If I could go back and tell my ‘younger self’ something, it would be;

“Stand up for yourself, Leave and don’t be scared.”

This post is very short and to the point, but I watched something the other day and they were talking about their younger self and regrets, and it got me thinking about what I would tell my younger self. I had great moments in my childhood but I also had terrible times-By the time I hit my teens, I had experienced so much more than many people my age and I had to mature very quickly.

Maybe take a moment now and think about what you would tell your ‘younger self’.

What would you say??