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.

Screen Shot 2018-09-15 at 17.09.48.png
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/

Screen Shot 2018-09-15 at 17.12.46Screen Shot 2018-09-15 at 17.13.20

Posted in Mental Health

Mental Health Monday – Monday September 10th 2018

This week, it is all about Money.

hustling sabrina the teenage witch GIF

 

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);

Screen Shot 2018-07-26 at 23.56.34
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!!

cropped-healthwise-wales-promo-picture

 

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….

https://giphy.com/embed/gLYw1ro7TYFpu

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 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;

Screen Shot 2018-07-18 at 23.19.36Screen Shot 2018-07-18 at 23.19.44Screen Shot 2018-07-18 at 23.19.53Screen Shot 2018-07-18 at 23.20.05Screen Shot 2018-07-18 at 23.20.13Screen Shot 2018-07-18 at 23.20.20

AND REMEMBER;

2e6ec04d41612456b9c7fbedd01ce40f

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.

Screen Shot 2018-08-03 at 23.05.42

Screen Shot 2018-08-03 at 23.06.37
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 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, 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.

287997_10150279252271705_861635_o.jpg

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).
247157_10150220385351705_1581976_n
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!)

287161_10150288956176705_8170369_o

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 ❤

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

Posted in Life

Topcashback Review (plus COMPETITION details)

Have you heard of Topcashback?

It is a cashback site, basically, you need car insurance (or takeaway or shopping….etc) so you go to your TopCashBack site and make sure you are logged in, find the shop you want and click on the link via the site and as long as you meet the rules you get cashback on your purchases.

I used it for everything we needed when we bought the house, insurance, boiler cover, shopping, car insurance and generic shopping.

They also have ongoing competitions where you follow the daily clue and a flying hummingbird appears and you can win money and prize draw entries.

HINT – Today’s clue is GLOSSY BOX – Search them and when they appear the hummingbird will appear and click on it for your prize!!

Screen Shot 2018-06-13 at 02.13.52

I cannot recommend this site enough, especially if you are moving home or due renewals on insurance. You can also get gift cards for following a referral link like the one I will post below.

This post is not endorsed by TopCashBack, I am just sharing something that I think is great. For example, I wanted a free trial of a magazine service and I could sign up for the free 2 weeks and I got £6.30 for not spending a penny.

Screen Shot 2018-06-13 at 02.20.17

Through taking out the necessities for the home I managed to pay some bills whilst I have been off work and receiving SSP (statutory sick pay).

Click here to follow the link and sign up for an account. There’s plenty of free cashback available at the moment – plus you can withdraw your money in the form of gift cards and get bonus money on top, or just have it sent straight to your bank.

Let me know if you have any questions.

p.s if the link above doesn’t work just copy and paste:

https://www.topcashback.co.uk/ref/staciemai

You are Welcome xxxx

Posted in Mental Health, Sports and Fundraising

Fitness Update

TRIGGER WARNING

Please be warned this post will include details about my health journey, including weight loss.

I have been trying to get out and do some exercise including walking and running to build myself up (I will do the London Marathon One Day!!)

I would also like to point out at this point I do see Medical Professionals on a regular basis and my weight loss is monitored – it is also advised by doctors due to my health conditions and in order for me to get certain hospital treatment I have to me the NHS BMI requirements ( do not get me started on my opinions on BMI!!)

But here is my progress:

The fitness scores at the bottom involve using a piece of machinery at the gym I visit to measure certain strengths, I believe the idea is to increase those scores. My goals are to reduce fat % and increase muscle % as well as lose some weight (kg).

Please don’t judge me, I know my weight is very high.

14/05/2018 05/06/2018
Body Composition
Weight (kg) 122 121.85
Fat (%) 45.22 44.04
Muscle (%) 26.6 27.42
Hydration (%) 41.89 42.67
Fitness Test Results
Overall 81 99
Lower Body Strength 1 3
Lower Body Endurance 108 200
Upper Body Strength 150 180
Upper Body Endurance 200 200
Explosive Muscle Power 41 103
Balance 70 104
Speed Ability N/A N/A
Heart Rate Recovery N/A 6
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.

thank-you-1400x800-c-default

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;

Screen Shot 2018-05-15 at 00.59.09

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?