It’s good to talk, but it’s not always easy!

I make such a big deal about talking all the time, it is proven to be the best thing for people, to be able to get things from inside onto the outside. A problem shared is a problem halved and all that jazz. But what happens when you lose your ability to talk? Well about anything of any substance. What happens when you have so much going on in your head that you lose the ability to actually vocalise anything that you actually need to say? What happens when you genuinely start to think that you are losing your mind? What happens when the self doubt in you has sank in so deep it has started to rot your core and question everything you thought you did know about yourself?

I open my mouth to say things and it is like there is block. The words won’t come out. It’s like I am so fucking scared of what will happen when they get said, that they just sit, in the back of my throat, staring at sweet freedom. Not daring to leave the sanctuary that is me. The thing is, a lot of the words I need to say are not directly me. There are things that are going on around me that I don’t have any control over, they are not my stories to tell. Yet they are having a massive impact on me, and that is making me feel incredibly selfish.

It is such a viscous circle. Mental health is a fucking ball ache! I am sick as fuck – in probably every sense of the phrase. You know that saying “one step forward. two steps back”? Well I am living that very saying every single day at the moment. There are amazing things happening in my life that should have me bouncing all over the place. massive cheesy grin on my face and basically doing everyone’s tits in with the positive vibes. But everything just seems so dirty. Everything has a black tinge. It is like I have gone back over on myself and I keep thinking that all these bad things are happening because of me. It is my fault. These people wouldn’t be suffering if it wasn’t for me. I thought I had won these particular demons in counselling last time. But somehow the little fuckwits have managed to sneak back into my head, and they are pissed that I won last time so they doing all they can to take their revenge.

LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE!

The dreams are the worst. Not just ones when I am sleeping. My day time ones when I haven’t realised but I have zoned out and my brain is playing horrific scenarios in my head. Where people I love are dead. All I can see is their pale skin, their haunting eyes. Their blood and their bruises. Read letters that they have wrote saying I have let them down, that I wasn’t there for them. That it shouldn’t have been them, it should have been me.

I don’t think I have ever cried as much as I have over the last 2 weeks. They say that crying is good, that it soothes the soul and all that shit. Well can I ask, how much do you need to do?? Reckon I have easily filled at least one bath, starting on the second one was I write this. I know this is because I hold so much back, keep so much to myself and tell myself that I can don’t need to burden anyone. I retreat because I feel so vulnerable. Those walls I used to have are starting to crumble and I am hugely exposed. I actually have to start to protect myself using other methods. I actually have to start asking for help from other people, and I hate that. I hate that I worry other people, feel like I am constantly seeking validation that I am not what my brain is telling me. That I am not a fraud, a failure, a bitch, an attention seeker, a bull shitter, a ruiner of lives, a hassle, a burden…………

Maybe this blog is exactly what I needed to do. As always the clattering of the keys is actually soothing me, but I am scared of what I am writing, of putting the words onto paper (well screen), of actually making the insanity reality. But those people closest to me deserve the best me. The me they know I can be, that they can see, while I can’t. They deserve to not have to worry about me, to be able to look after themselves. So as much as I want to just disappear, as much as sometimes I think that deleting me from their lives will be the best thing, I absolutely refuse to give in. I am not alone, no matter how lonely I might feel at at times. I have people who love me, all of me, even all the dark, rotten parts of me. And I want to beat this and come back stronger for them.

I owe these people my life. More importantly, I want to do this for me. Because I know I am a good person. I really am. I have a huge heart. Too fucking big at times, and I will forever put anyone before myself, but I just want people to be happy. To live lives that make them smile, that they wake up to every, or most, mornings wondering what the day has in store for them. What will make them laugh, what adventures they will have, big or small. Who will they meet, new and old. What will they achieve. What will they go to bed being grateful for.

So this World Mental Health Day, what am I doing or going to vow to do, to make positive steps forward?

I am thankfully back into counselling. There was some clarity given which I will be eternally grateful for, a straight talking, no shit attitude, that has encouraged me to look at things from a different angle. Not what I cant or haven’t done, but more what I CAN  and HAVE and WILL do. There are so many things I have no control over, but what I do have control over is how I respond, how I react, how I move forward and what I can put into place to ensure these things don’t happen again.

I have my coping strategies that I will be bringing back – my running first and foremost. I am currently blasting Florence and Machine at top volume as music always helps gain perspective. Writing things down that I can’t say.

I have my safe places. The places where calmness runs over me. Where I don’t have to be busy, where I don’t have to distract myself or pretend I am someone, or be someone else or what someone expects or needs me to be. I can just be me. Everything just slows down. Everything just makes sense. I can’t be in these places all the time, but what I can try and do is remember how I feel when I am there. The way my body relaxes. The way my mind just quietens down.

I am part way through the revamp on my house, turning it into a comfortable and relaxing home, instead of the cold and empty house it seemed to be, A place where I don’t want to avoid anymore. A place where there will be a lot of love and laughter. Where I am not ashamed to have people visit.

Most importantly. I vow to be the very best Mam I ever could be. I won’t lie about the fact that life is fucking hard, that I make mistakes, that the mess I make painting is a complete and utter metaphor for me as a person and my life! But I will show  my children that you should NEVER give up. That you should always know your worth, despite those that try and drag you down or tell you otherwise. I will never stop fighting for my children and what I believe in. More needs to be done, much much more, and I will do whatever I can.

So, yeah. Talking is fucking hard. But it DOES help.

Claire xx

 

#WorldMentalHealthDay

You may have seen this hashtag today. In fact if you haven’t you certainly can not be on any kind of social media platform. Although I haven’t been on I am pretty certain it’s even on Pinterest!

Maybe you have seen #WMHD or #oktosay or the simple but effect #mentalhealthawareness instead. Whatever it may be, did the post catch your eye? Did you read to see what it had to say? Or did you scroll past, assuming that it had nothing to do with you? It doesn’t affect you? Or maybe you are one of the people who follow me and you are just extremely sick of seeing or hearing the words – “Mental Health” 😉

Now yes, I have been like a record on repeat and yes, I am sure I have annoyed the life out of at least a couple of you, but for once, I’m not going to say sorry. The plain and simple truth is, I’m not. I will continue to stand on my soap box, spam your social media accounts, chew your ears off and do whatever I possibly can to keep getting the message across! The whole problem with starts with people not being able to talk. It could be fear of being judged, it could be not being able to vocalise what is the problem, it may be bad experiences with mental health services in the past, it may be that you just don’t believe in the whole aspect of mental illness. That is fine. No one, certainly not me, is here to force you, to goad you, to guilt you.  I will continue to be the voice until you feel strong enough to speak up. I will be the leader until you can come and walk beside me. I will show you, although it may be a scary place, there is a genuine comfort in numbers. There will be a lightness to your step when you unburden some of the weight from your shoulders.

I have had an very productive and satisfying day today although I will be honest, I haven’t quite caught up with my thought processes yet. I have a feeling it may take a few days for my already quite over worked brain to get around things properly so please, if this blog is even more random than normal, well you know why. My volunteer work for Mind Middlesbrough and Stockton has already given me so many chances to give back and be involved. They have really lit a fire in me and helped my passion for mental health and helping others grow. A couple of weeks a go I was filmed as part of an anti stigma film project – ‘Thinking Out Loud’ which gets premiered today at 530pm (I will be sure to share it once it has been released on social media) Mind were lucky enough to have the support of both Cleveland Police and Middlesbrough Football Club. Alongside this I have been volunteering at a fantastic event in Stockton on Tees – Alright Teesside which has had stalls from organisations all over Teesside, workshops and guest speakers, all promoting ways to achieve good mental health, advice of where you can get advice and support as well as ideas on how you can help yourself, be it through Mindfulness, blogging or how a healthy diet coincides with a healthy mind.

With this event I was lucky enough to be chosen for a one to one interview with the lovely Rachel Bullock from ITV Tyne Tees. It may amuse you to know that despite all the selfies and stuff I post, I actually have quite massive self confidence issues. The publicity photo itself made me cringe and think, goodness I need to up my gym game!! However, just having watched it, and the anti stigma film, I just want to say, I am so bloody proud of myself!! Proud of what I said, proud of being open and honest, proud of putting myself out there, stepping way out my comfort zone and doing my bit, sharing a bit of my story. I will post the links at the bottom if I can, although there isn’t one yet for my news interview so I will try and attach the video to this blog. I am not the most tech savvy I must admit!

The one main thing I think that needs to be said, and what has been said by a few close friends of mine, is that mental health awareness cant just be about one day. The one’s who suffer wont stop suffering at the stroke of midnight when today has been and gone. For many, every day tasks are difficult to manage, sometimes even impossible. We have good days, even great days. Then we have bad days, bad weeks, bad months even. It is a constant battle that many of us will have for most, if not all, of our life. Some may suffer periodically, some may suffer due to a life event and then once that is dealt with they make a full recovery. Whatever mental health issue it may be, it’s important to know, you are not alone.

“LET’S MAKE MENTAL HEALTH AN EVERYDAY SUBJECT”

Lots of love and a massive thank you to all of you who support me, are there for me, believe in me and love me!

CC xx