Wednesday, 10 September 2014

How to be there for a friend...

It's World Suicide Prevention Day. To mark it, I am writing about how we can all take little, individual steps to truly prevent suicide.

One of the hardest things we go through in life is having to witness a friend experiencing a crisis. Whether it be the break-up of a long-term relationship, the death of a close relative, or struggling with mental illness, it can be a real test of friendship to be supportive in these situations. It's not always easy to offer help, and it's not always easy to know what the right thing to do is.

So here are my tips on how to be there for a friend who is going through a crisis:

Friday, 5 September 2014

And I'll Be Curled On The Floor Hiding Out From It All

Oh and I'm feeling 
Directionless yes 
But that's to be expected 
And I know that best 
And in creeps the morning 
And another day's lost  
... ... ... ... ... ... 
And I'll be curled on the floor
Hiding out from it all 
Tegan & Sara, 'Soil, Soil' 

You all know the stereotype. The depressed person who hides under their duvet cover and won't get out of bed. Why is it that they can't leave the house and face the world like everyone else does?

Well here's my response.

I'm going to talk through with you why many people who live with depression often further isolate themselves and withdraw using examples from my past and present experiences.

Why I Hide Away During My Worst Days...

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

'Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.'

My little sister has just started reading the Harry Potter books. She's ten years old, and having sat through the rest of the family watching the movies she's ready to embark on the journey right on her own.

About two years ago I gifted her my copy of The Philosophers Stone for Christmas. Her, however, being the the smart little terror that she is, knew it was second-hand and wasn't all that impressed with my present.
Fair enough.

My little sis
It's taken all of that time for her to finally accept that gift and start reading it.
Now, she's on Book 4; The Goblet of Fire. And as I tell her quite often; her journey is really only beginning. Because from here on out the books take a darker route along with their additional 300 pages.

The best thing about my little sister reading Harry Potter though?

Monday, 1 September 2014

Things I have learned from my mental illness:

What my mental illness has taught me:

-          What my passion is
§  My experiences with mental health lead me to start campaigning around mental health issues, and in turn lead to advocacy work. I became more confident, I was brought out of my shell. It’s what I love doing, and where I found happiness. And I never would have discovered it if I hadn’t had my own personal experiences with mental illness.

-          Who my friends are
§  Yes, there were people who thought I was ‘attention-seeking’ with my mental illness. There were people who stopped talking to me. People who stopped trying to make an effort with me on my worse days. I can forgive them that.
§  But then there are the people who accepted me unconditionally. There are the people who stuck with me through the highs and the lows. There are the people who I could be myself around.
§  And I made new and like-minded friends. Friends that I work with on mental health awareness campaigns. People who I never would have known if I hadn’t gone through what I did.