Wednesday, 31 December 2014

2014 Review / New Year (woo!)

On January 1st 2014 I decided I needed to remember the good things.

The thing about a mental illness is that you tend to fixate on a negative. Or lots of negatives.

So the new year brought with it a chance for me to -

  1. try to focus on the good things
  2. find the positives
  3. use a spare diary I got for Christmas
  4. make a New Years Resolution I might actually stick to for once

And so, the Book of Gratitude was born. The aim? That every single day of 2014, no matter how shit my day was and no matter how low my mood, I should try to find something to be thankful for.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Happy Christmas

This is quite simply a little Happy Christmas post. It's probably my favourite time of the year, and while I was not feeling festive at the beginning of December, I am delighted to be home for Christmas now for a number of reasons.

1) Presents (I'm not going to lie, I am as excited about getting Christmas presents as a 6 year old who asked Santa for one of those Frozen dolls. But I also love giving presents. And I like to think I give some pretty amazing presents!)

2) Family (Getting to spend time with my Grandmother who I don't get to see often is especially exciting)

3) Time off from work (I'm taking half of my work holidays just so I can spend a fantastic 2 weeks at home)

4) My little kitten Blue (After a frantic week of searching, little 2 month old Blue was discovered by my sister while she was babysitting for a neighbour. Blue is now our own little Christmas Miracle)

5) Christmas TV (I am really looking forward to watching Love Actually, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and the Doctor Who Christmas Special)

6) Friends (There are so many people that I haven't caught up with in a long time. Christmas will be my time to do that!)

Christmas has always been kind to my mental health, it's the period directly after that can cause me a lot of difficulties. Whether it's returning back to Dublin, the loneliness post-festive season, or the sharp contrast between 'woo, joyful Christmassy feelings' and normality, I've experienced it a few times now.

But I shouldn't fret about post-Christmas when I'm still in the middle of the celebrations. And besides....

There are lots of little things to look forward to about Christmas, even if is just sipping a cup of tea in front of the fire, catching up with a friend you haven't seen in a while, or the look of joy on your sister's face when she opens your Christmas present (I hope!) 

So from me, to you, Happy Christmas. I hope it's a good one.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

The World Isn't Divided into Good and Bad

I had the best weekend. Everyone I have seen so far this week has heard about it.
The most beautiful bundle of joy in the form of a 2 month old kitten named Blue came into my life and sat on my knee and it was perfect. Blue is the most adorable kitten I have ever seen. And as someone who grew up with kittens, that's saying a lot.

Getting Blue came on the back of the death of Puddy; a kitten we've had since March. Puddy came to us starving and sick and hurt. And we nursed her back to as much health as we could over the 7 odd months we had her. But in the past month her health deteriorated again. And when she could no longer groom herself she had to be put down. I was frankly rather miserable when I heard the news. But I now understand that it was for the best.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Reflecting on ASIST

Reflecting back on my weekend training.

Two weeks ago I completed ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training). Over the two-day course in what the trainers call 'suicide first-aid', participants take part in discussions, watch videos and role plays. The idea is to train 20 odd individuals in how to prevent someone who is suicidal from taking their own life.

I've wanted to do ASIST training for two years now. It's been on my to-do list ever since I did safeTALK training back in 2012, but I was never able to find a date that suited me. More recently, completing ASIST made it to my '23 things I want to try before I'm 23' list. Not only did I want to complete it, but I felt I needed to. 

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Happy December

I love December. People just seem to come together at this time of year, and maybe it's the presents talking, but I really like it. How can you not like Christmas? I mean, apart from the commercialization of a religious holiday, it's got lights and sweets, family and friends, countless servings of Christmas dinner, and a man that enters your house to leave you exactly what you wanted during the night. December is a pretty good month.

However, so far my December hasn't gotten off to the greatest and most festive of starts.