You can’t stop me, dyslexia!

In 2016 I set myself several new years resolutions. I wanted to try and make them achievable. I can now proudly say on the 1st of January 2017 I have achieved the majority of last years resolutions. One them was the read 10 new books, I kept track of this via the ‘Goodreads’ website. Most people on there have the goal to read, 50 books and upwards. So my goal is pretty low in comparison. But I am still very proud of myself for reaching last years goal a I struggle with dyslexia and reading can be quite a challenge. When I tell people that I have dyslexia a lot of the time they don’t believe me because I don’t come across as the standard stereotype. I enjoy english, I like reading and writing. I like being able to stitch a few chosen words together to make a beautiful picture in someone else’s head. Dyslexia does put a bit of a barrier between myself and the people around me who have similar interests in writing. I think the main thing for me that I use to combat my dyslexia is utilising the technology around me. I am a bit nerdy and I’m into tech anyway but I find it so incredible that modern day technology can aid anyone into achieving great things. I utilise voice dictation on almost all of my big bits of writing. I change the colour of the backgrounds on all of my screens to remove the issue of ‘black and white reading’ that a lot of dyslexics have trouble with. The font size on all of my devices are increased so it is easier to ‘chunk off’ words when I am struggling to understand them. All of these things help me to be a writer and enjoy literature. I was taught a lot about these things by the wonderful learning support teachers that I met in school, who really did go above and beyond to help each student achieve there fullest capabilities. I am really grateful for them because they were the first people to show me that if you have a talent for something, you should run with it and not let anything stand in your way. Because they will always be there to lend a helping hand to get you moving past your difficulties. This year I am aiming to read 12 books and finish writing my own. I cant wait for the challenge, bring it on!

Feeling creative…

I have been watching this youtube channel that I have recently found and I am finding it so inspiring. It is full of creative people talking about there bodies and their lives and the journeys they have been on to get from a negative place to a much happier one. I always know that I have connected with something when I want to write about it. This time I don’t have an agenda or a point to get across I just want to let myself feel creative and inspired. I work so hard a lot of the time to get a message across and show people what I ‘stand for’. I feel like if I have the confidence and means to share a message that isn’t spoken about enough then I should do everything in my power to share that message- in an appropriate way. I feel like this can be a lot of pressure at times. I use the space of my blog to talk about mental health and my experiences because I know people will read what I have to say if they chose too and I haven’t got the fear of being too forceful, because this is my space and it’s (for the most part) on my terms. I want to take the time to tell you about the things that I love and what I surround myself in to keep myself inspired. I love to sing and I play the ukulele, this never fails to lift my mood and calm me down. My favourite thing in life is to make people laugh or brighten their day. It doesn’t take a lot to make someone smile and it is a great thing to be able to do for both people involved. I am quite an anxious person but I have always tried to push myself into situations that make me anxious to hopefully in time I will be able to overcome them. Recently I have taken the step of being able to go into shops by myself, find the item I am looking for and be able to pay for it myself with no outside support. I know for some people that may seem like a small thing but it has taken me years to get to this point and to finally be here is something I am proud of. All in all I am a very creative person and I have only proved this to myself more since leaving school. School can be an incredibly tough time for a lot of people- myself included. I feel as though there is a ‘cookie cutter’ way of learning which is used for all students but this isn’t going to work for everyone. Pairing this with the social groups and an intense longing of wanting to fit in can make some kids feel incredibly isolated and depressed. I knew that leaving school was the right decision for me and I really looked forward to the moment that I picked up my GCSE results and was able to move on from school. Even though my admission to hospital was right around the corner and life didn’t go completely to plan the decision to leave school and the happiness that followed was undeniable. I now have some incredible friends and we are engaging in healthy relationships (which has been a huge issue for me in the past). The past 18 months have been one hell of a ride but in this time I have learnt a lot about myself and how to make myself into the best person I can be, with the help of the wonderful people I have surrounding me.
Cheers, Tilly

Update!- It’s been a little while.

OH GOSH ITS BEEN A WHILE
sorry I haven’t posted anything in a little while! My excuses are- a mix of me slowly slowly regaining a social life and working through some tricky topics in regards to my mental health. I am going to a group at my local EDU which gives support for people who suffer with eating disorders but are getting to the point were they want to make changes. I have been getting on really well with it and I am finding it helpful. Topics are tough and facing the truth that I do have an issue with food and it has now reached a point that it needs to be spoken about and I need specialist help for it, is undeniably one of the toughest parts about treatment. I have been finding it hard to hear the words “your eating disorder” in a sentence that is referred to me, because that means I am accepting there is a problem. That I have an eating disorder. Which is kind of silly really because I have a diagnosis of an eating disorder and I have been approved by mental health team for specialist treatment for said eating disorder, but for some reason when someone says “Tilly, how do you think your eating disorder relates to *this* situation?” I still freak out slightly and want to say very politely “actually, I don’t have an eating disorder”. Oh brain, you are such fun.
My social life is blossoming for the first time since I was about twelve. I am secure enough in myself to go into shops with friends and walk past the pain killers and razors without buying them. Which is amazing! I am coping better in situations that maybe haven’t gone completely as I planned in my head. I am bringing sensory tools back into my daily life again as they have slipped slightly over the past few months. I bought myself a snazzy new phone case which is very sparkly and helpful to calm my nerves and give me a ‘real world’ focus, without it being blindingly obvious that I am using it as a *coping tool*.
I have several draft posts that need finishing up, so slowly I am going to work my way through those. I am doing a lot of singing and song writing at the moment and I’m thinking of maybe starting a youtube channel. If I do start one I will link it up to here as I have had some mental health related topics that I might post on there too. As for now thank you for reading my little update, I hope you are all doing well!
Cheers, Tilly

Wham bam, I’m insane man!

“Last Christmas, I was in a psychiatric unit. The very next day not much had changed. This year to save me from tears don’t ever send me back there. Once bitten the nurses were shy, I threw my shoe and it almost hit her eye. So tell me Tilly ‘do you want some lorazepam?’ I say yes- it doesn’t surprise them.”

Just a silly parody I wrote this time last year when I was spending christmas in hospital. Never fails to put a smile on my face when I hear the original 😉

I hope you all have a Merry (and safe) Christmas and be kind to yourselves.

Cheers, Tilly

Scrapbooking? How I use it to aid my recovery

I have been using writing as a coping tool for almost a year now. I have always been interested in making short stories and I have enjoyed mixing art and my love of words to explain what goes on inside my head (disordered and non disordered).  Since my admission to hospital in December 2014 my love of writing has flourished and the way that I use words and creativity  has been mainly channeled to get a stronger understanding of my somewhat hectic mind. It has been really helpful for me to use scrapbooking along side my journaling and therapy to cope with overwhelming emotions and in has been a really visual way to see my progress without going into deep meaningful detail. I can just choose to dip into a scrapbook that I put together in February – March and flick through some of the pages and I will see how my thoughts were shifting and smile at the small goals I set and achieved. I still keep a scrapbook now and I would recommend to anyone that they should start one! Not every page was about mental health, I have pages about all sorts of thing. Like what songs I like, films, events, goals, places I want to visit etc.. I will put some photos in this post of some of the pages I have made over the past year and maybe it might give you some inspiration!

cheers, Tilly

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