Election thoughts…

Donald trump is going to be the 45th president of the USA. He did not win by much, but a miss is as good as a mile. Hillary got more votes but the system works on states and because of that Trump won. Although I am not American the influence of Obamas presidency has greatly impacted me (even all the way in my small Somerset village.) I think I am most scared of the fact that I have grown up with Obama and new young people will not have this privilege. He was sworn in when I was 10 years old, I am now nearly 19. In the past 8 years of my life I have grown up in a world with a US president who has been consistent. A president who has said that women can strive for more and that gay people deserve more than what they have been given before. I have grown up with a president who has shown that together we will always be stronger. In these past 8 years I have learnt I am part of a minority group. I am a member of the LGBTQ+ community. I also identify as non binary but am widely seen as and treated as a woman. I am so glad that I have spent the past 8 years under Obamas presidency, knowing there is a man who will always fight for minorities. I am terrified for Americas youth who are going to grow up under the government of a man who is openly- racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, a misogynist- the list goes on and on. People are going to discover there sexuality, gender identity or find their faith and doing this under Trumps government is going to lead them to have to come to terms with it in a world that does not widely support them. They aren’t going to be as fortunate as I have been to have a US president who I can look up to and someone who supports the rights of people like me. Its a very scary time for a lot of people. But we must sand strong together and not let this man drag us backwards.

You can’t give from an empty cup

Mental illness is a funny old thing. The people who chose to have a profession in which they help people with mental illness are pretty odd too. Odd in a good way! Staff on the ward used to say “you have to be a bit mad to work in a place like this anyway!” I do think there is an element of truth in that. It takes a very brave and empathetic person to help someone who is in the depth of mental illness. Be it a nurse, parent or friend. You also have to be aware of the line between caring and wanting the best for someone and making sure you are meeting your own needs and keeping yourself cared for. I don’t know if they teach you that in nursing school, but they certainly don’t have a GCSE for it! I have relied on my Mum for years to help bring me back from that line. It has taken me a really long time to realise that taking yourself back from a situation doesn’t mean that you are turning your back on the person you care about. It means you care about them enough to make sure you are well enough to be there for them tomorrow. After all, you can’t give from an empty cup.

No other people I would rather be stuck in a lift with

Quick appreciation post for my nearest and dearest! I am incredibly fortunate to have a family who have been so supportive throughout all the struggles we have faced. This post is specically for my big brother and Mum. Thank you both for the hours of holding my hand and assurance that it is going to be okay. Not leaving when the hardest battles have had to be faced. All of the hours of driving you have done for me. Thank you for being the people who have been there for me on the darkest nights and also being the first people I run to when the sun starts to appear again. As we frequently say in our little unit, there are no other two people I would rather be stuck in a lift with.

Going the extra mile…

I have been struggling a lot at the moment. It’s really hard to find the light when it all seems very dark but I have met some people in the recent months that have really gone the extra mile to help me. I recently found myself in a bit of a sticky situation where my brother ended up having to call me an ambulance. One of the paramedics that came was particularly lovely, she helped me to follow the emergency treatment that I needed to have. She spoke to me about my blog and writing to distract me from the whole situation. We spoke about writing quite a lot and I gave her the name of my blog so that she could look it up on her break. As I was waiting in A&E a notification came up on my phone of a new follower and new likes on my blog. You guessed it, it was the lovely paramedic who also has her own blog! After silly amounts of blood tests and junior doctors failing with canulas. She came into A&E with another patient but briefly sat next to me to say that she has been reading and enjoying my blog and can’t wait for my next post, so thank you lovely paramedic for going that extra mile to make that shitty situation so much better.

A year out of hospital…

It is coming up to a year since I was discharged from a 9 month long inpatient admission in a adolescent psychiatric unit. It has been a very interesting year. Somethings were more challenging than I had thought they would be other things were a lot easier than I thought they were going to be, but over all life out of hospital is not what I expected it to be. Its been interesting to see that all of my hospital friends have followed different paths since we all left the same ward. Some have gone back into CAMHS wards others have turned 18 in the past year and have been admitted to adult psychiatric units. Some of us have gone back to school and gotten part time jobs. Some people have really distanced themselves from everything to do with their time in hospital. Everything that everyone has done is understandable and has its own merits but it is interesting how we have all done such different things in the past 12 months. For me, the past year has been about finding my feet at home and working with my mental health team to get the right balance of support while also maintaining a social life. The friends I have made in hospital are a huge part of my life still, we are a cheer squad for each other through the tough times and we are there to enjoy the happy times too- because we all know how hard we have each worked for those smiles. I’m incredibly aware of the fact that some jokes I made in hospital are not funny to people from the ‘outside world’ (keeping hospital friends close for these moments is crucial.) I also have come to realise some of the stories I hold from hospital are unique and hysterically funny to people who I have re-told them too. I’ve learnt that a year on from discharge I still am in awe of the staff I met on the ward and miss them everyday. I have also learnt that it isn’t a bad thing to miss people and I don’t have to beat myself up over feeling this way it’s a natural human emotion after-all. The past 12 months have made my relationships with my family grow even stronger and made every happy moment (however small) that we share together even sweeter. With my loved ones help I have been learning more than ever to find things that I truly love and grab onto them with both hands because if I’ve learnt anything in the past year its that those are the things that life is all about.

healthy bodies.

Triggers. They come with the territory of mental health issues. Eating disorders being no exception. There are so many things that will get my eating disorders voice screaming, some of these things happen daily and cannot be avoided as they are a part of life. Others can be avoided as the harm has generally out weighed the activity itself. My family are extremely supportive of me in my recovery and help me to avoid situations that are going to push my brain too far into chaos. So when the opportunity to go to the climbing wall with my Dad came up there were some concerns with how my body image was going to stay afloat whilst I was there surrounded by super ‘skinny’ people. It was nerve racking to know that the other people there were going to most probably have a small frame and be body conscious. The evening went really well and the situation was a little bit challenging at the start but by the end of the night I felt more motivated to become healthy than I have felt in a really long time. Seeing all of these fit people, pushing their bodies was really inspiring. If the topic of food came up, they would be discussing high carb diets to give their bodies the fuel they need so they can push them further. Making sure they have enough protein for the muscles to re-build stronger and stronger. Yes all of these people are very aware of their bodies-just like I am hyper aware of mine. But the shift in attitude was so refreshing to hear them talk about making themselves stronger, building themselves up and pushing themselves further with the help of food was really inspiring and motivating for me. A disordered brain fools you into thinking you are making yourself stronger by not eating and using behaviours when in reality you are only becoming weaker. It was really lovely to see a black and white reality of what a healthy body is and what your body is capable of when you look after it in the way it deserves.