#4 of 20. BREAKTHROUGH!

Good morning! I have lots of good stuff to publish today…and I am actually in a half decent mood, (which considering my recent mental health crisis is pretty epic!)

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I did some sharpie doodling this morning whilst chatting on and off to lovely humans (via the online social beauty that is Facebook messenger).

I sent a very important email to a very important mental health charity, telling them I will be doing the very important speech to the very important audience, after all. I REFUSE to let my mental health dictate my life (though I will have a good rest first, between now and then so I’m all recouped and ready to fly).

So where am I at- on day 4 of my attempt to get myself out of my current mental health breakdown?….I am here……(below). I have broken through, wherever it is that people in the midst of mental health crisis break through to, to mark that the worst bit is over and the better bits are to come……

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To say I’m ‘relieved’ doesn’t do it justice….but hopefully this doodle does it justice….

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There are lots of positive things to be positive about today…so I decided to make a list….

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Another FAB thing I am realising, is that I’m doing OK without my old friends, the team of NHS crisis, and the community based MH team (CMHT)…also without the therapist. I need to stand on my own feet for a bit and feel pride that I can regain my footing after some mental health slippery-ness. I’m proud of me for managing to do this….maybe sarpies, artsy paper and determination was all I needed….and maybe (for not at least) this is a sufficient substitute for NHS talking therapy and telephone-based support from people I’ve never met.

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I am dead excited about the charity speech, and dead excited about my BOOT THE BLUES hike.

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The good news is IT IS NOT TOO LATE TO DONATE! YOU LOVELY PEOPLE OUT THERE IN THE WORLD!!!….ANY CURRENCY, ANY PERSON- YOU CAN ALL DONATE ON MY JUSTGIVING PAGE…
https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/imani-summer

ALL DOSH GOES TO TYNESIDE AND NORTHUMBERLAND MIND (FOR BETTER MENTAL HEALTH IN THE NORTH-EAST OF ENGLAND).

IF YOU DONATE, I WILL OFFICIALLY LOVE YOU :) xxx (but, on reflection, maybe not quite as much as my husband and children) :D

I nearly backed out, as last week doing this hike seemed impossible, but my spirits are soaring and my strength is returning. And I will SMASH THE SHIT OUT OF THIS HIKE and be so proud when it all comes together and all the money is totted up, and I will feel totes proud for my AMAZING :P organisational and volunteering skills!

Woop!

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On day 4-it’s all GOOD. :)

See you tomorrow for more sharpie mental health crisis recovery shenanigans blows kiss

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summerSHINES©

 

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#03-SUICIDE PREVENTION

This is my blog offering for world suicide prevention day. Part prose, part sharpie doodle. *TW

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On Thursday I had a crisis….I don’t mean a “OMG my nail just broke/I just got a ladder in my tights crisis”. I mean a genuine REAL crisis- a mental health emergency. It happens to me quite regularly- far too regular for my liking sigh. It’s a key symptom of my BPD/PTSD illness and my trauma history. It isn’t my choice, nor my fault.  Believe me, it isn’t that I don’t try to stay happy and content and emotionally stable. I really bloody do! But there is a dollop of blame and control that is placed at the door of the mental illness sufferer, in comparison with the physical illness equivalent.

You wouldn’t think someone was selfish for having a seizure would you, or a cardiac arrest. But if someone goes into mental health crisis we stereotype them as “selfish, attention seeking, ungrateful”. We’re “just not trying hard enough” apparently. We’re not as strong as the others because they just get in with it and they actually care about their loved ones, unlike us selfish vagabonds who rock around recklessly and casually tossing around suicidal ideas like confetti. They are good moral people, and we are not, because they don’t contemplate suicide and we do.

Truth. We’re actually none of those negative things that society thinks we are. We’re suffering and struggling and in unbearable pain – and that’s it – no assumptions and negative stereotyping necessary. During crisis we are experiencing pain to a level that you can never possibly empathise with and comprehend, until something of this magnitude has happened to you.

I rang for professional help at the time and did all the right things. I gave warnings of my building desperation. There was NO ONE, interestingly until after I’d taken steps to act. But with the help of my amazing husband and some amazing friends, a few days later I’m doing OK

So where am I at now? A few days on? Well, post-crisis I feel shaken up, regretful, guilty, a whole heap of sad, phyically and emotionally drained, just pretty awful……BUT I have picked myself up yet again (relatively), like I always do. I have learned who my friends really are, and value them even more than I already did, which is the silver lining from all this. I am learning to forgive myself for symptoms of an invisible illness I fight daily. If sometimes those symptoms take over and I can’t handle them and the pot boils over on the stove, I forgive myself, and move forward, even if I just crawl. That’s what a mental health warrioress does. She falls down seven times. She stands up eight.

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On Thursday I wasn’t ok. On Sunday I’m ok again. But what about all those who don’t ever get to their Sunday? What if it’s too late?

My feeling is that if people felt they could talk about it, then maybe lives could be saved.

❤❤❤ I drew myself a medal and have shared it here. Anyone who gets to crisis point and survives deserves a medal, and those who don’t, deserve our compassion. ❤❤

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Don’t take the grass cartoon below literally….(not saying it’s a privilege to be mentally unwell). What I’m saying here is today for once I think my grass might actually be greener. Believe me, this doesn’t usually happen!

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 Usually I think the non-mentally ill grass is greener (and IT IS) but today my inner strength is something I’m proud of and something to celebrate, hence my self-drawn surviving a mental health crisis medal and depiction of how well I’m balancing on the mood tightrope and staying stable ❤ 🙌 It’s ok to talk openly about suicide and reach out. It’s dangerous not to. Don’t you think?

summerSHINES ©

Xx #suicideprevention #worldsuicideawarenessday

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SLEEPY ON MARGARITA 

Blogging has taken a back seat this week, and in many ways, so have I. What I am trying to do is relentlessly carve out a pathway forward and stride on with purpose and conviction. I imagine myself as a sassy volunteer princess beating my way though the thickets desperate to catch a glimpse of the fairytale castle (a paid career) that I’m sure is there just though the other side of the overgrowth. But you know what? Tonight, in truth, I am BLOODY KNACKERED.

If I was writing this post by hand I very much doubt I’d have the ability to grip a pencil, and the pencil would probs also be blunt, because I definitely don’t possess any capacity for sharpening any mental instrument (aka my brain). My style of blogging as you know is always quite blunt.

“Tell me what you really think summer” shouts the imaginary crowd.

OK…………….

I am fucking KNACKERED and SHATTERED and feeling fairly universally useless and a bit flat tonight because I’m overly tired, and my friends, when I get overly tired I can become like a toddler screaming for my milk and biscuits.

NOW.

“Is a post about how you’re feeling a bit tired really worthy of publishing summerSHINES?”

“YES, it totally is,” is my answer……because I am not just a tiny bit tired. I am monumentally tired. So tired it scores a 4 on my ‘how tired I am’ chart……

I want badly to write about my westminster trip, I want to write a post about a UK mental health charity “Young Minds” which support parents to deal with the mental health of their youngsters. I want to write about disability and loneliness and the speeches I heard at parliament. I want to write about how I’ve been asked to do a little talk myself at a charity event next week and how I want to both cheer and be sick with nerves. I want to write about my daughter’s prom (which is tonight), and how my other daughter won the year 3 girl’s race at her sports day yesterday, and the psychologically interesting stuff about kid’s sports days and the observations I made of other kids and other parents and competitiveness and how school isn’t what it used to be and how modern sports days are actually SHIT. I want to write my thoughts on London and the loveliness of the city, juxtaposed with the sheer ridiculousness of thinking if you decant (probable) tap water into a wine bottle, you can therefore charge actual money for it :P

Also, how the actual fuck can they get away with serving Latte in a GLASS?

…..But I can’t be arsed to, because I am actually literally yawning as I type, so don’t think any of these ideas would be well executed if I attempted tonight. I have also had an iced margarita and am in my PJs ready for bed.

As well as being tired though that isn’t enough. I also get annoyed for being tired, and wish I were wonder woman (or some equivalent person who didn’t get tired).

I get annoyed at how easily fatigued and overstimulated I become. I get annoyed at how I get nervous about things and am prone to fearing the worst. I get annoyed that a maroon red Ford Escort continues to be a regular PTSD trigger that seems hell bent on ruining my country walks by reminding me of horrible things that happened long ago. I get annoyed that I’m too tired to write, and that I gave my mum friends the wrong time for the trampolining party because my trauma-damaged brain has been dissociating so badly lately. I get annoyed at all of this, but it doesn’t change the reality, and I’m annoyed that I get annoyed!

The reality is, I do my absolute best, in spite of being limited, pressured and overloaded daily by the shit storm that is PTSD and BPD. I am ambitious, and I work bloody hard, for NO MONEY, because I care about what I do and want to make a positive difference and a valuable contribution to my community. But I need to always remember to respect my illness, respect my limitations, and act with self-compassion when the thoughts start rolling in that I wish I was better and could do better and was better capable of sustaining my drive to yield my survivor sword and cut though the thicket to reach that elusive fairytale castle.

Tonight I am drained. I am knackered. I am emotional. I am spent, and I am damn sleepy on margarita.

I can doodle though, badly-that is something I can do very well :)

I can also drink another margarita and do what any sensible, tired, drained, overly mentally taxed, overstimulated, overwhelmed, shattered and slightly tipsy volunteer princess should do.

Go to BED like I should have done instead of writing this blog post :P

Night 😊😘

summerSHINES ©