It’s #timetotalk day: on #depression and staying well

So its time to talk day once again and the mental health  charity Time to Change is asking the UK to talk about mental health in a bid to reduce stigma.

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Personally I have lived, either well or ill with depression since my late teens. During that time I have had four major depressive episodes, three lots of face to face councelling and done the lightening process course (all private, the latter I held a cake sale to raise money for my own therapy). As well as a six week over the phone cbt course and ongoing medication from the NHS.

If I hadn’t had sypathetic family, friends and work colleagues, I would never have been able to be so proactive.

It saddens me that  there is so much out there that can be of genuine help to those suffering from depression and other mental health difficulties, but the government doesn’t even cover the cost of extreme crisis.

There aren’t even enough services for fire fighting, and as a consequence, people are going up in flames.

And people forget that even when you are well enough to go back to work, it isn’t over.

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I continue to keep an eye on what I eat and how much sleep I get. I exercise regularly, do mindful meditation and pray. I also take antidepressants and work part time.

It means I am well and productive most of the time. And and yet when it comes to talking about mental health to others, I find I get pigeon holed – it’s “my thing” (just like environmental care is apparently) and yet surely it’s all of our thing?
I expect I need to learn better ways of approaching the topic, but also I have a plea – please remember it really is your thing too.

When I try to discuss my own mental health, I find people tend to panic if I say “I’m not so well right now” and respond by parenting me.
You know the kind of thing “no you can’t do that it’s too much for you ” um, how would you know what is or isn’t too much for me when you haven’t asked?

Of course, people are kind and we’ll meaning, but I have discovered it is easier not to say anything unless I am so ill I feel I can’t do my job properly.
On the flip side, I have never suffered from serious prejudice – I told my present employer that I have depression and they still employed me.

So there you have it, I have talked and shared. If you would like to continue the conversation, feel free to comment, I will of course read and reply to you.

New year resolutions 2016

There is a lot of bah humbug going round social media at the moment as far as new year resolutions go.
It’s all “you never keep resolutions” and “they are just made to be broken”.

Well pah to all that, its only because we go round making resolutions which are unachievable, and we feel bad about not doing them all perfectly.

Well here’s to doable resolutions, ambitions and hope for the year to come.

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*Make more space in my life for prayer

*Make more space in my life for creative worship.

*Go to  an exercise class with my sister in law

*Use my exercise bike a minimum of three times a week

*Stay vegan

*Eat healthily

*Learn to draw

*Learn to spin plant fibres

*Get the garden in order

*Grow and spin flax

The Blurt #buddybox

Last week I had some rather amazing post.

Admittedly I had ordered this Blurt buddy box for myself, but I had forgotten and it came at just the right moment:

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There are all sorts of reasons moving house is stressful, and I find it to say the least, difficult. It tests my wellness to the limit.

So the buddy box is a delight. There are lots of really lovely things in it. Not just coloured pencils, but nice coloured pencils. And the same goes for all the items. I am especially enjoying the sleep balm. I’m not sure it is making any difference to my sleep, but it smells lovely and is very comforting.

Buddy boxes, while worth the money, given the contents, are not cheap and I couldn’t see any of my family buying a subscription for me, even if they really wanted to, they just don’t have the cash.

I wonder if there might be any way of subsidising the cost, perhaps companies might like to get in board and donate nice things.

Any way, I think it’s is a stroke of genius in the part if Blurt and I hope they are able to continue with them.

I think I might ask my family to buy me a line off one as a birthday present.

On the move again

In three weeks time, R and I will both be living in Kent.
The house goes on the market this week and he moves first as his job starts soon.

We weren’t expecting to leave Thetford so soon, but the time is right. I will very much miss the dear people I work with and those i worship with, who have become valued friends.

I came to Thetford in trepidation, initially, I never wanted to work for any kind of Christian organisation again, having been hurt badly. But God has used the precious people I work with to restore my faith in people and my church to show me again how authentic Christians can be.

God has brought me such healing through them, and this:

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I will miss you Thetford.

Digital #smashbooking, a couple of #apps and today’s #projectlife

I have been playing around with the app “layout” as a way of digital journaling. I quite like it, although I think I still prefer cutting and sticking, it makes a nice change. So this was today:

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I also tried out the app “instaweather” (see top left of the collage) which is really cute – I can see myself using it a lot.
Anyway, today has been very peaceful, I have got some jobs done, eaten ice cream, walked, meditated, read the bible and been creative, so today definitely counts as a win 🙂

#mindfulness, #God and the present moment

I’m on day 29 of the headspace app, and at the moment I am supposed to be doing a particular mindful exercise. Each time I get up or sit down I am to be present to the movement as it happens.
It is ridiculously difficult. Who would have thought?
I mean all it is is getting up and sitting down! It’s a good exercise and makes the point about being present to your own life.

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While I was thinking about all this, God spoke to me, and said:

You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
Psalm 239:2

Oh wow ❤

Think about it, I’m not even that present to myself, and yet God is.

What love. It fills me with joy just thinking about it.
I long to be present to God in that way, and present to other people. Surely this kind of presence, of selfless attention, is the road to loving God and neighbour, the two things Jesus says everything else hangs on.

Perhaps my mindfulness meditation and practices might help me with this most beautiful of things.

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