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Showing posts from November, 2014

Things That Help at Christmas: Giving your Recovery Skills a Christmas Twist

This is the forth post in our series called:
Things That Help at Christmas
4. Giving your Recovery Skills a Christmas Twist
Whether you like it or loathe it, Christmas is going to be stuck in our faces for the foreseeable future. It can be such a difficult time of year for many people who struggle with emotional distress. Maybe this year you could learn to find the joy in Christmas, as we may as well try to create some fun for ourselves. It's never ever too late to create new ways of thinking about this time of year. It's just a matter of changing how you approach it. 
There are plenty of skills you need to learn when you’re recovering from emotional distress or mental illness. Many of these skills need to be practiced daily until they become more natural. And MANY of these skills are just begging for a Christmas twist!
Practicing gratitude: Gratitude helps us appreciate our situation and realise we are far richer in life than we think. Can you name 5 things you are grateful for th…

Pictures of life

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If you look up, you'll notice life happening all around you. There are things to make you smile if you just look up. Take your eyes off the ground and notice the beauty.

Let me tell you about three little things that made me smile today.

1. Today while crossing a bridge in Dublin I saw a very little girl being dragged along by her Dad's hand. She was wearing a too-big-for-her Elsa (from Disney's Frozen- if you were living under a rock!) dress with colourful stripy woollen tights. She was clutching a cupcake in her other hand with green icing all over her face. She looked happy, and it made me smile.

2. This evening I put up my Christmas tree. I unplugged the lamp to check if the lights stilled worked. They worked! They lit up, and I caught myself smiling like a big child. When the tree was done I sat back and admired my work. The colours and the lights made me happy.

3. I was walking along a corridor today when I could see a young man smiling and laughing into a pram. I co…

Choose to get better

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A very difficult concept I had to learn was that of choice. It's a difficult pill to swallow, excuse the pun. But there comes a time when we must accept that we have choices in life, and sometimes we must choose to do the hard thing, because it's the right thing. The easy thing is often the self destructive thing. If you've spent a long time tearing your house down brick by brick, then it's pretty challenging to suddenly decide you'll build it back up again. It seems weird and unfamiliar.

I have struggled with this choice business because I felt like the way I was feeling must be all my fault. That the destruction I had caused in my life, and my family's lives, was on purpose. But no no no, silly me. I never chose to become mentally unwell, but I did have to choose to get better.

Don't be scared of Choice. Making a choice towards wellness is one of the most empowering feelings in the world!

If you don't choose to engage with the process of feeling bette…

Things That Help at Christmas: Christmas Movies

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This is the third post in our series called:
Things That Help at Christmas
3. Christmas Movies
Christmastime can be a time of enormous financial and emotional stress for many people. But we also have choices in how we look at the holiday period. Without a doubt there will be Christmas movies on TV for the next month. If you need to get your mind off something, or you need a little cheering up- then please consider getting lost in a Christmas movie.

It's never too late to create new memories. And nothing is ever so dark that a little Christmas cheer won't brighten it up, even a little! Let yourself feel some child-like wonder :)

Did you know that some cinemas are putting on showings of classic Christmas movies this December? For example Light House Cinema in Dublin is playing:
ScroogedThe Muppet Christmas CarolLove ActuallyElfMiracle on 34th StreetHome AloneIt's a Wonderful LifeFrozen- Sing Along  Google your local cinema and see what's playing! But the films the cinemas…

Accepting the more uncomfortable emotions.

Emotions can be a tricky field to navigate, for both men and women. I think it can take time for all of us to get a good grip of how to handle them. Maybe it’s their lack of logic, or their varying strength that can catch us off guard. But they have a remarkable ability to make us uncomfortable and embarrassed and just be a general pain to deal with.

Happiness is ok though, right? We accept happiness with open arms, almost begging it to continue coming in abundance. The rest however, definitely seem to exude less appeal. Who wants anger, fear or even worse, sadness?

Anger is one that has been a struggle for me along the way, and I know I’m not alone in that. I just didn’t know what to do with it or where it was coming from. It’s an emotion with a fiery energy, an explosive potential which of course can be scary. But it’s also like it has gotten bad press, we just don’t want to be associated with it and we can nearly feel guilty for even having angry feelings. But, like all emotions …

Bucket Lists

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Whether you hope to die age 100 with a cup of tea in your hand and a cat on your lap, or die age 50 on the greatest adventure of your life through the North Pole, then this is a post for you.



A few years ago I set myself a task to at least entertain the idea that I had a future, and that it could possibly be filled with some fun.

I dared myself to dream. And it helped! I never realised that I do actually have a long list of things I'd like to do before I die. I spent 2 hours writing up this list. And it really REALLY helped to lift my mood.

Do you have a Bucket List? If you don't, would you like one?

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get marriedhave a babymeet Ellen DeGenereslearn to belly dancelearn to do the rubicks cubedo a colour runbob about in the dead seafly first classvisit a haunted houseget to shoot a gun. a real onesend a message in a bottlego to Eurodisney and Disneyworldwalk on the great wall of chinasee pyramidsride on an elephantgo to a wax museumsee the northern lightsbe woken up by a roosterr…

Things That Help at Christmas: Being Social Media Savvy

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This is the second post in our series called:
Things That Help at Christmas
One of the main things I realised about social media at Christmas was that I was going to have to open my eyes to the idea that many human beings have a tendency to pretend that their life is glitzier than it really is. They fill their Facebook pages with 'proof' of how popular they are and how busy they are. I can feel quite overwhelmed when social media becomes flooded with groups of 'happy' people in Christmas jumpers having their 12 Pubs or whatever other group activity is a) in vogue and b) provides a public platform to showcase one's shiny social life.

2. Tips for Being Social Media Savvy


1. Cut yourself a break. If you're struggling with merely breathing at the moment then it is more than OK to go easy on yourself. In fact, it's necessary. There's always next year :)

2. Remind yourself you have nothing to prove. Sometimes people are so  caught up with checking into places t…

Things That Help at Christmas: Cards

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This is the first post in our series called:
Things That Help at Christmas
Sorry the photo isn't great quality but sure I never claimed I was a photographer. I just wanted to share something simple that really helps me.
1. Christmas cards!
I got these ones in Paperchase
I know I often feel very alone, like I could poof into thin air and nobody would even notice. But if I think about who I'd like to send a Christmas card to then it's hard to deny that I feel a little better. You could even send anonymously if you want!You can send cards very cheaply these days. Most pound shops, or should I say euro stores, have packets for next to nothing. 
I know many people think Christmas cards are old fashioned in the age of electronic Christmas cards but sometimes it's worth resurrecting old traditions
Every year I write the cards for my parents to send to all their neighbours. I write them and my Dad plays postman. In school I used to buy the miniature ones and give everyone one…

Why words like 'good' and 'bad' are unhelpful

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Everywhere we turn, we hear people adding moral tones to everyday activities. In lunchrooms individuals are 'being good' by depriving their bodies of substantial nourishment as various financially-driven-diets vilify certain food. People in gyms are 'being good' by pounding away on a machine in a stuffy monotonous hell. Why are we dividing everything up into these two very small boxes?



What does good even mean? What about bad?

Is it making us feel happy to use these words all day long? This ping-pong between pride and shame.

People everywhere are completely overusing, and misusing the words 'good' and 'bad'. Believe it or not, most things we do every day do not actually require a moral judgement. If you turn down a mince pie, that does not suddenly make you a good person- whatever that is!

What I've learned on my journey is that overusing the words good and bad is unhelpful.

If we totally scrap the words good and bad, and instead use the words helpful

Begin to Believe

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Within our own personal journeys, we all have our ups and downs, unfortunately sometimes more of one than the other. So we all know that, inevitably, difficult times will hit. They can catch us off guard as we trip up and plummet into them, or they can be the result of a long time struggling. It’s those days when we want to make it all stop, want to run away or press rewind, those are the days where we need a solution. Throughout my journey, I have found myself in these times more than I would have liked to. And I have wondered how I can possibly continue. It’s too hard, I can’t do this, it’ll never end. But as I’m clearly still here, there’s always been something that kept me going. That something is my beliefs, my hope. I have some strong beliefs that I can grab onto with both hands when there seems to be nothing else and I trust that they’ll get me through. These can be simple quotes, specific words or certain ideas that really mean something to you. They can be reminders that this pain…

Personal Story: 'My Story' by Murtough Ware

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It's with great honour we share, with permission, a personal story by Murtough Ware. The young footballer from Carlow has some wonderful words of hope. He got through incredibly dark times and is sharing his story to inspire you to hold on. He fought through severe emotional distress, self harm and suicide attempts, and is living proof that things get better. He did it, so can you! Please stay on this planet long enough to realise that life is worth living. Thank you, Murtough!

MY STORY  by Murtough Ware


I was 15 years old, lying in bed I didn’t know what was going on. Everyone thought I was happy go lucky, living a carefree life. The truth was I was dying slowly on the inside. I felt numb inside and had no interest in life. I wasn’t able to get up to go to school or even face the outside world. Lying in bed all day but had no clue what was wrong with me. All I could see was darkness and all I could hear was negative voices in my head. I was my own worst enemy. I was sent to the doc…

You don't have to life with 'it' forever!

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This morning I came across yet another person who was told they'd have to "live with their mental illness for the rest of their lives". This makes me very angry for so many reasons, mainly because: what a hopeless messagethat is to receive from a professional who is supposed to motivate you! Some say they're just being realistic, but I believe it's easier to say this to a sufferer than to promise you'll never give up on them.

Recovery from mental illness, emotional distress, dis-ease or whatever way you want to phrase it, is possible for EVERYONE. Full recovery is possible. It might take you a long time but if you're willing to work at it then it is there for you.




Every time someone tells you, or you tell yourself, that you will be stuck like this forever it is just affirming something to you that isn't even true. You'd be amazed what you believe if you hear it often enough.

Some people stop trying, yes. They give up and decide to settle for a half-l…

Life is Short

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In the cold and wet of November we must work that little bit harder to remind ourselves that there's a sun shining behind the clouds! But there is. And there always will be! So here is a bit of inspiration we found for this dreary Tuesday. Enjoy :)




Thank You!

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Thank you to everyone who came to ourEvening of Hope on October 22nd. We felt very privileged to share our stories. We were full of the joys afterwards and want to thank you all for making the evening such a success.




Also, thank you to the brave souls who asked questions at the end! I think everyone benefitted from your questions and hopefully our answers helped in some small way.

If you missed the evening, don't worry, we're planning more events for the future.




Just remember, you are never alone. Others have been in your position and found a way through, and you can too. Hang in there, and never give up!

Pet Therapy

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Pet Therapy

Judgement Free Therapy

Sometimes people underestimate the healing powers and effects that animals have on people. Animals can sense when someone is stressed, upset, lonely , or feeling down. There have been many times when I have been feeling very low and not myself and I noticed my dog remains very close to me and often would come over for a cuddle. I truly believe animals pick up on our feelings. It is so interesting to witness and has really helped to soothe me in those dark days of loneliness.


It's amazing the difference it makes when you simply rub your hands through your dog or cats coat. Its been known to have a calming effect on people - the simple act of petting your animal. People often say in times of anxiety it has helped them a lot. Now i know animals can not speak to you or offer advice, but they can listen. If you have a problem why not tell your dog? You might think it is a mad idea but if you feel alone and like you have nobody, it can most definately m…