Blog post re-share: SILENT WARRIOR

I hope my friend Lorraine does not mind sharing this post. I share this because it is so true and I have felt like this too for so long, but I just could not find the words, like Lorraine has done with this post. Do read this post and while you are over at her blog, take a read of her other blog posts.

We live in a noisy world. Full of activity, with little silence. So much talking, so much shouting, so much assertion of self. In some ways all of that is necessary, but we have become so accustomed to all of this that we often fail to see the things that are going on in silence, in the darkness. Here, battles are being won. Here, huge triumphs are taking place. The quiet, unassuming person sitting next to you – would you know what battles they have fought and won? Would you know what triumphs they have embraced?

Everything does not have to be done noisily, with great shouts of acclamation. Respect the quiet person sitting next to you for they may be a silent warrior who has fought and won many battles.

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Blog post re-share: Before You End Your Life – Suicide Awareness — Writing My Heart Out

This post comes with a trigger warning, as it discusses suicide.
It’s a blog post re-share from Writing My Heart Out. 

It’s a post close to my heart, because as you know, my mum attempted suicide back in February.

Also, due to the effects of that hitting me later and now the struggles with my mum since, you will know I talked about being in a very dark place and that dark place was not wanting to live anymore myself.
I still have those feelings, but I am not going to act them out. I am now in tears as I type that.
I am tired, as you know of all this with my mum. I have had it long as I can remember. But the struggles came from my teens, when I was her carer in some way, until this year I said no fucking more, after I took a week off work burnt-out. And so I am now her daughter. Not her carer and due to mum’s current situation as you know, preparations will be put into place by those in charge of her care, that mum is going to have to accept when the time comes to discharge. But until we are at that place, mum unfortunately is that bad, she is not at a place to take charge of her care.

Do read this blog post by clicking on the link below, visiting the original blog post to continue reading and comment there.

Are you at the lowest of your life right now? Does everything seems to falling in front of you? Have you lost faith in yourself? Do you feel like taking your own life & end everything ? If yes, keep reading till the end. Hello everyone! First of all, the reason why am I writing […]

via Before You End Your Life – Suicide Awareness — Writing My Heart Out

Blog post re-share: “Unlearning What To Say & Do,” by A NEW NORMAL: Living & Loving Your Life After Loss.

A post I came across, in my time of having a blogging break. I thought this post would be a good post to share in times of someone’s grief.
It’s a very well written post, as well as very useful. You may also find the other blog posts helpful to read too, which I have and now following the blog.

You can find this post here, over at “A NEW NORMAL: Living & Loving Your Life After Loss.”

24th July, Week 8 – “Working on Us” Mental Health Prompts

For how to join in with these prompts, visit Beckie’s blog post.

I am doing prompt 1 and prompt 2.

Prompt 1

This question was by Nova, of Nova’s Namaste 365 Online.

Write a narrative of what works for you when in the midst of a crisis, such as anxiety/panic attack or a manic episode. Please give an example of what happened and how you broke free from it.

My readers know that I can suffer from anxiety and panic attacks.

My last panic attack was when I was volunteering. Most readers will remember this particular one, as I blogged about it. It was the time of having issues with my old energy supplier, Spark Energy. I was checking my emails and this particular email I found in my spam folder, from a company that was chasing debt on their behalf.

Now as it was in spam, I had my doubts whether this was all genuine, because one, I never heard of this one and I already received a letter about the same thing from a different debt collector.
Two, I wasn’t in debt, as I paid my bill every month. But this company had my details to know they knew me. I was already suffering anxiety with the stress Spark Energy caused me, in addition to other stresses in my life around that time and I started to shake not long after reading this email, as well as feeling sick with it. I had my water to hand, which I kept sipping. I tried to ignore my anxiety brewing, which I could feel was going to turn into a panic attack.

After 10 minutes, I could feel my heart racing, but surprisingly, I wasn’t breathing in a panic state. I assume this is because of past experience and learning new ways to manage it.

After half an hour and not feeling like anything was getting any better, I said to one of the workers where I was volunteering that I wasn’t feeling well and, why and that I think I won’t be any good carrying on working there today. He didn’t like the idea me going home, while I was as I was and asked what usually helps me keep calm? I said water for one, which I have been sipping for past half hour. He then started to act daft, (in a good way,) to get me to laugh and I was chatting and laughing back. In the end, my anxiety reduced and I felt I could carry on with my volunteer role. I had lost my appetite at lunch time, so I had to force myself to eat. But I didn’t go into a panic attack, because of how this person helped me with this one, after I said I wasn’t well.

That is just one example for me, how I got out of an anxiety attack.
Others have been just focusing on my breathing to slow it down. It took some time, but I got there.

I have also suffered from PTSD, because of  my childhood and so through counseling I learnt new techniques, should I have PTSD ones. These were using my senses; sight, touch, taste and smell. These have come in handy for anxiety/panic attacks too. So I guess this is why I never went into a full blown panic attack, that I expected.

Anxiety is always a part of me. Mine is there at times, but ignorable in a way. I mean as in that I know it’s there, but I carry on doing what I am doing. Like I have always done. That fighter instinct in me that I have had since a child.
Other times my anxiety is not there and then there are situations that can bring it on, as one example above.

For anyone you witness having a panic attack, just see what you can do to help. If they are not able to answer, just talk to them, keeping calm yourself until they are able to say. Don’t touch them, unless they gave you permission and certainly don’t hug, because if they are like me, they will need space to feel they can breathe.

Prompt 2

There are two pictures in this prompt, which you can pick one, or use both of them.

I chose this one.

Visual of the image is that of heavy rain with the sun shining and pouring on a plant up against a rock wall.
Visual of the image is that of heavy rain with the sun shining and pouring on a plant up against a rock wall.

I chose this one because when I see this photo, I feel refreshed, just like I would if the rain poured down on me, while the sun was out.

The cooling rain making me feel refreshed, washing my worries away, while feeling a gentle warmth of the sun.

Some unhelpful comments I’ve received

Just some unhelpful comments I can remember over my lifetime that I have heard, or still hear.

“Chin up”

Oh how I hate this one. I have said about hearing this, in this post, How has stigma around mental health affected you?
Depending on my mood at the time this is said, I can either be sighing and rolling my eyes inside myself, or sarcastically thinking how I could give you chin up if my fist went upwards to your chin, then you would certainly be chin up.
Surprisingly, I have never said where to stick that one, or respond in any way! But I have noticed instead, I distance myself off, like I am not there.

“Snap out of it”

Only heard this once and a very long time ago, that the memory of this one is vague to the situation.

“There is always someone off worser than you”

Oh, don’t you think I don’t know that?

But all the same, does that mean my feelings don’t count? Are my feelings worth nothing?

For years I kept my mouth shut and, did not say how I felt and it did not get me anywhere. I was silent and broken at times and I felt I did not belong in the world, because my feelings were not validated.
When I could cope more, then counseling begun, because there you are not judged.

“Oh… I have felt sad sometimes.”

OMG and eyes rolling when I got this one. My eyes were literally rolling as this was said once when I first talked about my depression and taking meds. At first, I thought she understood, but when a comment came out afterwards she said that, it clearly wasn’t the case. I even asked a question to be sure. I can’t remember my exact words now, but I clearly put this person in their place and corrected the different between sad and depression. This was the same person who was ignorant about my deafness, only a few years before.

“But that’s in the past.”

Seeing my dog get beaten, doesn’t make it go away, like it never happened, or the fear of my dad that I remember.

Being raped doesn’t make how it affects me go away!

“Think positive.”

So you think I don’t? I am doing well trying to be positive and some days are really hard to be positive, that I am tired being positive. I think I can have a day off, or two from being positive.

What comments have you received, that you found not helpful?

 

Related post:

Do you want to read up on further unhelpful comments. I found this page below, which will take you to The Mighty.

https://themighty.com/2018/08/what-not-to-say-support-mental-illness/

 

 

© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.

Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Wellbeing and Learning Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. (But Guest Posts that feature on my blog are not allowed at all to be duplicated, as that is their copyright.)

12th June 2019, Week 2 – “Working on Us” Mental Health Prompts

It’s time for “Working on Us” Mental Health Prompts, kindly created by Beckie, over at Beckie’s Mental Mess.

For today’s prompts and how to join in, do visit this post, which will take you to Beckie’s post. You will also be able to read the reason behind “Working on Us” Mental Health Prompts.

For today’s prompt, I have decided to use both the question and the image below.

The question:

What do you find to be the most challenging for you when it comes to your mental illness? (You can give an example and  also a means on how to cope.)

Motivation is the most challenging thing for me when it comes to my mental health. This does not help when I get the fatigue that comes with it.
When all else fails, the only one thing that does not and that is walking. So I take myself off and walk somewhere, preferably in nature.

The image:

What are some pictures (without text) with deep meaning(s)? - Quora

I can relate to this image above. The many changing faces how I once used to feel. That putting on the fake smile, to hide what was going on inside.
Putting on the fake smile I used to feel was more for the benefit of others at one times sadly. This was because of hearing “Chin up” that many times and basically wanting to knock their heads off, or tell them to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine, or fuck it to their response.
Thankfully now, I don’t have to hide it, because I am around people i feel who listen and care. They accept me at my down times, as well as at my best times.

5th June 2019, Trial #1 – “Working on Us” Mental Health Prompts

Beckie, over at Beckie’s Mental Mess, is starting on a new prompt series called, Working on Us.

For today’s prompts, there are two prompts which you can either just do one, or both. For details of these prompts and how to play along, please do see todays post at: https://beckiesmentalmess.blog/2019/06/05/june-5-2019-trial-1-working-on-us-mental-health-prompts/

I have decided to do just one of these prompts and so I have chosen prompt #1 – Question:

When you first found out that you had a mental illness/disorder. Explain how this new revelation regarding your health affected you?

My mental health is depression and anxiety.
Depression has been the main symptom, because anxiety came second. But anxiety over the years has proved to be an issue at times, as my depression.

I wouldn’t say it has been a new revelation for me, because I always knew it was there, or not quite right. I just never did anything about it, because as I did as a teenager, I just soildered on and as a teenager, I wouldn’t have been aware about how my own mental health was in general then, even though I seen the trials of my mum’s mental health.
I was a person who got my head down, hoping to get through each difficult day. My long standing readers will know about my childhood difficulties. But for those that are new, then click on childhood in the tags section of my blog, because explaining it here would make it a very long post.

Fast forward after divorce, my mental health went down more and I felt I wasn’t coping. I referred myself to counseling, for the rape and about that relationship in general, which mum supported me on, by coming down on the bus with me and waiting in the waiting area, while I had my counseling. The counseling helped for that time then.

Another moment in time later, which then I was in a relationship. (The relationship that never went anywhere and what turned out to be a shocking later, that I discovered by accident some years later after having nothing to do with him.) During some point in those first two years I think it was now, one night, in my own bed, which I was on my own, I had a flashback of the time I was raped in my first relationship. It felt so real. When I woken up, I found myself in the same position, so god knows if I had been crying out in my dreams. It was real enough in my dreams, but to wake up and find myself like that, made it more sickening. I was hugely triggered and traumatised all over again.
Further counseling at a rape crisis centre, with the support then of the boyfriend I was with. This counseling went into areas of conversation that was not covered in my counseling elsewhere I had the first time round on this area of my life. I can’t remember if I was on medication then. I don’t think I was. But the counseling really helped, for that time.

Then in another area of my life, (before the above flashback) while still in this relationship, had issues with neighbours, while in a council property. The stress of it all brought me to a new time low. I lost a lot of weight with it. At this point, I was on antidepressants and I was scared to take them I remember. But the doctor reassured me of my concerns. My then boyfriend, supported me in that appointment, in case there were things that needed repeating later, with things being a blur and numb. I wasn’t long in getting a private property and this is how I ended up in private properties ever since. I can’t remember how long I was on antidepressants, as some of that time is now a blur.

The last time I was on antidepressants, were at a time I blogged about here. That was when my old workplace broke me that much, that I could take no more. I was depressed and I was having lots of panic attacks. God knows how I still managed to keep going to work. I was that messed up, I really shouldn’t have been there. But I kept doing my shifts and doing what I automatically seem to do as a child.
I also had counseling, which towards the end delved in my childhood. I was having triggers when going into this area and because NHS counseling only lasts so long and because of the nature from childhood, it had to be treaded carefully. This counsellor said because if what I seen as a child and the other things in regards with what dad was like, that I likely to have PTSD. To hear this being said to me shocked me, even though it made sense.

I was on antidepressants longer than the doctor would have liked. This was because I did not want to start weaning off then when I was having driving lessons. Then when I did not do anymore, because I couldn’t deal with it any further, plus I had a double-death in the family; my cousin and her husband.
Then, as you know, followed by discovering the true horrors of the ex-boyfriend and finding out what he truly was by accident in a Google search not related to him, there was no way I could think of reducing my antidepressants. So antidepressants were reduced some months later, even though it was still a difficult time.

Present day, I can still feel lows at times. But I am feeling particularly low since my first day in new job. But I remain medication free, since I last came off them, as mentioned above.

I take each day as it comes. With the now stresses I have had since living here, that you know about and being more of a carer for my mum than I ever been, lists are becoming more my friend, because since February, I am finding myself more forgetful then ever before. I have used a diary for years, but a list is in addition to my diary.
If I have a lot to think about in a day, then a list is created and placed on my coffee table. I will also take the list with me, if required.

I hope this post gives an idea, as it has been very hard to write this one. Not because of the topic, as this is now easy with the counseling and support I have had over the years. It’s just a bit grey in areas, as I forget things and I found just writing this post, in how best to get my words down. So feeling brain tired, is probably the best way to put it.

Thank you for reading, if you got to the end of this post.

What I use to help me as a deaf person

6th to the 12th May 2019 is Deaf Awareness Week.

Today’s post is about the equipment I use to help me as a deaf person:

My Phonak SP hearing aids

Hearing aids will never give back my normal hearing, but they do assist. I would be worser off without my hearing aids, than hearing with them.
I still rely on lipreading, even though I am wearing them. So I do need to see your face clearly. No covering of your mouth as you talk, otherwise I will have to politely request you to move your hand away and for you to repeat what you just said. I shared a link here, about Communication Tips.

Flashing doorbell

My flashing doorbell is loud, but I have it set so it flashes too. (Pictured above.) It is portable, so when I used to live in a house, I would take it to every room in the house. Including my bedroom.
Now I live in a flat, it stays in one room, which is the living room mainly. But if I was in the kitchen for a while and the washer is on, then I would take it with me, to be sure I won’t miss anyone at the door. But I don’t take it to the bedroom now, as so my sleep is not disturbed.

Vibrating clock

My bedside clock (as pictured above) can be set with a loud ring, vibration, or a combination of the two. I just set mine on vibrating as so I don’t disturb neighbours with the decibels of this clock.
The vibrating bad goes under my pillow and you definitely won’t sleep in with this one. The vibrating clock I have is a Sonic Bomb, by Sonic Alert alarm clock.

If it’s not changed in my area, you could get a bedside vibrating clock from Social Services. But I am happy to continue buying my own clock.

Fire alert (pictured above)

I have to admit that since moving in my flat, I do not have this set up and I don’t plan to now, until in my new flat. I know this puts me at a huge risk, because I do not hear fire alarms, with, or without hearing aids. This is a risk I am taking, I know.
My fire alert is a Silent Alert SignWave Portable Receiver, which came with my smoke alarms. It’s a wireless signal and in the day my alerter is easily portable.
Should there ever be a fire in the day it would make a noise, as well as flash and the fire icon would flash to show it is a fire for the reason it is going off.
At night, it goes on a charger and I have a vibrating pad connected to this which would go under my mattress.
If it was to go off at night, it would flash and ring out as in the day, but also the pad would vibrate too. The vibrating pad is strong. Even under the mattress.

This same alerter can be connected to other things, but being an old unit, you can’t seem to get other things available widely.
One time, years ago when I had a landline phone, I had an attachment that was connected to my phone line and if the phone rang, my unit would alert me, by flashing and making a noise. Before even looking at the unit to see the phone display flashing, you would know, because the alert would be a different tone, of an old fashioned phone ringing.
I had this unit arranged by the Social Services, who contacted the department in the fire services to provide fire alarms and alerter. Social Services provided the device for my phone line and one time a door push, so it was a doorbell too. But the doorpush wasn’t great and so this is why I have my own set up.

Vibrating travel clock

When on holiday, I take my Sonic Alert vibrating travel clock with me, as pictured above. It can be set to alert, or vibrate, or combination of both. I don’t hear the ring, so I only use the vibrating option. The display folds down flat and it goes inside my pillowcase.
This is a very good vibrating clock, so there is no lying in with this one.
There is a light on this clock, if you require to see the time in the dark, but I always have my mobile phone near for that part.

As well as these, I use email like anyone else, the difference for me is, that this is my preferred communication over a phone, as I cannot understand well over the phone for a conversation. Not even my mum.

I also like to text and is equally my preferred communication, as email is.

When text, or email is not available to me, then face-to-face is another way to communicate with me. With the hearing I have left and the hearing aids I wear, I also lipread and I do use fingerspelling letters of the alphabet.
I did a post on Communication Tips earlier this week, that gives tips to help people like me, hear you. These tips work very well with me, so do refer back to that, so you can help keep someone like me involved in conversations.

That’s my last post as part of Deaf Awareness Week and this year. As it is the first time I have gave you more insight into my life and as part of Deaf Awareness Week, I hope you have learnt more about me and the topics in general, that I shared this week.

 

© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.

Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Wellbeing and Learning Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. But Guest Posts that feature on my blog are not allowed at all to be duplicated.

 

British Sign Language

6th to the 12th May 2019 is Deaf Awareness Week.

Yesterday, I talked about Communication Tips. Today, it’s about British Sign Language. I am no expert at this, so I share a link below that will take you to a page on Action on Hearing Loss and where you can learn more about it there.

Learn more about British Sign Language, at Action on Hearing Loss.

What I can share though is misconception that people assume I use sign language because I am deaf. I don’t. I have tried to learn it, but because there was no one to practice with, meant I could not keep it up and remember. Even some small parts I remembered well are now slipping, because it’s not used.

What I do remember though, is fingerspelling the alphabet. I learnt this before I became deaf. No one uses it around me though, including my mum. But if they did, by fingerspelling the first letter of that word I am struggling with, while repeating the word, it would help me.

 

© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.

Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Wellbeing and Learning Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. But Guest Posts that feature on my blog are not allowed at all to be duplicated.