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Taking A Blogging Break Helped Me Get Over Depression

13 Aug

Usually you’ll find me saying that writing is the only thing that keeps me going, not this time! Blogging has been a big part of my life for the last five years or so, its provided me with a way to let it all out, acting as a type of therapeutic therapy. Suddenly all that changed!

Its no secret that the last couple of months (well 5 to be Precise) have seen me riddled with depression the way to deal with this type of hurdle has always been for me to write about any issues or problems weighing on my mind. But this time the thought of even sitting at the computer made me feel Physically sick. Everything seems a huge massive effort when your depressed, even the the most simplistic things like making a phone call or talking to friends. I noticed that this episode had me withdraw completely, even from my online existence, Twitter included! “Hell yer! Not tweeting! It’s gotta be bad.”

Slowly I’ve been getting back in there. I’ve been adding posts here and there instead of just going at it like a blogoholic! This hasn’t been easy for me! I’ve discovered that blogging isn’t like riding a bike. You do forget how its done! Well, the social media side of things at least! I’d forgotten that a tweet button and facebook share button was sat on my dashboard with the aim of getting me noticed, I’ve just been writing logging off and then going about my day.

I guess I did get to the point where blogging was no longer helping me but feeding a depressive episode that I was in denial about even experiencing. The things I loved about writing and blogging in particular, were slipping away from me! Looking back I realised that I was just going with it, blogging in zombie mood, doing it because its what I felt I had to do! After all I’d been blogging almost daily for years now.

Blogging is something I love dearly, something I enjoy doing and want to keep on doing. In order to be able to do so I needed to step away from the computer and deal with the crap clouding my mind. Only then would I be excited about the prospect of blogging once more.

At first things were strange, seeing my stats come crashing down was in all honesty somewhat frightening! I’d always proclaimed that I didn’t give a monkeys hoot about states but when you see them drastically plummeting you suddenly thing… “SHIT!” As you frantically make your way back to the computer to save your online identity. I didn’t though, I couldn’t, and that’s how I knew I had come to a point where I couldn’t even if I want to… I just simply couldn’t!

That didn’t mean to say I’d forgotten those who support me! My readers and of course other bloggers who I know consider friends.

Then there are the blogs I follow, and yes I may have been sat wallowing in self pity but I still read them I just couldn’t bring myself to comment as even that was a step to far for a girl on the edge! “Communication? No way! Say they replied back?” Yes, I really wasn’t quite myself.

So with two blogs on hold I went at fighting this crap head on! I don’t want to jinx things but hay I’m feel Ok.

Oh and guess what? I actually woke up and felt excited about blogging today.

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Learning disabilities & Past Relationships May Result In Forced Adoption Of Your Children

10 Nov

This week I’ve learnt so much… I’ve learnt that the system is more twisted than I ever thought possible… I’ve learnt that within that system there are big fat stinking rats that only feed off money.

Personally, I’ve never really needed to deal with social services (SS). Yes, I’ve dealt with the child sen team and the education welfare officers, but social workers… No!

You see, I did once request their help. When your child has a disability and you have no respite… you request it… Of course I was turned down.

Then I discovered a friend of mine who is suspected to have a very mild learning disability, was being made out to be a bad parent. Why? Because she escaped a bully of a partner and requested help from SS as a single parent.

She did all that they asked of her. Parenting assessments, meetings, counselling. She was now in her own flat, her daughter (a toddler under 4) was in a great routine. She loves her child so devotes herself to making her happy.

SS come to the door regularly, she always lets them in. Why not? She has nothing to hide.

Then at a child protection conference they tell her that her child is too advanced and therefore at risk of emotional abuse in the future.

They also tell her that despite her being happy and away from the abusive father, its another reason her child may be at risk of emotional abuse in the future.

My friend feels that the parenting assessment she agreed to will save her. But it doesn’t! Instead it is 60 pages of hideous lies and over exaggerations.

They tell her to be prepared for the worse! They ask her family to prepare and consider whether they may want to care for her child. Yet there is no guarantees they will even be allowed too.

The child has never been hurt, abused, ill treated or emotionally abused! Further more my friend does not smoke, drink alcohol or take drugs… But this countries twisted child protection laws mean that she may well still lose her.

I, convinced this couldn’t be right, searched online for something to ease her mind. But I couldn’t find anything. All I see is report after report about SS targeting single mothers, especially those who have been in past abusive relationships or have a learning disability.

These are mainly mothers of children under 3 years…. Mothers who’s children tick the adoptions most wanted boxes and therefore find themselves at risk of forced Adoption .

Now, I’d heard bits about the family courts when it came to secrecy. But I was at the most part extremely naive and found myself shocked to discover how 200+ mothers are jailed every year when they try to speak out about their case. They are gagged, the human rights act suddenly doesn’t apply. Mothers, fathers, families…suddenly Lose their freedom of speech something we are meant to be entitled to as living human beings.

Did you know that we are the only country who operate in such a horrifying way. Families are not given a fair trail, children are removed without crime and us parents can’t speak a word of it!

How is this happening… How is this allowed to happen?

Some may ask themselves why women stay with violent partners (or vis-visa)? Why don’t they call the police? For fear the children will be removed from their care… That’s why!

Some may wonder why so many parents fear the SS… Because cases like that of my friend… That’s why.

If you have ever been abused, have a learning disability or even a past mental health problem, then the SS can state your child is at risk of emotional abuse, and apparently risk is all it takes for them to take a child away from its loving parents forever!

You may think there has to be more to it! SS don’t take away children from loving mothers/parents without good cause. I used to think the same!

The only reason we think this is because we know no different! Why? Because every parent who leaves the family court is gagged… And that’s why the gag needs removing!

Instead of finding something to ease my friends mind, I’m now scared for her… I’m scared that SS will rip apart a loving family that have done nothing wrong but ask for help!

I’m also scared that not enough people know what’s happening behind closed doors and because of this they are in danger of it happening to them too.

Be careful… They are everywhere

The Government Benefit Reforms are driving people to suicide

2 Jul

Well, many stood up and stated it would happen. Changes to the benefits system have continued to be introduced and slowly the cracks have began to appear!

20120702-054032.jpg Photo credit google images

Was the DWP ready for the consequences when some affected claimants didn’t know how to deal with them changes? Seemingly not!

I was sadden to read the story of how a man had set himself on fire outside a Birmingham benefits office (Job Centre Plus).The man who was reported to have mental health problems was reportedly deemed fit for work despite being seen as vulnerable, therefore sparking a change to his benefits. It’s said that he was unable to deal with such changes (which is also rumoured to have caused a late payment) therefore making him extremely upset leading to him dousing himself in flammable liquid and setting himself ablaze.

The man was taken to hospital with burns to his legs.

This shows the sheer frustration the benefits system can cause to those who have mental health problems, disabilities and medical conditions. The cuts are affecting some of britain’s most vulnerable people and although I believe there are those that claim sickness benefits such as DLA when they shouldn’t I believe the Government are going the completely wrong way about fixing the issue.

This man was just one of many claimants forced to cope with huge overhauls within the system because he suffers from an “invisible” condition therefore giving them the green light to hit him with the back to work stick. It’s quite apparent from his actions that this isn’t a person mentally able to deal with the pressures the workplace may provide. Yes… People make mistakes, but medical assessments should be the best and when someone is very unstable for whatever reason it’s hoped that such professionals are able to pick these things up! After all this is not the first incident and won’t by any means be the last! Earlier this year there was reports of an attempted suicide in a Liverpool benefits office! Yes, these changes are really hitting the wrong people and this could lead to the government actually having blood on their hands.

In the past the Government has claimed that 600 million has been overpaid through the DLA’s current system. They claim that they are not trying to reduce the benefit or the number of people claiming it, but instead trying to reduce the growth rate in the number of claimants. Though since such reports were made we continuously hear about claimants losing out, societies most vulnerable people being encouraged back into the workplace before they are ready.

I recently received Little man’s DLA form. It seems that his current claim will run out come September requiring us to reapply. The letter makes it all seem so bloody easy (you know the type, don’t worry reapply and the benefit will continue as it always has done). Except I know that the system is under pressure to make them cuts and they are looking to save money any how they can. Little man needs his DLA as as much (if not more) than he did back in 2008 when he was first awarded it. The thought of having to fill out the huge form and endure the whole sodding process again, fills me with dread.

If you have been affected or fear you will be affected by cuts to sickness benefits (especially that of DLA) I’d love to hear your thoughts?

The Kleenex man

10 Jun

I sit staring at the large white clock to the point some may think I’m fixated. It reminds me of the type of clock I used to have at school. I would stare at that clock for hours longing for time to lapse around me.

“Miss Parkinson… Miss Parkinson, can you hear me”

Shut up I thought, of course I can hear you, it doesn’t mean I want to!

But it was I who had came here, no one had asked me to, I wasn’t forced, dragged kicking and screaming.

It was I who had picked up the phone, dialled the number, made an appointment.

Now I didn’t know what to say…I didn’t… well no, I did know why I had come. But now I was confused so fucking confused.

“Miss Parkinson, have you got to be somewhere”

Bloody hell, now I felt as if I was in school! Seriously is he joking?

Sarcasm within therapy whatever next!

“No” I said

“Ok let’s get started, but at your own pace…OK?”

I nodded, I wanted to speak, really I did. I had a lot to say but now I was here my head it was all muddled like a jigsaw with pieces missing.

I had been here before, I trusted him, the man who wore the nonjudgemental face, the man who always had a box of Kleenex at the ready.

That’s why I chose here you see, I needed to see the Kleenex man!

I’m still staring at the clock, its tick and its tock can be heard through the bitter silence.

He coughs…. I look round

He smiles as he passes me those tissues.

Taking one I hold it tightly in the palm of my hand, if I don’t I know I’ll fiddle with it… likely pick it to tiny little pieces.

I take a deep breath in closing my eyes I excel opening them once more.

“Nobody believes me” I said.

I can feel it, the warm water leaving the corner of my eye. Please don’t ask me, I think. But then he speaks

“Who… Who doesn’t believe you, and what is he they don’t believe” he asks inquisitively.

Once more the room is filled with silence and I can hear the ticking and the tocking of the clock. I look down and there scattered around my feet are tiny pieces of tissue.

“Who…?” he asks once more.

As I go to open my mouth I taste the salt form my tears, like a child I catch my breath…

“The school… The school” I whimper.

Silence once more… Tick… Tock… Tick… Tock…

Then before he can ask…

“My son’s school, they don’t believe what is happening, they think it’s me… They think it’s all my fault!”

“They won’t help me… No one will, why, why won’t they help” I plead.

You see, I was close to the edge of crazy, so fucking close. The situation was costing me my health, what kind of mother would that make me? On That very day and at that very time I wasn’t aware of what I’m aware of now! The very beginning of a Journey one I never planned on taking, I don’t have a choice, no one asked me if it was okay, god didn’t ask me. I hate it when people say that god does everything for a reason, he chose me because I’m strong. Sat here writing this I remember that day with my therapist so clearly, and on that particular day I felt anything but strong! I felt desperate, I felt as if I was standing on a mountain screaming and nobody looked up… Nobody! Your little boy is hitting you, his so angry and he charges at you like some crazed bull, but his not a bull his a 6 year old child who tells you “mummy I hate you” as he rages with sheer frustration! But why is he frustrated? It’s just that, my lack of knowing… He wants me to, he needs my to understand what his feeling! I miss the trigger I then spend a lifetime discovering it. No one can teach me, I need to learn myself! But this doesn’t mean we don’t need answers… Everybody needs answers!

Ashamed I said nothing, for a while anyway. But i’m no super mum and soon I broke… Started crumbling into a heap of madness, but when I reached out, there was no one there to catch me. I didn’t say I needed parenting tips, I didn’t need some false caring stranger visiting my home and judging my parenting… Especially when I had asked my sons school for help. I felt judged, bullied… I felt disregarded! They failed to notice the bigger picture, they almost cost my child his diagnosis of Aspergers syndrome, they almost cost me my sanity!

20120610-052412.jpg google images

#HAWMC DAY 12 – Stream of Consciousness

13 Apr

Today I looked in the mirror and stared at the reflection before me. I feel myself shudder before turning away quickly as I desperately try to block out the image I’ve just seen staring back at me.

How bloody superficial and yes, I suppose it is! Ok, I may not be back in my size 8 jeans despite my youngest transforming from baby to hyper 2-year-old, but life isn’t just about a jean size is it?

I’m no superficial chick, honestly I’m not. However, I am one who can find herself whirling down that downward spiral into the dark land of no mans land!

Many woman experience the issue of needing to feel comfortable in ones own skin, it’s just that for some… Things go a smudge too far!

I find it hard to write about my past demons when it comes to food. I’m pretty good at expressing my innermost thoughts through my writing especially when writing about my life as a parent and that of Little mans Aspergers Syndrome but this is different, something of a challenge!

Yes, there has been some soul pouring post, I’ve laid myself bear when writing about my almighty battle with OCD, to face it, reframe from fear and I guess… Live with it (that or the prospect it’s never far from sight).

I’ve also told of my journey to combat anxiety and the horror of the recurring panic attack… Unfortunately, these have never left my crowded mind and although I often tend to find myself chest high in the deep of things these often hit me at different periods within my life at least allowing me periods of time panic attack free.

Although I’ve written some pretty soul pouring post whether about discrimination, depression or something else all together my past eating disorder is something I hold back on, it’s not even a subject myself and family often speak about though it did land me in hospital at just 11 which still breaks my heart thinking about.

Regardless of how dispirited I feel when looking at my own reflection I try my best to bury any bad thoughts deep in my mind, I’m a mother of three children, I have my own 9-year-old daughter to set an example to.

So, here I am, trying to do things the right way! No quick fixes, no taking things that bit too far. The truth is no matter what I look like, how many nights I’ve spent awake resulting in huge black bags hanging under my eyes, I’ll never be 100% happy with myself! At my thinnest I continued to have them low days, that’s the problem, it’s a disorder, once you’ve lost them 5lbs you started off wanting to lose you go on to want to lose an additional 5lbs, then another and so on. I now try to see past my reflection! I know I have many good qualities… I’ve just got to love them that little bit more!

Post 12/30 in the wego health callenge #HAWMC

#HAWMC DAY 11 – My Blogs Crazy Theme Tune

11 Apr

So today I was told to imagine my health focus or blog was getting its own theme song, what would it be?

Apparently we all have one, the song that is top of our playlist, the one that makes us smile when we hear it. Or maybe it’s the song that we play when we’re angry or sad.

I thought long and hard about the question and suddenly it dawned on me… My theme tune has to be “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley.

Yes, it’s one of my all time favourite songs and thinking about it I now know why this is!

You see, I mostly write about my life as a parent of a child on the autism spectrum which at times makes me feel like I’m somewhat crazy. I have also written a number of post about my own battles with mental health, OCD, depression, an eating disorder and that of anxiety (something that plays a huge part in Little Man’s life too).

I often find that the song “Crazy” is being blasted down my ear canal as I type a blog post, I guess I’ve never really stood back and seen just how much I relate to the lyrics and how the song applies to myself and that of my blog!

Here’s the lyrics…

I remember when, I remember, I remember when I lost my mind

There was something so pleasant about that place.

Even your emotions had an echo in so much space.

And when your out there without a care,

Yer I was out of touch,

but it wasn’t because I didn’t know enough I just knew to much.

Does that make me crazy?

Does that make me crazy?

Does that make me crazy?

Possibly

And I hope that you are having the time of your life, but think twice, that’s my only advice.

Come on now, who do you, who do you, who do you, who do you think you are,

Ha ha ha bless your soul,

you really think your in control…

Well, I think your crazy

I think your crazy

I think your crazy

Just like me….

My heroes had the heart to lose their lives out on a limb

And all I remember thinking, I want to be like them

Ever since I was little, ever since I was little it looked like fun

And it’s no coincidence I’ve come

And I can die when I’m done

Maybe I’m crazy

Maybe I’m crazy

Maybe I’m crazy

Probably

Uh, uh

Here’s a youtube video of the real thing… Enjoy you crazy readers!

Post 11/30 of the wego health #HAWMC

#HAWMC Day 5 – Drifting in dangerous waters

5 Apr

I’m drifting, detached from existence, alone but so peaceful. The only voice I hear is that of my own, the messages it gives not always welcome! No one drifts by, I see them in the distance though I struggle to reach them, suddenly feeling weak I begin to cry!

I’m lost, afraid, so many questions left unanswered, no one to comfort me nor direct me, no one but my own reflection.

I see her, the young woman stood before me and though I recognise her, her face seems somewhat different, her eyes intensely tired & without sparkle, an expression of worry spread across her face, one I have not seen before.

Her mind has been taken and no longer does she own, a woman consumed with guilt and blame she has no escape, no way to explain to return to the place she once knew.

Trapped in mind and body, screaming from the inside out, no longer able to look at her dispirited self, beyond disrepair she dissolves into the waters that surround her, those that once held her now invade her she screams loudly yet no one looks up.

Detached from reflection and without direction, distorted in her thinking and over taken by nothingness she analysis the situation only to realise shes alone because it’s safer this way, she pushed them all away and retreated to craziness…

Alone at Dawn Photo Credit: Title Alone at Dawn, Flickr, HelenJr

Post is written as a reflection of my past mental health difficulties and has been posted as part of the Wego Health’s #HAWMC (Health Activist Writers Month Challenge) 30 days, 30 prompts, 30 post. This is post 5/30 prompt: Find inspiration within a random Flicker image.

Ruby Wax – Depression isn’t having a bad hair day!

10 Mar

Have you ever had one of those moments, when what you’re seeing is so… hilariously funny, yet, somehow powerful enough to move you to tears? Something so thought provoking it leaves you with a strong desire to talk about it? 

I have!

I was greeted by a delightful tweet earlier in the week by the fabulous Britmums! A tweet informing me that I had won their competition, bagging myself a pair of tickets to this weeks WOW (Women of the world) Festival, located at London’s Southbank. What’s more this included tickets to see the play “Losing it” and a chance to meet the star “The Lovely Ruby Wax” following the performance.

I’d previously heard about the show, which also stars the very talented  signer-songwriter “Judith Owen” so had some knowledge of the plot. What excited me most, was the fact this wasn’t set to be your average play, Ruby Wax was actually on a mission to break the stigma associated with mental illness, this would be her being open and honest about her own mental health while somehow keeping it comical! 

I’d never seen it done, the only time id ever seen a comedian raising such a subject was by cracking non tasteful jokes, laughing at those with the condition, as opposed to laughing with them! I was intrigued to discover if and how Ruby would achieve it!

Well, yesterday morning I found out….

“Losing It” is the complete opposite to the above, its made up of an extremely funny, yet thought-provoking script that really is capable of causing you to fall of your chair as you pee your pants laughing or draw a tear as its strong message buries itself deep within you. Judith Owens amazing voice with powerful lyrics combined with the hilarious yet informative words of Ruby Wax, together create something amazingly powerful, something that grabs a hold of you, leaving you replaying it in your mind once its over, therefore proving it to be the powerful awareness tool it set out to be!

Here’s what they say about “Losing It” over on the official website

Ruby Wax had it all – career, dream house, husband, kids, so when was the moment she realised she was the 1 in 4…

Somewhere between painting her kitchen beige (again), realising she didn’t own a life manual or comprehend the contents of a children’s party bag?

Ruby’s acerbic, honest humour and Judith Owen’s touching songs are both poignant and laugh-out-loud funny. This show gives you the chance to explore the ups and downs of mental illness, its stigmas and the freedom you discover when you share the darkest moments of your life.

I may not have had the same life as the lovely Ruby Wax! I didn’t attend drama school and bag myself a carer as an actress or comedian, but I did create my own wonderful family consisting of three beautiful children. However, like Ruby, this didn’t stop the hand of depression, it didn’t cure me of the ongoing anxiety attacks, severe OCD and the up and down eating disorder, all being an active part of my existence since childhood. 

My head nodded furiously as Ruby touched on the feelings of shame one feels because this is an illness located in the brain rather than another organ in the human body! Ruby is right, Mental illness doesn’t care who you are, celebrity, doctor, mother….  If your one of the 1 in 4 that mental illness has chosen to capture, than status holds no ground, we’re all human after all. 

Ruby becomes an open book, she tells her story by doing what she does best, creating laughter! I don’t know anybody who has managed to talk about depression for an hour or more without causing its audience to leave with their heads hung low.  

Oh, and it seems that Mental illness isn’t all Ruby’s clued up on… Oh no! She seems to have the whole relationship and marriage thing sussed out pretty well too! Now, I really don’t want to ruin it for those who are yet to see the play, lets just say, I almost choked on my own tongue laughing… Ruby at her best!

Both ladies make this sensational entertainment, the sheer fact that together they have created something so funny from such a serious issue, without damaging it, is fabulous, and reminded me how talented a comedian Ruby really is. This show left me wanting to go home and help break the stigma, while allowing myself to let go of any shame I may still hold regarding my own demons. As a woman who has been to crazy town and back again, as well as a parent to a child with Asperger’s who suffers greatly with anxiety and depressive moods, I’m with these ladies! It’s about time our society realised that depression isn’t having a bad hair day or feeling sad! Stop offering us tea and telling us to perk up… tea and ignorance cure nothing, just piss us off that bit more!

I’d recommend everyone checkout “Losing It”, if this doesn’t change ones perception of mental illness, then quite honestly nothing will! Having already performed for all branches of the priory and a large number of mental health wards up and down the country, “Losing it” brought the play to the public by going on tour  last year! Both the public and media seem to love what these ladies do, with a large number of glowing reviews and feedback from your national news papers, your average tom, to celebrities such as Annie Lennox. 

I was lucky to have a quick chat and grab a picture with the lovely lady herself see belowOn the whole, a great way to spend my Friday! A large dose of appreciation is on its way to Britmums for the tickets and a double dose making its way to Judith Owen and Ruby Wax for their truly inspirational play and attitude to metal illness… your all great! 

Check Out the official site for show dates (currently offering special price of £25 for their planed shows in London’s West end in August) click HERE for details

Please check out the Black Dog Tribe a social network/forum and informative website where members can share advice, connect with one another, get all the latest news and updates on mental health and current campaigns and developments! Both Ruby and Judith are a big part of the network and encouragement you all to go and say hello, speak out, gain comfort and break down the stigma  

Here’s a taster I uncovered for you on youtube 

Lastly those attending Britmums Live, don’t forget Ruby wax is a listed speaker, so if you haven’t got your ticket by now I’d suggest you wiggle on before its listed as a sell out.

 

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