Taking a step back from blogging can be hard, it can be even harder to determine when you are meant to take that little break from blogging. But it can also be even harder to determine when to come back.
A couple of weeks ago, I did just that. I took my first break from blogging since I started it this year in February.
At first it killed me (maybe a little bit dramatic) but It did make me feel like a failure, like I wasn’t ready to deal with anything. Not even something that I wanted to do.
But the feelings didn’t last and the longer I took from blogging, the more I saw myself and my mental health improve. – you can read more about it here in my post called: Taking that un-guilty break from blogging.
Deciding to take that break wasn’t easy, I ran through a lot of emotions, put my loved ones through a lot of emotions too as well but I won’t take any of it back as I noticed and started believing in the benefits of taking a little break away from things.
But when deciding to take a break, how do we know its the right time to come back out of hiding and crawl back out from that rock we hide ourselves in while hiding from our own stress and responsibilities. How do you know when you are ready to see that light of day again?
In the end I decided that a week away is what I needed, that a week would help me…and it did. But how did I come to the conclusion that a week is exactly what I needed, how did I know that after a week I’d be ready to take on the world again?
Well the truth is, I didn’t know. In my head, a week seemed like a reasonable enough time to get my head back on my shoulders. A week seemed like a good amount of time to take off and forget there’s even a world around me.
Before taking the break I had decided already that if I were to go through with it, I’d only be able to keep myself away for a week. And I was right. The entire time I was a way I was itching to write something, to DO something but forced myself away.
Then I found myself back into my old routine of self loathing for a little while as I had nothing to pour my bad energy into, at first I even kept myself away from books knowing I’d end up picking one of the ones that needed reviewing and probably end up reviewing it! I had to set myself boundaries and rules and distract my brain with other things to occupy my time.
But by Sunday morning I knew I was ready to go back to blogging on Monday. My heart and my head felt lighter, my body was more relaxed and there was a little peacefulness inside of me for a little bit.
However it wasn’t only the feelings I had that made me believe it was time to come back out of “hiding”.
I had 2 signs show me that I was ready:
Was the feelings I felt. The lightness in my heart, it made me feel as though I was ready to take on the pain of others, to help good people through bad times. I was ready to start chasing my dreams again, not keep fighting and not give up. I truly did feel as though I could take on the world with a genuine smile plastered to my face.
The second came in the form of body weight. For the first time in I don’t even know how long to be honest, I am almost 7 stone! In the week I had taken for myself, I had put on weight without realising it which is a sign that my body is starting to realise when it’s hungry again, starting to unconsciously give me hunger signs back without me even realising it until I weighed myself.
Through this I realised that the break way did me a massive deal of good, but not once did I loose that passion to blog, to write, to help, to keep chasing my dreams.
It showed me that even when doing something we love, something we enjoy, we still need to remember to take a break away from it. Otherwise you’ll find yourself hating the very thing you used to love.
When I realised that just how light I felt, that’s when I knew it was time to come back. That I was ready to face whatever, and ready to keep fighting for the future I want, for the dreams I want to achieve.
And I know I’m not the only one capable of such things! Connecting with so many amazing bloggers/creators/business people/authors and following their journey helps in reminding me that everyone falls off the horse at some point, falling off doesn’t matter, what does is getting back on.
I want to thank you all for taking the time to read my post and I hope you are all having a wonderful week so far! And never forget that if ever you feel the need to talk to someone, my messages are always open to you. I will listen, I won’t judge you, and I can assure you that everything that is discussed between us will be discussed under confidentiality, not a single thing will be shared UNLESS I feel you are harm to yourself or others (but we know most cases that isn’t the case, but I do feel as though it’s something I should state).
So I’ve suffered with anxiety for pretty much a great deal of my life, It’s taken over and consumed it until anxiety is all that I came to live and breath. So having lived and fought with it so long you would think that I would known all there is to know about anxiety, you’d think that I would have researched all there is about something that has taken control of my life to the point it no longer feels like my life.
But that isn’t the case…In fact it seems the more I research it and look into it more, the more questions I have, the more I find there is to anxiety and the different types of anxiety that people suffer with. It’s like a never ending tunnel of different kind of symptoms, from mild, medium, to so extreme in rare case some people were having to be placed into a medically induced coma (of course, something not issued as a light solution but a temporary one to help the anxiety sufferer mind and body to get rest and much needed sleep and to heal a bit before further help can be given).
Recently I came a cross a status or tweet (I honestly can’t remember -which I guess goes with theme/title of today’s post) of someone talking about their anxiety and how people never talk about it affecting their memory… This was HUGE news to me.
Anyone who knows me knows how badly I struggle with my memory, it’s something that has bothered and effecting my life for…well I couldn’t really say, but for far too long, that much I do know. But it never occurred to me that it could be down to my high level of anxiety, it’s never been something that anyone has suggest as a reason to me.
I can understand how it could be hard for a lot of people to link anxiety and memory loss together, especially when most people suffering with anxiety to that level are usually on medication, just link it to something else (like depression) or they are finding their own ways to cope with it, for example, alcohol.
So how is anxiety and memory loss linked exactly?
When we become stressed or anxious, our bodies release adrenaline into the bloodstream. ‘Adrenaline’ is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands during high stress or exciting situations. This in turn causes the body to release another hormone called ‘cortisol.’
Both chemicals are designed to give you energy and strength in case you need to fight or run away. Cortisol remains in your body much longer than adrenaline and this can affect the brain cells involved in memory. It does this by disrupting the function of neurotransmitters, which carry information between brain cells. The end result? Your brain struggles to process information and lay down memories.
Anyone who suffers or has suffered with anxiety will understand just how exhausting and all-consuming it can be. With such strong emotions running through our bodies, through our minds and chemicals rushing through our bloodstream it can bring on; memory loss. “Imagine that anxiety is powerful energy that pulsates through the body and mind and perpetuates negative emotions and sensationalised thoughts,” says psychologist Carder Stout, PhD. “The energy may become so dominant that it overrides our normal ability to function and self-regulate.”
So in other words, when you are feeling such highly strong emotions like anguish or fear it can be easy for our minds to focus on on that one thing, that one emotion too intensely, bringing about memory loss. Our brains are so focused on the bad and the negative that everything good or mundane gets forgotten, while everything bad, scary and negative stays and clings to us.
I hope this can help spread a little awareness to others who also suffer anxiety and may be suffering bad memory like myself who doesn’t have anything else they could possibly link their bad memory to.
I didn’t always have bad memory, when I was younger I prided myself on how good my memory was, I was constantly testing myself. But now I can barely remember what I was doing five minutes ago. It’s hinder me in a lot of ways, my self-confidence being the big one, it makes me feel as though I wouldn’t be good enough to do the things I want. But you know what? That isn’t true and to prove that to myself I applied myself for an online counselling course to help get me a step closer to achieving one of my dreams.
You aren’t alone, and there are people out there who can relate to you just as I have started to find people who can relate to similar things I am going through.
If you ever feel the need to talk but feel you don’t have anyone to talk to then please feel free to email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me through any of my social platforms, my messages are always open and although I can not offer professional advice, you will always be offered a confidential conversation (unless of course I fear yours or others saftey) and a non-judgemental and open ear.
It’s never weak to seek out or accept help. The first steps to getting betting is accepting you need to get better, the next step to seek out someone who can help get you there.
If you follow me on Twitter then I’m sure a lot of you will be aware of the…twitter melt down that went on last night.
Last night I had come across a rather angry man on a twitter chat I like to join in on ever Tuesday hosted by @Ukblogawards. A chat that I have enjoyed immensely since I started blogging this year.
He was being extremely rude in their comments, claiming that the @Ukblogawrds were neglecting and ignoring him for no reason. I decided to intervene and try and stop him from continuing posting abusive and rude comments, at one point I told him the internet may not be the place for him if he is so paranoid, defensive and aggressive on it, I even let him know that my dms are always open to anyone seeking help, advice or need to talk because they have no one to talk to or because they aren’t comfortable talking to those they do know…only to have him throw one at me to which I told him was completely rude and out of line and that I didn’t feel comfortable having my dms open to such an angry and aggressive person.
His reply to that was to start messaging me. Once it had seemed I had managed to talk him down he started talking about his blog for male mental health. First he had stated that he was angry because he is struggling and alone, 2 weeks ago he’d stated to me that he was supposedly fine. I told him he couldn’t be taking his anger like that on others, that he was only turning away any potential help that could be offered to him because of his aggression.
He said he was sorry, I accepted it and then he started talking more about him feel down and struggling (I won’t get into what was actually said word for word as all my conversations -good or bad – stays private between me and who ever contacts me. I respect privacy).
I eventually suggest he take up yoga, I felt like after the brief talk that yoga would be a great way to help him control and challenge his emotions into a more positive energy or at the very least help control them enough that they wouldn’t over rule him. Yoga has done wonders in helping me with my emotions since I started taking it more seriously.
He then asked if he could trust in confining in me and I told him what I tell everyone, ‘All my conversations with people are strictly confidential and non-judgemental (however if you start talking or I feel that what we are talking about will lead to harm of you or another person then I will feel the obligated to reach out to someone else who would be much suited to helping you)
After informing me that he has told women stuff before and its ended up all over social media, he also said that he wasn’t trying to say that I would do that but maybe I could understand why he was anxious. I did understand but what he said had also raised a little red flag for me and made me a little uncomfortable. He had specified ‘women’ having done him harm and lending a helping hand in his paranoid thoughts and distrust. After he had said that I instantly started thinking that right now maybe opening up and talking to a male would be more benefiting for him right now than any female mental health blogger/advocate.
But I had already offered my services and it didn’t feel right to turn someone (who was clearly seeking help of some sort) away. I spoke to him for a little and then things were directed to his blog and about him feeling bad that it wasn’t so good. He told me that no one followed his blog nor engaged with him and he believes that 99% of the blogging community hates him.
I said to him, ‘You just need to try a different approach, the blogging community doesn’t hate you, you just need to do more research and change the way you think/approach things (because being angry and getting aggressive doesn’t work).
He said he wanted to be a successful mental health blog for men (we all want to see our blogs become successful). So again I suggest he does more research, tries different approaches, and not to expect things too happen fast. He then went on to tell me that he had been blogging for 4 four years and six posts up.
So I told him that six posts isn’t nearly enough (especially when you want to be a successful blogger of any sorts). That he had to put more work, time and attention into his posts. I also said that blogging is almost a 24hr job (for people like me its pretty much is 24/7). I then went onto to saying that if he wasn’t willing or flexible enough to be more consistent in his blogging them maybe it wasn’t the right thing for him right now. After all, sometimes life just gets in the way of what we really want to do.
After that his reply was to tell me that, ‘he was trying to keep himself calm but he had done 5 years in uni doing marketing and blogging, that he knows how to blog and what he is doing. and told me that I am patronising him like everyone else, that everyone thinks hes dumb rather than trying to give him advice.’
That was not at all what I was trying to do or imply. Simply that research is what has benefited me since I started blogging this year and it could him as well as other.
He then starts to get aggressive with me again. Telling me he knew how to blog, he just didn’t know what the point was (he did swear around this point at me) when no one supports him.
I told him his behaviour was out of line and that I didn’t mean any harm in what I said, that he had asked me for advice and advice is what I gave him. It wasn’t my fault if he saw it as advice or not, that’s what it was and nothing more.
He told me because I called him rude it meant that nobody liked him. That he has been humiliated, hurt and betrayed for 31 years. (Now I’m sorry, I really am. But you are talking aggressively to a 21 year old girl, just trying to help people out. Being hurt by others isn’t an excuses to be a horrible person).
I told him that I was trying to help him but then he decided to laugh and sarcastically say, “really by telling me be consistent lol that’s common sense.” (I’m sorry that you didn’t see my words as advice by maybe if you had handle things more gentlemanly then I could have offered more advice to you).
I told him that maybe the internet isn’t for you and he then replied with, “so what you’re saying is I spent 5 years at uni for nothing.” Now, Uni was never mentioned from me, only him. I really have no interest where people have been, only in if I can help now or not. In this case I really couldn’t help this person.
He continues on messages me saying that he was asking for my help, that he wanted advice and that telling him to be consistent isn’t advice, that telling him hes dumb and wasted 5 years of his life is not advice. Which I agree, telling him he’s dumb and wasted 5 years of his life is not advice…if it was something I actually told him… Again none of these words were said to him, these are words he is telling me he sees when reading my replies. Another reason as to why I really believe he shouldn’t be on the internet right now.
By that point I told him he was rude and disrespectful, and horrible to talk to, goodbye.
that I couldn’t help him and that I was going to block him. And so I blocked him. I then went to my twitter page to let others know who seek any advice or help from me that I am not here to be your personal dumping ground for your misplaced anger.
The man I had tried helping quickly jumped onto another account and all while he was trying to publicly paint me in a bad light, while he continued to through verbal abuse at me, he was also messaging me and trying to post abusive comments onto my blog.
THIS IS NOT OKAY BEHAVIOUR! And I will not stand for it and I will defend myself against it. I am here to help people. I am not here for you to let out your obsessive anger issues.
It took telling him that I would have to go to the police to get him to stop harassing me and have him say he was sorry and that he hoped that we could talk again some time this year. If you are reading this, I want to let you know now, I will not be taking any more messages from you. You had more than plenty of chance from me, I offered my help many times and you are just to aggressive to handle. I truly believe that you should NOT be on the internet right now and that you should continue your private help. I would also rethink being a blog for male mental health right now when no one feels comfortable enough to talk with you.
Guys, us mental health bloggers/advocates are human too. We are not trying to help because we have our lives together and are happy and content with ourselves and life. We do it because we know what it is like to be in your shoes, we do it because we know what it feels like to be in that much mental and emotional pain that we wouldn’t wish to see out worst enemies in that much pain (though 9 out of 10 times its usually ourselves that are our worst enemies).
We don’t do this so you can let your frustration and anger out on us. It’s certainly isn’t why I offer my help to everyone. We don’t do this so you have someone to blame and hate, we are doing this to try and help you to stop doing that to yourself. I am doing this so no one is as overruled an controlled by their mental health the same way I am.
I am human, I have my struggles (A lot of them) and I have full of many faults but I have never had anyone claim that I have intentionally hurt them. I was taught at a very young age that everyone needs help, and if no one is helping you then you help other people. I don’t reap what I sow, I have never enjoyed that saying, I accept and forgive the bad done to me and try an find ways to help others from ever feeling the way I feel a lot of the time.
Now one of my main problems in life is my sever anxiety, having someone attack me so… viciously like that, to go onto another account to verbally abuse me on my own page, to then use that account to also message me abusive messages at the same time, while also trying to do the same on MY blog.
You’ve put me in the position where I am never going to offer my help to you again and if you do contact me again in anyway then I will be getting the police involved, as that is very scary and unacceptable behaviour.
I accept your apologises and I truly hope you get the help you need and get better one day. But you have not gone about it right way and for that, there will be no further help or contact from me.
I know a lot of people what to see screen shots of his messages as I understand that something like that on twitter can be rather “exciting” for some, making you want to know more about the situation but I feel this post covers everything I wanted covered without releasing any of his personal information (nothing he wasn’t sharing last night- and other nights- so publicly on my page or his).
I really respect privacy and no matter the wrong he did with his words that does not warrant me to release the messages he sent to me in confidence. So I will not be sharing any screen shots of his messages/comments nor will I be talking more on this matter.
I understand that when becoming a mental health blogger/advocate that I would be open to such situations however I didn’t expect it so quickly and its not something we as people – as human beings with thoughts and feelings too – have to put up with. I want this to be where it belongs now, in the past and hopefully situations like this come very few and far.
With all that being said I hope that this doesn’t steer people away from seeking help online and I hope this doesn’t seer people from trying to help people online. It’s not a pleasant thing when something like this happens but as with all things you have to take the good with bad and push on through it.
So please if you are feeling as though you can’t or have no one to talk to then please don’t be afraid to reach out to a mental health blogger/advocate as we are happy to help in anyway we can!
And if you would like to seek helps, advice or just a listen ear then please feel free to contact me at:
I want to thank everyone who too the time to contact me and message me and those who left those lovely and kind comments for me. You’ll never know how much appreciate your support and it really is people like you that help keep me going. So, from my very soul and the bottom of my heart, thank you so much.
Before we get into this post I just wanted to state that this post was meant for yesterday however none of my work saved that day and I was forced to re-write the whole thing. I was very emotional while re-writing this and it may come across in my post but I don’t want my overemotional self to distract for todays goals, which is raising awareness for our pets mental health. They suffer just as much as we do, if not more so.
So today is still part of Mental Health Awareness Week and opening up more a little on just a small portion of what I have gone through, just a little of the invisible battle I fight on a day to day basis has me feeling a little relieved, proud, hopeful (that’s it’s helped someone), nervous and beyond anxious. I couldn’t tell you how many times I almost convinced myself not to post one of my posts but pushed through my anxiety and fears that is forever raising its ugly head and clicked that ‘publish’ button.
But more than anything it has left me emotionally and mentally fried and on edge. As relieving as it is to finally have some of my demons off my chest and out into the open its still an incredibly difficult thing to open up about so publicly and I still have to stop myself from re-reading through my posts, knowing that I would find some reason for me to delete them. So I do apologise if any of my posts have any grammar/spelling mistake or words missing but I do fear that if I let myself read over them so thoroughly then I’m going to convince myself to delete it. Defeating the whole purpose of writing it in the first place and starting this blog.
So I want to take the attention from my mental health today and direct it onto our pets. Now when we look at animals and think about animals we don’t really take into account that our animals, our pets could be suffering from mental health illnesses. We know that like us, they can have physical illnesses/disabilities, so why do we never think that they can have mental illnesses and disabilities too?
Whether you have been following my blog for a long time or not a lot of you will know that I have a cat called Kitt-Katt (yes like the chocolate). Whom I have had for a little over six years now, Kitt-Katt has become my little heart and soul, I don’t know what I’d do without him in my life.
I believe when we pick a pet for ourselves we pick them because we see something in them that we see in ourselves, something broken or lost, or a means to feel needed in life by having another life depend on you. What ever the reason that pet has little piece of our personality in them, it draws us to them in ways we can’t explain.
When I would look at Kitt, It instantly dawned on me that he was cat version of me. I was/am a creature that like him is full of so much anxiety that I’m almost bouncing out of my skin from it, trying to blend into the background and shadows of the world in the hopes to avoid human contact and interaction as much as I can. What I saw in him broke my heart, I couldn’t find it in myself to feel sorry for me, but for him? It wasn’t something I wanted, it was then I’d decided that we’d both find away to beat our mental problems together.
When I first got him he was so very timid, frightful of everything and at times, a little vicious when his fear over took him and he lashed out at someone (usually I’d find my self on the receiving end of his fear/anger because I didn’t want him harming anyone else). He was also worrying skinny to the point you could see bones sticking out of him, it appeared he was so frightful in his last owners home that he couldn’t even bring himself to eat so he never, he let himself starve.
As much as I wanted too I couldn’t really blame his previous owner fully for his condition. She was just uneducated before getting her cat and clearly thought that little care went into looking after one which is probably why she thought it would be a good idea to have one while she had a newly running around and rowdy toddler. I’m angry that she never took having a kitten so seriously, that she never did any research or that she thought her child wouldn’t be so hands on with an animal. It was clear that there was no teaching going on when it came to handling and caring for an animal, and that is what makes me so angry.
If you are going to get an animal for your child, the least you can do is teach your child how to be delicate with the animal, how to play and properly behave around an animal (as apposed to having your child throw a 4 month old kitten into a washing machine and probably just telling your child off for the one action, instead of taking time to sit down and educate them a little so the next time they came a cross an animal they’d be more confident and gentle around it). But this isn’t what this post is about.
For a week he wouldn’t move out of a corner in a room under the dining table out of fear. I could see it in his eyes and it broke my heart. You could see he was suffering and I just couldn’t take it.
When I had finally managed to get him exploring the house a little more, he would instantly run back into that corner of his at the slightest of sounds. After 6 long, hard months of trail and error I had finally got Kitt to the point where he was sleeping in my bed with me, sitting on the couch, sitting next to me while I read a book. I had him playing with toys and gaining a lot more weight.
Kitt (like myself) instantly took to my boyfreind and was already at ease with him, it forever melts my heart seeing them together and the bond that was instantly in place. Even I had to work for my bond with Kitt and he’s my cat!
It was more than pretty clear that Kitt suffers with extreme anxiety and PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and a helping hand as well patience and gentle love and care. It’s taken five years to see a big difference in that time he has had kittens and (before he has his kittens there was no need in getting him done, he wasn’t aggressive with other cats, very submissive and didn’t seem to know why he owned a peinse -for the longest time we all believed I had a gay cat running arounf the house which was prefect for me, it meant I wouldn’t have worry about getting him done and dealing with any babies he makes -so there was never a need to have him done until he met my sister’s cat Misty-Moo.) been done, he has gone missing for two days and come back, he has had a few blow outs and a few set backs but now, now he’s like a totally different cat.
When my Kitt met Misty-Moo he was instantly smitten with her, and it seem her with him. They instantly started playing together. This would be the first time my Kitt played with another cat, he was usually scared of other cats -female and males alike- and only played with humans. You would finding them sleeping side by side together, taking little naps and my Kitt even caught a mouse for her! (Don’t get me wrong I hate when my cats bring dead things into the garden, but the gesture in itself and coming from my Kitt was beyond sweet and something I didn’t even think he would ever do. It really seems as though my Kitt has fallen in love with Misty-moo)
Today Kitt’s anxiety is much less sever than it was 5 years ago, and although he still has his bad days/weeks, he seems to be a lot more happier. It wasn’t easy in getting him to this place, and there had been more than a few occasions where I almost took him to the vets asking for some kind of anxiety medication for him but I wasn’t ready to give up just yet, I still wasn’t convinced that his mental health was so sever that he needed the medication, I still believed he just needed to be shown the proper love, care and patience.
I have another pet with a mental health issue which I will post tomorrow as the last day of Mental Health Awareness Week (though I am going to continue posting a lot more mental health awareness related posts for Mental Health Awareness Month)
I hope that this post can make you look and view your pets in a different light, and if your pet seem extra timid or angry/vicious it could be for a really good reason. They could be mentally or even physically suffering! Take them to the vet, see if their behaviour is caused by a bone or skin or something other unseen problem. If not, stop and think maybe your pet is suffering mentally then, and if so, you then need to determine whether it’s so bad that your love, care, patience, time and energy won’t be able to help them then please take them to the vet and get them the medication they need. I don’t like the thought of any animals on medication, but like with us humans sometimes we need that extra bit of help that no one, not even ourselves can give us.
Last week I had made the decision for myself to go back onto anti-depressants, I have them sat in my cupboard untouched because I’m still not entirely sure about it, however the past couples of months have made me think more and more, and I have been thinking that I may need that little extra bit of help until I can fully help myself right now. And I’m not sure if I’ll even end up taking them this year but I want others to know that it’s OKAY if the help of others and yourself isn’t getting you anywhere, if their help isn’t helping, it doesn’t make you weak or a bad person for needing medication. Everyone has their ways of help, sometimes our problems are more extreme than others which mean sometimes that extra bit of help is needed.
And it doesn’t make you a bad pet owner if you can’t help your pet. Like us sometimes the need more help than we can provide and that’s OKAY. That’s helping them and giving them the relief and peace they never even knew existed. Helping your pet doesn’t make you a bad pet owner.
And to pet owners thinking about giving up their pet due to behaviour, please just take a second to stop and think… What if there more to it that meets the eye, what you can still get to keep your pet and help your pet feel the peace and love it needs.
Please don’t give up on your pets, they wouldn’t give up on you!
Today’s post is a little more sensitive than most of my post to do with mental health. I’ve shared a little on battle with server anxiety with my two post called: ‘Stop writing anxiety off as something minor‘ and ‘Coping with anxiety outside’ – a post where others who are fighting their own anxiety battle shared their tips and tricks on coping with their anxiety outside. And I even shared a post talking a little about my struggles with my eating disorder.
But today we won’t be talking about anxiety or about eating disorders. Today I wanted to approach the topic of Depression and Suicidal thoughts. This is something that I’ve kept to myself a lot, a subject even I’m unwilling to open up about around my family (who have been my biggest supporters) and at times a subject I won’t even acknowledge to myself.
What is Depression?
Depression is a on overly strong feeling of hopelessness, incredibly low moods and self-worth,disturbed sleep/ appetite, and a loss of interest for all things you once loved. It is one of the most common mental health problem that us as humans face on a regular basis and yet it is still one of the most undermined mental health problem out there.
Depression is a mental health illness that affects a lot of children, young adults and people in their early 30s – early 50s.
20% of adolescents may experience a mental health (more commonly depression or anxiety) problem in any given year.
50% of mental health problems are established by age 14 and 75% by age 24. (That’s a lot of young people!)
Depression has many different symptoms that vary among different people, but generally encompass a feeling of unbearable sadness and hopelessness. The symptoms that can be brought on by depression can go from mild to moderate to severe and in which case if you are experiencing such overwhelming feelings and thoughts everyday (or almost every day) for more than two weeks, you should seek help from your GP.
Here are some (but not nearly all) symptoms of Depression:
Tiredness and loss of energy
Overwhelming sadness that doesn’t go away
Loss of self-confidence and self-esteem
Incredible difficulty in concentrating
Not being able to enjoy the things you once found interesting or pleasurable
Feeling anxious all the time
Avoiding other people, even your close friends
A suffocating feeling of helplessness and hopelessness
Sleeping problems – You sleep to much, can’t sleep at all, or waking up much earlier than is usual for you.
Strong feelings of guilt and/or worthlessness
Finding it hard to function at work/collage/school
Change in your behaviour
A loss of appetite
A loss in sex drive and/or sexual problems
Physical aches and pains (the mind can truly be a powerful thing)
Thinking about suicide and death
What are suicidal thoughts?
Suicidal thoughts is an abstract way of thinking about ending your life or believing that you and everyone around you would be better off without in the world with them.
In 2013 (6 years ago) there were 6,233 suicide recorded in the Uk for people 15 and older. Of these, 78% were male and 22% were female.
Suicide and Self-harm are not mental health problems themselves, but they are linked with mental health distress.
There are certain factors that can make individuals more vulnerable to risk of suicide, such as:
Drug and Alcohol misuse
History of trauma and/or abuse
Poor social conditions
Family break down
Suicide is widely often avoided by many people around the world. With such a terrible stigma surrounding it and not enough people understanding it, a lot of people keep these thoughts to themselves out of shame or fear of getting an angry response.
In England, more than 4,00 suicides (among people aged 15 and over) were registered in 2013. Of this figure, two thirds were male and one third were female.
Suicide is the largest cause of death for men aged 20-49 years in England and Wales. In 2012, more than three quarters of deaths by suicide were by men.
As the previous figures indicate, the rates of suicide have been lower for women than for men, and this has remained consistent over time. Between 2981 and 2007, suicide rates in the UK fell significantly for both sexes. However, since 2007, the suicide rate for women stayed constant while the rate for men has increased significantly.
(Keep in mind these are statistics from over 6 years ago and since 2014-2015 the rise in suicide has jumped just as significantly as it has lowered. Suicide can be just as unpredictable as the people suffering.
One of the most discriminatory stereotypes that persists is the incorrect association between mental health problems and violent behaviour. I fear the media may play a big role in portraying that people with mental health problems are violent.
A 2011 study on discrimination in England reported that 14% of national newspaper articles addressing mental health issues referred to those with mental health problems as being a danger to others. (utterly ridiculous if you ask me).
Studies have shown that the estimated risk of violence by people with mental health problems ranges from 3% to 5%
People with mental health problems are more likely to be victims of violence compared to those without mental health problems.
In a 2013 British survey among persons with severe mental health problems, it was found that;
– 45% had been victims of crime in the previous year – 1 in 5 had experienced a violent assault – people with mental health problems were 3 times more likely to be a victim of assault and any crime than those without – women with severe mental health problems were 10 times more likely to experience assault than those without – people with mental health problems were more likely to report that the police had been unfair to them compared to the general population.
My (shortened) story with Depression and Suicidal thoughts
My story with depression starts at a really young age (though not as young as kids today experience depression). I was a really naive child, I believed in all the good things in the world, I never really paid any attention to the bad. Everything was just a new and exciting adventure for me.
I lost that feeling of life being once big fun adventure when I was 6 maybe 7 years old. It was a tough time for me and my family, things had started to become unhinged and more uncertain for me. My little sister was going through the same thing and so I had to throw on my big sister shoes and comfort her. The stress and the new feeling of responsibility I had then I had for my sister started to weigh in on me. But I didn’t realise it for what it was at the time.
And when you are so young and when you were as naive as I was it was just so easy to push away the bad things and pretended they never existed. We moved house a lot more around that time, which meant that me and my sister moved schools a lot. Being so close in age and looking like twins at the time me and my sister was as close as actual identical twins, we were always treated us such until we both hit certain ages. For a long time it was me and my little sister against the big bad, scary world.
Moving house became a new adventure to us, learning a new area and being in a new school, it was just all part of the fun. Part of our adventure.
But then it wasn’t long before they stopped becoming adventures and started becoming more like…Missions. Missions I didn’t want to be a apart of anymore. The moving around, making new friends, fighting off new bullies, defending my sister from new people, learning a new area and leaving all behind all over again. It started to drag on my soul a little.
Then I became a teenager and a whole set of new problems and hormones and other person problems started flying my way. And there were so many times I just want all the noise, all the images of different faces and places to stop. So many times I’ve sat there and I’ve thought of all the ways I could make it stop. But couldn’t because I has to look after my mum and my little sister, and then my other little sisters and little brother.
Taking on that role gave me a new meaning to life, I had a mission, a mission I’d never stop at doing. Protecting and looking out for the ones I love. It’s helped pull me out of some really dark times, they have helped pull me out of some really dark times and I love them all the more for it.
But sometimes even the love off of those you love can’t keep the demons at bay. Sometimes the demons are just too strong and take on different forms. There have been a few small and very minor incidents where my depression has taken a hold over my heart, body and soul so much that I’ve self-harmed and I’ve had those thoughts about picking up those pills and making sure I took enough to never come back. I’ve thought about ways that be fast and sufficient knowing how much of a coward I am I wouldn’t be able to take the pain and disappointment of finding out I failed at taking my own life. At the disappointment and even more of a burden I’m then going to be on the people I love.
There are a lot of people out there who don’t understand how a person can get to the point of taking ones life and may think they are even selfish or cowards, but until you are in their shoes, have felt the emotions coursing through their body, the thoughts firing through their heads or have nothing of your own to live for… You don’t get the right to label them that.
Depression is a common mental health problem that affects everyone differently at different levels. You are never going to fully understand what a person is going through, but there are a lot of people who can understand some of what you are going through and sometimes that’ll all we need, is confirmation that we aren’t alone in this, that these thoughts are normal and they can eventually be fought off.
I truly I hope that this post can inspire you to reach out for help or talk a little more openly about your depression or suicidal thoughts. From someone who has had more than her fair share of them you aren’t alone in this. And I implore anyone who needs a listening ear to reach out to me (My email: email@example.com) and I will help in any way I can. If you need someone to understand, some advice or just a non judgemental open ear (I know trust doesn’t come easy) but you can trust that that is what you’ll receive from our conversations. I am not a qualified therapist (though I hope once I beat my anxiety & other issues I can get back to my psychology studies and go back to working towards becoming a therapist) I’m happy and always willing to offer what help/advice I can.
If you don’t feel comfortable emailing me then feel free to reach out to me through my other media plat forms:
This year for Mental health Awareness Month I’m going to be talking a lot more openly about my own mental health, sharing in more depth and detail the battle that goes on behind the closed door.
For Mental Health Awareness Week I’m going to be joining in with Mental Health Foundation cause in spreading more awareness for mental health and this years Mental Health Awareness Week topic is: Body Image.
I thought I would use this to take the opportunity to explain very briefly what body image is before sharing my ongoing journey with my body image.
What is Body image?
So a brief explaining of what body image is: A way an individual views their own body, whether that be they have a positive or negative view on their body. It’s down to how you see YOUR body. It isn’t just what we see in the mirror, thanks to social media it’s so much more than that. It’s about what we think and about what we feel when looking at our own bodies, I’m very accustomed in knowing that the worst critic can be ourselves.
My Body Image – Ongoing Journey
So let just get into it. I was very aware of my body at a rather young age, suffering with really bad skin problems I was the girl that was always cover head to toe so no one could see how bad my skin was. I think I must have been 8 at the time when I truly felt self conscious about having incredibly bad eczema.
It became so bad that I’d risk getting heatstroke, covering myself up as much as possibly (and typically I’d only wear black as it was simple and made me blend in) whenever I left the house.
Then high school start, along with puberty and girly problems. I never wish puberty upon anyone and really, really feel sorry for those coming and soon to be coming to puberty. It really wasn’t an easy ride for me. As I believe it wasn’t for most people.
I quickly looked to using my hair as my shield against my new anxiety and bad body image as soon as my mum allowed me to dye my hair at the age of 14. I was so, so happy that she had finally allowed me to dye my hair, ever since I was little I’d see my mum dying her hair a pretty purple or deep red (usually purple as that’s her Favourite colour) and I really wanted to dye my hair purple like hers.
I walked into school the following week with the most confidence I had ever had up until that point. I was so happy and even more so when I got compliments from my friends, teachers, other students…and my high school crush at the time (this was like 3 year before I met my second major but first major and forever crush).
Of course like every good thing, the good feelings never lasted. My small hold of confidence was quickly sniffed out by my own insecurities and self doubt in my own skin.
Colouring my hair a different colour helped distract me for a while from my body, I become infatuated with dying my hair crazy colours. My hair became my security blanket .
I hated everything about my body, the way it looked, the way I moved in it and the way I felt in my own skin,. I still have these feelings often to this day. I have always had a small framed body, I suppose back then I had a body that had the potential of looking like a athletes body, I was very active, you’d either see me riding my bike or climbing a tree with my friends.
I’d never bring in my P.E (Physical education) nor would I ever bring in my swimming kit when we had swimming. I wasn’t comfortable showing so much of my body off to people. I’ve also found it so wrong that school makes us change around each other or try forcing us to swim. I understand the workout side of thing, I don’t understand why they choose things or ways that makes us the most uncomfortable.
I’d do everything and anything I possible could that would avoid me showing skin or clothing that showed off my body. For years I walked around in dark bagging clothing in the hopes to blend in and not draw notice or attention to myself. Partly because of my anxiety and partly because of my issue with my own body image.
When I got with my boyfriend, my body image changed in my eyes. He’s made me feel as though I’m the most beautiful woman in the world. He’s loved every inch of me, every imperfection that I own and he made me feel as though they weren’t there or as though my imperfection weren’t imperfections. He taught me to love my body for what it was, flaws and all.
With him I feel free and comfortable to wear what I what, when I’m around him I can wear skirts, dresses, short sleeved tops and crop tops. But every other time if its just me, I’ll throw on baggy clothes, tights or leggings and go back to trying to blend in with the background of the world.
Without him, I wouldn’t be caught dead in a dress never mind a dress as pretty as this one was! (These photo were taken at his sister’s wedding two years ago in June).
Of course that doesn’t mean I still don’t have a bad body image. Due to my eating disorder my body changes all the time, I’m always up and down (more often down) about my body. Last year and the year before that I lived in nothing but shorts, tights, leggings and my boyfriends hoodies as none of my clothes fit me any more. I’d lost too much weight.
To this day I’m still shopping in the children section – early teen section for clothes as my body is still so small and unhealthy from years of unintentional abuse. To this day I hate the way my body looks, but I do get moments where I’m happy with it. The moments are few and far but when I do get them I grab hold of it for as long as I can, never knowing when I’ll feel good about the way I looked again.
This year I have taken steps to changing my unhealthy ways and in changing the way I view my body. I’ve started a new diet that has been helping me gain weight for the first time since I was a teenager, I started yoga last year (You can CLICK HERE to be directed to my yoga post) to build muscle I never had due to being so sick in my body. And little, light workouts to build more. I’m starting to go on more of my adventures again and still looking at new ways I can help myself.
It isn’t easy and with social media and all these filters and ways to modify how you look using apps it can have a big helping hand in bringing me down about my body image. And with my body changing all the time, its so hard to like never mind love my body image. I hope one day I can see myself the way my boyfriend sees me.
This, like most personal/mental health related posts wasn’t easy for me to write and it’s even harder for me to post but one of my reasons for starting this blog was to open up more about what I’m going through, to jot things down and share them, to help others going through something similar and little bit to know I’m not the only one with these thoughts and feelings.
So I hope this has given you a little insight on how I view myself which isn’t in a very good light, however my mission to stay positive and push through until I achieve my body goal is ever growing and with the support of all my friends, family and fellow bloggers I’m hoping to share in more depth how body image affects me and those around me.
I also hope that this has shown you, that you aren’t the only one who has bad thoughts of themselves, who hate the way their look. I’ve lost count of the amount of people what have told me I am too skinny, or that I shouldn’t be depressed, self conscious or sad because I’m skinny. I can tell you right now that skinny is NOT everything. It can get very life threatening and I’ll be sharing a post on that later tonight.
I want this post to help other’s open up more about their own body image but also want this post to help you understand that body image is just that, its an image that you can change at will. It’s hard, and it’s not always something that can be achieve but a day of bad body image doesn’t mean that you HAVE a bad body image. It just means that that day was a bad day, tomorrow may be better.
I’d love to hear/read about your body image journey and I really hope this post have inspired you to share your own body image journey, as I stated above that my next post today will be about my weight and the way others see me, rather than how I see myself.
We are all beautiful, no matter the size, the colour, the markings on our skin. It’s all beautiful and it all makes us who we are. It all makes us different and uniquely us.
Now if there is something in this world I can say without a shadow of a doubt I hate, it’s bullies. People who think and feel the need to tear down another person self-esteem and little world just to make themselves feel important and better than the other person.
People who think its okay to ruin the lives of others for your own person gain, not caring about the mental damage you are creating to that person. To the girls who think its “hard” and “cool” to walk around talking and acting like men , to the girls who feel the need to pick on all those pretty girls for having the right mindset and self-esteem built into them, to walk through their high school doors with no make up on or modification to their appearance. This is for the girls who feel its okay to pick on girls they feel haven’t done their make up right or expresses themselves differently and for the ones who think depression, suicide and self harm is a game or a cute little character trait.
This is for the boys who think its cool to hang around the younger kids, the ones who think its fine to corrupt them and make them think that being you is what they should aspire to be. This is to the boys who think its hard to beat a person, physically or mentally until they can no longer stand to see themselves in the mirror or even stand to be alive.
This if for the insecure bullies who try pointing and picking on people for having a flaw that you can’t stand about yourself, this is for the people who think its their life mission to make others around them feel as though they do. To make them feel small and unworthy to even live the life gifted to them.
You do not get anywhere by making yourself look “hard” or “cool”. Beating a person up just to look harder than the others is possibly one of dumbest things I have ever witnessed while growing up. To be that insecure about yourself that you need to put yourself out there so strongly as a person who shouldn’t be messed with? It just screams help. It screams to me that there are things going on that maybe you should be address properly and to a professional rather than taking your hurt/anger/pain out on others.
To obsess yourself over a person so much to make them hate themselves or want to kill themselves…that’s crazy behaviour, that is the type of thing that I would look for in a sociopath and to me that is all bullies are. Sociopaths.
It seems to me that bullies these days have managed to desensitise themselves from pretty much all emotions and thoughts regarding other people. The only time they feel what they think is a slither of happiness is when they’ve ruined someone else’s.
I used think of bullies as victims. Victims of circumstance and of bad upbringing or a lack of parenting on someone’s (or both) part. Now I’m really divided on the matter as I have come across bullies like that, who weren’t ever really shown what love, care or loyalty was so they express what they know which is what has always truly broken my heart about bullies. I know that they have been deeply wronged to have become so twisted, however I have also come across bullies who you wouldn’t think would be one, one’s with the opposite life from a hard upbringing.
In primary school I remember a particular bully I had to deal with. It was right after moving to Liverpool for the first time (so I was around 6-7 years old) and there was this little girl who was in all my classes and would follow me around on the school yard. She’d go out of her way to try and say nasty things to which I’d always respond with, “I’m telling my mam on you!” Before walking a way and finding others to play with. She didn’t particularly have any friends as she was always lashing out at people and the other kids were scared and intimidated by her.
One day she had come to school with a broken leg and wasn’t allowed outside during break times. Just as we were reaching our first break of the day, I had been approached by a teacher informing me that (Let’s call the girl Marie) Marie had requested that I be the person to stay with her during her breaks.
Now at first I didn’t know how to feel about that as I didn’t like being around the girl, she was a little horror at the time. But told the teacher that I would any way as I don’t do well with being asked things on the spot (Something I’m still working on). Anyway once the teacher left me to tell Marie the news I asked around the class room to see what the other kids thought and to see if maybe someone would take my place.
No one wanted to stay in during their break and no one really wanted to spend their break around the school bully and thus left me either telling the teacher I no longer wanted to or suck it up and follow through with my word.
I really don’t like breaking my word and so once I have agreed to something I like to follow through on it any way I can. I also had my mums voice in the back of my mind telling me not to judge people to harshly, that you never know what’s going on in their lives, plus I really couldn’t believe that she was acting like this for no reason at all. There had to be something making her want to lash out at people, a reason she was so angry all the time. The breaks were spent in silence as neither one of us knew what to say to each other. Eventually I got fed up of spending my breaks in awkward silence and decided to try and make conversation with her.
For a few month I done that, spending my breaks with the school bully, answering my friends question when they’d ask me what happened or what was it like spending all your breaks with Marie with “It’s not so bad.” We’d make small conversation and when the time came where she could have her cast removed the bullying had pretty much stopped (for me). I still spent some of time arguing with her when she was picking someone else when I was walking by but after that she pretty much left me alone and carried on about her business of being the school yard bully.
A good few years, 4-5 new houses and school later we ended up in the same high school. The girl had clearly not strayed from her bullying streak and even seemed to have gotten worse with it. One day we both had P.E together (one of the rare occasions that I would bring in my P.E kit) the teacher decided that we’d play football that day.
Marie seemed to be in a particularly bad mood and everyone was trying to keep a distance and not set her off. However she was started to really P*ss me off when she was kicking the ball as hard as she could at everyone. I started to do the same back to her which led to her saying an off had comment. I’d started walking towards her by this point and was asking what her problem was, Everyone had stopped trying (or should I say pretend as none of us other than a small few actually want) to play football and was watching us probably expecting a fight as that’s usually how confrontations went with Marie and just in general is how kids would deal with their confrontations as at that age everyone is to crazy-ed on their own hormones that they forget the fact they have a brain that could be used just as effectively.
However all we done was a bit of back and forth shouting at each other, I had eventually told her to go somewhere else to cool off because she was looking like a hot headed fool at the time and then the teacher came over. Me and Marie spoke a little after that, apologised and even became friends at one point before we both ended up going to different schools again and different directions again.
Through the time in trying to get to know her and befriend her I had come to learn that she had a really hard life back at home. Things were going on and had gone on that I couldn’t even imagine, things that would make me angry too.
After meeting her, it really made me take three steps back from people and view everyone as someone who has something going on. So when someone around me is angry or upset instead of responding with the same emotions as them as I’d like to or would have done, I step back and remember bad days happen and everyone has sh*t going on.
I’ve also come a cross a bully that hit anything in her path, no words needed or was said before she’d attack someone. This was coming from a girl who had a fairly normal up bringing, who pushed her family aside and decided that the street life suited her best.
Of course bullying doesn’t just happen with terrible words and painful jabs, it can be done by making people believe you are something you are not, they suck you in and make you believe that they are this sad person who just needs help, love and care. And so you give them that and you keep giving until you either have nothing left or they want the last thing you aren’t willing to give them. Bullying comes in all shapes and forms, physically, emotionally to mentally. I’ve had it all, I’ve been pushed past my limits and I’ve pushed through it all, as I will continue to do and show others they can too!
It’s when meeting people like that, that I question whether I am right to think all bullies are victims? Is it the internet? The fact we are so open to so much suffering and becoming desensitised too soon? It it the upbringing or is just something as simple as an evil personality? What makes bullies, become a bully. What makes them think they have the right to do something like that?
I’m sure we’ve all done and said things to someone that we regret, something that’s made us look like the bullies. But to dedicate day in and day out to do it, for years in or out of school? It’s just not normal, it’s not normal to obsess over the lives of others and attack someone just because you want what they have or you are jealous of them.
And to my siblings bullies, you can say hurtful words, you may even break them for a moment of your time but they are surrounded by loving and supportive people who won’t let the likes of low lives get to them the way you are trying to. The more bad days you try to give them the more good days we are determined to show them.
Bullies won’t break people. And it’s time they realised that, its time they realised that by trying to make someone a victim you are just making yourself look like a victim of bad personal circumstance
Please feel free to comment, share and like this post, don’t forget to subscribe to my email list and I hope you enjoyed reading. More than anything though I hope you can take something from my experiences and apply them to your day to day life whether that’s not to judge people (even those who hurt us), whether it’s to forgive those who hurt us or maybe this has made you realise that you have not been the best person you can be and it’s changed how you look at the bad. Either way I hope to see you all back again on my next post!
Before releasing my book review on heavenward and my post on joining the Hallow book tour and my experience with it, I thought I’d introduce the author herself. The wonderful and amazing writer of the captivating dark fantasy series ‘The Celestial Creatures’ Olga Gibbs was kind enough to take time out of her busy scheduled to answer a few questions for us, isn’t that great?
So, I understand that You’ve published a book called Heavenward (The first book in the Celestial Creatures series) and will soon be publishing another book following Heavenward, was that planned from the beginning or did inspiration for a book series hit you after you had finished writing Heavenward?
It was originally planned as a series.
Although it was planned as a trilogy, but now it’s shaping up as four books
series. I even have titles ready for each of the books in the series:
“Heavenward”, “Hallow”, “Harbinger” and “Halo”.
“Heavenward” is a dark fantasy with elements of high fantasy and paranormal
fantasy. “Hallow” is a dark urban fantasy with some paranormal elements, and
the last two books will be high fantasy as I intend to take all the action into
my fantasy realms, into my created worlds.
Could you share with us one or more of you’re writing ritual/s?
I write every day. Every day! Every single
day that I don’t work, I pack my children off to school, have breakfast and sit
down – ready to write. No excuses. No reason was ever good enough for not doing
it. Even when I was ill (well, still sick). Every day. From 9am until at least
3pm – before children will get back from school and will need their mother – I
will sit and write. Sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes all that I will show for so
many hours of work is just 500 words, sometimes even less, but that doesn’t
matter. What matters is that every day I have driven my story forward.
And I don’t begin to write without a plan. I have a rough plan, then make a
more detailed one, might even expand it by the chapters (what will go where),
but I don’t begin on my story until the plan is done – I hate wasting my time.
You will see in the next two answers how valuable my time is!
Where did the inspiration behind Heavenward come from?
At first I had my character – Ariel. I had her with me for a few years now. She lived with me, inside me and one day when I was ready to write, I wondered what I could do with her – for her. Some parts of her is me. Some of her stories are my stories; some of it is from my childhood and my hurt (sorry, that’s as much as I am prepared to share now). Ariel lived an incredibly tough life and I wanted her to have something good for a change. I wanted to give her her power back and for a good measure to throw humanity in it, to put us at her mercy, to turn the table. I’ve written this book for all girls out there, like Ariel – like I was once – powerless at that moment, struggling, emotionally and mentally. With this book I wanted to tell them, that they’re an incredible universe of their own, an archangel, who can change the world if decided to do so. I wanted these girls to know that their past doesn’t have to define them – I make sure every day that it doesn’t define me. I find it incredibly sad that there are almost no books for girls like Ariel. There are books written for adults who suffered abuse, but nothing to help girls to push through, to let them know that there’s no shame, to make them feel that they’re not alone – and that’s the main issues: self-loathing, guilt, hate and utter isolation. This topic is not appropriate for YA market (or so I was told), so here we are. But I didn’t want to write a realistic book about Ariel’s abuse. I feel that someone who never lived through such things wouldn’t want to read about it, the way it would come out of me would be too disturbing. (You’ve read this book, right? And it’s me diluting it for the YA market), and girls, who lived through it, would never want to relive it, so that how this book became a fantasy. But I felt it was important to give Ariel a voice, to speak about the abuse that some girls are suffering on a daily basis. “Heavenward” is a story of empowerment and the promise of hope.
What do you like to do in your spare time if you aren’t reading or writing?
I have very little spare time. I am writing
every hour God sent. I read. I have family: husband and two teenage daughters,
who need my support and guidance every day (and help with homework for GCSE
year). I work part-time as a supply teacher in a secondary school and as a
facilitator for the fantastic charity called “Juno Project”, which is operates
in Sussex and is chaired by amazing woman, who I am proud to call my friend,
Ali Golds. I am very passionate about this charity. The “Juno Project” provides
support and empowers the girls, who are at risk from being excluded from
school, to achieve their goals in spite of their challenges. Unfortunately, my
illness precluded me from taking groups this academic year, but I am planning
to get back swinging towards end of this year.
What does your family think of your writing? Have any of them read your book?
My family is very supportive of my writing.
My husband always has encouraged me to write, but after I’ve read a few
excerpts from “Hallow” to him, he thinks that I should drop all my other work engagements
and spend my time only writing – honing my craft, so to speak. Both my girls
read my book. The eldest has read both of my books and helped me with the first
book a fair bit, mainly encouraging me, re-reading some parts back to me and
quizzing me, challenging me, demanding me to do better. The youngest started
reading “Heavenward” but she didn’t go past the scene of essence waking in Ariel.
She teared up a bit there and said that doesn’t want to read any further. Fair
enough. I always thought that if the book doesn’t bring you pleasure, you
should close it and move on. Well, for me that applies to every book, apart
from academic or research literature and documents.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating Heavenward? And do you hear from your readers much? What kind of things do they say?
I guess I was surprised to find out that I have such a great imagination – to create these worlds, creatures, clothing, and disturbing to think how dark my imagination can go – how twisted it can be, and that me trying to hold myself back as I still had YA book parameters to work within. Very rarely a reader might write and say that they have enjoyed the book – I only had two to date – but these messages make me feel that I have done well and I have achieved that I set out to achieve. I love to see that some understood and saw (maybe read between the lines) what I was trying to do.
What would you say was your Kryptonite? What do you dislike writing about?
To write anything sweet and “plushy”. Cutesy things, romance, comedy, happily-ever-after stories – I don’t know how to do that. My impulse is to throw my characters into deep waters, with sharks circling them, and watch them swim. Or maybe they will drown each other?
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the good and bad ones?
That’s a very tricky one, every author will
attest to that. I am tempted to read reviews, but for the last few months, I was
learning and keeping myself away from all review platforms. With my logical
mind, I know and understand that I can’t please everyone, nobody can – that’s
simply impossible, but my heart wants to see and read reviews. I want to know
if the years of my life and work have paid off, if baring myself to the world
was worth the gamble. But I am learning to stay away – just to protect myself.
It’s a simple self-preservation.
If you had to describe your main character in three words what would those three words be?
Difficult, broken, unapologetic.
What were the key challenges you faced when writing Heavenward?
The biggest challenge was to tone the story down for YA market (and I think I have miserably failed still). I wanted to write this book for girls of age 12-18 – this book is for them. For the girls, who may need this book so they don’t feel alone, for the girls who need to believe in themselves. This book is for them.
What was your highlight writing heavenward?
The readers who said that it’s the best book they have ever read (or even if it’s just the best book this year). The readers who have appreciated the story and understood what I was trying to do.
And lastly (I swear this is the last question I have) Do you have any piece of advice or favourite quote you could share with aspiring author’s such as myself?
Just two: “Grow a thicker skin if you want to publish your story” and “don’t wait for an inspiration to hit you – start working and the muse will come”.
Wow! Thank you, Olga, for sharing with us today. I can’t speak for everyone but I can speak for myself and I have to say this is one book that helped me out of a year reading funk, kept up at night and had my emotion rushing in a whirlwind while reading through it. Considering you’ve made it to #1 in Amazon I think it’d be safe to assume that your book has reached many women and young girls who are falling in love with your story and the world that you have built within your book.
If you would like to check out the book you can now download your copy FOR FREE. That’s right, in early celebration for the release of Hallow you can now get the #1 in amazon for Teen & Young Adult girls & Women Issues Nonfiction eBooks and #1 in Teen & Young Adult Folklore & Mythology eBooks! So don’t waste anytime and CLICK HERE to be directed to your free copy. And stay tuned for the release of the next book Hallow and my book review on it.
I’m having a tough time
with my child’s teacher. It went from her telling us that she prefers the
girls over the boys (I have a boy) at our conference in December, to her
questioning me about why I didn’t bring him to the holiday concert after school
because she knows we went to the movies that night. I told her we had already
bought the tickets and that he choose to go to the movies that night because he
didn’t want to go to the holiday concert. Then I walked away and got angry… Is
she questioning my parenting? And if so, then maybe it’s time I start
questioning her teaching. What I do with my children after school hours is none
of her damn business. Her job is to teach my child in a safe environment and
currently he is having anxiety just going to school because he feels like he is
constantly being targeted by her and getting in trouble. Why is that?
One day she took his chap stick away because he got up to go get it without asking.
He raised his hand and she wouldn’t call on him. Which has happened before.
He needs his chap stick right now, he has a very dry irritation under his lip (which is clearly visible) and he needs the chap stick to sooth and protect it.
She should not have taken it away.
Yesterday she wouldn’t let him go to the nurse when he asked because he had a headache. They were going to recess and it’s weirdly warm and springy that day so,
he was trying to tell her that the humidity would make his headache worse but she yelled at him to get his jacket and go outside.
So, he cried and she said that she was finished talking to him and walked away. When I picked him up he was pale.
When we got home, he skipped dinner and went to bed and slept for 12 hours straight. He clearly did not feel well.
His teacher has also made
comments about his hair being to long, and his winter jacket being to big. If
she has an issue with the appearance of my child, she needs to tell me so I can
tell her where to shove it, not say it to my child in front of the rest of the
We emailed the Principal and the Vice principle and we had a meeting. The principal was clearly upset with the way the teacher was with my son.
Even though my husband had already spoke to the vice principal about what was going on, the principal seemed to have no idea. She asked for 2 weeks to try to mediate the situation and see if she could make my son feel better about going to class.
The vice principal took it upon himself to call my son and the teacher out of class and gave the teacher a signal to do when she needed his attention, she would call him and tap her shoulder. One time is a warning, two times he’s in trouble and the third time he gets sent to the principal’s office. This didn’t sit well with my husband and I and we immediately sent off an email informing them that our son doesn’t have a “signal” to get the teachers attention and she routinely ignores him when he raises his hand,
and what they are creating was a form of entrapment,
which we are not cool with.
The principal looked into it and said that our son wasn’t getting in trouble, he was getting a chance to calm down. That still makes no sense. He’s upset because he needs to go to the bathroom and he’s raised his had for 20 minutes and the teacher isn’t calling on him. It’s not till he has to call out her name and then she will answer him.
The thing is, our kid is doing really well socially this year, in his class. Last year we had a student who was a bully picking on him when no one was looking. Even in that situation, they failed to do anything other then promise that this year he wouldn’t be in the same class as that child. Now, the kids are fine but the teacher is terrible.
Just last week my son had to cry to get sent to the nurse’s office again and it turned out that he actually had an ear infection.
I will be bringing this up at out parent teacher year end meeting this Thursday, which the principal will be in on.
There was also an issue with a little girl in school who told my son that the world would be better off without him and he agreed with her. She ended up telling the social worker and the social worker spoke to him. She called me and said that she did a risk assessment and he doesn’t have any plans or anything, he just said it.
I expected to have him tell me he didn’t mean it when I picked him up from school that day but he actually said that he was feeling so sad that day with everything going on with his teacher, and then the girl was being mean to him too, so he actually did feel like the world would be better off without him.
We had a huge heart to heart that night and I asked him if he wanted to find someone to talk to, he said yes.
We’re currently waiting
for a therapist, we’ve already done all the intake stuff we’re just waiting on
his first appointment. I think it will help him to have someone else to speak
to and they might have better ways of dealing with these situations that they
can teach him and my husband and I.
As of right now, my son
seems to be better about going to school. There are 2.5 months left and I think
he’ll be fine staying in this witch’s class. Every thing I hear now though goes
straight to the principal. I need the paper trail because I assume, they are
trying to create their own as well.
Can teachers be bullies? And then what do you do?
I will be updating this
story on my blog.
My name is Jessica. My husband and I have a 9-year-old son and a 7-year-old daughter. We are currently figuring out this whole parenting thing. I am currently working on my dream of being an author since the kids are getting older and I now have a little bit more free time. If you would like to support me, that would be awesome! I have a few books published on Amazon.
Wow. What can I say to that? Other than I personally do believe teachers can be bullies, I have come across a few teachers that have bullies through my years of moving schools (completely different reasons- my mum moved house a lot when I was younger). However the fact that they exists doesn’t excuse the fact that they should, teachers should be in more control of themselves when around children and if they can’t be then they shouldn’t be there. The fact that this teacher has brought a child into feeling that way is disgraceful and yet unfortunately none surprising as, as I said I have come across a few…bad teachers and so have my siblings.
I feel teachers need to be looked into more, schools need to change their ways. For they have gone from caring about their students, saftey, well being and education. Now it’s all numbers and figures. The system is broken and someone needs to step in and fix it. Other we are left with questions likes, ‘can teachers be bullies?’ -LittleTinkablee
Having Children and some
things they don’t tell you – A few of my experiences from birth through
Growing – Some rough
stories from my life.
Kissing all the Frogs –
My love story
Working My Way Through
Life – Basically every job I have ever had and how it led me to the next.
I also have a blog:
Please check it out and like and follow 😊 I post Monday through Friday (not holidays).
Being a writer isn’t easy and it’s made worse when you get hit by the much dreaded ‘writer’s block.’ An invisible blockage that stops the flow of words and ideas from reaching the writer.
Being an aspiring author myself and becoming a new blogger, I have found that writer’s block can and will hit you more than once. Receiving writer’s block is no fun task, nor is it something I would wish upon any writer/author. Sometimes my writer’s block can last for days, weeks, months and even years! Occasionally the creative flow you had can suddenly disappear without a word, one second you are on fire writing left, right and centre and then the next you’re wallowing in self-pity not understanding why the words are no longer coming to you like flowing water as they once had.
Writer’s block is simply this: A
psychological inhibition that prevents creative writer’s from continuing with
their work, writer’s block is a problem that obstructs the writer’s ability to tap
into that part of their brain that comes up with the ideas/words. Writer’s
block can prevent anyone from finishing their novel, poem, deadlines, post etc.
Anyone who has experienced writer’s block will know, fretting too much or trying to force original ideas can cause you a great deal of creative constipation. If you are experiencing anything like this/ or this is your first-time experiencing writer’s block then please don’t be alarm and don’t give up, you can get that creative energy flowing again, you just have to be patient!
I wrote a list below of all the things (you can try) that I do to help bring back my creative flow:
(1). Read a book. Now there is no denying that once I have read a good book or five… I am hit with a tidal force of inspiration and ideas! Filling your head with other people’s words, other people’s worlds can really help to inspire you’re own. After a good book, I can find myself writing for weeks afterwards!
(2). Eliminate all distractions. This one is easier said than done, personally, I get easily distracted and usually by my own thoughts and crazy ideas. To bring me back into “writer’s mode” I like to lock myself in a room with nothing – harder to do when you have three clingy cats that follow you everywhere- but a cup of hot cholate/tea/ coffee (I’m a little obsessed with all hot beverages), some food, chocolate and no internet. Just me and my words.
(3). Go for a walk. This is one of my three favourite things I like to do to help get out of writer’s block. There is nothing like walking along a park or through a wooded area feeling the breeze on your face and the little sunbeams warming your skin. Hearing the birds tweet to one another as you watch nature play its role as you take your peaceful stroll. I try to go for a nature walk at least once-twice a day.
(4). Change your environment. Sometimes a change of scenery is all that’s needed! Being cooped up in the same place day in and day out writing and researching doesn’t do anyone any good. Try taking your work to the park, a quiet little coffee shop and do you’re writing there! I have a little cafe fifteen minutes from where I live but I also really enjoy going to the Cat Cafe Liverpool early hours in the morning when my writing is at its peak and my mind is still in a creative haze. Once you’ve gotten over the overload cuteness of cats/kittens bringing your writing to life is almost like magic when doing it there. (Click the link if you’d like to know more about Cat Cafe Liverpool).
(5). Freestyle Write. Every day set a timer for 15-20 minutes and spend that time writing freely with no limitations. This will help stretch your brain muscle giving you the ability to be and allow yourself to be more creative with your writing in turn pushing aside your writer’s block!
(6). Read some inspiring quotes. This is my second favourite thing to do daily whenever I find myself hit hard with writer’s block. The internet is full of so many inspiring and motivational quotes, go out there and read them! I know people tend to overuse quotes but for the art of creativity, this one can be important as artists are forever looking for inspiration and supportive messages. (Click here to be directed to my post about book quotes! This will help get you started and hopefully, help in giving you the motivation to go out there and find quotes that speak to you.)
(7). Do something to get your blood flowing. A great way to prevent or get out of writer’s block is to keep the blood in your body flowing. To do this I like to do Yoga, if you are new to yoga then I’d suggest starting out doing Hatha Yoga (click here to learn about yoga and all the different optional practices open to you). Pilates and light workouts routines.
(8). Drink plenty of water and make sure you are spending time around those you love. Keeping yourself hydrated while surrounding yourself with good energy is another great way to get yourself out of writer’s block. People have a funny way of sparking that creative wick in your brain. Go see some friends, meet up with an old one? Go talk to a stranger walking their dog, I’ve come across a lot of lovely chatty dog walkers. I personally like to be around my family as pretty much most of them are really creative in their own way & I always have a sense of calm and belonging when around them. And my boyfriend, my right hand, my soulmate, a feeling so great I fear my heart may burst at times. The funny thing about being on this earth is that there are other people too 🙂 go out and mingle a little, push yourself out of your comfort zone!
(9). Listen to music. Take some time out of your day to listen to some music, whether you are listening to your favourites, old throwbacks you used to listen to or listening to something new, music is the age-old answer to any creative blockage.
(10). And lastly, go out and do something different. Teach yourself a new skill (I’ve started baking at least once a week with my little siblings), try out a new hobby go skydiving! Writer’s block is partly there because of the same old routine, sometimes you just have to spice things up a bit. Go out and try something new, something else creative and have fun doing it knowing that you may just climb out of your writer’s block after all!
I hope this has helped you out of your writer’s block or at the very least I hope my post has given you a few ideas on how to climb your way out of writer’s block!
If you have any suggests that I’ve not mentioned drop them below in the comments, have a wonderful week!