The Lucy Eperience

The Lucy Eperience

Friday, 4 July 2014

The one month mile stone

So today will be a post, more to prove the point of 'a picture can paint a thousand words'.

Over the last month my life has changed completely, I'm working, I'm cycling, I'm running and I'm motivated.

I have turned nineteen, Rob has turned twenty one, and we are looking for our home ready for me to start university in September!

I hope you enjoy my pictures and I want to let everyone know, I really do feel better, especially now I'm working, starting to drive, now that I know I can have the most amazing future ahead of me, because I deserve it. Just like everyone right now, who feels alone, who is struggling, who can't see their future, I promise you it is there, and you will love it and cherish it even more after your fight. Your life, your future, they are why you don't give up. Why you push on, cry your tears and stick your middle finger in the air, you should be the reason you live, because you have to love yourself to be happy.

Lots of love,
Luce xxx

Firstly I dyed my hair
Then I did the electric run 5k

Then I completed the Manchester Bupa 10k

My amazing club and running family after Manchester



More of my amazing running family
I then completed the Blackpool 10 MILES!!


My 10 mile stats!



Then Rob took me to london for my birthday!
On the coach to victoria station!

We visited the Sherlock museum at 221b Baker street!


I went to the Harry Potter studio tour on my birthday!!
We then had a party back home!
Kisses for the birthday girl!































My Hannah Banana treated me to a spa day!


And I even wore a bikini! (whitwoo)







I then ran the Rhyl 10k and sadly missed my PB by 2 minutes!
But we were still smiling!












Because everyday seems easier!












Monday, 19 May 2014

The return of Luce

Readers, viewers, friends and strangers. I. AM. BACK. I'm writing, I'm thinking and I'm feeling exhausted!

I understand that I have not wrote since the 24th of March, but time has elapsed without the motivation to write! In the (nearly) two months that have passed a lot of things seem to have changed. My hair is now a fiery shade of auburn, I have received my acceptance letter to study at university, I have had interviews and training and will be starting a new job soon, and I'm part way through a very tough six week gap from CBT.

I will apologise for such a long break without uttering a word on here, but I have been updating my twitter and facebook for you all to read and offer quotes of inspiration, my motivation has been extremely low and luckily the red falcon project has booted me up the backside to writing again, asking whether I could write a post about my running and how it is helping me cope! (Thank you red falcon project, I owe you a wonderful post for this!)

I shall be starting university on the 14th of September 2014, with a gap year under my belt and some well needed break from education I finally feel ready to start! I'm over the moon to be looking at homes with Rob and thoroughly excited to start my course and job!

With my six week gap from CBT I have been rushing around trying to fill up my time in order to cope, which meant running, cycling and also planning a big party for my boyfriends 21st birthday! Which, trust me, was utterly fantastic! I had managed, with the help of my mother-in-law, to bring up robs aunty who he had not seen for seven years up to Manchester from London and I believe I have made his year. (I should be in the Guinness world records for keeping the biggest secret ever for over a month).

Also yesterday, the 18th of may, I ran the Manchester Bupa 10k for the Trafford carers centre, which is a local charity that offers support and counselling for unpaid carers who are looking after relatives, friends or neighbours! I completed the 6.4 miles at 1:33:45 which is not my best time but ran in the running conditions of blistering heat at around 24 degrees! I am now suffering extremely bad sunburn and sunstroke!

I really struggled yesterday even though my training has been fantastic, I would not have been able to achieve what I did without the amazing Chorlton runners! I was very proud to wear their vest as I ran and was overwhelmed with all the support they gave!

The running and cycling has progressed as I have knocked another 2/2.5 minutes off my average running pace to get sub 12 minute miles across about 4/5 miles! Which also means I have sped up by around 7/7.5 minutes for each mile! (I can see smoke coming off the back of my trainers here!)

I'm really appreciating how I've been feeling, even if it is down to medication, as to me, although I have had bad days, I can really feel the good days, the days where I feel thinner, where I'm smiling and talking, overcoming anxieties, where I feel like a good person. I can feel weights are lifting off my shoulders, and the excitement that the divorce is nearly over is another great relief, me and my mum will be free this year, 2014, the year of change, the year of removing the shackles, the transformation from victim to survivor. The best year so far.

Again, I am sorry for not posting, but I hope reading this has helped you understand and to realise that I'm still here, still recovering and still trying to help every person I can!

Lots of love,
Luce xxx

Robs 21st with my conjoined twin (bestfriend and optional sister)


New hair!


Electric run 5k 2014!


More new hair!


Bupa 10k finishers medal (and tears)


Before the Bupa 10k lookin' fyyynnne!

Monday, 24 March 2014

Mondays are good days... sometimes.

Mondays are the days that I weigh in for Slimming world. It is the start of my week and can affect how the other 6 days turn out! The past two weeks have been a big weight loss, I have zoomed past my one stone mark and I am now 1st 2 1/2 lb lighter! I am two and a half pounds away from my next stone bracket and four and a half away from my one and a half stone award!

 (Queue the applause)

This week I have lost three pounds, a great achievement considering I was completely miserable up until Sunday and crammed the worst food down my throat that I could find... Including (don't judge me) donner meat pizza... Mum and I could feel the fat build up around our major organs with every bite!

But on Sunday my best friend, who is like my sister, got a lovely surprise as her boyfriend planned for me, her and one of our other lovely friends to go to a spa weekend! Hours of relaxing in a jacuzzi, sweating in the sauna and burning off the calories in the steam room! We were pampered with a back massage, facial and foot scrub and treated with chicken Caesar salad with cous cous and chocolate cake! So the weightloss has come as great news! I'm excited to reach my second and feel as though I have found some motivation!

As you all may know, I did slimming world back when I was 15, running by myself and constantly out pushing myself to run harder and faster, but that was when I had something to run away from, now I run for the love of it, I love knowing that each step forward I take is getting me closer to how I was, closer to being normal again!

I feel very proud of my achievement and is a long time coming, but I have worked so hard for it and once I can take my old clothes out of the suitcase in my wardrobe, I'll know how well I have done!

There will be a post on Wednesday after CBT, and hopefully it will be up earlier than normal as my sessions have been moved backwards by half an hour!




Have a great week!
Lots of love,
Luce xxx

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Anxiety and I

Last night was the longest, and hardest anxiety attack I have had in a while, I think, due to not being at therapy for two weeks, it has taken it's toll. I'm not coping and I'm making the ones I love miserable.

Last night I became paranoid, I had relapsed this week, I've hurt myself in a multitude of ways and I can't forgive myself for what I've done, I feel guilty, I'm wearing long sleeves no matter how hot it is getting, I binge, and then I starve myself.

But focusing on last night, last night my whole world felt like I was crumbling, like every evil in this world was caused by me, my head was spinning, I couldn't breath, I couldn't relax myself, and then I got my phantom limb.

My phantom limb happens a lot, usually when I panic or expect pain. It isn't as though I'm missing a limb myself, which is usually the case for an amputee, but rather like having something done so often, every time you expect pain or fear you can feel it come back again. And my phantom limbs are SD's hand wrapped tightly around my wrist, and although it isn't moving, I can feel him twist it, I can hear cracking sounds, I feel the physical pain...

I also have it (which is mostly what I get in public) the feeling of his hand grabbing the back of my hair, I panic because I can feel the pull and the pain, and even though it isn't happening, it still hurts.

When I feel this, I want to vomit, experiencing the actual pain all over again, but I couldn't help but hate myself. Right now I don't even think I've fully left my anxiety attack, I think that my boyfriend hates me, even though he said he doesn't, I feel as though no one is caring, I cannot stop my shaking, my heart rate is pounding, I'm ready to be sick and the pain the back of my head is unreal.

I couldn't sleep all last night, I had a few hours in the morning but mainly I sat in bed trying to use my techniques to calm down, I just couldn't. It was the first time in a few weeks that I had thought about suicide, I couldn't cope with the pain, I couldn't cope with telling my mum that I'd hurt myself again, I couldn't cope crying any longer.

But I still woke up this morning, I'm still going to therapy, I'm still trying to be normal. And it is hard.

I don't want to end this post so negatively, I want to show you something to be proud of.

Below you can see a picture of my 1 stone weightloss with a total inch loss of five inches...


Lots of love,
Luce xxx

Monday, 17 March 2014

The evolution of society and morals

What a title eh?!

I hope everyone who reads this cares to follow my facebook page (it will keep you updated). But I hope people saw my post on the Bernardo's advert, it left me an emotional wreck, not just because of the content, but the fact that people could find the advert disgusting.

If you have not seen it, it is about a young, and very brave girl called Ellie, and she is talking to her counsellor after her teachers became worried about her missing a lot of school, in the advert she see's herself as worthless, she think's that nobody can help her because she doesn't deserve it, just like how I was, and at the end of the advert, when you think your heart strings have been tugged enough, she enlightens us, this fourteen year old girl, that her so called 'boyfriend' forced her into an abusive sexual relationship, forcing her not just to have sex with him, but multiple grown men... And people want it banned.

My reaction was this: What the actual fuck.

These people asking for it to be banned, a real girls experiences, trying to recover, say it shouldn't be allowed on TV. Funny thing is, I bet, these people asking it to be banned don't care that this is happening world wide, that it could happen to them, that it could happen to their children, grandchildren, their friends or family. They don't realise that in today's society it is more acceptable for a family TV star to sit in front of a camera with her clothes off flaunting everything that should only be seen by the one who loves them, than it is acceptable talking and raising awareness of abuse and mental health problems.

The morals of the world have changed. We care more about sex than our health. Kids as young as twelve and thirteen are sat on facebook posting sexualised pictures because it is deemed as OK. Yet a person who comes out openly about a mental health diagnosis is shunned or hated.

The modern human has evolved about 200,000 years from our primative state, and we still cannot accept mental health problems. Are we progressing in the wrong direction? Has the world advanced so much that we are struggling to go further? Has the human race become so numb to problems that are affecting one in four of us? Or do we choose to be blind?

Ellie's advert

Spread the word through twitter and facebook!

Lots of love,
Luce xxx

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

The mind cottage

Imagine walking down a small stone path, either side there are rows of beautiful geraniums, colours from the deepest pinks to the whitest of whites. Large oak trees standing tall against the bluest of blue skies, the grass the most amazing, relaxing shade of green you could imagine. Walk up the stone path, feel your feet hit the ground and with every step towards the rounded wooden door you feel the pain, the stress and the urges leave your body, leave the world that causes pain behind you and enter the breath taking 'chocolate box' cottage, your mind cottage...

My mind cottage, a place where I can be as beautiful as I desire, where every memory I have ever had is stored.

When I walk into my mind cottage I am greeted with thousands upon thousands of books, the shelves reaching from floor to ceiling, the books are titled and descending in age order. Some books have clear clean pages, the type of hardback you cherish when you first purchase it, these pages contain my love for Rob, my mum, my mother-in-law, they contain recent memories with my pets, my friends...

Other pages have been burnt, these are the memories I cannot remember, that I have burnt out of my memories, the ones I refuse to remember, the ones that I NEED to remember.

But there are the ones, not in age order, but splayed out on the floor, ripped from the binding and consuming the area I am stood, these are the memories that affect my daily life. These are my traumas, my self-hatred, my pain, the times I tried to kill myself and every single time SD hurt me, these show every scar I have created, every event that haunts me, and the faces of everyone who has hurt me.

The memories on the floor, the ones that consume me, cause my Posttraumatic stress disorder, A mental illness brought on by various traumas in a persons life, these traumas create flashbacks, and PTSD often co-insides with depression and anxiety. But although my traumas have ended physically they are still fresh in my mind.

When a person has PTSD, in most cases it starts directly after the trauma has ended, and the person is usually fully recovered within three months, on more serious cases it can take years. This, is me.

My physical traumas ended three years ago, I was then diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety, and recently diagnosed with PTSD. And although I have only recently been diagnosed my therapist believes I have had all my mental health problems a lot longer, due to the lack of awareness and stigma around mental health (especially because I was a child) I was not diagnosed for a long time.

But after all my therapy and counselling my past haunts my mind, it ruins my memories like vicious weeds, tangling their roots into my head and corrupting my thoughts. They create my nightmare, they create irrational fears and make me feel unsafe. They make me want to cause fresh wounds on my arms, to shout at the ones I love, but most of all, they cause confusion, I still feel as though SD can hurt me, that, if I walk around a corner he will be there, he will hurt me, or worse, he will do what he promised, he would kill me. And it panics me, even though, I know that there is no way he could hurt me, the police know, I can ring them if he ever tries anything and then he is gone for ever, but it doesn't take that pain away.

This is why me and my therapist have started to create my 'mind cottage'. I was telling him about the new series of 'Sherlock' and how Sherlock Holmes has a mind palace, where he stores everything he has ever experienced. But my mind, my personality is not that extravagant, I'm a small girl, with somewhat amount of intelligence, and I love my books. So although we are still putting down rugs, placing my furniture and building some walls, we are working on my memories, my books.

This feels like an achievement as I'm struggling with techniques, I cannot relax myself, and I cannot sleep. I don't have my sanctuary at Robs home, where as at my mum's, my sanctuary is my bedroom, it is mine and it is safe, it is filled with things I love, and it is created to help me. So my mind cottage, for now, is my sanctuary. A place where no one can hurt me, where I can turn to in times of panic and enter whilst having a flashback.

It is a work in progress, but it feels as though it is helping, especially as my traumas, at times, feel as though it is happening all over again!

One day, I hope, the memories scattered on the floor become far and few, that they get placed on the shelf and covered in dust, an old tale that everyone remembers, but there is no need to read.

Lots of love,
Luce xxx

Monday, 3 March 2014

The sinking ship

So my blog posts have become a bit 'far and few' as I'm reading back through them. I hope my readers understand that although I love my blog and it allows as a way to express my feelings, I've had a lot going on in my head.

Last week (on wednesday when I normally post) was my fourth CBT session, and in this session I was diagnosed with a third mental health problem, I was diagnosed with PTSD, Posttraumatic stress disorder. And this, although me and mum knew I had it, I didn't want to hear it, I didn't want the words saying to me nor did I want to accept it, which was exactly the same as when I was first diagnosed properly with severe depression and anxiety. It has become like a grieving, the denial, the sadness, the anger, more sadness. And although I do accept my mental illnesses, and I do not let them define me, I hate them all the same. They changed me, they affected my college work, they affected friendships, they affected everything I once loved, and I still struggle to like things I used to like.

One of the worst things is, becoming depressed made me put six stone on, yes. SIX. In the space of about a year. And that didn't make my depression easier. Although I am trying to lose weight again through slimming world (which is what I originally did) I struggle because of anxiety. I try really hard and I don't see a weight loss and it creates a brick wall in my mind, my first stone is my brick wall and it is so hard to get over, everyone in group, their weight loss is zooming past mine, four weeks and they are at their stone award, four months and I'm not. I start to give up, then I want to do it again, I refuse to let myself quit but I can't help but beat myself up about it. My biggest comfort is food, it always has been since a trauma when I was two. And I feel like a sinking ship. I have a new diagnosis, I'm fat. I can't run fast. I can't be happy for long periods of time. I can't bring myself to see friends. I'm sinking again, a relapse.

One thing I told my therapist. I'd rather be skinny and miserable than fat and miserable. Because then people would treat me normally. See me as a person not a fat depressed little thing.

But this week, two days after diagnosis, my best friend, known to me as Chuckie, dragged me half way across Manchester to the Trafford centre, and new look had a sale. I was looking through and saw a beautiful wine red top. Floral, cropped and beautiful. But the biggest they had was size 14. Now, knowing my pencil skirts are size 14 I decided to try it, and it fit. From a size 18 to 14, I was in absolute shock.

So below I will post pictures of what it looked like, and although I haven't got to my stone yet, I have lost FIVE INCHES from around my waist! Check it out!

Also, my Vlog that should have been up Thursday, the audio messed up big time so it will be uploaded Tuesday night!

My blog is also past 9000 so my big aim is now 10K! please share share share this on facebook and let the world see, the more they see the more it helps others!

https://www.facebook.com/thelucyexperience

https://www.twitter.com/slim__speedy

Lots of love,
Luce xxx


Saturday, 22 February 2014

CBT #3

So on Wednesday I had had a very long day, up early to prepare for my first university interview of 2014 (which was fantastic) and soon after was my third CBT session!

In this session we went over the positive and negatives of the week:

Positives
       - I had a great interview
       - I went to a brilliant party
       - I fit into my size 14 pencil skirt!

Negatives
      - Missed my personal best at running
      - My chest infection is making me miserable
      - I've put on a pound this week
      - I'm not losing my weight quick enough
      - I've overly stressed myself about university and had multiple urges of self harm.

So the week was a long week, not always good, not always bad, but then I had to talk about my homework. My therapist (as I am a new patient) needs to understand what things trigger me, and I had to fill in a sheet of what triggers me and what memories it brings back and how much it affects me on a scale of 1-10.

This was difficult, because even talking about certain things upsets me, so this took up most of the session, but for the last 20 minutes we spoke about ways to help ease my urges whilst out in public and we are working on 'relaxing my brain' so I don't over think before I go to sleep. One technique which has worked well the past two days is my deep breathing, where I focus on relaxing each muscle in my body individual in between deep breaths. I found that this has calmed me down when I felt stressed or I was getting triggered and has even helped me to cope out in public without it being obvious what I am doing (unlike pinching my arms). And over all the session felt great, especially after the wonderful interview I had!

I then had an interview on Friday at another university and I felt so supported that I feel as though that university may become my first choice, which is great as they are offering me a free therapist and counsellor for when I go there!

Today (Saturday) we set off at quarter to eight in the morning to go up to Lyme park, for their first ever park run held there! It was long, cold and felt like it was constantly up hill but it also felt rejuvenating, I feel fully relaxed and very good even though I probably have an extremely long time! But the views were fantastic and the marshals and back runners were completely amazing!

Next week will be my third interview and I have another in March, so I'm waiting on the response of one more, but compared to last year I feel as though I have done extremely well and I am so proud of myself.

I'm proud of what I've achieved, how I've coped, how many people I have helped and how much I have over come. And I can only do better!

Lots of love,
Luce xxx

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

In my absence...

So, I know I've not really posted apart from my short Vlog (which got some great feedback). I've caught a nasty chest infection, leaving me quite down and feeling rubbish, but once my chest is cleared I will do another Vlog, and a longer one at that!

I'm trying to recover for tomorrow as it is my first University interview and I don't want to sound like an annoyed old man whilst telling them why I deserve a place there! But another thing is, because of this chest infection, I can't run, and I can't train even though I have a race in less than 3 weeks! So panic has set in and I'm worried about my 10k, I'm also worried that my chest will not have cleared up even more by tomorrow!

In other news... I got into my very cute/retro size 14 pencil skirt for the running clubs party and I looked fabulous! Apparently, according to the lovely girls at the running club, I looked very 1950-ish!  And I even wore The Lucy Experience colours! I had my pink hair, lips and blouse! I will post some pictures below!

I have my third session of CBT just after my university interview so depending on how I think I did on that day will affect how my CBT session goes! I will be posting afterwards and to tell you all about how I think I did!

Last week my CBT session was a mix of still getting to know me and my triggers and also helping with my sleep and self-harm urges.

It was also a session on how I feel about myself, we spoke about how I feel about my weight, if that triggers me, and yes it does, I am so used to still being petite and slender with just slight curves that when I look at my body now all I can think is that I'm disgusting. Not only that but when I first started slimming world at 15 I lost my weight so quickly and I felt great, and now it is just not coming off quick enough. I want to feel great about myself, but it is so hard to when all you see is the negatives, and it affects me on a daily basis!

I will be working with my therapist to help me and also re-listening to all my hypnotherapy tapes to help my weight loss and management!

Wish me luck for my interview tomorrow and I will post after it!

Lots of love,
Luce xxx







Thursday, 13 February 2014

Vlog #1

So I have done a Vlog! I will be creating them from time to time to make a change from just writing and you can hear the child-like voice behind this blog!

Please share, comment and like this on facebook, twitter and youtube!

Lots of love,
Luce xxx

The Lucy experience Vlog #1


Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Lucy is on a little rant...

This week has been very full, so I apologise for not posting like I normally would.

First thing I have to tell everyone is that I have been offered three interviews for three great universities to study mental health nursing! And I am over the moon!

Secondly I have had a written interview with a fantastic photographer called Jay, who so kindly published me on his blog! This interview was so fantastic and I am so glad he chose me to write the first piece! Feel free to take a look and share the interview and his brilliant blog! He too is working hard to break the stigma around mental health.

Thirdly I have had a massive clear up of my twitter, I have been quite disgusted by some of the content of my followers. As I follow a lot of people, and a lot of people follow me, I looked on the news feed and people who have dedicated their twitter to mental health have been posting pictures of themselves self harming, which (coming from a self harmer) I find is truly vile. Fair enough, to self harm is a coping mechanism... but to post it online is attention seeking and can trigger all your followers, it puts temptation in their way and just creates more of a stigma.

I find self harm is a very lonely and personal thing, I never wanted anyone to see my cuts and scars, I wore thick long sleeved hoodies all through the summer and winter until they healed further. In no way would I post something like that online, nor would I want to promote that to others. I know that if I see a picture of self harm I get serious urges and I would not want my followers who suffer as well to see that, because that doesn't help anyone. Especially with captions saying 'God I feel better' and 'that has made everything okay'. So I have spent a few hours and removed all of them. Because it doesn't help me, or anyone else. In fact, it is rather selfish.

Not a single one of my pictures, of my self or other pictures that I post would show my scars, my scars are my own personal demons, I keep them to myself, because others do not need to see them. It isn't for them to judge or stare, they stay there on my wrist, and they remind me that I have faught for so long, and I can keep on fighting. They remind me of my weakest point and keep my from going back there. And in my mind, my scars are a big part of me, and it isn't anyone elses place to see them.

But finally, moving away from that small rant, I am extremely close to my first one stone marker! It is so close I can smell the certificate and sticker! My running has massively improved, so much so that on park run people were telling me I was running fantastically well and had settled immediately into the perfect pace for myself! I still want my three stone by May, and I want my target by December, so hopefully if I keep it up I can get my goals! Plus I am now doing a half marathon! So please keep sponsoring and check out my twitter and facebook!

http://www.bokehaze.co.uk/2014/02/the-lucy-experience/

https://www.facebook.com/thelucyexperience

https://twitter.com/Slim__Speedy

Check out Jay's link and remember to like and share!

Lots of love,
Luce xxx


Thursday, 6 February 2014

CBT #1

So Wednesday the 5th of February was my first session of CBT with my brand new therapist/counsellor!

There wasn't too much going on in this session, but compared to my previous experience with CBT it seemed a lot different and a lot easier and nicer!

The first session was to get to know me, about my past, why I was referred and what I would like to work on. For me, talking in person about my experience is difficult, talking face to face with a person who I've only ever spoken over the phone to was even harder. The average session lasts 50 minutes, mine lasted over an hour so we could talk everything out.

I told him about my past, the abuse, the loss of the ex family, my self harm and suicide attempts, I told him about my urges, about my mood just getting lower, how I feel as though I'm struggling again.

We spoke about my urges of self harm (including binge eating then refusing to eat) and how I control them, which for me is pinching my skin or tapping my collar bone when I become uncomfortable in public.

Most of the session was talking whilst filling out contracts but somehow I managed to keep myself together, I didn't cry, I kept talking and I was made to feel extremely comfortable during the sessions.

I thought I did extremely well, I came out quite 'wobbly' and down, but better than when I went in, and it took three hours for the session to sink in and I just completely broke down, I couldn't hold back tears and I just couldn't smile.

Hopefully next week will do me even better, but I don't think I have ever had a counselling or therapy session without becoming upset.

I will be having 8 sessions to begin with every week, and before the eight are up we will discuss if I need more.

I know each week with benefit me in different ways and it is giving me someone to talk to about how I feel, we will also be working on controlling my urges of self harm and also on my nightmares.

But in the mean time I will be drawing to help sort out my thoughts, which I will upload!

So keep reading and keep sharing!

Lots of love,
Luce xxx

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Put your label maker away!

I get very frustrated at myself for having a mental illness, and I know I shouldn't. But it is not like having a physical illness, it Isn't as though I'm in a wheelchair, or missing a limb. It Isn't as though I've been given a short amount of time to live or I have to make massive changes to my life and home just to get about.

The only thing I have to show is my scars on my body and a note on my GP's folder saying 'severe depressive, severe allergy to latex'.

If I walked up to people I know, say in college, and told them I've just been diagnosed with cancer there would be shock around the room, they'd be upset, feel sorry for me, but as I've told people about being diagnosed with a mental illness, their reaction is so different. I've been stared at like I'm contagious, I've lost friends, I've been told to 'get over it' that it isn't a 'big thing' and to 'deal with it'...

If I walked up to someone who had recently been diagnosed with cancer, and they were completely shattered by it and I casually said 'get over it' there would be an uproar! I would be slandered and hated, yet people are freely aloud to say that to me, and I never saw any of them get in trouble about it.

Obviously not everyone has reacted like that as I have some brilliant friends who have completely understood and know my background. But even so, I've had more people stare at my scars and look at me like I'm crazy than I've had people hug me and tell me that things will get better, and it makes my blood boil.

I think, the people who just can not understand that having a mental illness is a very real diagnosis and affects a persons daily life, they forget we are human, forget we have feelings and that we are going through such a difficult time, and this difficult time, it seems never ending.

When people use names like 'psycho' 'emo' 'crazy' it hurts just that little bit more, and they are horrible labels.

I am not 'psycho'. I get easily frustrated as I struggle to cope with emotions.
I am not 'emo'. I self-harmed to stop me from hurting other people.
I am not 'crazy'. I am a professionally diagnosed severe depressive who has been through nine years of hell.
I am not 'mental illness'. I have a mental illness and my name is Lucy. I have feelings. I am not a label.

The stigma around mental health makes like difficult for people who suffer from it. We are made to feel guilty, as though our illness isn't real. But it is. And the stigma needs to stop.

When I promote my blog, I do it to help people, people who feel alone, who are constantly surrounded by people labelling them, people who still think there is no hope. But there is.

There will always be hope, and there will always be help.

And you will always be loved.

Lots of love,
Luce xxx

Sunday, 2 February 2014

One small step for woman, one GIANT 10k for Lucy!

So my email came through, I am on the Trafford 10k run! And I'm fundraising for Mind, the charity! On this day I will be running just over six miles promoting the 'stop the stigma' campaign! I will be running for myself, for my friends who have mental health problems, and all my readers who also have mental health problems!

This will be my first race, and a big one for me! This has got me extremely excited and I will be pushing myself to train and do the race! The training should hopefully boost my weightloss and I will be posting pictures of the race!

The link below is to the 'Justgiving' page where you can donate money for the race, your money will go to support Mind to help with their fantastic cause and to carry on helping people in need!

http://www.justgiving.com/LucyIsabella

There are so many people in this world that still need support, I'm lucky I got my support when I did, but other people are still searching for support, still truly in need of it! So by funding and promoting people may be able to find the help they need!

In June I will turn 19, It will be nine years since the abuse started (roughly) and also three years since the abuse ended and I was diagnosed. This is scary for me, I've suffered nearly a decade of misery, of constant reminders and triggers and it is starting to play with my mind.

I've noticed recently that my thoughts keep slipping back to things that I don't want to think about, and urges of self-harm are starting up. I know I have enough self-control not to cut myself or starve myself or binge on food, but it doesn't stop the urges being there. Luckily on Wednesday I start my counselling sessions so I can have some professional advice on what I can do to help my urges and to keep my control. I will also be talking about tips for my sleeping as recently I've been getting as much sleep as I did in the first six months of my diagnosis. This is between 2-4 hours a night which is not helping my urges one bit.

On wednesday I will update the blog and hopefully be posting lots of useful information on urges, self harm, how to tell if someone you love is self harming and also more tips on insomnia!

But for now, I will leave you on a positive note that I have a new Personal best on my running at Park run, with three minutes off my last time and I am now running at 41 minutes for the 5k track! Hopefully next saturday I could be sub-40!

Lots of love,
Luce xxx

http://www.justgiving.com/LucyIsabella

                                                                My Park run PB!


                                             My favourite picture of me and mum for the week

Monday, 27 January 2014

Leaps and bounds

So from the age of 15 I fell in love with running, it started when I first joined slimming world, to lose weight for my prom. And the day after I joined, the most natural thing for me to do was run, I had already been dancing for nearly 13 years, I was a great sailor and also loved rugby, so running became easy. I started off running and struggling at one mile, but in under a year and losing nearly four stone I was able to run six miles at a time.

My long runs were my freedom, they kept me outside in the open away from SD, they gave me thinking space and even space to just stand there and cry. But as my depression became so deep and painful I stopped running and started eating more. By the time I realised I had put on six stone, and it broke me, I couldn't see it being put on, I didn't even think I was eating bad things, but I was, and it brought me all the way back to the beginning.

So October 2013, I re-joined my old slimming world, I was three years older, but a lot more depressed, but forcing myself there, I started to run again, and each day my love for running grew, up to the point that it is almost addictive! I started on my own runs, then with mum, and we joined Chorlton runners, an amazing running club that accepts everyone and their abilities. When we first joined we were running at 16 mm (minutes per mile) and struggling to do 3 miles, and under five months later I have completed my first 10k+ run! at around 13/14 mm! I've beat my personal bests at park run by 2 minutes and I'm even planning a half marathon run by the end of this year!

The support from the groups have been fantastic, I'm nearly a stone lighter and I cannot wait to get to my target weight!

My running really has come on leaps and bounds, I find it easier, I feel lighter, I can run for longer and faster, and I feel so supported with everything I do there! It is lovely to hear such positive comments, even if I'm not the fastest, the applause at park run keeps me going and makes me feel extremely happy!

I am so proud to be part of the Chorlton runners, they are a family, and a great one at that! Thank you all for pushing me to get better, for supporting me and my mum, and for just being the amazing people you are!

Lots of love,
Luce xxx

                                                         My lovely bright running shoes!


                                                                 My impressive 10k+

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

You never know just how amazing you are...

I've known for many years what it is like to be alone in a crowded room, to be surrounded by hundreds but acknowledged by none. And it always hurt.

I grew up in a large family, but still a single child, I had no brothers or sisters, only cousins, aunties and uncles, each of these having their own siblings. From this I grew up finding it easy to make friends, but as the years progressed I made less friends, but grew closer to the ones I kept. The more SD hit me, the harder it was to be myself, to talk to others, to show how nice I could be. In the end I just kept quiet, offered my opinion where it was needed, I got great reports from school 'lovely girl, kind, very quiet'. Yet back at home, I was constantly trying to shout my mum, SD told her I was always bad and had to be punished, I tried telling her I didn't do anything, there were these constant battles, from the second my mum came from work I'd be near her, I knew that was the only place he couldn't hurt me. She thought I was just trying to argue constantly as I was becoming a teenager.

In the end I think I lost most of my fight, I had it hit out of me, like when an owner beats the bark out of a dog. I had kept my fight for 6 years, and it wasn't until I lost everything, the ex family included, that my mind just... gave up.

I tried to push myself through my first year of college, which became a lousy start, I wasn't offered help by my GP, social services couldn't help me, no child counselling service could 'take me on' and there was a long list for the college counselor. It wasn't until I changed GP over and told him about what had happened that I was referred back to him in two weeks, then weekly after that. This was the first process and diagnosis of my severe depression.

Being diagnosed is completely different from getting help, I think a chimpanzee could see that I was depressed, what I wanted was someone to help me. But it took another few months and my mum's help to find a private counselor, who was amazing, as they took on the task of me! But even my weekly meeting with the counselor and my GP I ended up in A and E with the mental health crisis team. It had gotten to the point where I saw no reason to live, I couldn't cope with my constant memories, the stress of college, my own demon telling me to hurt myself, so I wrote a note out to my mum, I said I was sorry, that I loved her, that I just couldn't take living like this anymore, and planned out my suicide. I'd never really told anyone exactly how I'd do it, I'd told my counselors briefly.

The sad thing was, it wasn't going to be the first time. I think this is what the hardest thing to admit is, something my mum was never told, but I refuse to lie. The first time I'd wanted to give up was when I was in year 9, when SD had told me exactly how he would kill me, when I first ran away and he dragged me back home. And I tried to drown myself, I obviously failed, but planning my suicide wasn't something new to me. And I'm sorry for it. I'm glad I didn't succeed, I got my mum out of such a horrible marriage and family, I made my mum safe, away from him.

But, as I was saying, I planned it out that night, I had cut my wrist for the final time and had a large stash of tablets ready for when mum was at work, I planned to skip college, and to just end my misery. But it didn't work out, at that point I didn't want to be saved, I wanted to be dead, but mum saved me, she drove me to A and E, she missed work, we sat there for hours in a hospital bed, the child psychiatrist finally came to visit, he made me fill out questionnaires and tell him what had happened, my wrists were checked by the nurse to see if I needed stitches, and I was given an appointment to see the psychiatrist the next week. With this visit came medication, it then  lead me onto SHIFT for my self harming. The meetings and the counselling and the medication all helped me through, but what helped me through most was as I opened up more to the doctors, I opened up more to my friends and mum, and the more I opened up, the more they understood. My friends knew what I went through, that I was depressed, they knew why most days I couldn't even afford lunch, that when I was down, I was down and all I needed was a hug.

These people have given me my fight back:

My two amazing friends from college helped me, and I'm sure they won't mind me saying, they are called Hannah and Melissa. These girls gave me more cuddles than I could imagine, made me laugh when all I wanted to do was cry, helped me understand my work, they had patience for me. But the most memorable thing they had ever done, and it's always stuck with me, on a particular down day, when I had no money, I was in tears and had refused to go outside for lunch, I had gone to the counselor at college, and I walked back in and on my desk was a lunch for me, and a note telling me that they loved me. It was a small act but I was so grateful, Girls, you helped save me, you both are truly amazing and I love you both for it!

My bestfriend, Louise, she is an absolute gift, her and her fiance Danny, thank you for being there. Louise was the first person to notice my self harm and she was the one who made me tell my mum about it. She may not realise it, but she helped save my life, She is so close to my heart and is practically a sister to me! She knows how to put a smile on my face, She knows my mind better than I do, and most of all, I can talk to her about anything, Thank you, I love you so much!

My mum, Christine, My hero, the one woman I look up to and would love to grow up to be exactly like her! We may argue at times, struggle to talk, and even swap the mother daughter roles around! But mum, you completely saved my life, and in the end, you were my reason to live. You took me to A and E, you battled work and then came home to battle my depression with me. You are the most beautiful woman alive (Luckily I get my looks from you) but in both personality and looks, I'm glad you are my mum, I couldn't ask for anyone better. Thank you for giving me my life, and thank you for stopping me taking it, I love you more than you could ever know!

My dearest Rob, my partner in crime, soulmate. It feels like we've been married for 50 years! But the second I saw your smile I fell head over heels in love. I feel like the luckiest girl on the planet to have found the love of my life so young, you have the kindest, loveliest personality I know, and from day one you gave me hope. I love you.

My running club I go to! Chorlton runners! I have attended since november and wow, the support you have given to both me and my mum, you really are like a family. Thank you to everyone in the 'eco's' as well, you all manage to put a smile on my face, and it is so great to have lovely people like all of you to support us! you've all helped us more than you think! Thank you.

My tutor, from college, someone who from day one I found amazing and got on with! Someone who knew what was going through my mind, who helped me day in day out, who gave me time off if it was needed, and who supported my mum when I was in A and E, I'm not sure whether you want to be mentioned by name, but if you read this, I hope you know it is you. Thank you for everything, from accepting my college interview to being there on the 'graduation day', you really were the best tutor I ever had, thank you.

And to everyone else, the lovely messages, old friends and new, all the people reading this blog, I thank you, from the bottom of my heart I am so grateful, it really is helping to make my life that little bit easier!

These are my thank you's, to everyone, because you all deserve to be recognised as the amazing people that you are, and you will all hold a place in my heart! Please continue reading and sharing, and remember, It doesn't take a huge act of kindness to impact someones life, it could just be a smile in the hallway or a conversation over a coffee, but it makes a difference...

Lots of love,
Luce xxx

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Picture perfect!

Although I have posted tonight, I want to show you my amazing 'The Lucy Experience' nails!


Lots of love,
Luce xxx



aren't they lovely?!



It's not about the speed, It's about the distance...

This is such a great quote... ''It's not about the speed, It's about the distance'' because I can see it in two different ways.

The first way is for running, to increase your speed you must first increase distance, the better your stamina of running a longer distance, naturally, the faster you will get.

The second ways is for recovery. It frustrates me a lot to think that after 3 years free of SD, I have not recovered, I am still depressed, I still get urges to self harm and I still think at times the world would be so much better without me, but I have to force myself to look back. This time two years ago I was writing suicide notes, cutting into my body and in constant tears, and now I only think about these things. I may not be recovering quickly, but the distance I have covered is much more impressive. I have lived two years longer than I thought I would, I can put a smile on my face, do some things that I love, I can have some really shitty times, but I can also have some amazing times! Me and Rob have the most fantastic memories, we have a great future ahead of us, me and mum are closer than I ever imagined and I have met the most amazing people and friends, people who I would not have spoke to last year because I thought they would hate me because I have a mental health problem, but everyone talks to me about it, they call me an 'inspiration' and tell me I am brave. And one day I might actually believe them!

The distance I have covered going through my recovery right now is fantastic, I'm starting to care less about the speed of it and more about how much further I can go.

Writing a blog like this is very draining, especially on something so personal, at times it reduces me to tears writing about it, especially writing about the abuse that occurred. All my memories, although they started eight years ago, they still seem so fresh and vivid, my mind constantly reminds me of what happened, I become so panicked if someone moves two quickly towards me or grabs my wrists, and it is something that I don't think I will ever truly get over, I understand that.

My recovery may never be 100%, I know my memories will always be there, but what happened to me impacted my life more than ever. It changed my life, both good and bad. I was so close to suicide that I now understand people and what they go through, it is easy to see for me when someone is being hurt, or close to a break down, I understand people when they say they are having a real 'down day', I know at times constantly asking a friends 'are you okay' just is not good enough, I know (by experience) being told to 'grow up and get over it' just drives you further into your dark tunnel, I know that even a  funny look off a stranger can reduce you to tears in public, and I know that there are people on this earth that do not believe mental health problems are real illnesses. And that is what needs addressing.

You wouldn't tell someone with cancer to 'get over it'.
You wouldn't tell someone with a broken leg that it's not a real problem.
You wouldn't tell someone in a wheel chair to 'grow up and stop moping around'.
So why tell a person with no confidence, no happiness, someone who is so close to ending their own life because there is a persistent voice in their head telling them to do it? Why would you say something so horrible? It could be the smallest push they need in the wrong direction that could cause another scar, or to take an overdose. It could be one horrible word that would make them jump, just so they can escape their misery. But you could give them a push in the right direction, tell them that you're there, that you can see that there is something wrong when they say them words 'I'm fine'. You could be the smile that brightens their day up, the person who says 'I care' and stops them from jumping, You could be the person who gives them a reason not to cut themselves.
You be the person who helps to restore faith in that persons humanity, and most of all, you could be their life saver.

Right now I am excited to use this blog post for 'Blog for mental health 2014' !

And this is the pledge...

I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma!

For anyone who would like to join this pledge, the link will be posted below:

http://www.acanvasoftheminds.com

And it is such a great idea! I love writing as it helps me and my readers, It helps to release my stress, and it also helps me as I know thousands of people are on my side, not against me. And that is one thing I need in my life.

So thank you all for reading!!

Lots of love,
Luce xxx

                                                              art by Piper Macenzie

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Triggers

When people talk about 'triggers' they mean something that can bring on a depressive episode, it can include reading certain posts that can bring back memories or make the reader sad and watching TV that shows triggering material.

For me, my triggers are small and random, it could be talking about my experiences, or someone being insensitive about certain subjects, even the bus being late or not being able to find a matching pair of socks, little things can upset me and it annoys me.

I find myself getting overly annoyed about something so small and pathetic that other people could just get on with, and it worries me because I feel like I'm really struggling to get better.

I remember on many occasions being truly exhausted and just letting out my tears, and I couldn't stop crying, and then I didn't know why I was crying so I cried even more. Mine and mum's routine was wake up (well she would wake up), we would go to work/college, come home, curl up in bed together, cry, nap, get up, walk Doofy, then go back and curl up in bed together. We spent hours talking, and crying, and arguing, and more crying, and in the end mum was getting nearly as little sleep as I was.

Through that hard time me and my mum kept quiet about our life, we got on with work and college, we broke down,we'd pick ourselves back up and get on with it. I found it hard to tell people, I felt ashamed, I felt guilty, and I thought I deserved what SD had done to me.

It wasn't until a few malicious people started to make fun of me for what happened, they made fun of my illness, my past and said I actually deserved it was when the guilt partially subsided and in its place came anger.

When my anger came it was ferocious and I was willing to let everyone know that I was miserable.

But now, although I am depressed, I know I didn't deserve anything that had happened, I've never purposely hurt someone unless they hurt me first, and I know I do not deserve anything bad to happen to me. I am not guilty, I do not blame my mum, and I do not  blame myself.

SD may have ruined my past, but I will not let him, or anyone else ruin my future. I plan to have a good, helpful and kind life ahead of me and I will always have more love in my heart than hatred.

In some aspects, I really hope the ex 'family' are reading this, but one thing I want to make clear to them if they do read it:

No matter how many times you called me a bitch, a liar, and told me I was not welcome on your doorsteps. Each and every one of your comments made me ten times better than all of you combined. Have your 'family' filled with control and obsession and false claims. Have each other follow your ring leaders, gossip with your friends and make it look like I was a bad person. But don't you ever look at me and my mum, your eyes are not worthy of us, let alone our presence in your family. I hope you live a life of guilt knowing that I begged for your help and you didn't do anything about it. Because I am glad you are gone, my family now, although not blood is better, happier and stronger than ever. And they have never hurt me like you all did.

Lots of love,
Luce xxx





Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Three years from now...

From being a very young age, when people asked 'what would you like to be when you are older' I knew what I wanted to be.

I never changed through high school, I never had doubts of what I wanted to do, Through college I expanded what I wanted as my career, my vocation, I was not like other girls who struggled to understand what they wanted. My feet were planted firmly on the ground. I wanted to be a nurse. And not just any nurse, I wanted to be the best mental health nurse on this planet. The only thing that changed was where I wanted to do it.

My first idea was that I wanted to join the navy and become a MH nurse for them, but I didn't think I could cope so long away from my mum, so I found a love for working in the hospitals, on wards and in the community. I worked as hard as I possibly could on every placement I had, I worked hard through my own struggles, and also dealing with the struggles of losing patients. But I finished my college course with a very proud two A's and a B. And today, today was the day I sent my university application off to become a mental health nurse. And I cannot stop smiling!

I feel relieved, happy, scared, nervous, overly excited and I can't sit still! Last year when I first applied I was just not mentally ready. I was going through interviews with the police, I had threats over the internet, I still didn't have that will to live. But now, after writing, working hard and I feel like I'm stronger I have applied again.

Three years from now... Where do you see yourself? Do you have a job? A dream home? A new little family?

Three years from now, I see myself saving more lives than I could imagine. I see my mum being proud of me, the ex 'family' hating themselves for losing me. I see less people struggle to get help and I see me and Rob living a happy life together. But I also see that I'm not dead. I will be alive and helping every person I can.

We all have a future, even if you struggle to see it, it is there and waiting for you to come out of that dark tunnel. And it will be happy. Trust me.

Lots of love,
Luce xxx

Sunday, 12 January 2014

spread the word, stop the fear

So the blog is nearly at 5300! which is fantastic as I never expected anyone at all to read it.

This blog is important, and a big part of my life, not only because my vocation and love in life is for helping others in need, but because is it helping me!

This blog lets me talk about my experiences openly without worrying what people think of me directly.

Mental health has a lot of stigma around it and I know from previous experiences that if you tell someone you're depressed they coil away like you have a contagious disease. If you tell other people (especially my old GP) that you are depressed, they refuse to see is as an illness, they expect you to wake up after a week of rest and be fine and well like you've had a cold!

This blog is helping eradicate the stigma around mental health, but not just around mental health its self. It is eradicating the stigma around abuse. People feel as though they are not allowed to talk about abuse, especially children, they feel intimidated and threatened by adults and are less likely to tell someone. I remember coming into high school crying after SD threatened to kill me, he sat me in the car and explained how he would do it, he did this because I was 10 minutes late waking up. I remember the school 'pastoral manager' said that I had done something wrong and that I must apologise, I was 14. What on this earth could I have done to get a death threat off my biological father?

Some people do not understand the type of fear that runs through you when you are being abused. It is a sickening fear, your whole body is on edge, you want to vomit, you want to pass out, cry, scream, get away, anything just to stop it. I still get that fear, He may be gone but his name, people who look like him, sound like him or even act like him make me sick, they bring that fear and I shake, I can't stop shaking, because every time someone says his name, or catch a glimpse of a look-a-like I expect to be hit. My wrist burns expecting to be twisted and I hold back tears to the best of my ability.

I do not like the thought of people going through what I went through, Of people going through worse. It doesn't matter a persons age or situation, if abuse occurs there should be someone to help them. Not left in the dark like I was. Thats why sharing the blog, the facebook page, the links that are included, they could save someone, they could help a child, or a person, or even help someone recognise the indicators of abuse. It is just a small action that could change another persons life.

Important links are posted at the top of the page! So if you ever need help, they will always be their! Most of their lines are open 24/7 and offer friendly non-judgemental support.

So please share, please keep reading, and keep talking.

Lots of love,
Luce xxx

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Little legs, fast (ish) pace

So my mood has been very low this last week or two, not had motivation to lose weight, but still wanting to be thin! 
I know I have to work hard to get where I want to be (size 8/10) but I felt like I'm sick of trying. I've always had to work hard for everything, I've worked hard in school, in college, mentally and physically. I've had to work hard to keep myself alive, so to be thin shouldn't be too hard to ask for! 
I went on my normal Tuesday run a pound and a half heavier, and I swear I could feel it, I felt sluggish and horrible! And I got frustrated with myself.
But by Thursday rob dragged me to the gym, Friday mum dragged me on a run, and today! Today I woke up after 3 hours sleep, it was dark, raining and thoroughly miserable! I'm surprised I could even dress myself! But I did and I compleated my first park run! I came in at 39 minutes, ten minutes quicker than what I would have thought! And I felt great! I looked in the mirror and my bloatedness was gone! And now after that, I think my mood is picking up again! 

The track for the park run was like a mudbath! I was drenched head to toe in sweat, rain and mud! My feet were black and my legs a lovely shade of back-splash brown! My beloved trainers which have served me so well are now very crispy under the radiator and I hope to god that I have lost weight this week!

If I haven't then I know god hates me! Because I have ran just under 20 miles this week! 20!! 

Now all my lovely readers sit back and applause that number! Because I shit
You not, I have ran that distance! 

I hope everyone has a lovely day today, and try to strike up a conversation about mental health with someone! Remember you don't have to be an expert to talk about it! And it's great to show you care!

Lots of love
Luce xxx

My mud tan legs!

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Counselling update

So today is an update, in my world it is a very important update...

My GP has referred me to a counselor!

But to get the referral has been draining, I walked up to my local doctors after under 3 hours sleep, thinking my appointment was at quarter past nine, I forced myself to be early as normally I'm 20 minutes late and he tells me off!

But no. Not today. Today I am an hour early. In fact I'm so early 13 people went in before me and I was seen 20 minutes after my actual appointment time! I sat in his office for 30 minutes in tears asking for a counselor, now I wouldn't normally cry but he is a new doctor and had no idea why I needed counselling. Sitting in his office dragged everything up, Its hard enough writing about my experiences and even then I still cry, but I felt as though I had been put right back at the start of when I was first diagnosed, when the only time I was offered help was when I was taken to A and E by my mum. And it scared me.

I do not want to be in that place, but without a counselor I can feel myself slipping. One of the reasons I wrote this blog was to help me, as well as others. But it is to let the world hear my pain, to show everyone who ignored my please for help, to not only help people see they are not alone, but also to help me feel like I'm not alone as well.

Before I met Rob I was truly one of the loneliest people on the planet. I had no brothers or sisters, no family to talk to. I couldn't tell mum how I was feeling and I couldn't explain to my friends that all I wanted to be was dead. The only thing I could speak to was my imaginary .. 'person'. My demon. I called her Sophie and she scared the living crap out of me.

She was the thing in my head telling me to hurt myself, to hurt other people and said that I should kill myself. She made me scared of the dark. Luckily I do not see her now. But there are times where I can hear her, when I'm extremely low, when I consider hurting myself.

But in two to three weeks I will be mending myself. And I will still be posting helpful and motivational posts!

I may even do a 'special' post when I'm feeling a little happier, see keep an eye out for that!

But for tonight, I wish you all happiness! And I'm sending my love and hugs to everyone that needs it!

Lots of love,
Luce xxx

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

The wobbly brain

So as a depressive I tend to get A lot of up's and down's... But (with unknown reasons) I have completely slumped, I feel the lowest that I've felt in just under two years... but I don't know why!

I know it is OK to have a bad day, a bad two days, but now it has been a week, whether it's my nerves for getting a new counsellor as it takes A lot of time for me to build trust, or getting ready for my university applications, I just feel like I've fallen to the bottom of a big dark well.

Today I have tried everything that I would normally do to pick myself up (without self harming) and I was failing, my brain had a block on it. And as I sat on the living room floor in tears just a few hours ago I jumped up to the office...

What people should know was, when I had my private counsellor, In an extremely low place, I struggled to talk to them. I loved that they were there to help me, but I couldn't talk, or explain.

My counsellor got me to create helpful drawings or play games to help me understand what was going on in my head, and one day, I told my counsellor I wanted to kill myself. I explained how I would do it... That was when they made me create my 'emergency first aid box'. A drawing of a box, and everything that made me want to live, or made life easier for me, I put in the box.

I put chocolate. (for my comfort eating)
I put my dog. (the only thing that gave us motivation to get up)
I put friends. (their support made me love again)
I put medication. (to stop me killing myself)
And I put my mummy. She is my rock, my hero, and the woman that I aspire to be. I love her more than anything and I understand that if I killed myself she would truly be alone, She chose me over her family, She chose me over her marriage, and she saved my life. She saves my life everyday, she knows what to do when I panic, she knows how to calm me down, we even have our own little signal for when its OK to have a cuddle!

When I get upset I don't like human contact, I don't like compassion or people trying to relax me, but once I have calmed myself down, I don't even have to look at my mum, I just hold my hands up, open them and then close them, Like a child asking to be picked up, and that is our cuddle time. A sacred warming hug that can brighten any day.

I looked at my box today, hung up on my special wall in the office, It is made for my breakdowns and always stocked. And when my mum is home, what I need is a cuddle. A big one.

I hope you can all give a loved on a hug today, tell them that you care, how much they mean to you. It really does help.

Lots of love,
Luce xxx

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Fighting the good fight!

So this is a helpful post on mental health issues, almost a 'true/false' section, and also how to help and understand depressive symptoms!

Here's the 'true/false' about me!

My name is Lucy Williams- FALSE! My name is Lucy Isabella, I changed my name in 2012 to separate myself from any unwanted relatives!

I only self harm the right side of my body- True! I only used to hurt my right side and self harm on my right wrist as that was the side that SD would hurt the most, as I'm left handed it would go unnoticed at school if he sprained or seriously hurt my right side.

People (including adults) never noticed the abuse I was put through- True, even my mum struggled to see it as she had to work harder at work, teachers never paid attention and family members ignored my pleas for help, most of the time abuse is so well hidden and not spoken about enough, especially with children! Schools should raise awareness and offer a special service where children can talk about their problems to a trusted member of staff!

I was only abused A few times- FALSE! The abuse was constant for six years, starting from being ten (the only age I remember my actual childhood, as I cannot remember anything else from below that age I am not sure where it stemmed from) Till I was sixteen, this was when I ran away. And it was daily, verbal and physical.

The insight into depression!

What is depression?
     Depression is not just a low mood that people may experience every now and then. Depression is a diagnosed mental illness that is often left unrecognised. Without treatment it could progress into a significantly worse state.

Mild depression is the low mood experienced constantly for two weeks or longer, you lose interest in activities you once loved. At this point you should see your local GP (Or a similar doctor if you are in another country other than the UK). The GP may diagnose you with mild depression and offer advice on how to lift your mood without counselling and medication, the options could be: regular exercise, healthy eating, talking to family and even starting a creative hobby.

Moderate depression is where your mood is even lower and has a greater negative impact on your life compared to mild depression, this may affect your work, school and home life. Seeing the GP they may offer you counselling, they could set you up with self help services and also offer you advice on regular exercise and creative hobbies.

Severe depression affects your life completely. People may struggle sleeping, eating, washing or even getting motivation to get out of bed. People with severe depression may use self harm to ease emotional pain and find it most difficult to accept their depression. The GP will offer both medication and counselling (unless under the age of 18, then you may only receive counselling as medication is dangerous and has serious side effects).

Depression can be caused by different things. Some people have a biological imbalance in their brain, causing natural mental health problems (Including schizophrenia.) Others may have been through a serious trauma.

My depression, as my readers know was caused by a long string of child abuse and then the loss of my  'family'. But, as I said in my previous post, No matter what causes your depression, your anxiety or other mental illness, it does not mean you struggle less than others. We are all one team, and we can all overcome what life has shoved upon us. We can fight the stigma, we can stop the bullying and we can raise awareness.

People keep saying that I'm a strong  person, that I can get through anything...
But I need to point this out. No matter how many smiles I paint on my face, In my head I am still that four foot eight, ten year old girl screaming for help, asking why her daddy kept hurting her, asking why no one heard her please for help.

I am now the one here to help anyone. Anyone at all! If  you need someone to notice, then I am here.
Keep that smile on your face, give the middled finger salute to anyone who taunts you, hurts you or makes you feel guilty for having an illness and walk away. No one should die from misery, because there will always be someone there to love you, even if they are on the other side of the world.

Lots of love,
Luce xxx