Is Suicide a Choice? A Survivor’s Perspective

First of all: yes, of course it is a choice. BUT…and this is an important but…a non-suicidal person pointing this out to someone in acute crisis tends to come laden with judgement, whether implicit or explicit, intended or not. It often is: “Well, it’s your choice, so just decide” “It’s your choice, so why are… Continue reading Is Suicide a Choice? A Survivor’s Perspective

The Illogical Logic of an Unreal Reality

Being extra crazy seems to have made me spectacularly busy. Which will make me spectacularly crazy as I try to hide from the people who are saying goodbye to me before I move to a long-term locked mental health unit that I need to go to a long-term locked mental health unit…the reality of which… Continue reading The Illogical Logic of an Unreal Reality

A Wise Hedgehog with Important Messages

Today I created a range of motivational mental health related posters with a doodled ‘wise hedgehog’ and colourful mixed media design whilst at the Acute Community Unit.

I’m not sure where the combination came from, but out popped this first one with a message that I myself really need reminding of:

As well as one that sprung from a difficult conversation I had just had with the crisis team manager:

With 2 other mental health themed ones:

And one more to do with art/creativity:

After a lot of enthusiasm on Twitter and some requests, I have put these designs up for sale on Zazzle- whether you yourself would like a reminder of any of these messages or if you know someone whose day might be brightened by receiving one of these…Posters can be purchased from this link: https://www.zazzle.co.uk/thedoodlechronicles

Plus, if you buy in the next few days, you can get 20% off with the code JULYSAVINGS20.

Let me know what you think about my wise little hedgehog… 🙂

A Small Gesture of Thanks to My Crisis Team

It’s 2 weeks today until I move over 100 miles out of area to my new placement. Before Ieave, I wanted to show a small sign of thanks to the crisis team, who’ve provided such vital support in helping me. I know as time moves on I’ll get less and less able to organise things, so thought I should get on and put something together before my brain is nothing but mush (rather than 80:20 mush at present)…

…just a few well-deserved treats but I know how much they will be appreciated and how much some nice, energy-filled snacks/drinks are needed on busy shifts.

Getting Divorced + Moving House + Getting Married

I’m struggling to deal with the sadness and emotional pain ofmy upcoming move to a new placement. And I’m giving myself a hard time about that considering how much I’ve fought to get to this placement, knowing that it is what I need. Then today came along a great analogy from one of the workers… Continue reading Getting Divorced + Moving House + Getting Married

The Beginning of the End or The End of the Beginning

Here I am again, waiting for my whole world to be turned upside down. After the specialist placement that I had been waiting for for a year closed for financial reasons after just 6 months of being open, giving just 28 days notice (even though assessment with them took 3 months and any potential alternatives… Continue reading The Beginning of the End or The End of the Beginning

Trigger Warning: Killed by my Debt (BBC)

Please be warned that Killed by my Debt is graphic and there are images of suicide method and a *lot* of build up to it. Please be careful if you are at all vulnerable to this – it is a troubling watch; an important message but told in a particularly graphic manner. Take care x

Help with Emotions

Emotions are tricky little buggers. They really are.

And for some of us they feel down right impossible to cope with, understand, recognise and even simply to have. I struggle in many ways with emotions…others’ but mainly my own. I also give myself a hard time about that fact and expect myself to ‘do better’ or ‘feel the right thing’. Knowing this, and knowing that I’m facing a particularly turbulent time*, last week the crisis team manager had me do an exercise where I stood in the middle of a room surrounded by different sized pieces of paper and alotted emotions to those pieces of paper according to how much I was feeling them at the time. We then went through several different scenarios and changed the emotions around accordingly. This was to show me that even if I was being hard on myself and expecting to feel the ‘right’ emotions (e.g. happy or relieved that the placement is definite rather than scared or anxious) or feeling that I would feel one emotion forever, in fact recent history shows that emotions fluctuate massively in their presence or size and that I can feel many things at once without invalidating anything else that’s going on.

I found the exercise incredibly helpful (although it felt quite painful at the time) and today decided to recreate it in a portable and reusable form. I already have benefited from this – working out what is actually going on inside me rather than just a broad ‘overwhelmed’- and thought it’s a concept worth sharing in case anyone else wants to give something similar a go in any of its forms.

So here is a concept borne of the crisis team manager’s work with me:

This is in my visual journal but could be on a standalone piece of card or inside a diary or something similar, with very basic boxes drawn on the page, and colour-coded emotions cut out in card and blue-tacked to the appropriate box at that moment in time.

Let me know if you’ve used something similar or gave this a go!

*in the latter stages of preparing for a long-term specialist hospital placement, hours away from home/family/care team, in a locked and mainly unknown environment, after my last placement collapsed for financial reasons with just 28 days notice and after not fulfilling their promises/purpose

“I’m Fine” – Art that shows the reality behind that phrase

I had my first session of art therapy for around 8 months today and was so glad to get back in to it. There’s a lot going on below the surface that I’m struggling to express at the moment and I feel like I was able to connect with that through paint.

The reality of looking and saying “I’m fine” when struggling with complex mental illness and acute crises.