Blog for Mental Health 2012

I have been nominated for the Blog for Mental Health 2012 Project by Does My Bum Look Big In This? The project was started by Luna Sunshine at As the Pendulum Swings.

The 3 rules of the project are:

1) Take the pledge by copy and pasting the following into a post featuring Blog for Mental Health 2012

I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2012 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.

2.) Link back to the person who pledged you.

3.) Write a short biography of your mental health, and what this means to you.

Depression has been both my best friend and my greatest enemy. It has taken me down many paths – most of them wrong – and taught me more valuable lessons than a lifetime of happiness could. I have respect for my depression; it’s managed to entirely control me without me even realising most of the time, and it has, over the years, shaped the person I am now. Although I’ve made many mistakes and done a lot of damage, I’m not sure I’d change who I am. I’m used to me.

I sometimes feel cheated by mental health, as though I was purposely picked to suffer. I suppose that’s the conundrum of mental illness in a way; you already blame yourself for so many things, it feels natural that depression is just another attempt by a higher being to ruin you, spitting on you and laughing at your misfortune. Paranoia has long played a part in my life; so much that it’s been difficult to work out which thoughts are real and which are anxious delusions. So it’s natural to question why this had to happen to me.

I’ll never know. Perhaps I was born this way. Even as a young girl, I know I showed traits of BPD and depression and as I grew older, those traits became something more obvious, more like a disorder. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t wrapped in this blanket of crazy.

Depression started in puberty. Puberty started when I was nine years old.

Depression naturally led on to binge eating, then self-harm. Anorexia and, later, bulimia followed. Anxiety. Paranoia. Voices. A need to destroy myself and everything around me. Addiction. The desperate need for control, gained in any way. A deep self-hatred. Dissociation. Suicide attempts. Panic attacks.

This is my roll-call. These are who I am, and who I have been. Would I change anything?

Maybe not. Maybe I wouldn’t like me without a hint of crazy.

4) Pledge to 5 others.

Elizadolly is one of my favourite bloggers. She’s an incredibly articulate, descriptive and helpful woman, with many issues I can relate to. She speaks sense, and often brings me down to earth with her attitude.

“This blog is about my recovery.

I have had a disordered relationship with food for as long as I can remember. I would have met the diagnostic criteria for bulimia for about 4 years. So compared to others, I got off pretty easy. Interestingly, I’ve never been diagnosed with bulimia, but I have been diagnosed as anorexic. I disagree with that, skinny bulimic or fat bulimic, it was all bulimia to me. The only time I restricted my food intake without purging was for about six months prior to becoming bulimic, but I stayed within a healthy weight range for that period. So that’s my eating disorder.”

Snippets and Glimpses is written by Nataly, and covers many aspects of her life including eating disorders. She’s very informative and, most importantly, friendly and gives great advice.

“I am insatiably curious.

I think too much, I talk too much, I work too much and I drink too much. Not necessarily in that order.

I once accidentally quit smoking but don’t worry, I picked it up again as soon as I noticed.

I am a major nerd and am finally comfortable admitting it. Actually, I now revel in admitting it.

I write really lousy poetry and paint even more poorly, but art is subjective, as people keep telling me.”

WonderNutbar is a blog I’ve been meaning to mention for a while. Check it out.

“I am an Activist for Mental Health Issues from the peer perspective–that is, from the point of view of someone who lives with mental health issues.  My immediate goal is to provide a clearing house and networking node for others who live with emotional and mental health problems.

Not all of us can function at a high level–at least not all of the time–and most of us are hampered by geographical, educational, social, cultural, ideological, economic, physical, intellectual and cognitive issues which can range from the unpleasant yet tolerable to the wholly unendurable.  Add stigma–sorry, prejudice!–to the mix and it’s a wonder some of us ever maintain articulacy at all.”

Nicole has already been nominated by another blogger, but I feel I should mention her as well. Although her topics can be controversial, her battle with bulimia is truly inspiring and everyone should read her post on how bulimia affects the gums and teeth; it really brings home how dangerous eating disorders can be. She’s proof that eating disorders can be beaten, and I for one thank her for reminding us it can be done.

“I blog to demonstrate that life does, indeed, exist after an eating disorder, depicting my daily challenges with food, exercise, and relationships. it’s not always pretty, often times ugly, so please proceed with caution.”

Last but not least, Lost in the Winterness deserves a nomination for their searing honesty about life with borderline personality disorder.

“The author of this blog is a twenty-eight year old woman, living with several ghosts in London.  She spends her time killing cockroaches, knitting pigeons and getting outraged at the state of some people at bus stops.  After realising she would never achieve her dream of appearing on the Jeremy Kyle show, she took to writing this blog as means of personal catharsis.  One day, she dreams of achieving a perfect balance of cosmos and chaos, and being free to wander the world in all it’s glory.

She suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder.  She is on antidepressants after suffering a dissociative state when she was twenty-seven that resulted in her hospitalization on a secure ward.  She is due to start Mentalisation Based Therapy in January.”


  1. Congratulations again, and keep on writing. (Something I need to do – I’ve just realised I made the decision to try to write more and thus far I’m only managing to comment more which isn’t quite the same.)

    You’re definitely an inspiration, even though you may not feel like it some days.

    PS I lit another candle for you when I was at church earlier this evening.


  2. Hats off to all of the bloggers you mentioned. I just spent the morning writing a diatribe about how it feels to be a therapist helping others through their journey of recovery when I myself am on my own journey of recovery. I do think a huge part of the mystery of getting better has to do with who helps us with that process. I found a rare therapist who had similar struggles to mine, she was raised by a severely mentally ill mom and an alcoholic preacher dad. I lost my dad when I was young and my mom was mentally ill. I went to many therapists before her, and always felt instantly small in their midst. That wasn’t good for my healing. My heart knew this, but the therapists (and these were fancy, seasoned professionals highly recommended) always made me feel as if I was “treatment resistent” and could not be helped. The moment I laid eyes on my current therapist my heart relaxed, there was a sense of knowing. I could tell she had the capacity to understand me, not just judge me and pretend she understood. I just knew I could trust her. I honestly think her natural understanding, which she arrived at through her own person struggle allowed her to give me the hope I needed.

    I’m taking the time to write this because I am truly beginning to wonder if some of the help some of us have gotten has actually interfered with our healing. Being helped by people who only understand your pain through what they read in books may be an obstacle to healing. As a therapist who currently works alongside docs and psychiatrists and others who prescribe meds I will tell you I would not place my spiritual life, as that is how I view my mental health, in any of their clinical hands. I would consider them only as part of my treatment. None of the ones I’ve met have been required to do their own therapy or evaluate their own biases assumptions as a condition of practicing as they do. On our treatment team as I do not possess the magic pill and must rely upon fashioning an actual relationship with my clients I am perceived by the others as “the hopeful and optimistic one”. Over time I’ve come to appreciate my unique role amongst these treatment providers. They are not bad people, they are good, they just don’t have a lot of personal experience with mental illness. They can be arrogant. I am optimistic, but that comes from my having struggled with reality. Over time I have also seen how I do have good results with traditionally hard to treat individuals. Don’t worry, I am not looking for any clients, just in case you were wondering. I work in a clinic and don’t need to market myself. I write all this only to say that if you can find a therapist who has lived through something of their own they will probably have about 100 times more faith that you can do the same. Also, if you can find a therapist who can actually believe you and what you say you will also have a better chance of getting healed.
    peace to you all. and peace to myself too ;) I certainly need it too.


  3. I hope that blogging helps you in some way. Helps to “get it out”. We may not all completely understand what you’re going through, but we are here to listen. You are such a bright girl, insightful, caring and I know there’s a fun loving human in there some where just screaming to come out.

    A well deserved award!


  4. That award is an excellent idea and the ethos behind it is exactly what I came to twitter/blogging to find – some honesty and shared understanding about the really hard stuff. I admire you for opening up and exposing your private thoughts. Every post helps someone (many) to feel less alone and different. When someone identifies with you and you recommend other blogs you like, it creates stronger links in a chain that just keeps getting longer – but it’s the kind that lifts you up, not ties you up. That’s how I feel when I read your words, anyway. Like you say, depression is like a double whammy – you feel guilty and to blame for feeling so sad and misunderstood. I mean, what an enormous pressure we put on ourselves! Thanks for sharing and helping :) x


  5. Congratulations on your award. I know there are many people feeling the same way you do, just by looking at the number of people that are following you and the topics you write about. I’ve not yet found a NAMI type of association where you live, but never give up hope, sometimes that’s the only thing we have left!

    All the best in 2012.



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