#100WCGU #week171

Posted on 19th October 2015 in #writingworkshop/ 100WCGU

‘What about if I rock my chair back, like this” Barry demonstrated with an over zealous action nearly causing him to flip backwards “and then slam my coffee down and fix him with a steely glare?”

Trying desperately not to sigh out loud, Karen walked behind him and nudged the chair back to an upright position. “Or,” she said failing to keep the exasperation from her tone “or we could just be reasonable and ask him the questions we agreed earlier?”

“Love it, love it, I get ya” Barry winked “I’ll be bad cop and then switch to good cop but I can’t decide when to change.”

~ ~ ~

Have you tried the #100WCGU (one hundred word challenge for grown ups!) over at Julia’s place? This is my entry for it, adding 100 words to the phrase …I can’t decide when to change… If you would like to read other entries or have a go yourself, please click here.

Where Is The Help? #WMHD2015 #MentalHealth

Posted on 10th October 2015 in child/ child abuse/ childline/ children/ depression/ family/ swearing

Screen Shot 2015-10-10 at 14.08.55It’s impressive to see so much focus on mental health today as part of #WMHD2015, how we can help others and how we can help ourselves.

I have seen several posts online from famous people in support of this day and the message behind it, which is an important step towards ending the stigma and shame that so often goes hand in hand with the words ‘depression’ and ‘mental health issue’.

But where do you go for help if you currently feel like even getting up out of bed or out of a chair is like wading through porridge. How do you ‘go out and make new friends’ if you don’t find anything likeable about yourself and therefore can’t imagine for one second why anyone else would enjoy your company. How do you put yourself out there if the previous end result was that you stood in a room wrapped in a cocoon of fog while everyone around you was vibrant and engaged and fully embracing that elusive casual happiness that seems as unattainable as a lottery jackpot?

This post is focussing on children and teens as if we don’t start reaching out to change their attitudes and improve their self-confidence and self-worth then this situation is only going to keep on growing and self-perpetuating.

So for children and teens in the UK, where can they go for help? If the generation above them is full of people with no tolerance and no understanding then they will be met with a wall of ‘don’t be so pathetic’ and ‘oh for god’s sake, just get on with it’ not forgetting ‘man up’.

I personally think there needs to be a new programme throughout schools put in place to deliver grass roots help and support to children and teens, building their confidence and self-esteem in such a way that the earliest niggles of self-doubt may well never develop into anything further.

I’ve seen that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are championing #WMHD2015 and I hope that with their backing and support there might finally become a time for our children and our children’s children when mental health can reach a parity with physical health. A time when children will grow up with a sensitivity to others so that they are an inbuilt peer support system for each other.

You don't have to hit to hurt

However angry you are with a child, shouting and using abusive language is never the answer.

I have found it fascinating on #EducatingCardiff to see how the teens change their behaviour once the adults change theirs; the commitment and patience shown by several of the staff at Willows High is a joy to observe and surely should serve as an example to others in the profession. This ties in with the quote ‘You don’t have to hit to hurt.’

It can’t be coincidence that shouting, punishing and belittling students makes their attitude and behaviour deteriorate (along with their self belief and sense of safety and wellbeing), whereas praise, encouragement, trust, friendship and support makes them flourish and re-engage with their work, friends and the world around them.

If children were built up and nurtured at home and at school then they would stand more chance of growing up to be strong, confident, caring adults who would in turn build up and nurture their own friends, family and children; there is a great quote by Frederick Douglass ‘It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.’

So what is there in terms of support for this age group? The local mental health services are all suffering cut backs and only the more severe cases are getting through to access care. (Needless to reiterate if children were loved and nurtured appropriately in the first place this would vastly cut the numbers who would need to be referred.)

For adults there are many services available, like Blurt.org

For children and teens there is of course Childline, our local YMCA runs a free counselling service for this age group and there are several Facebook support groups out there but it is important to check that it is a supportive one as there are also several very scary pro suicide groups too.

There is also Big White Wall which offers an interesting take on support and is well worth looking into, I believe they have an app too. Speaking of apps, here is a list of apps that may help with wellbeing.

With support it is a case of finding what works for you. Joining a club or an evening class may be the solution for some people, but having secret online peer support is what works for others. Don’t give up if the first thing you try doesn’t work.

If anyone can suggest other support options in the comments that would be really helpful.

With love – and remember – you are worth it, you are a good person and you are doing fine x

Misplaced 100WCGU #week169

Posted on 8th October 2015 in 100WCGU/ writing workshop

Formby WoodsThe sense of relief was palpable, Gina felt an almost euphoric uplift and had to suppress a giggle as she sat down behind the tree.

She thought about texting Michael but decided against it; worrying him unnecessarily seemed pointless, especially now she was convinced she’d imagined it – too many scary movies had obviously left their mark on her mind.

Instead she took a quick selfie, ‘scaring myself witless in the woods’ was the caption that sprang to mind. Suddenly her phone rang disturbing the silence… then, in the middle of the noise she heard a twig snapping behind her and knew her feeling of relief had been misplaced.

 

This is my entry into the 100 word challenge for grown ups using this weeks prompt …then, in the middle of the noise… to see more entries or to have a go for yourself, please click here.

A Macabre Bake Sale #100wcgu #week168

Posted on 29th September 2015 in 100WCGU/ comedy/ fire/ writing workshop

100wcgu week168The bake sale had gone well and had shifted the bulk of it in a variety of tasty pies, soups and a red hot chilli. It had been a little hard to just give it away so eventually he had to accept payments; just enough to allay suspicion. There would be a certain irony to be enjoyed from donating the proceeds to charity.

The final parts had resisted quick lime, bleach and a rigorous slicing from the electric kitchen knife but were now finally burning gloriously in the Inglenook fireplace. No one will ever know, he thought with a smug smile.

~~~

This was my entry into week 168 of the #100WCGU – to see other (lets face it, more pleasant,) entries or to enter for yourself please click here.

Support Your Local Charity Shops

Posted on 15th September 2015 in #charitytuesday/ charity/ Charity Greetings

The Street StoreCharity Shop Chic seems to the new big thing and your high street almost certainly contains a hidden gem of a charity store. I live in quite a small town, ‘market village’ I believe it likes to call itself, yet it boasts at least 5 charity shops.

I’ve yet to become a skilled charity shopper but it’s something that I would like to improve upon as I often read with jealousy about other more prudent shoppers who seem to effortlessly find beautiful and inexpensive clothing, jewellery and antiques all the time.

A project I’d like to see spread to the UK is pop-up charity shop The Street Store, click here for more details of this excellent scheme.

One thing I do regularly buy from charity shops is greetings cards, my nearest shop does a beautiful and quirky range of cards that I’ve not seen anywhere else and they are only 79p per card! Great quality too, I make a point of stocking up whenever I’m passing. It’s a step in the right direction I guess!

What do you like to buy from charity shops – share your best find with me?

 

Holiday Horror #100wcgu week 166

Posted on 9th September 2015 in #writingworkshop/ 100WCGU/ holiday/ writing workshop

DSCN0177“Are we all agreed?” Sally stood with more determination than she felt as she challenged the group of strangers after they’d finished piling on loose leaves, sand and debris.

A few nodded but most just stared blankly as they sat facing each other, some avoiding eye contact, some sobbing and some staring into the middle distance clearly showing symptoms of shock. The bonhomie and raucous behaviour of the last few days evaporated as they all came to the dawning realisation that their lives were irrevocably altered and intertwined.

Everyone knows holidays make memories but none of them had expected this.

~ ~ ~

This was my entry into the 100 word challenge for grown ups. To read other entries or to find the rules and see how to join in, please click here.
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Senses #100wcgu week164

Posted on 24th August 2015 in #writingworkshop/ 100WCGU/ Crime Fiction

Every single whisper of wind, every footstep, every breath sounded deafening to her ears; something wasn’t right and every fibre of her being knew it. Straining to see, Eva peered into the small area lit up by her torch beam, and finally saw what they’d been looking for.

A whimper from under the pile of sacking confirmed the discovery and Eva ran over to hug the small blonde girl huddled underneath. With a smile she glanced at her partner but Noah looked worried. Before she could ask him what was wrong the girl whimpered again, “Where’s my brother?” she whispered.

~~~

Thank you for reading, I’d love it if you left a comment. This was my entry into the #100wcgu, week 164, to read more or to enter yourself please click here.

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