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Mental Health: Don’t bother telling me your door is always open

Posted on 6th May 2017 in #guestpost/ charity/ depression/ Mental Health

A lovely lady I know online recently posted the words below on Facebook and has kindly given me permission to share them.

She makes such a valid point, so incredibly well, I’ve always found the ‘type the colour of your underwear on your status for breast cancer awareness/share this heart for breast cancer’ posts quite infuriating. Surely sharing signs to look out for or advice for supporting a friend/loved one would be much more use.

The same applies to the recent flurry of posts stating that your door is always open and people can just pick up the phone – anyone who has ever suffered would know that is the very last thing you would be able/willing to do.

Anyway, Abi puts it beautifully:

“Do you know the problem with all this talk about mental health? I don’t want to talk about it. I don’t want a hug. I don’t want cup of tea and someone to tell me it will all get better. What I want is to hide under the duvet and cry until I have no more tears. If you think the answer is to post that you are always listening it won’t help. I know you mean well but I’d never send you a Facebook message to say I’m losing my grip and I’m good at faking it.

To the person who stepped in front of a train, took an overdose, slit their wrists, hung themselves, all I want to say is I understand and I’m sorry we lost you. Sometimes what people need most is space and understanding, a cave we can run away to occasionally and not be questioned.

So yes let’s talk about mental health but don’t ever expect someone suffering from severe depression to come to you when they need you. I don’t have the answer, the only suggestion I have is that we stop communicating through technology and start using our eyes. When that friend makes excuses and can’t come out, ask them if they would like you to come over. When someone you love shouts and pushes you away, give them space, but do ask what’s wrong and if you can help. When you pass a stranger on the street, smile and say hello, you may be the only person they speak to all day and it may break their thoughts and help them smile.

Sometimes it’s the silence that gives us away. I won’t ever tell you what goes through my mind but you can help distract me and that goes a long way. I’m just trying to stay in control so don’t push me. Just reach out and touch someone the edge is closer than you think.

Speaking as someone who has lost 2 dads to suicide and having attempted myself I can tell you that it’s release that we need. To stop the nightmares, the paranoia and the overwhelming fear of failure. It really doesn’t matter how real those things are. They are in our mind. So don’t tell me it will get better or that I’m loved, I know that but when?

Do you know my biggest fear? That my girls think it’s an acceptable choice. That one day they may contemplate the same. I really don’t think I could survive that so I will always watch and love them.

PS if you post that you are stuck in traffic or the train is delayed because some “idiot” has decided to end their life, I will unfriend you. They didn’t get there lightly and they won’t bother you again. You will get home and your life will go on so shut the f*ck up. They will be gone forever and the only thing that will follow is devastation but don’t worry that won’t affect you just their family and friends.

Thank you all for all of your support.”

 

One last thing from me. Did you know you can email the Samaritans? It IS hard to pick up the phone sometimes, but even the act of writing your fears, worries, feelings, in an email can help to lift the burden. The Samaritans will email you back, doesn’t matter if your worry is trivial – if it is important to you, it is important to them.

Contact Samaritans

Invasion Colchester returns for 2012

Posted on 24th July 2012 in #charitytuesday/ Invasion colchester/ Star Wars/ superheroes

After the success of Invasion Colchester 2011, the team are wisely returning with a branch new ‘show’ for this year on Saturday 18th August.

There will be many costumed actors and characters including storm troopers, daleks, soldiers and many more greats from stage and screen. There will also be signatures available from some special guests and the days promises to be fun and exciting. Going shopping in Colchester on Saturday the 18th will be very different to any other weekend!

As well as being a brilliant experience, Invasion Colchester 2012 is raising money for three worthy charities and its founder feels he owes a debt of gratitude as explained here in his own words:

“I launched Invasion Colchester in 2011 as a way to raise money for a very important cause which saved my life…

On the 9 January 2011 I was admitted to Colchester University Hospital with breathing difficulties. Within two days I was on life support due to a complete failure of my lungs and following tests, I was diagnosed with swine flu (H1N1).

On the 14 January my family were informed that there was nothing else that could be done for me and to expect the worst. The only treatment for my condition was called ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation). This is a process intended for patients whose heart and lungs cannot function normally on their own. Basically, the machine removed blood from my body, then oxygenated and heated it before pumping it back since my lungs were unable to produce any oxygen at all. The ECMO machine can, for up to several weeks, act as an artificial heart and lung. Find out more about it here. There are very few beds in ECMO Units in the country but I was lucky; later that day a bed became available in Leicester Glenfield Hospital and I was transferred that evening by a specialist team and ambulance.

I remained on the ECMO machine for 12 days during which time I required twenty four hour care from two specialist nurses. I was eventually transferred back to Colchester to continue my recovery at home.

I owe my life to the machine and the specialists that nursed me both in Colchester and Leicester for which I and my family are eternally grateful. I was the fortunate individual out of twenty people requiring the one bed that became available that night and I wanted to show my whole-hearted gratitude by raising funds and awareness for ECMO. There are very few machines available with the specialists required to operate them in this country and I am still hoping to be able to play a small part in rectifying this situation.

Due to the substantial success of the original event, a decision was made there and then to continue Invasion Colchester every year, for as long as we can, raising money for additional charities in the process.

So this August please show your support for our very worthy causes, head into town for the day and help us raise some much needed funds. It’s going to be a blast!”

– SIMON

What Does Your Mum Mean To You? #BigBlueCuddle #MothersDay

Posted on 17th March 2012 in big blue cuddle/ charity/ Mother/ mother's day

This is a re-posting of a blog by @BigBlueCuddle they aim to build a collection of quotes from people: ‘What does your mum mean to you?’ some are sweet, some are funny, some are poignant. Read on and send them yours!

As most of us are about to indulge in breakfasts in bed, bouquets of flowers and hand-made cards, we would like to celebrate not just you, loving mothers of young little things, but also your mothers, with a collection of quotes.Tell us: what your mother means to you now you’re raising your own children?

We’ll collect the quotes and post them, anonymously, on our Facebook page and on Pinterest.  The author of the quote which has received the most likes by Tuesday March 20th WINS a product of their choice from our store.
All tricks you, and your mum, might want to pull to get people to like your quote are allowed!  We’ll assign them a number, so you can direct people towards it.

Furthermore we’ll give everybody who has entered, and their mother, a discount code to use in our store.

Go on, what you are waiting for? Email your quote to info@bigbluecuddle.com making sure you also give us your mum’s email address – so we can send her the discount code too.  If you like you can also post them directly on our Facebook wall (we’ll repost them).

We’re really looking forward to reading all the wonderful things you have to say about your mothers and to assemble what hopefully will be a multifaceted take on motherhood.

The image we used is a fridge magnet we found here. Originally posted here: Quotes for YOUR mothers

C is for… Cat Chat

Posted on 6th July 2010 in cats/ charity/ Feral/ kittens/ rehoming centre/ volunteer

I have just added the autumn 10 newsletter for Cat Chat (@CatChatCharity) below and sadly have to say that this is the last one I can do for them due to my current workload.

If you visit the Cat Chat website you can find local rehoming centres near you and view pictures of cats and kittens who need homes. You can find out lots of useful information about cats and pet care, you can seek expert advice and even chat with other pet owners on the Cat Chat forum.

You can also buy gifts for the cat lover in your life!

There are many ways in which you can support the charity and help cats – visit the website now to find out more!

VIEW THE NEWSLETTERS:

Autumn 10 newsletter:

http://www.catchat.org/newsletters/2010_autumn.pdf

Summer 10 newsletter:

http://www.catchat.org/newsletters/2010_summer.pdf

Spring 10 newsletter:

www.catchat.org/newsletters/2010_spring.pdf

Winter 09/10 newsletter:

http://www.catchat.org/newsletters/2009_winter.pdf

V is for… Volunteer

Posted on 2nd May 2010 in Blog/ cats/ child/ divorce/ self esteem/ writing workshop

Am a bit late with my entry for Josie’s Writing Workshop. Like most people (have been reading through the entries!) I have gone for ‘5. Pick an emotion that best represents your state of mind right now and write creatively on that theme.’

The emotion that represents my state of mind is ‘meh’, yes yes, meh is definitely an actual emotion – don’t bother checking the dictionary, it’s there ok!

Am feeling ‘meh’ because sometimes I just don’t feel that I give enough.

I’ve always said that if I ‘won the lottery’ I would:

a) buy my dad a house with a big garden

b) put ‘a chunk’ of money in the bank for my children

c) buy colchester cat rescue

d) buy myself a house

e) do volunteer work for charities

But then it occurred to me that I could actually do volunteer work without having won the lottery. Ok, so I don’t have the time or money to devote my life to it, and I can’t change the world even a teeny bit but I could do something.

So, for the past 6  months I have been a volunteer for a charity called Cat Chat. Now, in my head this should involve baskets of kittens – each of a different colour, but sadly it doesn’t :(

It does, however, involve lots of pictures of cats which is nearly as good! What I do for them at the moment is make their quarterly newsletter, which helps to spread the word about their good work and lets people know about rehoming success stories, as well as highlighting those poor kitties who just can’t seem to find a home. If you do happen to be looking for a feline family member their rehoming pages are a good place to start.

If I ever did win the lottery and could afford devote more time to volunteer work I’m not sure what I’d chose to do. I’d like to help poorly children, or children affected by sadness whatever the cause. Having experienced the shock of having my world turned upside down – I’d like to help support women who find themselves in a scary world after a partner has left them. Today, after reading the article about single dads in Stella magazine, I’d have to say that I’d also like to help men who find themselves in that situation too. I wish I had the brains or the cash to help find a cure for cancer. I wish I could stop bullying. I wish I could cure depression. I wish the world would share it’s money so that we don’t need action aid, or water aid, or even band aid! I wish I could make paedophiles – JUST BLOODY STOP IT. But in the meantime, I’ll settle for cats cats and more cats!

And squash the feeling of ‘meh’ as best I can.

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