Browsing Tag


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

The Three Wise Monkeys #100WCGU

Posted on 16th March 2015 in 100WCGU

Three monkeys

The three wise monkeys they called themselves,

So crafty, so cunning and full of stealth.

Now that monkey three,  he’d said some stuff,

And as for monkey two, he’d heard enough,

Then little monkey one he could take no more –

The things he’d seen, made him cry and roar.

So the three monkeys went their separate ways,

They roamed around, alone for days.

Had each monkey known the other was a friend

They could have talked and worked a way to mend.

Instead each of them worried that no one cared.

How clever they could have been, if only they’d shared.

Created for 100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups – Week #171

Guess Who’s Back…

Posted on 14th March 2015 in Blog/ cat

Happy Cat

As the title suggests, after a brief (2 year) hiatus, I feel like returning to blogging – so, for now at least, I’m back!


Take Control Of Your Finances: Step 2 #MoneyMonday

Posted on 13th February 2012 in #MoneyMonday/ budget planner/ debts

Hopefully you’ll be reading this post after reading the introductory post and then Step 1

So, you should be sitting down to this having completed a budget analysis form and now know whether you have sufficient income coming in to cover your outgoings, or whether you have a shortfall.

If you have sufficient income coming in – YAY – you just need to budget better. An easy way to achieve this is to live on just cash for a few months until you are back into the habit of monitoring your spending.

Make sure you have one main bank account that all of your income goes into and all of your bills come out of.

Once all of your income has been paid in, check the total amount due to be taken out (for bills, rent/mortgage etc – but not including money for food, petrol, clubs etc), add at least £50 to that figure (for contingency planning) and then withdraw the surplus. So if your income is £2000 and all your bills come to £1100 – you can withdraw £850.

Then split that £850 into 4 envelopes and seal them! Write week 1, week 2, week 3, week 4 on them and have one per week to spend. After a few months of doing this you should be back in the habit of living within a budget.

The £50 contingency is there to provide a buffer for any unexpected increases in your regular bills.

If you are left with a shortfall – ie your outgoings are greater than the money you have coming in – then we need to look at whether we can increase your income or decrease your outgoings.

Let’s start with income: Silly question but does anyone owe you money? Be it a friend, relation, employer, benefits agency, ex-partner/CSA – if someone owes you money and you can’t pay your bills then you need to be following it up.

If you have an ex-partner who should be paying maintenance, get onto the CSA. If your case is already with the CSA but no payments are coming through yet – chase it up! I know first hand how soul destroying it is to phone the CSA but it’s the only way to get things moved along. They are dealing with millions of cases; if your ex is being evasive then your case will get overlooked if YOU aren’t on top of it. It’s not right, but it’s the way it is. Did you know that you can email the CSA for chase ups? I found this quite useful on days when I simply couldn’t face phoning them! The link to the email page is here.

Make sure you are claiming all the benefits to which you are entitled. You can do this via this website or by calling your local benefits office. Even if you are employed, you may find that there are benefits out there that you aren’t aware of.

If you are employed, can you do an extra hours at work? Or is there anything that you could do at home to generate more income? The slogan ‘every little helps’ is so true in this situation, you may find that bring in an extra few pounds here and there makes all the difference. Could you rent out a room? Did you know that you can rent out a room (up a value of £4,250) tax free! In a lot of towns you can take in forgein language students for a few weeks at a time – this would enable you to get a quick burst of extra income without any long term commitment.

One last thing to consider is whether or not a family member might help you out?

Onto reducing your outgoings: Assuming you’ve managed to do some of the above, you may now find that you don’t have as vast a shortfall as you started with. If there is a massive shortfall, you need to decide whether this is a temporary problem or one that is simply not going to go away without intervention. If it’s temporary – ie you’ve got a lump sum due to you or your wages were less than usual this month, then simple budgeting should see you through. You could also phone your council tax department and see if they will let you skip this months payment (and add it onto the outstanding balance) as a way of temporarily easing the situation.

If it’s a much bigger problem, I would urge you to consider contacting the CCCS or your local citizens advice bureau – both of these will offer you free, impartial, non-judgmental advice.

If you decide to go it alone, you can consider whether you want to:

* freeze all your (unsecured) debts and offer a nominal payment amount

* offer reduced settlement figures

* go bankrupt

There may well be more options available than these, a quick phone call to the CCCS should help you to establish all of the available options before you proceed.

Whichever option you go for, you need to contact ALL of your creditors and advise them that you are currently experiencing financial difficulties. Most of them have a separate department for this who may even be able to offer you different terms – generally speaking they will want to discuss your current income and outgoings so it will be useful to have your budget planner to hand when you call them.

If you can’t pay your unsecured debts then make sure you deal with all of them equally, to give yourself breathing space before rushing into a decision like bankruptcy, ask all of them to freeze your account, freeze the interest and offer to make them interim token payments of £1 a month. This demonstrates to them that you are not running away from your responsibility to the debt, it shows that you are aware and in control. If they don’t accept it over the phone – put the suggestion in writing.

If you have decided that you want to file for bankruptcy rather than follow a debt management programme, I would again urge you to make a quick call to either the CCCS or the CAB, just get their impartial opinion. Don’t think that they will judge you or push you into doing something that you don’t want to, because they won’t. In fact when I rang both of them at a time when I was experiencing financial problems, they both recommended bankruptcy!

This post, like all my #MoneyMonday posts, is based upon my personal experience and opinion. Please seek as much advice and assistance as you can from other reliable sources before making any rash decisions. Any questions, feel free to ask.

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