13 isn’t unlucky #bereavement #grief #suicide #peersupport #MHBloggers #TalkMH #PosiMH

Good Morning,

Here I am today, never knowing what it will feel like each year as it comes. It’s the anniversary. 

The 13th anniversary. 13 isn’t unlucky to me though. It’s the date of mum’s birthday. This year despite it being a tough one so far has been in some way positively challenging and testing for me and my own resilience leaving me looking at my personal growth.

Whenever I come out of a bad spell I feel exhausted albeit stronger. 

This year I also got a card. ☺️ 🌻 look at those lovely sunflowers (pic at top!). At work someone in the office receives flowers on their deceased relatives birthday each year and I thought, ah how lovely. It’s the little things in life. That keep your face toward the sunshine as the quote says. 

I’d like to use the post today to send a special type of thank you to the mental health blogging and twitter community online and my own support network offline. The card in pic actually came from an exceptionally caring and active campaigner. You can find her work here Just a girl interrupted .

Through my blog, through my Vlogs and through my working and volunteering in life I’ve managed to create a network of invaluable support based on peer support. The type of support you can only get from people that have been through similar experiences. I wonder to myself if this was ever offered to my mum? Those countless times I picture her trying to get help. Did she try and get help? Or did she only really get ‘help’ after attempts? It’s sad to think about. I think they call it ‘social prescribing’ this kind of support which should be an essential offer that gives people the opportunity to reach out to or have others reach them alongside professional treatment when they’re in need. Rarely, rarely! or have I even ever? (I don’t think so) been told about a charity’s support service after a visit to the doctor. My last trip ended up with metaphorically a doctor throwing medication at me. I burst into tears. This made said doctor extremely uncomfortable. True story. 

I see and I feel the difference people power makes and that’s why this year I will also be launching my very own peer support and mentoring project for young people with mental health problems. I feel immensely proud and can’t wait to fill a gap in something I never had when I was younger. Peer education can reduce that throbbing pain and fear of isolation and stigma we experience. Whether internal or external. Watch this space!

So despite 13 years of hellish struggle, light has appeared from many in my network lighting candles in my darkness and believing in me. 

If you’re struggling, I believe in you. You’re not alone. Reach out or be reached. Try the #TalkMH or #PosiMH hashtag on twitter. Engage in weekly conversation with an uplifting inspiring bunch of brave individuals. Although they clash with other commitments I have at times I know they’re there if I need it.

Mum, I bloody miss you. I bloody bloody miss you. As I look back at photos of the key events in my life and don’t see that sunny sunny face of yours I sadden. But your daughter is okay. You’re daughter is fighting for change. Change you needed. Change I need. Change.

Love you mum,

Abs x 💓

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