Photo of the day. :)

Walk in my shoes.

Last Thursday saw the beginning of a new event in Ireland to help raise awareness of mental health and to try and provide free mental health in Ireland. This even has been set up b U2’s adam clayton only recently. The aim of this is to help provide free mental health services  for young people in Ireland. All of the money that will be raised goes to the young adults ward in St. Patrick’s hospital.

Taking part in this event does not require much effort at all and even I was able to do it on Thursday. The idea is to wear a pair of shoes that you would not normally wear. I wore a pair of odd shoes when I was in NUIM to have a career night talk.

To learn more about this event go to:

Photo of the day. :)


The other night I was in NUIM for a careers talk to help me to decided what I want to do after school. I decided that I would go to the talk on Paramedics and fire fighters and that I would also go to a talk on medicine. The first talk was amazing but that’s not why I am writing this post. The second talk was about medicine and there were three part to the talk. When we got to the third part to the talk that's when I learned something that I will never forget. We all know that there is a huge stigma attached to mental health but I always thought that health care professions such as doctors were to try and help reduce the stigma. And well now I know that I am wrong.

It was near the end of the talk and we were being told about the different parts of medicine and the different specialities that you can go into after you become a doctor. One of the specialities was Physhcarity( I cant spell that but you know what I mean)  she had toils us all a bit about the other sections and when she got to this one the one thing that she had to say about it was that it was “mad” Now i know this could have been a joke to try and get us to laugh but it had a huge affect on me and I still can’t get it out of my mind and that is why I am writing this blog post. I mean there is nothing mad about this!!

People who suffer from mental health issues are always being stigmatised and they become ashamed of their illness and that is not what should be happening. It makes some people fell that they are being judged and that if they ask for help that people are only going to look down on them.  I am one of the lucky ones, when I went into hospitals my friends, family and teachers all stuck by me and never thought of me as any different from anybody else. I was having a bad time and i was sick, we all get sick and have bad times so why should we get stigamitised just because we have a mental illness.

There is no such thing as normal yet people go around thinking that just because you have a mental illness you’re not normal. When my mam was sick with cancer people looked up to her and seen her as strong and brave because she was battling cancer .But why is it that people who are suffering from mental illnesses are not strong or brave and they are seen as crazy? I mean it’s an illness too. A physical illness does not get stigmatised but mental illness does.... there both illness why should one be stigmatised and other not?  The same thing goes for people who have special needs; we are no different from everybody else so why do we get treated different. I know things were a lot worse in the past and things have changed but people still have a set view on mental health and special needs and it needs to change.

I know that I’m not crazy even though some people in society might think that I am crazy but I know that I’m not but not everybody thinks things the same was as I do. So the next time you think that because someone has a mental illness that their crazy think about what you are doing to them. When you are sick things are hard enough, if there is stigma attached to it things get much worse.

The comment that the doctor made really made me angry and upset because I’m not mad and nobody with a mental illness is mad. We are the same as everybody else!! We are equal but we are all different.  So the next time that you think that a person suffering from a mental illness is mad or crazy think for a moment and ask yourself is they really? We are people like everybody else and it is not fair that people in society look down on us because we have an illness.

Photo of the day. :)

Photo of the day. :)

Removing the labels.

Photo of the day. :)

Photo of the day. :)

To Narnia!!


"If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere."
~ Vincent Van Gogh

Photo of the day. :)

5 in the bed and the little one said.......

Better together.

Photo of the day. :)


Photo of the day. :)

Setting goals can help you beat your self-harm.

Setting goals can often help you to overcome your self-harm. When you decide to stop your self-harm setting goals can help you to reach a happier life. One goal that I set for myself was to get to my brothers wedding. That goal helped me to stop self-harming and keep me on the right track to over coming my self-harm.

It is important to have goals that you want to try and reach no matter how small they are.Take some time now to think about some small and realistic goals that you want to set yourself to help to beat your self-harm and write them down and keep them somewhere you know that they will be there when you need to look at them and keep on track.

I made it to my brothers wedding, not only because it was important for him that I was there but because it was important to me that I would get there and I did. Not only did I achieve my goal I gained control over my self-harm and I had a hell of a good time at the wedding. It was the best weekend of my life and I am glad that I put the work in to get there. It took time for me to achieve my goal but I did it.

What is normal??

Mental health can affect anybody and it doesnt make us any different from other people. There is no such thing as normal. Ask yourself the question What is normal?

Learning to cope with stress.

Stress..... stress can be very hard to deal with and can often affect people in many different ways. It can be both emotional and physical and can often affect people very little to very severe. some people hurt themselves when they feel stressed. When I would feel stressed sometimes I would self-harm because it gave me control in a stressful situation and I was able to cope with what was going on. However the feeling i got of being in control only lasted for a short while as after I self-harmed and my feeling of being in control went again I was out of control due to  the shame of self-harming. I had no control after I self-harmed because I had to wear long selves and hid the marks. It did nothing for me. It only made things worse and it took me a while to realise that using self-harm as a way of coping with stress only caused me more stress in the end. I used being stress as a reason to self-harm but soon I became addicted to it and I was not able to stop or control it anymore. One way that helped me to break the habit of self-harming was to find new ways to cope with stress so that one of my reasons to self-harm was taken away and I had new helpful ways to deal with the stress that I was experiencing.

There are so many ways that you can deal with stress that are helpful than self-harm. Some ways that might help you deal with stress are:
Talk to friends and family.
Do some activities.
Listen to music.
Do some art.
Get involved a class.

I know that when you are feeling stressed self-harm seems like the best option but its not. I you take anything from this post at all it is that self-harm is not a good way to cope with stress. Anything simple such as watching a tv show can help you to relax and become less stressed is better than self-harming. The one thing that I would ask someone who self-harms is the next time that you feel stressed and like you  want to self-harm that you take a moment before you harm ad think about weather this is really going to make a difference. Try anything just please try not to self harm. Sure you can even send me an email and if I am on the computer I will send you back an email and we can just talk and it might help to distract you you less stress. Self-harm will only cause you more stress even if think that it will it does cause more stress.

Photo of the day. :)

Learning to be mindful.

Something that i had to take part in while i was in hospital was a group called mindfulness. This group was all about learning to be in the moment. It can be considered as a type of meditation that helps people to feel more in control of their lives. Mindfulness means being aware of yourself and your surroundings. When you are being mindful you clear you mind of distracting thoughts and tune in to what you are doing at that very moment. This can often be very hard to do when you first try it I know it took me a while to get the hang of it and now I am still trying to get the hang of it. This can help you to deal with some of the hard times and also to help prevent you from self-harming.

The basic steps for learning to be mindful are very simple and easy to do:
Sit or lie quietly and notice your breath moving in and out.
Notice anything else that you feel in your body.
As thoughts come in to your head just let them go and not think about them.
Remain aware of being in the present moment.

There are many things that you can use when you are being mindful. You can eat, listen, watch, balance, and feel all mindfully just focusing on the things that you are doing. When listening to a song try and focus on the word so that song, when eating try and focus on what you are eating, when feeling try and focus on what you are feeling, when you are watching just focus on the things that you are watching. The concept is simple but it can be very hard to do. If you try to do it don’t expect to be able to do it on the first try just relax and practice it a couple of times over and over again and eventually you will be able to get the hang of it.

Photo of the day. :)


Bullying is very common and more common than people think. People who are being bullied often try to hide the fact that they are being bullied because they are ashamed that it is happening to them or because they are worried what might happen to them if they tell on the person who is bullying them. Bulling can be described as being afraid of other people and how they think about you. Being excluded and being left out on your own from groups.

Here is a poem that I found that was written by a person who is being bullying:

“Safe Place”
I look away so she doesn’t see my red-rimmed eyes,
And avoid her motherly questions,
So that she doesn’t hear my pain.

I walk to school the long way round,
And keep my head down,
For the fear that someone will sense my shame.

I don’t raise my hand to ask a question,
I know it will just give them more ammunition,
For their game.

I hurry home to what use to be my “safe place”,
In the past i thought they couldn’t hurt me here,
But know i know that they can,
Even when the sound of their laughs r the burn of their stares is long gone.

I don’t know about you but I know when i read this poem it got me thinking about things. Something more needs to be done to help prevent bullying from happening in school, in the community, in the work place everywhere. People of any age and any kind cane become a victim of bullying and it needs to stop. In my school there is a saying that if you see someone being bullied you should tell someone because “if you don’t report it them you support it”

This poem had a great effect on me and I hope that it gets you thinking about things too!!

Photo of the day. :)

Confused Ashling??????

Grounding techniques.

While i was in hospital i learnt how important it is to know how to ground myself when I am feeling stressed or anxious or having a bad day. At first I found it very hard to do but soon I was able to know what I needed to do in order to be able to ground myself. Something that I found that really helps me to become grounded is to sit on the floor.

You might be wondering what are grounding techniques????
 Well they are simple active things to help a person to focus on the present moment or to help distract them from distress.

Why do people use grounding techniques????
People often use grounding to help in times of crises and for prevention, for example prevent the person from self harming because they are using other ways to become calm. Grounding can help to balance a person emotionally, physically or spiritually.

Here are some ways that you can ground yourself:

Stomping your feet.
Clapping your hands.
Sitting on the ground.
Sitting on a balance ball.
Moving furniture.
Holding ice.
Chewing gum.
Breathing exercises.
Using thera-band.
Playing with a pet.
Having a shower.

These can be done anywhere and at anytime. It is important to try new things and if one doesn’t work don’t give up on it keep trying or try something else that might work. Try to know when you might need to ground yourself. And it is very important to practice as much as you can.

Photo of the day. :)

Photo of the day. :)


"We can't stop the waves but we can learn to surf."

This quote has had a huge affect on me and is something that i will never forget and that I can count on to get me through some hard times in life. Do you have a quote that helps you during the hard times in life?
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