What's in the box?

I thought it might be a good idea to share something with you guys that might help many of you out there who is dealing self-harm or any self-destructive actions, which you feel you need to get you through the day. I know what it is like to be addicted to something, I was addicted to self-harm and it was with a lot of hard work that I slowly began to come out of that addiction. Part of my recovery involved family and friends but another part of my recovery also included a box.

A box, which began as a show box, covered in blue sugar paper with the words home chest written on the lid. I began designing the box while I was in hospital after the suggestion of the OT to make a box filled with things that I can use to distract myself when I am feeling the self -harm urges. I have to admit that I was a bit hesitant in the beginning but I went and sourced a box thanks to another young person in the hospital at the time and went about designing the outside of my box.

It wasn’t what the box looked like that was important though it was what was inside the box that mattered. After all the decorating had been done which wasn’t much as I am not an incredibly creative or artistic person I set about figuring out what to put in this box. As the aim of the box was to help prevent me from self-harming I had to be extremely mindful of what I put into it as over the years I spent self-haring I was always finding new things to help satisfy my urges.

Over the past almost 2 years this box has remained a factor of my life. At times I used it to get me through hard times, other times I used it to remind me of special people in my life and often I used it to remind me that I have the power to overcome the thoughts and urges of self-harm. While my blue covered shoe box gradually became worn I began to turn to the items inside it less and less to help me but seeing as it is a new year I felt that it was time to gather the items which were once in the box and put them in another box one which may have a better chance at surviving my constant rearranging and redecorating of my bedroom.

So I found this box---------------------------------->

And I filled it with this important suff---------------->

All of the stuff inside my box reminds me that I am more than a mental illness, I am stronger than self-harm and I have what it takes to beat my depression and self-harm!! 

So if your making news years resolutions I would like to suggest that you make one which would be to gather things which allow you to feel good and remind you that you are stronger than you think you are, braver than you believe and that shows you you are important, cared about and loved. 

The real meaning of Christmas

We have fought, we have laughed, we have cried and we have shared a world of pain. My family and I have been through a hell of a lot over the past few years especially since my mum passed away almost nine years ago but we have stuck by each other, we have supported one another and we have stayed united and battled through the hard times. While I would be lost with out my two brothers, my sister in law and my brother in law I would be even more lost without my dad.

It goes without saying that for a number of years my dad and I had a very rocky relationship but we worked through it and I am glad to be able to say that we have one of the best father daughter relationships anyone could wish for despite our ups and downs.

Christmas to me is not about spending money on gifts or all the food, to me it is about spending time with this bunch of people who love me. It is about gathering around the dinner table and laughing and sitting around the fire to watch a much loved film and most of all it is about being with the people I love the most. If it wasn't for these people I would not be here today! So for this one day a year do something special for the ones around you, do something to make them smile, to make them laugh or just to let them know you love them because to me that is the most important thing about Christmas, making sure your loved ones know just how much you mean to them!!

So mam, dad, Shane, Paul, Amy, Tom, Adam, Mark and Gaga I love you more than you could ever imagine and while I cant exactly say it to your faces I hope this posts help you realise just how much you guys mean to me. If I didn't have you guys in my life, life wouldn't be worth living. Thank you for your love and support, you guys are what makes my life so worthwhile and meaningful!!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Christmas is a magical time of year for many people but for others it can be a hard time with many struggles. I myself struggle during the run up to Christmas as Christmas has always been a family affair in my family and with the death of my mum and granddad it all changed. It is different now without them and even though they have both passed over three years ago for my granddad and eight years for my mum I still have not go used to not having them around Christmas time. Although they are not physically with me there are still some things I do every year which reminds me of them, mixing the pudding for one, eating the rashers of the turkey after midnight mass on Christmas eve and my all time favorite the long sleep after Christmas dinner!!

When you know you are coming to a specific time of the year you struggle with for example Christmas it is especially important to look after yourself and be a bit selfish in order to stay healthy both physically and mentally. So if your like me and struggle with Christmas time here are a few things that might make the Christmas period a little bit easier.

  • Take time to yourself. Do something that you like. Think about yourself, listen to music. Just have time to yourself. For me I listen to music. Go for a walk, clear your mind, forget about your worries just relax. Breath.
  • Read a child's book. They are usually happy and are guaranteed to make you smile. Read a Dr Susses book they are usually the best when it comes to needing a smile. Oh the places you will go have to be my favorite book, both inspirational and happy. It’s a real feel good book :) 
  • Bake some brownies. Baking is one of the best things that you can do when you feel like nothing. The best way to get motivated about baking knows that at the end of it all you have some nice chocolate brownies at the end. I mean what is a better way to brighten up your day. Go and buy some ice cream and then it will make your day even better. Ice cream and brownies especially after a long hard day of college.
  • Buy flowers. I love flowers that are bright and colorful. If you want something to make you smile then flowers are the right things to do. They are bright and you want to brighten up your day.... think about it. Its simple math bright flowers equal a brightened up day.
  • Sing in the shower. It doesn't have to be in the shower but it can be if you want. Just sing to your hearts content. It’s not the x-factor so it doesn't matter if you’re good or bad. Just sing and sure dance too. Let your hair down and even whip your hair back and forth. Just let loose and sing your lungs out. 
  • Find someone to hug. There is nothing better tan an amazing hug for someone that you love. Just hold them tight and don’t think about anything.
  • Ice Cream and movies. Get a blanket, a friend, the movie beaches and some Ben and Jerry ice cream. I don’t think that needs anymore explaining :)
Finally a while back I was asked to help a student make a documentary regarding mental health, this is the end product:

A spark of inspiration

When people tell me that I inspire them or my story of struggling with a mental health issue it inspires me and to mark those sparks of inspiration I found this photo which is nice and simple and to me it inspires me :)

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