Still Finding Me – Guest Post

Hi all,  today we have another guest post and like all the guest posts before it’s extremely powerful, not only in the words but usually guest posts are the first time people step out and say “this is me, my story” that’s very very powerful in itself.

I know 100% that this guest post will help many people….

Still Finding Me

I was such a happy daughter until my teens. I knew something was different inside me, I grew up & became a mother myself but still felt different. It was then that I would eventually find out.

10yrs ago MH, Panic Attacks, Paranoia…….the voice inside started….. The voice was the Devil “HE “Gave me 1 choice.. To end my life & only then would “HE” end all suffering my family had.

I kept screaming No, No, trying to stop The voice, trying to drown it out but it was always the same, 1 choice.

First I was taken from my family to a hospital, psychiatrist ward. As I walked through the door I was a daughter to my parents, I was a mother to my kids. Confusion overwhelmed me. The MH and all kicked in so quickly

Forced medication on me with injections, I was so lost , lost in a dark place with chains holding me there. Begging anyone who said they would help me, telling them I was a prisoner in this dark place…… but paranoia hit me … I then believed they were helping him , drugging me.

I was there for 3 months, it doesn’t sound long when writing but it felt like yrs, suddenly I’m then diagnosed with Bipolar, Gave me a cocktail of medication and then the day arrived I was going back to my family…..

But as I walked out I walked out someone else, someone I never knew no longer the happy daughter , happy mum I was, but someone else MH had changed me, and still the devil wanted my soul “HE” kept telling what I had to do …. every day…. so many failed suicide attempts and now he was angry.

My parents there health got bad.

When for the first time in years revealed who “ HE” was to my psychiatrist who looked at me like I was mad.

Mad ….. I’ve got MH Bipolar, the Devil within me, and still no one believed me.

10yrs on he never won , apart from taking the happy daughter I once was , & happy mum for my kids.

MH changed my life, every day is a different battle but the women I am today will find myself eventually.

I may have bipolar but bipolar doesn’t have me

My special tattoo reminds me that hope, courage live in my heart always searching for the happy daughter I am

Play……. The Moments
Pause…..The Memories
Stop……. The Pain
Rewind….The Happiness

I found the courage to write my story, something I’ve never done.

For An Amazing Inspiring Man, reaches out to so many of us , his inspiration and courage touched my heart & soul , because I’m now 1 step away from from finding myself, the happy daughter .

Hi, exboozehound again…. I think you’ll agree with my one word sum up…. “Wow”

This is a little awkward but I believe “An Amazing Inspiring Man” is me…. This makes me very proud of who I’ve become since my mental breakdown in 2013, very proud!!

To see the last sentence of this powerful guest post….

“because I’m now 1 step away from from finding myself, the happy daughter” 

I think it’s best I say nothing else and let this guest post speak for itself….

“enjoy the good and ride out the bad”

Keep going 😉

Check out the new page on the blog “Stuff”

Four letter words – guest post

Hi, this is an extremely powerful guest post, i’m saying nothing else at this point….

Four Letter Words

I have been too ashamed, too anxious to speak out about what I’m about to share, however I shouldn’t be and if this post helps just one person, then it’ll be worth it. This post does come with a trigger warning

Four letter words. How many can you think of? Food. Dark. Joke. Hate. Love. A lot of you will think of simple words with little to no meaning, however for me, one word changed my life. Rape. Let me share some statistics before I share my story.

There’s roughly 11 rapes (adult alone) every hour.
There’s an estimated 60,000 – 95,000 victims every year throughout England and Wales alone.

Black or white, male or female, adult or child, it doesn’t matter, if you’ve had a few drinks or not, if your with your friends or alone, if your covered head to toe or have skin showing, you’re always going to be at risk.

See, rape is a four letter word that’s paired with dark places, strange men and violence. This is so wrong; approximately 90% of victims know their attacker. I knew mine. He was someone I ‘loved’, someone I trusted. He wouldn’t hurt me right? He loved me? Wrong.

I was 14 when I met him, we were fine for the first couple of months, then it were almost as if someone had flicked a switch in his head, he became manipulative and controlling. I was sexually and mentally abused. Guilt trips, shouting, threats, it just didn’t stop. Friends and family, they could see what he was doing but I refused to believe. Self-harm, alcohol and starvation became a coping mechanism. February came, the first time he raped me. I remember it so clearly. His breathe on my face, his hands tight around my wrists, pinned to the bed. Screaming ‘no’, ‘I’m not ready’, trying to fight back just wasn’t enough and that was that. I prayed it was just a blip and that it wouldn’t happen again. Maybe I’d done something wrong to deserve it? No, no one ever deserves to go through such pain. Somehow it happened every week for months, it’s like he had it all planned out. I wasn’t strong enough to carry on. I had a knife to my chest, miscarried at 15, attempted suicide.

‘Why didn’t you fight back?’ People don’t understand that it’s a fight or flight reaction and most people freeze. Your body, your mind, even time, it stops. You’re silently screaming for help praying someone comes and frees you, there’s nothing you can do but wait.

Such trauma changes you, everything you saw the world to be before, everything you saw yourself to be before. It’s no longer the same. Being alone with or in contact with a man leaves you in a state. Constantly on edge, questioning everything, tormented with flashbacks, you can’t make it stop its happening again, there’s no escape.

But there is, with time and strength you will find yourself in the light that you never thought you’d find at the end of that god damn tunnel. This was not my fault; no matter how many times my head convinces me it was. I did not deserve what happened; I did not ask for it, I did nothing to provoke it.

I want you to know, if you’ve been through such an experience, or find yourself in this position; it is not your fault! Surround yourself with people that love you, people who care and understand. With the correct support and love, the flashbacks are easier to handle, the nightmares lesson. You are brave, you deserve better. Don’t give up hope, don’t give up faith. “Every seven years every cell in your body regenerates, that means in seven years time you will have a body that your attacker never touched”. Hold onto that. It can be a great comfort.

I am a rape survivor, now 18 and still on the long winding road to recovery battling many mental illnesses, I’m not there yet, but I will get there. Say that over and over in your head and soon you will start to believe it.

Hi, exbooozehound again, a VERY courageous young lady who I am VERY proud to know, so powerful, so important that we get this shared and read as many people as possible, please comment if you can and share, share, share if you can.

Here’s a link to my YouTube page

Coming out of the mental illness closet.

G’day all, below we have another guest post from my new Australian Face Book friend Kelly. I hope you find these words as inspirational as I know they are…..

Coming out of the mental illness closet. By Kelly the Aussie 🙂

I was diagnosed with Bipolar about 9 years ago, to me it was a load of rot, I couldn’t have a mental illness. I mean I know I wasn’t quite right, like I would have ups and downs, and get moody, but it was the depression side of bipolar I was having a lot of time coping with. After my diagnosis I looked into it a bit, I also met a very special internet friend that was looking for answer and we happened to meet on a site, she helped me understand the illness a lot and helped me cope with a lot of feelings, it is great to have an understanding ear.

After my diagnoses I struggled for a couple of years to believe I had bipolar, the reason being, I was also stuck in the stigma of mental illness, to me mental illness just meant people were crazy and scary, and that’s something I didn’t want to be, certainly I didn’t feel like I was crazy or scary, I was ignorant, I didn’t know anything about it, so to me it was a scary world. I must admit coming to terms with having a mental illness was the hardest thing to cope with, the first few years was the hardest and the most times I have been manic and hypo manic tendencies. I was elaborating my illness because of what others would think, and my own delusional thoughts ,I wasn’t accepting it I was pushing it away but it made me worse.

After learning a lot more about mental illness I finally accepted my condition, I intergraded CBT into my life and it helped make bipolar more controllable. But I still hadn’t told many people I was still afraid of the stigma and what I would be thought of, so only a handful of people knew, I kept it to myself and those close for 8 years. I had accepted but was still afraid to let people know, I didn’t really care if people knew or not, it was none of their business anyway, but I felt that this may help me to help break the stigma and make me feel better, hahah and I guess some may start to understand why I act certain ways lol. Finally I didn’t give a rats bumb what people thought, and after reading some of Jon’s blogs he kind of unknowingly inspired me to come out. So a few days ago I publically announced on my facebook wall that I am bipolar , a few hours later I had numerous reply’s of support and understanding and also others admitting they also had a mental illness. I was so relieved and surprised at the same time. It really helped me understand that support is out there, and so many are going through the same thing, I had nothing to worry about it was only my bipolar mind telling me other wise. All those suffering a mental illness will find it hard coping, but by doing certain things can help lift you. Coming out may not seem big to some but it was a 8 year processes for me, and its like a small weight has been lifted . hugs and kisses xo

Thank you Kelly for having the courage to write this. I know it will help others come to terms with their mental illnesses. There is nothing to be ashamed or scared of we just have an illness.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

If you are reading this and feel inspired to come out of your mental illness closet, if you do take that huge step I am pretty sure you will receive the same levels of support and understanding Kelly and I havevreceived. However if you do find people that aren’t supportive know this….. That’s there problem some people are just ignorant and you don’t need them in your life, FACT!

Keep going 😉

Jon aka exboozehound

Oh and don’t forget my Thingymajig (memoir/book)

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The Unseen, Unheard Deadly Illness

Hi, I’m very proud to be able to publish this new Guest Post, it’s written by an American young lady called Anya. Anya wrote this essay for an English assignment at school, she is 16 and I know by the time you have finished reading what she has written you will agree with me that she is amazing!!!!

The Unseen, Unheard Deadly Illness

Throughout my life mental illness has played a very large role. I believe that depression runs in my genes, and it will always be a part of my life. Certain situations have provoked my depression and brought it to the surface. Elementary school was the first time I truly felt depressed. Feeling depressed was a unique and unwanted feeling that I knew was unnatural. All of the kids were able to converse and they were happy, while I stood there not knowing what to do. I speak of this not to get pity or sympathy but to demonstrate how mental illnesses can change lives at any age and to anyone. As I grew up, I discovered that I wasn’t the same as other kids. It took longer for me to understand ideas, and learn the material that was taught in school. My mother brought to my attention that my birth mother was an alcoholic and I have alcoholism in my genes. The alcoholism created a small but noticeable learning disability. She told me I need to be careful with alcohol and other substances because of my addictive personality. This shaped how I viewed the world and myself. Throughout high school my depression became more of an issue, I told my friends but they were also struggling so no one voiced the need for intervention. Mental illnesses are much more common than we all would like to think. While continuing to struggle with depression, I went to a concert that helped me reach out for help. Demi Lovato talked about her own struggles and how important it is to reach out for help when dealing with mental illnesses. It doesn’t make you weak, but strong to be able to say “I need help”. Just by giving a three minute speech she changed my life. The next couple of months were very scary. Luckily, I reached out for help and I am currently getting the help I need. Sadly, this is something that so many people are afraid to speak out about. I didn’t say anything for about 4-5 years because of the fear of judgement from my friends and family. I didn’t want to be looked at as attention seeking or weak. I still am quiet about this because I feel that there are good things in life and those are the things that should be talked about, not the depressing things. I know that I want to change lives and although hard to understand, I have a purpose and I can make a positive impact on this world. Mental illnesses effect so many, and we can all play a role to change the destiny of how this illness will effect so many. Watch Consumed (2015) Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

My story is one of millions from people who have struggled with a mental illness. Mental illness is defined as a medical condition that disrupts a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. Serious mental illnesses include major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and borderline personality disorder (NAMI). Mental illnesses do not discriminate; they can effect someone of any race, gender, and age. Sharing the important message like Demi shares at her concerts is important to demonstrate to others that mental illnesses are illnesses and the effect they can have on a daily basis. Some of our nations greatest leaders, inventors, and doers are struggling with mental illnesses. One of the nations greatest leaders, Abraham Lincoln struggled with depression. He successfully put an end to slavery but he was still a slave to his own thoughts of suicide. With the sudden passing of Robin Williams, it shows how such a successful, highly productive man can be struggling so much. Others such as Beethoven, Isaac Newton, J.K. Rowling, Health Ledger and Kurt Cobain also struggled with various mental illnesses. With so many struggling, where is the public interest on this issue? Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, and the second leading cause of death for young people, between the ages of 15-24 (NAMI). Enough people have died to demonstrate that this is a deadly issue.

Mental illnesses have a tremendous impact on our society and our economy but very little is being done to stop this issue. With suicide killing roughly 40,000 people a year, the money raised for suicide awareness averages around $3.2 million. (CDC). Compared to Breast cancer, which kills roughly 41,000 people where as they raise about $257.85 million. We need to increase our investment in mental health significantly and we need to do it now. In 6 years depression will be the leading debilitating disease for women and children. Raising awareness about mental illnesses through education advocacy can set back this growing concern. Research shows the cost for mental illness prevention is greatly less than the cost of mental health treatment. Mental illnesses have cost the US economy roughly $148 Billion for all mental disorders (15). We have the ability to stop this issue by speaking up and talking about it, so let’s talk.

All mental illnesses, even the most severe cases, can be effectively treated. The earlier the treatment begins, the more effective it is. Most people diagnosed will experience relief after getting help. Folks with a mental illness report that a combination of treatments, services, and supports works best to support their recovery ( Treatments for medical illnesses
include medications, support groups, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and meeting with mental health professionals on a weekly/monthly basis. Medication is not an exact science, it can take weeks or even months to find the right medication/medications. Mental illnesses effect everyone differently therefore the approach for treatment can be different. Without treatment the consequences of mental illnesses are staggering. Unnecessary disability, unemployment, substance abuse, homelessness, and suicide can occur without proper help. Mood disorders, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, and personality disorders are known to overlap with drug or alcohol addiction ( Stopping the issue before it gets to that point is essential to reduce the risk of further issues.

Having a support group can help with the success of the mentally ill’s recovery. Some feel as though they cannot help their family member or friend who is struggling with a mental illness but that is inaccurate. Family and friends can be important influences to help someone, with both the treatment and services they need. Family and friends can be the ones to reach out and know that they are not alone. Family and friends can help them access mental health services and treatment. Family and friends can help learn and share the facts about mental health. Family and friends can most importantly refuse to define them by their diagnosis, or using the terms such as “crazy”. Friends and family play a very important role in the whole recovery process.

Depression is not selfish, anxiety is not rude, schizophrenia is not wrong. Mental illness isn’t self centered any more than a broken leg or the flu is self centered. Mental illness is a problem and its time to open our eyes and make a change. Prevention for mental illness cost us much less than treatment for mental illness. We need to speak up against the norm of this issue.
Our children’s health is in our hands, and we need to stop this. The care and treatment for mental illnesses is evolving to help meet the needs of the mentally ill. Doctors, social workers, and therapists are learning more of how to lead their clients to a successful recovery. Now it’s our time to play our role and advocate for the millions that are struggling on a daily basis.

In conclusion, mental illnesses are on the rise, but there are affirmative actions we can take to slow this problem down. It is a difficult and frightening topic to discuss but 100% necessary. Research shows that there is an extremely high success rate in recovery once you reach out for help. We must all open our eyes to the ones around us and lend a helping hand. The mentally ill are not crazy, insane, or hopeless. I have experienced mental illness first hand, and I can personally tell you they change your life. There are many good positive life lessons I have learned from struggling with depression. Some which are simple and easy to understand such as “ it is what it is”, I was born this way and I deal with the hand I’ve got. Others which are more complicated to understand which is “why me?”, but in the end it all evens out. There is good in the bad and bad in the good, thats how life works.


National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health. (n.d.). Statistics: Any Disorder Among Adults. From

National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health. (n.d.) The Numbers Count: Mental Disorders in America. From

Prevalence numbers were calculated using NIMH percentages (cited) and 2010 Census data. Census data is available at: United States Census Bureau. (revised 2011). “USA [State & County QuickFacts].” From

Stuart H (June 2003). “Violence and mental illness: an overview”. World Psychiatry

Mental Health Disorders

WHO-CHOICE (2003). (Page 15) Cost-effectiveness of interventions for reducing the burden of mental disorders: A global analysis (WHO-CHOICE). GPE Discussion Paper (prepared by Chisholm D), Geneva, World Health Organization



I don’t want to follow that with any of my own nonsense, all I want to say is….

Anya, you are amazing, you say I have helped you a lot, but you need to know you have helped me a massive amount with your kind comments, you have confirmed to me that there is a point to me and exboozehound. You will go on to help others, and this essay is just the start for you xx

Keep going 😉

Jon aka exboozehound

Oh and don’t forget my Thingymajig (memoir/book)

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I’ve been told today…..

I’ve been told today…..

Since my noggin doc appointment on Monday I haven’t been very well, partly through exhaustion (I know pathetic I don’t even work!!), partly through anger, partly through fear, partly through new meds (I like the new meds they make me feel very very relaxed, almost high 🙂 ).….

Let’s be honest there are many many reasons for me not being very well the main one being that I am mentally ill, so I’m gunna stop mulling it over in my noggin and I’m gunna blast a few things out randomly and then see what happens…..

I’ve been going down hill for weeks and fighting it
I’ve been getting frustrated with people (I now know that was me frustrated with me)
I’m scared what an actual diagnosis will do to my noggin
I’m scared I’ll never be able to work again
I’m scared I’ll never be “fixed”
I’m scared I don’t know who I am (cus I’ve not been me for so long I’ve been “Jon”)
I’m scared no one will ever be able to love me and trust me
I’m scared, I’m frightened, I’m pathetic, I’m not man enough

Oh yes and I’m feeling sorry for myself!!!!

Yes, I’ve been going down hill and fighting it because that’s what us mentalists do, we fight!
Yes, I’m frustrated at me, that’s good because I’m frustrated cus I know I’m better than this!
Who gives a shite about an actual diagnosis, book monkeys ain’t got a clue anyway!
Work, well if it comes to it and you can’t work again, fuck it, it is what it is!
Fixed, fixed doesn’t exist, everybody out there is bonkers they just don’t know it yet!
Who am I? I’m a good person, that’s all that matters!
If no one can trust and love me, then tough….. Shit happens!
Scared, no your not! Frightened, no your not! Pathetic, no your not! Man enough, yes you fucking are!

Right, that solves that…. Doesn’t it?


I’m gunna feel a little sorry for myself for a bit, I won’t be smiling all the time, I might even keep my gob still for a bit and reflect or maybe I’ll #ReevaluateAdaptChange …. Again….

I have been told today that I need to concentrate on myself which I’m going to do.

The amazing person who told me this also said many other amazing things to me which I am going to keep to myself, all I will say is it was exactly what I needed to hear, so thank you, you have just stopped a Nutjob going into a full meltdown xx

Oddly I’ve had a couple of DM’s on Twitter today that have given me more fight and belief, I hope you will get something from them aswell….

Anon 1

I will RT your mission re: mental illness Xxxxxx You’re RockStar Jon, bravo!

Thank you…. RockStar? I wish xx
How’s things your end? X

Anon 1
Things busy in NYC & I’m not fond of summer. Ok if not RockStar then Lord of Raomi Land (Raise awareness on mental illness) xxo

…that’s as witty as I get at 6:31 am NYC time…. Sorry I did not see your message until just now. Have a great day Jon.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

These words blew me away! How amazing for someone to take their time to say that to me!!

Anon 2

I normally hate it when people turn my stuff into “their stuff”, but I’m going to do exactly that here…
For the past 20 years ish I have suffered from anxiety and panic attacks with nobody ever really knowing why, and tbh that was my own fault, I’ve spent time having different therapies – inc a month at the priory as an in-patient after a catatonic breakdown, and although it helped I still wasn’t “well”…
Last year again I was back on meds and I finally got regular weekly counselling on the NHS. I don’t know what was different about this counsellor, but after 20 years I was finally honest about everything. My ex husband had been abusive in the worst ways but the long mental abuse really fucked me up (lol)… anyway.. point is, that after only 16 sessions of nhs counselling I’m now a different person. I genuinely now believe that if you stick at it long enough eventually you will meet a healthcare professional who u will click with and who can get you to unlock all the crap. Don’t get me wrong it was hideous and the flashbacks and nightmares were awful BUT if a fucked up nightmare can be “cured” whilst having treatment for cancer, ANYONE can… before treatment I couldn’t even get hugs from my kids round my neck cause it would trigger flashbacks… now I can swing them round my head & shoulders without a worry! I even gave my ex a lift recently without a panic attack.
Keep asking for weekly sessions as tablets only mask what’s going on inside. You CAN get through anything, I can see how strong and determined you are, please just believe in yourself and that you WILL get there 🙂 xx

You are amazing!!!
How do you feel about being quoted on my blog?
Understand if no
I think I’ve met my healthcare professional

Anon 2

I am very NOT amazing lol! Not sure what in my blethering is quotable, but sure lol!
I can see you’re a fighter and have faith in u s’all 🙂

All I can say is inspirational, and thank you x

Right so I’m gunna concentrate on myself for a couple of weeks see if I can get a few positive things moving forward, watch this space?

I need and it is a need not a want, I NEED more guest bloggers, new bloggers, return bloggers, mentalist bloggers, alcoholic bloggers (both active and retired), mentalists and alcoholics victims bloggers, “normal” bloggers etc etc. As I hope you know by now no subject is off the table!!!!

Some of you will be thinking “I wish I could write something, but I can’t” bollox to that yes you can, write something and send it to me…. I wrote something for a friend the other day and he wrote back and told me it was shite…. Well, that’s the point it might not be perfect but it’s what’s in your noggin at the time and what’s in your noggin is more than likely in someone else’s noggin and reading it will help them, writing it will help you so just bloody write it….

Sometimes we have to be told, I’ve been told today and now so have you….

Keep Going 😉


oh and don’t forget my book

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Got something to say? Yes you have!!!

G’day hope you are all well or even well’ish……

I got a bit thorfull and emotional yesterday and posted a couple of things on Facebook, well if I’m honest I probably posted about 102 posts, think I might be a little addicted to FB and Twitter it’s almost as if I have an addictive personality….. Who’d of thunk it???



I woke this morning about 5:30am and have been wide awake since then, I have the urge to write something but I’ve decided to keep my gob shut (fingers still) for a change and ask you guys for some more guest posts. There are NO subjects off limits so you can write whatever your heart and noggin wants to.

This will sound a little “ooohhhh look at me” but I don’t really care cus yes I am after attention I want attention for exboozehound so exboozehound can help more people…. Again that sounds a little “ooohhhh look at me” but I have had a lot of private messages saying I have helped people and the words of previous guest posters have helped people as well and we HAVE to keep talking or indeed typing about all this so that no “odd thought” or “mentalist feelings” are kept hidden away, if we hide them they destroy us!!!live streaming film King Arthur: Legend of the Sword online

I was told a new inspirational quote the other day by a new very talented friend and I wanted to share it….


Good’un ain’t it?!

Ok get your thinking cap on, strap on a pair and write me summit, something that will inspire people to work everyday to overcome their personal demons. If a proper numpty like me can do it you can do it as well!!!

Keep Going 😉


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Should have, Would have, Could have

G’day all, as I have been asked out of the blue recently “how’s it hanging?” Don’t worry you don’t need to answer that!!!! Unfortunately I did answer the question…… But received no response???


Below is another guest post from Saf (@safsaf02561914). I’m going to try and keep my gob shut for a short while on this post (if you’ve been here before you will know how difficult this will be for me!!!)

What I will say is the below post is FUCKING AWESOME!!!!!

Thank you Saf xx

Should have, Would have, Could have

Hi everyone, Saf back again with pearls of other peoples wisdom!

This blog is all about the demands and commands we place on ourselves. A wee ( im Scottish) disclaimer: I am not a mental health professional, this blog does not constitute help from a registered professional and is my own musing only.

Ok thats the legal bit over with!

So I have watched some, what I think, are really useful Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) videos lately presented and based on the work of Dr Albert Ellis and one presented by Dr Luann Helms Utah state University (links at the end of the blog). The videos look at CBT and RET (Rational Emotive Therapy) for stress and anxiety among many other mental health conditions. After watching them I was struck by how much I took from them, I have tried CBT before and reflection to varying levels of success but I took a lot from how the ideas in these resources where presented. In all likelihood I wont do these professionals any justice but I hope to share some of their ideas with you.

So to the title of the blog, one major idea that came out of watching the videos was this concept of being trapped by the would, should and coulds. Have you ever berated yourself with the following¦ I should have done that, I could have done this etc etc. Well I’m guessing yes, as it works for the blog so just roll with it. You could be at mercy of demanding and commanding that you and world bend to irrational perfection. To quote RET, the inference or assumption that you MUST have or be something; you MUST succeed , you MUST! Have approval, you MUST be perfect. Dr Albert Ellis speaks about the Dire need to make these happen when in fact you should be looking at Unconditional self-acceptance. Accepting you NO MATTER WHAT, and when Dr Ellis says no matter what he means it. He means, accepting yourself in the absence of the very things you may build your life upon, the absence of success, achievement, approval, talent and the list goes on.

Ellis talks about Irrational and Rational living, Irrational living is living to these infallible commandments that you MUST, yes it would be preferable not to fail, be a screw up , not get that job, or have negative things happen but it is not a MUST. This is irrational and utopian. It creates an overwhelming state of anxiety, setting you up for that inevitable fall. Now, there is nothing wrong with what Ellis terms rational concern. Of course you can be concerned at the habits that are having negative impact on your body or mind, of course you want to better yourself but and its a big but (snigger, sorry I just said big but, get it hmmm anyways) this only entangles you more into a cycle of worrying about the worry you focus so much on the fact you might fail that you have little energy left for actually tackling the issue that may cause the failure or negative consequence in the first place (I have got the t shirt on this one!) . You could live your life in a valuable way should these things not happen. Just because you fail once, does not mean you will fail again and again and even if you fail again and again this still does not mean you are a failure! You rate your actions NOT You! Ellis blows the idea of being a bad person of the water , universal rating; rating yourself as ultimately bad or good is hogwash according to Ellis and Helms. You do bad things; you do good things. Your behaviour will be liked and disliked by others. You decide what fits most with who you want to be. Shame and guilt, Helms states only leads to defining you as the problem. YOU ARE NOT! The things you do may be, these can be changed!

Helms talks about practising feeling a certain way, ask yourself this. if your returning again and again to that one or maybe more than one (if your me!) negative experiences in your day, week, year whatever; you are practising that pain! Now picture yourself rationalising this out, so you feel bad, you dont want to feel this way, so what do you do you go back to what was painful and you relive it over and over again wait.WHAT!!!

Really would you ever, even on a bad day, advise anyone else to do this???

Again, Im guessing but NO!!

Helms also talks about the ideal self, take one mountain (life), a path up that mountain (your journey) and your ideal self at the top. The idea is you are either getting further away from or closer to that ideal self, you never reach it because your ideal self, changes as you gain life experience and grow. What you can do is rate your action (not you!) on how close to your ideal self it takes you, how far up or down that mountain. This helped me put things into perspective and not judge all my actions as utterly terrible or utterly brilliant, both bring their own fall out and pressure. Try to put some space between yourself and IT, whatever it may be. Are you looking at the situation / issue or your interpretation of it. It is our interpretation of an event that calls forth the thoughts and feelings and ultimately how we deal with it. This is huge for me in my anxiety, I’m reactive rather than reflective. I jump to conclusions, assume its my fault or I am the fault. This is not popular, being anxious is not sexy or cool, and it does not inspire confidence in you from others, oops looking for approval again! Helms and Ellis point out that society does judged anxious people as good candidates for jobs, success or life WRONG!

If you can work, and it will be work!, to dial it back a notch or two it is very useful, not only from caveman era when we depended on fear and anxiety to stay alive but also now, it fuels self-development, caring for others, caring for ourselves and helping wider society (its still not a must!, even if you dont do these things you can live a valuable life). Dealing in absolutes and trying to guarantee, well .guarantees is..well good luck with that! In short get better yes, but give yourself the space to do that! Putting to many parameters up and deciding the world owes you, will not get you any further up that mountain. Look at the events that have brought you here, do they still have to upset you? Is being upset about them useful?

Dispute your reaction and interaction with your demons. Are you applying the what if monster or the should haves and could haves? You may not like your situation; it may be painful but is it intolerable? Or can you endure, youd be surprised!

Give up on the demands and commands, accept yourself and maybe you could even reach out and teach others in their turmoil (Hi JON!!, yes Im looking at you!). Above all else, when you can, use humour! (Thanks Dr Ellis).

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Yo, exboozehound back again to sign off, told ya FUCKING AWESOME!!!!!

Keep smiling 🙂

Your Double Edged Sword….

Another awesome Guest Post by Saf @safsaf02561914

…’s gunna touch your mind body and soul by the way… 🙂

Your Double Edged Sword Use it wisely, choose your battles.

I once heard someone say that having a mental health issue or addiction is like death buy a thousand tiny cuts, but what if it was really a double edged sword. A sword that uses you, but that you can also use?

AHH now you’re thinking hmmm whats this.

A lot of whats experienced in mental health and other struggles, for me at least is all about balance and perspective, if you dont balance the blade properly or you hold your sword the wrong way, well you get the picture. Now I am not trivialising the struggle and many factors that can mess with your recovery, but what if you could react differently to even one small aspect of one issue?

How would you act if you knew you could succeed, think small and win big!

Even if you only achieve this once, on one tiny situation that normally throws you off you will most likely feel the benefit.
The very thing thats killing you, could kill itself. For me my anxiety disorder is a double edged sword its the very thing that has almost drove me to give up on everything but its also the very thing that has got me through difficulties when I was younger, two degrees mid-way and my chosen career in now. Its the fire in my belly. The voice that says it’s scary out there! Do not leave the bubble you have constructed for yourself, that nervous energy that promises so much yet runs you into the ground and risks losing it all also says, many times whispers, but what if I can hold it together?? What if I take this deep desire to be who I am warts and all and give back to the world, to myself, what if this works, what if I can make something amazing out of what I have went through and experienced. What if this is part of something bigger?

And now you’re thinking, yeah right!, but you don’t know what I’ve done, what’s happened to me and you know what I don’t, but YOU do, only you can look at this differently, tap into that power to survive.

Reflection is a great way to do this, difficult and painful yes but worth it! Now I am not talking about getting that stick out and beating yourself round the head with it, or any other body part for that matter. I am talking about self-compassion, objective reflection, what was your role in the situation or issue that’s plagued you? What could have went differently, if the conclusion you come to is that too many external factors or pressures were stacked against you, that’s ok too, and you will know if you’re lying to yourself, ah ah no, leave that guilt stick alone! (p.s. we ALL lie to ourselves) Remember we are looking at this for a slightly separate perspective, stand back, and look again, that’s better! You can’t change some of the nature and nurture you went through in the past, you can’t control others now but you can look at yourself and you can take that fire and desire to be better and use it.

Take your sword and fight

Told ya…… mind body and soul….. Oof!!

Keep smiling 🙂