Tag Archives: Recovery

Drug Induced Psychosis – Guest Post

Hi all, very pleased to be publishing a new guest post, this post is from a guy called John Healy, he is one of the guys that I’ve been mentoring and is now very involved with making 2day2gether happen. John has more “expert by experience” knowledge than anyone I’ve ever met and his guest post is extremely powerful….

just a little warning, John definitely doesn’t hold back in this post!!!!

Drug Induced Psychosis

The following may be of use or at least of interest to anyone using psychoactive drugs such as amphetamine, cocaine, crack cocaine, ecstasy or cannabis. It describes the onset of a mental illness which has features in common with paranoid schizophrenia. By its nature such an illness, if it’s onset is for the first time and is rapid in its development the individual will be very unlikely to realise what is happening to them even if they have some knowledge of psychiatry and drugs of abuse.

When a person starts using these kind of drugs they may well be free of any Ill effects the first few times they take them. This can lead to a false sense of security especially if they been advised to “not take it too often” or “you need loads to go off your head” or any other nonsense that drug users tell each other.

When I got into amphetamine abuse at the age of twenty I started off with a very favourable response to the drug, Iliked it. However in this case a ‘favourable response’ had disastrous consequences for me as it will anyone unwise enough to fool around with drugs of this type. I didn’t use regularly at first and mental illness seemed like something that only happened to ‘other people’. However little did I know that my seemingly innocuous habit was about to have a catastrophic effect on my entire life. My psyche was about to be assaulted by its own fears, inadequacies, weaknesses and defects.

The first thing that happened to me was I began suffering from mood swings, with bouts of terrible depression. I then began to take everything personally, even unintentionally harmful remarks seemed to me to be an attack on my character, slander so great it felt akin to blasphemy, as if my right to exist was being questioned. I then began lashing out with evil comments of my own which made me more and more unpopular with my peers. Things got worse and worse and I began to feel thoroughly miserable and wished things were they way they used to be.

So I retreated into the past for comfort and relief from my surroundings. I remembered better days, good friends a time when I had no real problems. I then began the descent into the wonderful world of mental illness.

Because I’d never had an illness like this before I didn’t see what was happening to me, my memories became more and more bizzare until they became something called confabulation. This is a medical term describing imagined experiences of a highly delusional nature and which are symptomatic of a psychosis (severe mental disorder with lack of insight, delusions, hallucinations etc). Anyway what happened was I developed grandiose delusions (ie I thought I was the central character in this strange and macarbre drama) and paranoid ideas (ie I thought I was going to be murdered for some imagined act of evil).

Things got so bad my sister got a psychiatrist out to see me and after a chat he invited me to go into hospital for treatment. I’d told him I’d killed someone and he said this was “unlikely”. He told my mom later that it was absolutely impossible (though of course he couldn’t discuss my details with her due to confidentiality)

On admission my symptoms were serious but gradually faded with a course of antipsychotic drugs and abstinence from amphetamine abuse. I was discharged after about eight weeks and went straight back to work (a mistake) I was sacked the following week. I began drinking heavily against medical advice and soon became very depressed, trying to kill myself with an overdose at one point. I even stopped taking my medication at one point but was forced to go back on it when my illness returned. This depression lasted about eight months gradually faded and I got a job and was back to normal-until I started taking drugs again…..

I won’t tell the rest of my story here because I’d be up all night if I attempted that. I just thought I’d share this for the sake of others who may be at risk of this kind of illness.

If you think it won’t/cant happen to you think again. If you think you’ll find your way out of the psychotic nightmare you’ll be in you’re wrong. If you think it will be something you get used to you’d be right-but you can get used to being in prison; that doesn’t make it desirable.

In short if you’re on drugs pack it in before it’s too late.

You have 3 options as a drug user :

1. Psychiatric hospital

2. Prison

3. A coffin

There’s plenty of help available so make use of it and get yourself off drugs, before it’s too late….
John Healy

Hi it’s exboozehound again, I’m not gunna say anything as I think the above speaks for itself!!!!

Keep going 😉

Jon aka exboozehound

#MentallyIllNoShameWhatsoever #GetChangeGetInvolved

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”

Mr Benn explains Multispecialty Community Providers

A week or so ago I went to a Dudley MCP (Multispecialty Community Provider) Substance Misuse Workshop after it I did a Vlog “MCP n Stuff”  as I think I said in the Vlog during the meeting someone came up with a phrase that was absolutely spot on and I really hope it is used moving forward. Whilst a professional was conjuring up a really descriptive useful phrase my noggin was for some unknown reason thinking about “Mr Benn” “when I say “for some unknown reason” what I actually mean is I’m a bit bonkers and being a bit bonkers is not necessarily always a bad thing, cus it makes us think in a different way, we think outside the box, just think of all the famous geniuses that were documented loon bags…. No need to say more….

We will obviously come back to the Dudley CCG/NHS nonsense, now is where I try very hard to find a way to make this Mr Benn Multispecialty Community Provider analogy work…. You may have to give me a certain bit of artistic licence in this….

Mr Benn – Gladiator

….”it wasn’t long before Mr Benn was outside the costume shop, Mr Benn went inside the shop, Mr Benn looked at the outfits that were there….” (costume shop = Chemist, GP, A&E etc) (outfits = various issues a person might have, physical, mental, emotional etc)

….”Suddenly, as if by magic the shop keeper appeared….’Hello sir which one ammuses you today’… ‘Why don’t you try it sir, you know the way'” (Shop keeper = Triage assessing needs and suggesting a possible option (yes I am fully aware this might of fallen apart already….)”

….”Mr Benn took the outfit and went through the door into the changing room….” (Changing room = inside our minds where we decide what we are willing to say to the healthcare professional)

….”Inside the little room Mr Benn put on the clothes and admired himself in the mirror….” (Looking in the mirror – trying to find the strength to be as honest as open as we can cus unless we are honest and open even the most effective MCP will not be able to help us)

….”Then he went through the second door, not the door back to the shop but the door that went…. Where this time he wondered….” (This is where my Mr Benn analogy is clever (well, sort of….) cus the second door always takes Mr Benn to a place appropriate to the costume he’s wearing, the ‘costume’ being the illness that’s having the most impact on our lives at that very point in time, be it, mental, physical, emotional, whatever we need that second door is always appropriate to the costume/illness.)

Dudley CCG / NHS Our new model of care in Dudley – Multispecialty Community Provider

 

 

 

Reference/research material used:-

“Mr Benn – Gladiator”  (watched numerous times)

Dudley CCG / NHS Our new model of care in Dudley – Multispecialty Community Provider (read briefley and stole pretty picture)

Right…. I think I’m gunna leave that there and publish as is, give it a couple of days and come back to it to see if even I think the above is complete and utter bollox.

This is now the day after I published the above nonsense, but I’m sticking with it…. It makes sense to me…. I think….

“enjoy the good and ride out the bad”

Keep going 😉

 

The invisible illness – guest post

Another extremely powerful guest post from the truly extraordinary girl who wrote “Four Letter Words”

Bec says I inspire her, I’ll take that compliment as long as she will accept that she is truly inspirational to me. I wish I was as aware of my issues when I was her age. Eventually Bec will be part of 2day2gether I know she has helped many people with her previous guest blog post and other things she is doing, including coming with me to Birmingham to give feedback on West Midlands Combined Authority’s IPS (Individual Placement and Support) plans moving forward, I’m gunna shut up now.

Guest Blog from Bec

Mental illness, the ‘invisible illness’, a disorder that affects a persons thinking/behaviour. The demon. Depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, personality disorders, mood disorders, ocd, paranoia, psychosis, ptsd, the list goes on. So many illnesses and so many people suffer, yet so many are blind to them.

I don’t want to have to sugar coat things like a lot of people feel they have to because of the stigma attached to mental health issues. Living with mental illnesses is absolute hell. The morning light shinning through the curtains makes me realise another day of fighting has broke. I pull the covers over my head, i just don’t want to face the struggles.

I have a drink every night so i can go to bed with a clearer head, I say clearer because its never going to be calm. Not while I’m battling these illnesses, not even when i recover. I self harm so i can take my mind off the mental pain for just a minute and focus on the physical pain I’ve just inflicted. I disassociate because my mind tries to avoid what’s going on. I smoke to calm the anxiety down, and to reduce my appetite. My head stops me from sleeping, so many intrusive thoughts, so many memories, so much reminiscing.

Jon (exboozehound) once said to me, ‘rest, recharge the batteries and come back fighting’ and that is exactly what we all need to do, however we tell ourselves we are going to rest, do this and do that and then we end up hiding away from everything, because what’s the point in trying so hard to fall back down? The point is because you wont always fall. No matter our experiences, we need to pull ourselves back up, yes we will have blips and dips, but we need to build a ladder from what we have and climb until we reach the top. Another amazing person has said to me ‘you have to know your own worth, to be worthy’ and that’s what we need to remember. It takes time to learn to love ourselves, to learn that mental illnesses and our coping mechanisms do not define us. We have to believe in ourselves in order to be able to fight, some of us might not be ready to let go of our mental illnesses, I for one aren’t because I’ve lived with it so long and don’t know any different, but I know I’ll be able to let go in time, and I can lead a happy life, and so can anyone else with ‘invisible’ illnesses.

I have texts/messages from people who have made my life and my demons easier to cope with, who have been extremely supportive since I met them, some are complete strangers, but I re read some of those texts to remind myself I am worthy and I am strong, and if someone feels as though they dont have that supportive person in their life, remember there is always someone there, whether its a stranger or a friend, you are not alone.

The demons might win the battle, but they wont win the war!! Stand up against your demons, you are stronger than you believe, trust me when I say you can get through this. Find the strength and fight inside of you, and you can do anything. Believe in yourself.

Small fish humongous pond

Today is/was the 15th October 2017, last night I went to the Midlands Business & Community Awards….

(as a bonus I was able to wear my thin suit, I’ve been trying to aim for 10000 steps a day and I’m pretty sure because of this extra walking I was able to turn my nose up at my fat suit. I’ve walked down to Halesowen and so far have achieved 5610 steps…. 10000 target I’m coming for you today!!!!)

….anyway back to where we started. The Midlands Business & Community Awards, I was there supporting an amazing lady, Roz Lewis, along with other amazing people she runs an organisation called New Path Of Life (@NPOL2017) she didn’t win the award but even being nominated makes her a winner.  In 2016 I got a runners up award at the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioners Outstanding Citizens Awards, the winner of the Outstanding Citizen award was a 94 year old lady who was still going out on daily litter picks, cleans dirty street signs, removes graffiti, fund raises different charities and builds bridges within the community…. I know, WOW!!!! So I was extremely proud to be a runner up in the presence of her and all the other amazing people at the awards. I don’t know if this means anything or not but Roz is most definitely a winner in my mind, I’ve been doing some work with NPOL and she is amazing, what she and her all volunteer staff deal with on a daily basis is extremely inspiring, after my little break (which I’m now calling “Operation don’t go completely doolallytapp again”) I will definitely be doing more work with Roz and NPOL.

Whilst I was achieving my 5610 steps (so far) my noggin was flipping from positive to negative almost as frequently as I was checking my phone for the step total so far (possibly a bit obsessed….), this week started badly, so badly I took the decision that I’ve gotta take a step back from ‘exboozehound’ for a short while, explained in a couple Face Book posts and some YouTube Vlogs, below….

Monday 9th October

Tuesday 10th October (World Mental Health Day) Vlog

Tuesday 10th October (World Mental Health Day) Vlog on behalf of West Midlands Combined authority Mental Health Commission

Wednesday 11th October 1:40am

Wednesday 11th October Vlog “Time for a break “I’ll be back” “

Going through my noggin as I was walking was just how insignificant what I’ve done is in comparison to some of the people at last nights awards (wait don’t get angry read the rest of the sentence), I’m a seriously small fish in a humongous pond (we’re almost at the more positive bit, hold on) but you know what that seriously small fish has reached across some very humongous ponds and that seriously small fish is extremely proud of that. This seriously small fish has reached people in countries all over the world including America, Australia, Canada, Mexico any many more, in contrast to me saying what I do is insignificant I know I’ve helped people change their lives for the better and I also know I have saved lives. (Whether the demons are winning or losing they can’t take that away from me). Back in October 2013 I decided to start this blog, I decided to stand up and be counted, I forced people to listen to me, I decided I wanted to make a difference. Often I receive messages with words like ‘brave’ ‘courageous’ ‘inspirational’ and other amazing words that I never thought would be used to describe me, especially as I’ve spent most of my life hating who I am….

I don’t hate who I am these days, in truth there are times I quite like who I am, not just to do with the ‘exboozehound’ stuff but life in general, yes the demons work very hard to keep me hating myself and sometimes they get their way but I always bounce back. The demons are clever and devious often working on my life long belief that I’ll never achieve anything in life, yes I know I’ve said earlier I’m extremely proud of what I’ve achieved but here’s the thing cus I have this illness, anything I ever achieve will never be good enough for me and my demons. The decision to take a step back for a short while is quite possibly born on this belief that whatever I achieve it will never be good enough for me and the demons, added to that is my belief that I’m always gunna fail at real life, everyday stuff discombobulates me. I need to try and explain that a bit deeper….

(Reading what I go onto write below doesn’t explain at all any deeper why real life discombobulates me, nowts changed about my writing style eh Bell?, I’ll come back to it at some point. Or though thinking outside the box the fact that I went on to write the words below and not a deeper explanation of why real life discombobulates me is perhaps and deeper explanation in itself….?)

A lot of my strength and ability to keep going comes from forcing myself to stay in the day, which I believe is absolutely crucial to make progress in your recovery, if you had a crap day yesterday it doesn’t mean today has to be bad and if you’re having a crap day today it doesn’t mean tomorrow has to be crap as well. Sometimes staying in the day isn’t enough to deal with what’s going on with your mental health, sometimes it’s about staying in the moment and if that moment is a good one remember why that moment is good and remember you can have good moments, once you recognise…. (or accepted, huge words accepted/acceptance!!!!) ….you can have good moments these moments can begin to increase to good hours, good days, good weeks (I know good weeks sounds like utter bullshit, I’m even thinking bullshit as I type weeks….) . If that moment you’re in is a bad moment remember it will pass, remember what you’ve done to make these bad moments pass before, also remember that what you’ve done before to make bad moments pass may not always work so you will have to develop new (hate this phrase) ‘coping mechanisms’. If that bad moment builds to a bad hours, bad days, bad weeks remember everything you’re going through, whatever pain, this has all happened before and every time eventually you’ve got through it, yes it might of been extremely painful but you’ve got through it one way or another and you’ll get through it again. When bad times hang around for more than a couple of days some words I hear extremely often and think and say myself….

“I can’t handle this pain anymore”

“I’d rather be dead”

“what’s the point of fighting if eventually I end up back in this pain”

To be entirely honest I simply don’t have the answer to those words/questions and I doubt anyone has, and we would react differently to different words depending on what mood or place we were in our mental health, I can’t answer them for myself, what I can say is….

Bullshit
Bollox
Strap on a pair
Fuck the demons
“There ain’t nothing you can’t handle…. Eventually!!!!”

And of course….

“enjoy the good and ride out the bad”

And other things I definitely shouldn’t say, eg….

“Stop being such a fucking pussy” I actually said this to a guy last week, he called me the next day to say it was exactly what he needed to hear.

I am fairly sure you won’t find my approach as described above in any mental health training manuals!!!!

So to recap, went to an awards evening (in thin suit, woohoo), proud to be a runner up in 2016 to a 94 year old hero, 5610 steps (now 5744 as I’ve moved venues), hated me, no longer hate me, staying in the day, hour or moment and reacting to either good or bad, demons are fuckers, insignificant seriously small fish in humongous pond, proud seriously small fish in humongous pond with achievements to be very proud of, bit of unnecessary swearing (sorry), that’ll do for a recap.

Why did I want to write this post and why am I gunna publish it straight away and edit it later cus if I think about it too much I’ll talk myself out of publishing it?

I’m unable to sustain (is that the right word?) all the one to one stuff, group stuff (I do have people I can refer you to as part of www.2day2gether.co.uk, in fact I introduced 2 people to each other last night) committee stuff etc etc so I need a bit of time to reorganise my mind, commitments etc and make sure I take things in the right direction before I destroy myself and everything I’ve built over the last 4 years.

Mental Illness and addiction have taken away everything good and positive in my life, Mental Illness and addiction has also given me back most of the good and positive in my life, Mental Illness and addiction will not take anything good or positive in my life again!!!!

I want to leave my mark on this world and I want that mark to be a positive one, I want to leave a legacy (I know that’s not the right word and it’s a bit dramatic!!!!) so whilst I’m taking a bit of a step back I’ve started writing bits n pieces on a daily basis to monitor my state of wellbeing as part of this daily writing it’s my goal to write “A to Z handbook on surviving Mental Illness and Addiction” as I see it, I’m 100% sure some of what I will say/write people will disagree with, I’m also 100% sure if I do create this “A to Z” if I ever read it back I will disagree with me as well. I am also going to be thinking how to reach the friends and family of those with mental health and addiction issues, having met many carers over the last 4 years I know there is a huge gap in support for this, I’ve had conversations with friends and family many times before and I’m quite often surprised how little they understand about the nonsensical illnesses such as mental illness and addiction their loved ones are going through and putting them through, I’m also often surprised how quickly I can help them understand better and how beneficial this can be. I’m gunna be going through all the people in what I call my “VIP list” network and contacting them about how I want to move forward and ask if their on board, going right back to my first meeting with James Morris MP I tried to prepare notes prior to the meeting, in the end I only came up with one sentence “you’re either with me or against me and you don’t want to be against me….” Yes quite confrontational but James took it in the right way, I need to go back to more of the old confrontational exboozehound. I also want to look into if it’s possible to put some training together for what one guy called “the exboozehound method” in order to do this I’m gunna have to think about what my approach is built on other than simply honesty and lived experience. And finally for now I’m gunna be looking into starting a “private therapy” setup, where I will offer one to one therapy, family therapy etc this setup will be charged at an hourly rate, I know I don’t have the qualifications but I do have years of actual lived experience and I know I can offer something different to the “professionals” and when I say different I actually mean “better”. I have to look into this as an option to subsidise the other work I’ve done and will do moving forward.

So far my stepping back is looking like a lot of work, lol

As I said before “I want to leave my mark on this world, I want to leave a legacy” there’s a lot of conflict in my noggin when I say stuff like this, the conflict is between what the demons say to me and what people like you have said to me about how I’ve helped you and your loved ones.

Thank you for hanging on in there and getting to the end of this post, thank you again if you’ve clicked the links to the Vlogs and watched them , thank you for all your support over the last 4 years, without you guys I probably wouldn’t be here to write this post and plan a positive future.

I am exboozehound, that will never change but everyone of you that’s sent me a message, read my blogs, watched my Vlogs, purchased my book, responded to something on social media, everyone of you are part of what exboozehound has done and will continue to do, thank you xx

“enjoy the good and ride out the bad”

Keep going 😉

Cards on the table

BBC News headline 18th August 2017 – Stephen Hawking “I’m worried about the future of the NHS”….

No shit Sherlock….

Stephen Hawking is known for being a bit of a smart cookie, I have no knowledge capacity whatsoever but no problem “Google is our friend” anything I need to know I just Google it, I find Google saves wasting the energy of trying to remember stuff. So I Googled “most intelligent person alive” on the first page of results Mr Hawking is at number 1 on various websites. Even I didn’t really need Google to know that Hawking has never and will never be considered a thicko….

Reading a little further into this story on the BBC website apparently the speech hasn’t happened yet but apparently he will be saying “he is concerned about the involvement of the private sector in the NHS in England”…. Again…. No shit Sherlock…. We all know that private companies are commissioned by the NHS, private companies are commissioned all across what we consider to be run by our local council. In theory I think it is considered to be a more efficient way to spend the more and more depleted resources of the public sector….

(and we’re supposed to be the ones that are bonkers….)

…. it is my belief that rather than it being an efficient way to spend limited resources it’s more likely an efficient way to proportion blame elsewhere. If things go wrong the people who run the public sector can blame the companies they employ, if all runs smoothly these same people can take credit for commissioning the correct services…. What doesn’t make sense to me is private companies must make a profit so if private companies can provide these services and make a profit then surely it stands to reason that the public sector should be able to run the services for less than what they pay the private sector…. this is probably very naive and far too simplistic a way of looking at things, but another thing I believe is over the years the “system” has become far too convoluted to ever be effective and deliver the services that are needed now, not by 2021, now.

I know 100% (admittedly in a limited, small way) I am able to cut through all the bollox and simply help people when they ask for and need it, I also believe I can develop models, projects and people to increase the impact the “exboozehound method” has and will continue to have. (Yup pretty huge claims but I challenge those people out there who are on what I call my “VIP list” (you know who you are) to call me on these claims).

Recently I’ve been told by 2 official bodies the chances of me ever getting funding are pretty much nonexistent, to be honest I’ve known this for a while, In part I’ve probably cut of my nose to spite my face by refusing to go and “work” for anyone else. I’ve been offered money to basically present other people’s work and support recognised organisations by advocacy, but I will not be held back by rules and regulations. Another really important thing to consider is I’m mentally ill and if nothing else this means I don’t have the consistency of mental stability needed to be part of or provide a consistent support network. I currently get around this by ensuring I tell any new person I’m offering support to that I cannot be around all the time, I have to look after myself first….

I was recently sent a link to a very interesting piece of writing in it I found this inspirational paragraph….

(Extract from http://www.nurturedevelopment.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/ND-Too-small-to-fail-ABCD-Schumacher.pdf)

“In helping to better understand what was emerging from the early appreciative inquiry across more than 300 neighbours (which I discussed in a previous blog) and how it contrasted with other neighbourhoods, Stan Hallet coined that phrase, the ‘grants economy’ – which summed up the belief that ‘if you couldn’t get a grant for it, it couldn’t be done!’ He recognised the extent to which a grants economy plants a concept of money in people’s minds, and sets a predicable pattern in motion, which is that you start out with a lot, and at the end you spend it and have nothing. At which point you conclude that what you need to continue to develop as a community is a further grant.”

Well…. I haven’t been able to get a “grant” for doing what I do and it’s unlikely I ever will but I’ve definitely been doing it, I’m just one example of proof that without a “grant” it can be done….

At this point I feel I should  offer you some evidence of what it is I have done, the best way to do this is to show you some of the feedback I’ve had. These are all on my “I Likes It” page on the blog.

I hope you will agree the feedback above is pretty compelling…. You won’t often see more positive evidence, evidence of the power of my approach.

So why is this post titled “Cards on the Table”?

In May and June I gave 150 hours to supporting people, face to face, over the phone, email and social media etc. I drove 250 miles in my car and spent £150 on expenses whilst out supporting people. Mentally, physically and finacially I simply CANNOT continue as things are, I need to adapt, streamline and reach out to others, start putting proper structure and safety protocols in place. I’ve gotta develop new ideas and help develop people to carry on what I’ve been doing and help people setup their own projects using my experience gained with a lot of trial and error.

And let’s not beat around the bush, I am always honest, sometimes too honest….

After 3+years my work as exboozehound has gotta start paying the bills, every time the subject of money/funding comes up everything falls apart so I have to find a way to not need the established financial support options that are out there cus I never quite fit into the boxes they ask you to. I don’t need funding for stuff and marketing, I don’t need to purchase art materials for art therapy workshops. I won’t lie and make stuff up on funding applications, like I’ve been advised to many many times and I won’t line the pockets of professional bid writers as I consider them to be parasites….

Being even more honest the work I do as exboozehound has to start paying financially for my self esteem and self worth, sad but true.

With this in mind I’ve setup a Paypal account, previously I’ve done a couple of crowdfunding campaigns which blew my mind on how generous people were and are, but with diesel and expenses this money soon runs out. Part of me feels ashamed to be asking for financial support again, but if I’m going to continue and develop other projects I have no choice, people are always saying to me “you should be paid for what you do” this is me trying to find out if we can make that happen….

Here’s a link to the Paypal page https://www.paypal.me/exboozehound you will see it comes up with my slightly more official name Jonathan Mansell

Recently I was asked this question….

“Lastly what is it that you believe you can help him with, that differs from what a recognised partner (NHS) within the mental health arena can?”

My response was

“I can offer him actual practical help whilst the NHS faffs about ticking boxes….”

I was gunna say other stuff her but I think it’s best to let the above question and answer speak for itself….

right, time for a dramatic ending….

YOU can help me help others….

YOU can help me change lives….

YOU can help me save lives….

YOU can help me change the system for the better….

Dramatic eh?

“enjoy the good and ride out the bad”

Keep Going 😉

Jon Mansell aka exboozehound

 

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

Negative Experiences

Hi, thank you for taking the time to watch the vlog “Them and us doesn’t work” and for taking the time to let me know your negative experiences.

I have built quite a network of people who can actually make changes and decisions and YOUR experiences will make a difference!!!!

Hit the “leave a comment” link (under the page title) You can post anonymously, your email address WILL NOT be shared, you will be asked to solve a little sum to prove you’re not a robot and I will have to accept the post before it’s shared on here.

“Them and us doesn’t work” and will NEVER work!!!!

all of us 2day2gether for a better 2morrow

Please add Country & Borough eg England, Dudley

Positive Experiences

  1. Hi, thank you for taking the time to watch the vlog “Them and us doesn’t work” and for taking the time to let me know your positive experiences.

I have built quite a network of people who can actually make changes and decisions and YOUR experiences will make a difference!!!!

Hit the “Leave a comment” link (under the page title) You can post anonymously, your email address WILL NOT be shared, you will be asked to solve a little sum to prove you’re not a robot and I will have to accept the post before it’s shared on here.

“Them and us doesn’t work” and will NEVER work!!!!

all of us 2day2gether for a better 2morrow

Please add Country & Borough eg England, Dudley

For (Aspiring) Hopeaholics

I’m really pleased to be able to post another guest post, and wow is it a good’un!!!!

For (Aspiring) Hopeaholics

Paragraph 1: “A mental defective.” “You don’t have license to say anything, you’re just damaged goods.” “How dare you challenge a pillar of this community?!” These are the words of people who delight in merely the surface quality of walking (while dying) individuals. We have all met them. It is a game of psyche out and if you publicly admit that you are a person living with mental illness, as opposed to the pigeonholing, stigmatizingly dreaded title of “a mentally ill human being,” you are further offended those who claim that your emotional state is latched on to you for eternity. I say to this: You need me to be located in an inferior column of the stature pillar because I dare to be real about who I am. Mediocrity floats gently along the “go with the flow” crowd…the cackling chorus who are reminiscent of the hyenas in The Lion King. They root for Scar, because they don’t have the guts to be Mufasa.

Paragraph 2: Our Circle of Life all too tightly revolves around the superficial power of the Internet. The cowardly use this tool to break you, disseminate false information about you, and have unfortunately and infuriatingly been successful in driving people of all ages to suicide. The computer is the bully’s gift and the survivor’s curse. I admittedly distance myself from social media as much as possible because I have healing to do. Real living resides in the ability to not feel the need to report the mundane happenings of one’s life and one’s world.

Paragraph 3: This week, the liturgical season of Lent began. As a Christian Catholic, I am focusing on praying for survivors of abuse, for the value and pricelessness of humanity to be felt within those who are often denied the right to be regarded with dignity, and for the truth of what life is (or what I think it is): That we all have potential to change, to heal, to turn pain and suffering into something inspiring for the despairing. Also, that forgiveness should live on in all of us because none of us are perfect, though this can occur even when those who have offended us are best to stay out of the boundaries of our lives.

Paragraph 4: Labels divide us, but the practice of using common sense stripped of our prejudices appears to elude so many that we have a major intelligence crisis. Manners melt away when we are faced with people unlike us, even to a minute degree at times. Tolerance is largely a lie. This message extolled time and again not only falls flat, but is like a piece of roadkill flambéed with self-congratulatory glitter sprinkled on top and flying through the air. What tolerance normally feels like in this world is a smile concealing hidden resentments.

Paragraph 5: If I love you, I love you. And I love my people. I am one of theirs, too. You know who you are if you know who I am. Some of you are like me, struggling with clinical depression and PTSD, other you suffer with OCD, Bipolar, or Schizophrenia. Other human beings are just a little different, sometimes markedly so. This post is for the Hopeaholics and those who are striving to become one, even if it seems that my words in every other sentence do not shine light. Truth is light, and it scatters the darkness of lies and abuse. Courage resides in the wounds we show to the light, in the public eye.

Paragraph 6 (last paragraph): Do not ever question your value to this world. This world’s opinions of you do not matter, and never did. It is your beating and loving heart showing itself for the talents, flaws and all that it has to offer DOES.

Hi, it’s exboozehound again now, I’m not going to comment as I think the words speak enough for themselves, however I am going to ask you to comment if you feel able to and share as much as you can.

Keep going 😉