Guest post from Katie at Journey to Hope

Hi everyone,
I am delighted to be able to guest blog today!
I myself have had a very long and hard struggle with mental health. Starting with self harm and anorexia resulting in three inpatient admissions and then being diagnosed with bipolar disorder resulting in a further three admissions.
I understand how hard and lonely this road can be, when it often feels that no one understands. It makes it worse when treatment isn’t always great and this can leave you feeling worse.
Over the years while I’ve had good treatment and found some diamond doctors, I have also had some very bad treatment that was hard to deal with, making that loneliness and despair worse. I once had a Dr tell me that my problem was my life was “empty, boring and pointless” and amongst may other things I also had my private bipolar diagnosis completely discounted by that same psychiatrist that never even read the report which led to years of suffering that maybe could have been prevented. I’m sure that I am not the only one that has experienced this unfortunately and I think these things really need to be highlighted within the treatment system.
It’s a long hard battle that sometimes feels it will never end.
I certainly felt at times that it never would and I hit rock bottom on more than one occasion.
For these reasons I am extremely passionate about mental health, the stigma around it and highlighting issues. Even that sometimes though is hard, it’s hard to be seen, to get your voice out there and try and raise issues that I feel are important but I like to try as it is very important to me.
I am recovered from anorexia, I haven’t self harmed for around eight years and while I still struggle with moods, as I always will do, I cope better and I have learned that as they say “This too shall pass”
I know that it has on all the other occasions and so I have learned to hold on to the knowledge that it will again….and again…and however many times that it must.
I also know that this is something that takes time to realise, I even have to remind myself more vigorously at times as it’s easy to not believe it when you’re falling down that hole.
Because of this I have started a page called “A Journey To Hope” where I aim to send as much “Happy Post” as I can to those struggling with their own mental health issues as sometimes, I know it’s the smallest things that can just lift a mood, or make it feel like someone understands where you are which is so important.
I send quote cards which can be framed with an inspirational quote as I am a quote fiend and they always lift me, make me think and so I hope they will others too!
You can find the page and request Happy Post here:

While I can’t send or reply to every message due to funds, having a demanding five year old and an etsy shop, aim to send as much as I can. Feel free to join me there!!

I have also written a book on my own mental health journey, which has been a long time coming!

I have read many mental health memoirs over the years and many of them are fantastic but i also feel that some have a bit too much of a “poetic” voice, most also focus on one mental health condition. 

I wanted to write a totally honest, open account that would reflect the mind of someone struggling with mental illness from self harm, anorexia, anxiety, bipolar depression and mania, and show that it’s not always clean cut, that there can be more than one things going on.

I dug out 10 diaries (which I very nearly threw away a few years ago!) for which I have used to show a mind suffering, at the time of it happening including poems written at those times. 

Also it was important to me to highlight some of the not so good treatment i received and Drs that in my opinion should not be allowed to practice, as well as the absolute shining lights to show what different treatment can do – good and bad.

I hope to publish something people can relate to and if sharing a very personal story can help one person then I will feel extremely proud.

I currently have a kickstarter campaign to try and raise funds for the editing of this book so that I can then publish it. 

I would be so immensely grateful for any support as this means the world to me. It’s an all or nothing campaign so no money is taken from the people that “pledge” until the end of the campaign and ONLY if I hit the full target. 

I am nearly halfway there so would hate for it to fail now, although it’s come to a bit of a halt at the moment, so even if it’s only £1 I would be so immensely grateful for the support and there are also creative rewards off the back of my etsy shop for pledges too! 

I know it’s hard with things like this and I understand people get wary but I also hope that there will be some people who can understand my passion for getting a true account of mental health out there with the aim to inspire in some way and support my goal.

You can see the campaign here:

 

I’d like to finish by saying to anyone out there struggling with their mental health please please do not give up! I know it’s easier said that done sometimes. It sometimes feels like it’s not worth it but it is.

There will come a day when you will be glad you fought and held on and pushed through all the terrible days, weeks, months.

That day will come. It may not be perfect but it will be better.

If you feel alone, you’re not – Come and find me for Happy post – It may not be a lot but sometimes it’s the little things and to know you are not on your own, that someone understands!

Stay strong, keep fighting.

you’ve got this!

Please comment so I know I'm not alone out here!

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