Hi again! I have been lucky enough to be nominated by @bodhizenkitten – (blog) and @BronzeBrunettex – (blog), Carrie and I both try to make our own sunshine through our battles with Bipolar. Catherine was one of the first people I interacted with in the bloggin’ scene – how could I not squeeze both into one!
For those of you who don’t know, the Sunshine Blogger Award is to recognise and celebrate bloggers for their positive, inspiring and creative natures! It helps to bring recognition to the wonderful, talented and dedicated bloggers we have filling our lovely community. I have found it a great way to engage with the fantastic people who write the blogs that I love!
There are some rules…
- To thank the blogger(s) who nominated you, and provide links to their blog(s).
- Answer the 11 questions you have been asked… or in my case, 22 as I’m greedy…
- Nominate another 11 bloggers and then ask them 11 different questions to the ones you were asked.
- Write the rules and include the Sunshine Blogger Awards photo within the post.
As I was nominated by Catherine first, I’ll start with her questions…
- When did you start blogging? Why?
I started my little blog in June this year, as part of my mental health recovery. I have always thought it was important to talk about our mental health. I had LOVED reading others’ blogs, especially those about mental health. But I had struggled to find many which I could relate to.
Growing up with a bipolar mother, and not realising then that I had it too, talking was all we really had. But apart from my friends and family, I didn’t really think anyone needed to hear what I had to say… until they pestered me for months on end to take the plunge! It is such a wonderful thing, I wish I had started sooner… I aimed to show others, but most importantly myself, the benefits which can come from expressing our emotions and experiences – so that we can overcome them together!
2. Is there anything you would like to work on, either about yourself or on your blog?
In terms of my blog, I guess I would like to work on the standard things… increasing traffic, getting more involved in the blogging community, gain some more followers, post more regularly… I’m still starting out, I don’t expect this to be a big success or anything, I’m doing this for me and if some people can identify with the posts that I made, then that’s amazing. I love to do anything to make everyone’s experiences easier.
In terms of myself, I’m always working on myself. I have tried for so many years to be who other people have wanted me to be. Now, I’m working on being myself and those who don’t mind will stick around. I’m working on self-care, communicating my feelings, trying to not get overwhelmed, taking my meds and keeping myself “stable”.
3. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
This is a hard one, I’m not very good at identifying things about myself – I guess I worry that people will think I like myself too much or they’ll disagree with what I’ve said.
Strengths: I like to think I’m a good listener. I try to be non-judgemental. I’m thoughtful. I’ll happily be that person to take loads of photos of you. I try to give people as much of my time as I can. I’m understanding. I’m determined. I’m open.
Weaknesses: I’m a serial, serial overthinker. I am way too hard on myself. I let people influence my emotions, a lot. I compare myself to people and feel inadequate. I’m only 4″11, so don’t ask me to help you reach anything.
4. What is your favourite thing ever? Is there anything you are passionate about?
I will take advantage of the vagueness of this question to mention – MY BEAUTIFUL ENGAGEMENT RING. This is my favourite thing ever. It’s only been about two weeks so I’m not going to stop talking about it…
In terms of my studies, I’m passionate about mental health in the forensic context. I did my dissertation about whether we should treat or punish mentally disordered offenders, and it was the best thing I have ever done. I want to progress further by doing a masters in Forensic Psychology.
In my personal life, I’m passionate about making as many memories with my loved ones, whilst I have them with me.
5. If you could only have one thing for the rest of your life – would you choose to be able to travel unlimitedly or have the most amazing home and lifestyle?
As amazing as it would be to travel the world all the time, I’ll have to say… home and lifestyle. I am an avid creator of making my space comfortable and my own. My own safe spot. I have been dreaming of my own house my entire life. I have so many ideas on how to decorate it already. Saving for this dream one day at a time…
6. If you could live anywhere, where would you live?
I honestly have no idea, I haven’t got a preference. Right now, I would just want somewhere Brad and I liked, close enough to our families.
7. Foods you wouldn’t try?
Apparently… chickens feet is a thing…nope! Tripe, gonna have to give that a miss too. I’ll try most things, but I’m not particularly adventurous.
8. Do you have any tattoos?
Unfortunately, yes. I have a very regrettable tattoo from when I was 18. I intend to get it covered up once I find the right design.
9. What is your dream job?
My dream job would have to be a Forensic Psychologist. Anything near that is still pretty damn good too.
10. Favourite thing about holidays?
I’m not sure if this is referring to trips away… or like Christmas-time… so I’ll answer both.
Trips away: I like the process of travelling – knowing I’m leaving the place I usually am. I like the change in scenery. I like visiting somewhere beautiful. I like that you’re not expected to do anything but relax. I like that everyone is always happy before and on holiday itself. The anticipation. Time to connect with yourself and others.
Christmas-time: I like that it brings people together. Family time. There is this feeling I get in my stomach when it gets closer to Christmas, that I get at no other point in the year. I like decorating the house. I like wrapping presents, thinking about their reaction when they open it. I like the dark, cold evenings. I like that we get new PJs on Christmas Eve. The cheesy Christmas films…
11. What are your future plans?
To have my own place with Brad. To start my own family. Marry the love of my life. To pet more goats. To study my masters. To get more traffic on this blog. To get a career in my desired area. To get my crappy tattoo covered up. To travel more. To read more. To get a better car. To make my family proud.
Now, onto my second set of questions…
- What are you most proud of about yourself (non-academic or professionally)?
Ooo tough question. I’m proud of my perseverance. I have always kept going despite there being times when I REALLY haven’t wanted to. I have been self-destructive, picked up some bad habits. However, fast-forward to now, after 7/8 years smoking – I’m nearly 9 months completely smoke-free. In November, it will be 2 years since I last self-harmed. That’s the longest ever since I started. I haven’t been drunk in over three years. I have gotten through 100% of my worst days, despite feeling like I wouldn’t, and I intend to keep on doing that.
2. What keeps you going through all your ups, downs, and diagonals?
I loved the way that question was phrased. Your moods can take you every-which-way. I am lucky to be extremely grateful for the people that I have in my life. I try to stay grounded for them. I also try and stay grounded for myself. I have worked so god-damn-hard to be where I am today, all through my own efforts. I don’t want that to be wasted. I am hopeful for a better tomorrow. There will be better days. Some of the best days of your life haven’t happened yet. That gives me hope – and now that I’m engaged I will have someone to share that with.
3. Which member of your family, immediate or distant has influenced and inspired you the most (alive or not)?
My dad. As much as I would love to write a lovely post about my other family members, who have always tried so hard… he has left a special mark on me. I have done so much to try and be the complete opposite of him. He had unfortunate circumstances, but he also made bad choices. I believe choices define you far more than your abilities. He didn’t want to be better, so he didn’t become better. Not for my mum, not for me, and not for himself. He showed me things I probably never should have seen, but I use that to my advantage now – to help and understand others. Nothing shocks me. I’m definitely my father’s daughter.
4. Which figure in history has influenced and inspired you the most?
Again, another tough question – I must say growing up I didn’t really identify with a particular figure, as I was trying to figure out who I was. I do remember Malala Yousafzai, and how brave she was. I guess I would aspire to have her courage and passion in improving other people’s lives and opportunities.
5. What is your spirit animal?
I didn’t have a clue about this one… so I took a quiz… LOL!
6. What is your creative/ emotional outlet besides blogging?
I LOVE to scrapbook. I think that combines my creative and emotional outlets because I like to preserve as many memories as I can. I also like to try and draw sometimes what’s going on my head, an activity I learnt from art therapy in CAMHS – I’ve never been any good at it. Self-help books, not the cheesy ones, but some help.
7. How have you advocated for mental health (illness) awareness in your family and/or community?
This question made me realise, not a lot. How pants. But I strive to encourage everyone I know to talk, recognise the feelings within themselves, learn the signs for themselves and others, know the resources available to them before they need them, to keep with their medication and know when to take them.
I also did a dissertation topic surrounding mental health, which meant I raised more awareness amongst people I knew, both inside and outside of University, which could encourage further debate.
8. Do you go to therapy and/or are you in any support groups?
Currently, no. For the first time ever I have been discharged by all my professionals on account of being considered stable. Whilst this is great news, I am taking it one day at a time. Between the ages of 9 and 21, I completed different forms of therapy, which did involve some support groups. This does not mean that I am better, it means that I have found ways which are working for me right now. I will definitely consider these tools again in the future if they are needed.
9. Have you had any difficulties regarding conventional work and employment? If so, what have they been and what have you had to do?
10. What is one act of self-care you practice on a daily basis?
It might sound simple, but it is by far the most effective. I make sure I take my medication. I lay it out before I go to bed. I make sure I have a water bottle on me wherever I go. I 100% believe this is the reason I have been considered stable, consistently taking my medication for the first time.
11. Do you know that I am here for you and you are validated?
What a wonderful way to finish. Thank you! I will be here for you too!
Time for my nominees…
- Where would you like to be in five years time?
- What do you think is the best strategy for getting more visitors to your blog?
- What kinds of things really make you laugh?
- What are your blogging goals? Short term and long term?
- Who is your best friend? What do you like about them?
- What is one thing that has made you feel strong? What is one thing that has made you feel weak?
- How do you take care of yourself when you’re feeling down?
- Who are some of your favourite bloggers?
- What is your favourite quote?
- What has impacted you most in blogging? How?
- What is something we don’t know about you?
Have a good week guys,